Call for Feedback - Public Consultation to Seek Feedback on Third-Party Funding Framework
The Ministry of Law ('Minlaw') is seeking the Law Society's feedback on Singapore's Third-Party Funding ('3PF') Framework. The Public Consultation can be accessed on MinLaw's website.
Civil Law Act Amendments
On 1 March 2017, the 3PF Framework came into force by way of the Civil Law (Amendment) Act 2017 and Civil Law (Third-Party Funding) Regulation(s) 2017. Briefly, these amendments provide for:
- The abolishment of the common law tort of maintenance and champerty;
- That contracts affected by maintenance and champerty remain contrary to public policy and are unenforceable, unless they apply to permitted categories of dispute resolution proceedings. Currently, only international arbitration and its related proceedings fall under this category; and
- The qualifying criteria to be a third party funder and other statutory obligations for funders in relation to the 3PF contract.
For detailed provisions, kindly refer to s5A and 5B of the Civil Law Act and the Civil Law (Third-Party Funding) Regulation 2017.
Legal Profession Act Amendments
Consequential amendments were made to the Legal Profession Act and the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015. Briefly, the amendments are as follows:
- Legal practitioners can introduce their clients to third party funders for permitted dispute resolution proceedings if they do not receive a direct financial benefit;
- Obligations for legal practitioners to disclose the existence of a 3PF contract; and
- Legal practitioners must not hold any share or ownership in a third party funder which they introduce to their client.
For detailed provisions, kindly refer to SS107(3), (3A) and (3B) of the Legal Profession Act and Part 5A of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015.
Minlaw is seeking feedback on the operation of the 3PF Framework and suggestions to improve it. In particular, Minlaw has asked:
- Whether legal practitioners have accepted funding for permitted cases in Singapore, or if legal practitioners have advised on or been involved with one or more funded cases since the 3PF Framework came into force;
- Whether legal practitioners have found the 3PF Framework useful and whether it has had an impact on your practice; and
- Whether legal practitioners find that there is a need to expand the permitted categories of dispute resolution proceedings beyond the category of international arbitration and its related proceedings.
The consultation period is from 3 April 2018 to 15 May 2018.
As this is a public consultation which impacts legal professionals, the Law Society encourages members to give your feedback. Feedback may be submitted in electronic form or hard copy form to the following address:
Ministry of Law
Policy Advisory Division
100 High Street
#08-02, The Treasury