Maintenance and Champerty (May 2005, Katharine Scott and Judith Ayling)

Maintenance and Champerty (May 2005, Katharine Scott and Judith Ayling)


“Champerty is a variety of maintenance:

  • ‘A person is guilty of maintenance if he supports litigation in which he has no legitimate concern without just cause or excuse’ Chitty 28 Ed Vol 1 17 – 050
  • Champerty ‘occurs when the person maintaining another stipulates for a share of the proceeds of the action or suit’ Chitty 28 Ed Vol 1 17 – 054.

The law in relation to maintenance depends upon public policy and so must be continually kept under review – see Hill v Archbold [1968] 1 QB 686 at 697. The introduction of CFA’s is an example of public policy changing. In the case of Factortame the CA held that:

Where the law expressly restricts the circumstances in which agreements in support of litigation are lawful, this provides a powerful indication of the limits of public policy in analogous situations. Where this is not the case, then we believe one must today look at the facts of the particular case and consider whether those facts suggest that the agreement in question might tempt the allegedly champertous maintainer for his personal gain, to inflame the damages, to suppress the evidence, to suborn witnesses or otherwise undermine the ends of justice. (paragraph 36)…”

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