Report to Convocation
November 23, 2006
Access to Justice Committee
Marion Boyd, Co-Chair
Judith Potter, Co-Chair
Purposes of Report: For Information
Prepared by the Policy Secretariat
Julia Bass 416 947 5228 and Allyson O’Shea 416 947 3458
The Committee met on October 26th, 2006. Members in attendance were Marion
Boyd and Judith Potter (Co-Chairs), Andrea Alexander, Paul Dray and Tracey
O’Donnell. Staff in attendance were Julia Bass and Allyson O’Shea.
In November 2005, the Emerging Issues Committee considered the issue of the
arrival in Canada of the concept of ‘Litigation Financing’. The background
information prepared for the Emerging Issues Committee is attached at
Appendix 1. The issue was referred to a working group of Emerging Issues and
Access to Justice, which recommended that developments be monitored by the
Access to Justice Committee.
The term ‘Litigation Financing’ refers to an arrangement whereby a private
company agrees to provide a plaintiff with the necessary funds to engage in a
lawsuit or to cover personal expenses during the course of a lawsuit, that the
plaintiff might not otherwise be able to afford. Unlike a typical loan agreement,
the requirement to repay the advance is contingent upon success in the litigation.
However, in addition to repayment of the advance, the plaintiff who receives
litigation financing must also assign a portion of the proceeds of the lawsuit to
the company, in the event the lawsuit is successful.
Litigation financing is well established in the United States, and it appears that
there has been some interest in expansion into the Canadian marketplace. In the
September 30, 2005 issue of the Ontario Reports, an advertisement appeared for
a New York-based company called LawMax Legal Finance, which offers
litigation financing. Although LawMax Legal Finance has not advertised in the