Champerty

Champerty

A type of maintenance – an arrangement whereby a third party unlawfully ‘maintains’ an action in return for a share of the claim proceeds 

 

The historic restrictions relating to both maintenance and champerty arose to combat abuses in medieval England.  Unscrupulous nobles and royal officials would lend their names to bolster the credibility of doubtful and fraudulent claims in return for a share of the property recovered 

 

Modern English law recognises that third party funding can promote access to justice.  To amount to maintenance or champerty today, a funding arrangement must disclose an element of impropriety, such as ‘wanton or officious’ meddling, disproportionate control or profit, or a clear tendency to corrupt justice (because, for example, there is a temptation to inflame damages).  If a funder crosses this line it will not be able to enforce its litigation funding agreement

Glossary

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