Litigation Funding: Status and Issues
159 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2012 Last revised: 17 Sep 2012
Date Written: January 30, 2012
This Research Report by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford and Lincoln Law School identifies the current state of (third party) litigation funding in Europe, with extra information on Australia, the U.S.A. and Canada. It sets out findings from a series of interviews with major funders, summarises the legal and commercial rules and situation, and then analyses the main issues of ethical practice that arise. It finds that litigation funding is widespread and growing in a number of jurisdictions. Litigation funding in Europe is currently focused almost exclusively as a bespoke product on commercial and international disputes, and not on small or consumer disputes, or mass claims. The authors analyse potential issues of conflicts of interest that arise with any non-party independent funding of litigation, and note the development of a self-regulatory code approach by litigation funders. They recommend that if litigation funding were to become available for disputes involving consumer or smaller companies risks would increase and formal regulation would be required.
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