Private litigation funder Harbour has struck a £2m deal with specialist law firm Morgan Sports Law, through which Harbour plans to cover footballers’ legal costs in employment disputes put forward on a “no win, no fee” basis.
Harbour will cover any legal costs in disputes between professional footballers and their employers, and take a cut of any winnings.
Founded in 2013, boutique law firm Morgan Sports Law has acted on behalf of athletes in a number of high-profile doping cases, and has been described as “the best firm in the world when it comes to doping matters.”
Last year, Morgan Sports Law founder Mike Morgan represented Ukrainian tennis player Dayana Yastremska after she tested positive for a banned substance.
In 2019, the firm also represented heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte, after the UK Anti-Doping authority charged the British boxer for a doping violation.
Harbour, the world’s largest privately-owned funder of litigation, said it plans to fund lawsuits being fought in the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber – the global football organisation’s dispute resolution court.
Speaking to City A.M. Diogo Gouveia, associate director at Harbour, said he expects most of the clients will be footballers playing in leagues outside of Europe who lack the financial means to bankroll lawsuits.
Gouveia said most of the disputes are likely to be cases in which football clubs have failed to pay their players the contractually obliged sums, as he explained the funding will allow them to recover any fees.
The lawyer said the £2m sum should allow Morgan to fight around 60 cases over a four-year period, as he said Harbour may continue to work with Morgan after the initial term is over.
Morgan Sports Law founder Mike Morgan said: “The firm was set up to protect the rights of athletes. All too often, costs are a barrier for athletes who wish to enforce their rights.”
“Setting up this credit facility, together with Harbour, will offer our football clients the opportunity to enforce their rights and fight claims they otherwise would not be able to.”