VLRC To Review Rules Covering Litigation Funders

VLRC To Review Rules Covering Litigation Funders

Victoria Attorney-General Martin Pakula

Making Civil Justice Fairer For Victorians

Victor P Taffa

Andrews Government will look at ways to better protect Victorians from unfair risks and disproportionate costs when they seek to enforce their rights in court using litigation funders.

Attorney-General Martin Pakula has asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) to review the rules covering litigation funders to prevent unfair conduct in civil proceedings, such as class actions.

“This review will consider how we can better protect Victorian consumers from unfair costs, while ensuring that law firms and litigation funders continue to support worthwhile claims.” Attorney-General Martin Pakula said.

Litigation funders generally agree to fund part or all of a plaintiff’s costs of a civil court proceeding in exchange for a share of any award to the successful plaintiffs.

Review will look at circumstances where a successful outcome may be unduly eroded by fees, leaving plaintiffs with virtually nothing despite successfully arguing their case.

“It is incredibly frustrating when a person wins a case, only to walk away almost empty-handed because the money has been soaked up by unfair legal fees.” Attorney-General said.

Review will also consider whether some third parties are unfairly profiting from successful actions, denying Victorians access to justice.

Consideration will also be given to the existing prohibition on law firms charging contingency fees and whether, and in what circumstances, that probation should be retained.

VLRC will provide its report to Government by 30 March 2018.