Title

Champerty, Professional Legal Ethics and Access to Justice for Impecunious Clients: Law Society of Singapore v Kurubalan s/o Manickam Rengaraju: Legislation and Case Notes

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Due to her colonial history, Singapore has inherited the English common law prohibition against maintenance and champerty. Maintenance refers to the officious intermeddling in litigation. Champerty is a particular form of maintenance where one party agrees to assist another to bring a claim such that the former shall receive a share of what may be recovered in the litigation. Criminal and civil liability for champerty was, however, abolished in England by virtue of the UK's Criminal Law Act 1967, subject that "any rule of that law as to the cases in which a contract is to be treated as contrary to public policy or otherwise illegal" would not be affected. Subsequently, the UK permitted a litigant to employ "a person providing advocacy or litigation services" under a conditional fee agreement, and has, in recent legislative amendments, even allowed damage-based agreements akin to the US-style contingency fees. These UK statutory developments are, however, not applicable to Singapore.

Keywords

Legal Ethics, Champerty, Access to Justice

Discipline

Asian Studies | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Research Areas

Commercial Law

Publication

Singapore Journal of Legal Studies

Volume

2014

Issue

1

First Page

206

Last Page

217

ISSN

0218-2173

Publisher

National University of Singapore Faculty of Law

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