Welcome to the Inquiry
On 11 December the Attorney-General provided Terms of Reference to the ALRC for an Inquiry into class actions and third party litigation funders.
The aim of the inquiry is to ensure that the costs of class actions are ‘appropriate and proportionate and that the interests of plaintiffs and class members are protected’. The Attorney has asked the ALRC to consider ‘whether and to what extent class action proceedings and third party litigation funders should be subject to Commonwealth regulation, with reference to specific matters that have arisen including the proportionality of lawyers’ costs and the lack of ethical constraints on their operation such as those binding legal practitioners’ (A-G media release, 15 Dec 2017).
In preparing a Discussion Paper, the ALRC will draw on the recent body of work on third party litigation funding in Australia, including that of the Productivity Commission in its 2014 report, Access to Justice Arrangements, and that of the Victorian Law Reform Commission inquiry into Victoria’s class action regime.
ALRC President, the Hon. Justice S C Derrington, is leading the Litigation Funding Inquiry. Consultations have commenced, and the ALRC will continue to meet with stakeholders over the next few months with a view to releasing a Discussion Paper containing proposals for law reform at the end of May. At that stage we will call for submissions, with a closing date in mid September.
The ALRC will deliver its Report, with recommendations for reform, to the Attorney-General by 21 December 2018.
On 9 April, the Hon. Justice S C Derrington will be a keynote speaker at a Monash Business School event – Increased Regulation of Litigation Funding Seminar.