- 2018 may be a watershed year for litigation funding, which is under review by Victorian and Commonwealth law reform commissions.2018 may be a watershed year for litigation funding, which is under review by Victorian and Commonwealth law reform commissions.
- The most significant expected proposal for increased litigation funding competition is the removal of restrictions on damages based contingency fees imposed on lawyers.
- The case for increased regulation of litigation funders is unclear. A possible alternative to further regulation is a litigation funding industry code of practice.
Increasing access to justice has always been a key objective for parliamentarians and the courts. The cost of pursuing legal remedies can often impose insurmountable hurdles. The increasing availability of third party litigation funding has provided an effective, market-based solution to provide greater access to justice. However litigation funding continues to be hotly debated and is currently the subject of Victorian and Commonwealth government reviews. Licensing and additional prudential requirements are being considered along with the removal of the current ban on damages based contingency fees for lawyers. Increasingly commentators are suggesting that removing contingency fee restrictions on lawyers will increase competition and drive down dispute resolution costs for consumers. For those seeking more competition on funding rates, enhanced consumer safeguards and new options for access to justice, these should be welcome developments.