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Asia Pacific move: Harbour Litigation Funding opens Hong Kong office

Third party financier Harbour Litigation Funding (HLF) has opened an office in Hong Kong to meet a rise in class actions in the Asia Pacific region.

The litigation funder which is one of the world’s largest, has appointed Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) managing counsel Ruth Stackpool-Moore to head the office as director of litigation funding.

HLF head of litigation funding Susan Dunn said: ‘Ruth is recognised as a leading authority on arbitration and litigation issues and is the ideal person to drive further growth for us in this region. Given our rising case demand from Asia Pacific, particularly class actions in Australia, opening an office in Hong Kong gives permanent in-region presence deepening our local connections.’

Before joining HKIAC, Stackpool-Moore was an associate specialising in international commercial arbitration and litigation with Debevoise & Plimpton in London, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Paris and Coudert Brothers in Paris and Sydney.

Stackpool-Moore said: ‘I’ve seen first-hand how litigation funding can increase and improve access to justice and I’m looking forward to accelerating its progression across the world. We will be lobbying for change and increasing corporate and institutional awareness of third party funding in litigation and arbitration.’

HLF acts as the sole investment sub-advisor to the Harbour Funds which total £410million, and includes claims in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand with an expanding Australasian portfolio which includes new cases from Singapore.

In March the funder raised £230m to bankroll disputes as it looked to capitalise on rising demand.

Dunn said at the time: ‘demand for funding continues to outstrip supply of funding in the market. The fact remains there are still only a handful of funders in the world with access to meaningful sums available to fund disputes.’