The Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders was published by the Civil Justice Council and launched on 23 November 2011 at the Royal Courts of Justice. It was the result of many months of painstaking work by a Working Party established by the Civil Justice Council with the participation of shareholders including lawyers, academics and business interests. The code was amended in January 2014.
The Working Party that drafted the Code was chaired by Michael Napier CBE, QC (Hon) (Irwin Mitchell) and included Professor Rachael Mulheron (Queen Mary University of London, member of the Civil Justice Council); Timothy Mayer (Woodsford Litigation Funding Ltd); Susan Dunn (Harbour Litigation Funding Ltd); Leslie Perrin (Calunius Capital LLP, Chairman of The Association of Litigation Funders); and Rocco Pirozzolo (QBE).
The Code of Conduct received the stamp of approval from the Board of the Civil Justice Council, the Master of the Rolls (who himself has been quoted as stating that Litigation Funding ‘filters out unmeritorious claims‘) and Lord Justice Jackson, and also received a warm welcome from the industry. Lord Justice Jackson, who led the Civil Litigation Costs Review published in 2010, approved of Litigation Funding as one of the option for funding cases – in his view, Litigation Funding promotes Access to Justice. He had himself recommended self-regulation for this industry, initially by way of a voluntary Code of Conduct, at least until the market has grown sufficiently to re-visit the question of a possible statutory regulation.
The Code was amended in January 2014. Most significantly, as a result of these amendments, funder members are now required to maintain access to £2 million of capital. Other clarifications were made to the Code, most notably as regards the definition of a funder.
For further information, please read about the Key Aspects of the Code.