Civil Justice Council to debate litigation funding regulation

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is moving a step closer to regulating third-party litigation funding.

The CJC will hold a meeting in February to discuss what form regulation of the burgeoning industry should take, as first revealed on www. thelawyer. com (19 December 2007).

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’s a question of developing a voluntary code of conduct.”

A cross-section of funders, lawyers, Government representatives, academics and judges will 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 Master of the Rolls Sir Anthony Clarke has backed the CJC’s move.

Market insiders have predicted that some form of regulation might be necessary, as first reported by The Lawyer (10 December 2007).

The CJC published a report last summer that welcomed funding as long as it was regulated properly . Concerns include the compulsory disclosure of funding details and reinforcing lawyers’ independence from funders.