Costs and mechanisms of funding of Litigation

This comparative research project is coordinated by Professor Christopher Hodges of the Centre and by Professor Stefan Vogenauer, Director of the European and Comparative Law Institute at the University of Oxford.

The results of a comparative study on litigation funding and costs, involving scholars and practitioners in some 33 jurisdictions, were presented at an International Conference on July 6 and 7, 2009.  The Project was linked to the Jackson Costs Review in England & Wales, and the results were made available to Lord Justice Jackson, who attended the conference and underpinned a number of key recommendations in his Costs Review. A Note of the 2009 conference is below:

The project has been expanded to include further data and more jurisdictions. A book summarizing the position in 20 countries was published in November 2010: C Hodges, S Vogenauer and M Tulibacka, The Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation: A Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing, 2010). Reviewed by Lothar Jünemann in

as 'What a treasure trove', 'most informative', 'a source of empirical findings and legal policy conclusions of the highest order'.

The findings of this research were that:

1. the 'loser pays' rule should be retained,

2. fixed costs should be extended (like the German tariff system),

3. legal aid is unsustainable and governments can be expected to encourage private sources of funding litigation, such as contingency fees and third party funding,

4. also, governments are extending, and should extend and prioritise, ADR mechanisms as alternatives to courts.

Each of the above points has been adopted as policy by the UK government in consultation papers issued in November 2010, summarised in 1011 UK Funding and Costs Reform

. From November 2010 Professor Hodges is also an expert adviser to the European Commission DG Sanco on consumer ADR systems.

Litigation Funding

Together with Professor John Peysner and Dr. Angus Nurse of Lincoln University Law School, we have been undertaking since 2009 an empirical study on the recently expanding phenomenon of ‘third party’ private litigation funding. 

. This empirical study will inform future policy decisions on methods of operation, potential for conflicts or abuse, and options for regulation.

Research into this fast-developing area is continuing.