The Civil Justice Council (CJC) will move a step closer to regulating third-party litigation funding in the new year.
The CJC will hold a meeting in February to discuss what form regulation of the burgeoning industry would take.
CJC secretary Robert Musgrove told The Lawyer: “There has to be a minimum standard. What we’ll be discussing is whether there should be regulation with a capital ‘R’, or whether it is a question of developing a voluntary code of conduct.”
A cross-section of funders, lawyers, government representatives, academics and judges will sit down to discuss what should be regulated and how heavily.
The CJC will present the findings of its meeting to the government. “But of course what we present is dependent on how much consensus there will be,” warned Musgrove. He said that the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, has backed the move by the CJC.
Market insiders have predicted that some form of regulation might be necessary, as first reported by The Lawyer (10 December).
The CJC published a report this summer that welcomed funding as long as it is properly regulated. Concerns include the compulsory disclosure of funding details and reinforcing lawyers’ independence from funders.