In December 2016, Lord Hodgson submitted a written request to the MoJ asking the government whether it planned to introduce regulations to ensure that litigation funders are subject to the same statutory duties and obligations as law firms. Lord Hodgson expressed concerns over what he perceived to be the secret nature of the way in which third party litigation funding (“TPFL”) operates and he raised ethical concerns including the risk that because funders have the means to control the litigation they fund, this may operate to a claimant’s disadvantage.
Lord Keen responded in January 2017:
“The government does not believe that the case has been made out for moving away from voluntary regulation, as agreed by Parliament during the passage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The market for TPLF remains at a relatively early stage in its development in this jurisdiction and we are not aware of specific concerns about the activities of litigation funders. The government has not therefore undertaken a formal assessment of the effectiveness of the voluntary code of conduct or the membership of the Association of Litigation Funders. The last government gave parliament an assurance that it will keep TPLF under review and this government is ready to investigate matters further should the need arise.”
The response from the government comes as welcome news to us and other third party funders. We believe that rather than hindering access to justice, TPLF offers litigants greater access to justice as meritorious claims can now be pursued where previously they had to be abandoned due to lack of funds to support the litigation.
Acasta is able to offer funding for a variety of commercial disputes in conjunction with Sparkle Capital. Our in house legal team is actively involved in assessing and considering the merits of any funding proposal. We also offer a funding facility that has been specially designed to provide assistance for lower value claims as we understand that such claims cannot often be pursued due to lack of finance.
Hannah Aziz, In House Solicitor
Acasta Europe Limited