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Power Women special: Susan Dunn, Harbour Litigation Funding

Date: 23 Apr 2015

Citywealth

In the run-up to the next year’s Power Women Awards, we caught up with Susan Dunn, Head of Litigation Funding at Harbour Litigation Funding, who won the Inspirational Woman of the Year award in 2015.

What major transaction/deal have you been involved in in the last quarter?

Two things stand out – first we raised our third fund of £230 million in March which adds to the £60 million and £120 million funds raised in 2010 and 2012 and second we signed up a very large case in Ireland where we will once again be establishing the legal position regarding funding in another jurisdiction

Remind us of a great man who have been supportive of you in your career.

That has to be my father. I realised when I won this award, that it was him who had created the environment for me to succeed (though I should add so did my mum). He worked in a very male dominated environment and yet consistently recruited women. He also created an expectation that I could try anything, there were no boundaries, regardless of whether I couldn’t see anyone like me ahead of me doing the same thing. And crucially safe in the knowledge that if something didn’t work (and not everything did) I would have his unfailing support ‚Äì he was tough in the standards he expected of me, but unconditionally supportive in all aspects of my life.

How did winning the Power Women award impact your career or personal life?

It has been a long and often very lonely journey to get the business to where it is today. One ploughs on, often in the face of great challenge (especially in our target market), but this award comes at a time when it feels like we have really broken through and it is incredibly touching to receive it and mark a moment in time, and to look back and acknowledge where this all started and where it is today – it felt ok to be proud of that achievement and the great team at Harbour.

Why should people, both women and men, enter the awards this year?

It is incredibly important to recognise what you have achieved – we are all too often shy to do so, thinking it somehow immodest to do so. But many people achieve things through tremendous hard work and with no recognition – this award is the moment to rightly note that recognition

Changing the topic slightly, what does your organisation do to encourage individuals from BME community to learn about your organisation?

Even though there are only 12 full time employees at Harbour we have a high proportion of BME staff of which I am very proud. I am an ambassador for Stonewall and have become more vocal about that, so that we can make it clear just what an equal opportunities business Harbour is.

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