maintenance and champerty

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The promotion or support of litigation by a third party who has no legitimate interest in the proceedings (maintenance) and the support of litigation by a third party in return for a share of the proceeds ( champerty, an aggravated form of maintenance). The old crimes and torts of maintenance and champerty were abolished by statute in 1967 but a champertous agreement may still be treated as contrary to public policy and so unlawful. An agreement by a lawyer to receive payment in the form of a share of the client's damages (if successful) is regarded as champertous in England. A modified form of “no win, no fee” agreement was legalized by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, although it is authorized only for certain categories of cases (see conditional fee agreement).

Subjects: Law.

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