Litigation funding—United Kingdom—England & Wales—Q&A guide
Litigation funding—United Kingdom—England & Wales—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Litigation funding—United Kingdom—England & Wales—Q&A guide
  • 1. Is third-party litigation funding permitted? Is it commonly used?
  • 2. Are there limits on the fees and interest funders can charge?
  • 3. Are there any specific legislative or regulatory provisions applicable to third-party litigation funding?
  • 4. Do specific professional or ethical rules apply to lawyers advising clients in relation to third-party litigation funding?
  • 5. Do any public bodies have any particular interest in or oversight over third-party litigation funding?
  • 6. May third-party funders insist on their choice of counsel?
  • 7. May funders attend or participate in hearings and settlement proceedings?
  • 8. Do funders have veto rights in respect of settlements?
  • 9. In what circumstances may a funder terminate funding?
  • More...

Litigation funding—United Kingdom—England & Wales—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to litigation funding in United Kingdom - England & Wales published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2021).

Authors: Woodsford—Steven Friel; Jonathan Barnes; Alex Hickson; Fred Bowman

1. Is third-party litigation funding permitted? Is it commonly used?

Third-party litigation funding is permitted and endorsed by the judiciary and policymakers as a tool of access to justice. Consistent with modern public policy, English courts have a generally positive attitude to third-party funding.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal recently described third-party litigation funding as 'a well-recognised feature of modern litigation' that 'facilitates access to justice for those who otherwise may be unable to afford it' (UK Trucks Claim Limited v Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Others and Road Haulage Association Limited v Man SE and Others [2019] CAT 26). The tribunal's view underlines how far the law has changed since the days when funding another party's litigation could constitute both a crime and a tort.

The historic, and long-abandoned, prohibition of third-party litigation funding was rooted in the ancient concepts of maintenance and champerty. Maintenance is third-party support of another's litigation. Champerty is a form of maintenance in which the third party supports the litigation in return for a share of the proceeds.

At the start of the twentieth century,

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