News

Third-Party Funding: Trends, Developments and the Future

The team of the Vici project ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ at Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University (Rotterdam), have organised an online research seminar ‘Third Party Funding: Trends, Developments and the Future.’ This seminar will take place on 7 December 2022 at 10-13 CET via Zoom.

The seminar will include two presentations on two of the articles in the recently published special issue of Erasmus Law Review, edited by Vici members Professor Xandra Kramer (Erasmus School of Law) and Associate Professor Masood Ahmed (University of Leicester, UK) on Global Developments and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice. Dr David Capper (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Professor Michale Legg (UNSW, Sydney) will present their respective papers on third party funding in Australia and Ireland.

This seminar will start with the launch of the new book Frontiers in Civil Justice - Privatisation, Monetisation and Digitisation (Elgar 2022); an edited collection of essays from the ERC project Building EU Civil Justice. The book studies three interrelated frontiers in civil justice from a European and national perspectives, combining theory with policy and insights from practice: the interplay between private and public justice, the digitisation of justice, and litigation funding. These current topics are viewed against the backdrop of the requirements of effective access to justice and the overall goal of establishing a sustainable civil justice system in Europe.

Event program:

Title: Third Party Funding: Trends, Developments and the Future

9.45 – 10.00: Registration / Zoom Connection

10.00 - 10.15: Xandra Kramer and Stefaan Voet (Erasmus School of Law, KU Leuven):

Welcome, Introduction and Book Launch Frontiers in Civil Justice - Privatisation, Monetisation and Digitisation

10.15 - 10.30: Masood Ahmed (University of Leicester, UK)

Introduction and background on the special issue of Erasmus Law Review Global Developments and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice

10.30 – 10.45: Adrian Cordina (Erasmus School of Law)

Introduction on TPF in Europe and beyond

10.45 - 11.15: Michael Legg (UNSW Sydney)

The Rise and Regulation of Litigation Funding in Australian Class Actions

11.15 - 11.30: Break

11.30 – 12.00: David Capper (Queen’s University Belfast)

Litigation Funding in Ireland

12.00 - 12.15: Discussion and Conclusion of the Seminar

Speakers’ bio:

Michael Legg

Michael Legg is a Professor in the Faculty of Law & Justice at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Michael’s research interests include case management of complex civil litigation, regulatory litigation, class actions and litigation funding. He is the author of Case Management and Complex Civil Litigation (2d ed, 2022) published by Federation Press and Public and Private Enforcement of Securities Laws - The Regulator and the Class Action in Australia’s Continuous Disclosure Regime published by Hart (2022), co-author of Corporate Misconduct and White-Collar Crime in Australia (Thomson Reuters, 2022), Civil Procedure in New South Wales (Thomson Reuters, 4th ed 2020) and Australian Annotated Class Actions Legislation (LexisNexis, 2d ed 2018). Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a member of the Law Society of New South Wales’ Future Committee and the Law Council of Australia’s Class Actions Committee. He is admitted to practice in Australia (NSW) and the United States (New York Bar). He holds law degrees from UNSW (LLB), the University of California, Berkeley (LLM) and the University of Melbourne (PhD).

David Capper

Dr David Capper studied Law at Queen’s University Belfast and Cambridge University from 1978 to 1984. He was a practising member of the Bar of Northern Ireland from 1984 until 1989 when he was appointed to a Lectureship in Law at Queen’s. He is now Reader in Law, teaching and writing in the fields of Private Law, Civil Procedure and Remedies. He has held visiting positions at the University of Detroit Mercy and Fordham University.

Dr Capper first became interested in access to justice and the funding of civil litigation when serving as member (1995-2001) and vice-chair (1997-2001) of the Lord Chancellor’s Legal Aid Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland. He is the sole author of two books, on Mareva Injunctions and the Enforcement of judgments in Northern Ireland, respectively, as well as around 50 law review publications. Currently he is co-editor of the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.

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EU flag ERC logo

Building EU Civil Justice

Access to civil justice is of paramount importance for enforcing the rights of consumers and businesses and protecting fundamental rights. Key issues in the current efforts to improve access to justice at the EU and national level are the digitisation of procedures and decision making, the privatisation of justice (ADR), increasing self-representation, and court specialisation. We investigate how these trends develop and how these influence access to justice in selected Member States and at the EU level, and how these influence the emerging EU civil justice system. Another key issue in access to justice the costs and funding of civil justice. In the connected Vici project financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), that kicked off on 1 December 2020, we investigate the repercussions on access to justice of developments in litigation funding, and in particular the shift from public to private funding and cost management measures. In our research we combine legal-normative research and comparative law with empirical research, which helps us in testing and revising our ideas. Our mission is to connect the dots in order to help build and maintain a sustainable civil justice system in Europe.

Events & Newsletters

  • From December 2022 till June 2023 the Vici team will organize a series of online, hybrid and live seminars on Developments and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice; the first one takes place on 7 December 2022, 10:00-12:15 CET (register here)
  • Here is our third ERC project Newsletter (November 2020) including our publications, events and other news!
  • Here are our first ERC project Newsletter (2018) and second Newsletter (2019) including publications events and accomplishments

Missions accomplished…

  • Our Vici team hosted a seminar series on Trends and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice between December 2021 and June 2022, incuding a hybrid final seminar on Regulating third party financing (view full program)
  • Book New Pathways to Civil Justice in Europe published (eds. Xandra Kramer, Alexandre Biard, Jos Hoevenaars & Erlis Themeli), Springer 2021
  • Conference on International Commercial Courts, co-organized with BIICL on 17 September 2021.
  • Online seminar series by the ERC group zooming in on the different research topics of members in Spring 2021
  • Our online Conference Frontiers in Civil Justice was held on 16 and 17 November 2020. View the programme and read the full conference report here.
  • A webinar on The ELI-Unidroit Model European Rules of Civil Procedure: soft law shaping the future of European Civil Procedure? was held on 6 November 2020. View the program and news item.
  • International Business Courts: A European and Global Perspective (eds. Xandra Kramer & John Sorabji), Eleven International Publishing 2019. Order your paper copy here. The electronic version is available open access here.
  • Special issue dedicated to International Business Courts of Erasmus Law Review (2019/1). The Introduction is available here.
  • On 2-3 May 2019, the ERC project team and the e-CODEX Plus project jointly organized the successful conference ‘e’ Meets Justice in Lisbon.
  • Conference: Challenge Accepted! Exploring Pathways to Civil Justice in Europe, ERC conference Rotterdam, 19-20 November 2018 (program in pdf). Read the conference report published in the European Review of Private Law here.
  • Innovating International Business Courts: a European Outlook, seminar Rotterdam, 10 July 2018. Read the seminar report published in the European Review of Private Law here.


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