Tuesday, December 6, 2011
A landmark judgment from the Royal Court in Jersey now officially recognizes third-party litigation funding in Jersey, provided that it is properly structured, according to Bedell advocate, Lisa Springate, who advised on the recent case, In the Matter of the Valetta Trust.
While Jersey's litigation market has long been recognized by UK practitioners as being well established, there has been no established domestic litigation funding market in either of the Channel Islands, ie for the provision of funding in legal proceedings, in exchange for a share of any sum won by the plaintiff. This was due to doubt over the legality and enforceability of such arrangements as, until the latest Royal Court judgment, funding agreements remained untested, unlike in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
However, the Royal Court concluded in Valetta Trust that the funding agreement in question is valid and enforceable.
“The importance of this decision to Third Party Litigation funders and those contemplating litigation in Jersey is that it is now officially recognized that a funding agreement is in the interests of justice and is to be encouraged, provided that it is properly structured,” Bedell said. “Such agreements facilitate access to justice by plaintiffs who would not otherwise be able to afford to bring the litigation in question, as well as for those who wish to share the cost of litigation with a funder.”