What is the status of the Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill [HL] ?


Track the current status of the bill live here.


24 May 2024 – Update: PACCAR reversal bill set to stall in General Election  


The Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill   (“LFA Bill”)  which aims to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court’s PACCAR decision on litigation funding looks to be stalled.  As the government focuses on the election scheduled for the 4th of July, parliament will be dissolved on Thursday, 30th of May – meaning neither house nor their committees will then meet until after the election.  This is bad news for the LFA Bill as it was provisionally scheduled to go to the report stage in the House of Lords on the 6th of June, and while a list of other bills set to pass in the ‘wash up’  period seems to have emerged, the LFA Bill is notably absent from the list.  

Speaking to the Global Competition Review’s Alex Bagley, Erso’s Sarah Breckenridge made the following comments on the likelihood that the bill will be temporarily scrapped:  


  • Will the delay have any material impact on live claims?  


The Bill had been making good progress so it’s disappointing the rug has been pulled from under it by the announcement of a July General Election. But funders have had the best part of a year now to respond to the commercial challenges posed by the PACCAR judgment, both on existing deals and on new investments closed since then. The problem remains that whilst a PACCAR reversal is pending, funders do not have the freedom to structure investments as would best suit the case and its particular circumstances. Multiples work well for many cases, but can be a blunt instrument and create disproportionate financial effects, for example where awards are less than anticipated or when defendant behaviour ramps up legal costs spent. Ultimately potential claimants lose out: there may be less availability of funding for some cases for example, especially ones at the more modest end of the scale. 


  • What is the likelihood of the bill being passed quickly in the next Parliamentary session? Are you concerned that a potential Labour government might have different priorities? How crucial is it that the legislation is passed quickly?  


Whatever the outcome of the General Election, there is likely to be further delay which just brings uncertainty and constrains the way funders can invest in cases, which does no one any favours. The funding industry has and will survive the effects of PACCAR but the commentary around the effect of funding on the Post Office case, not least from Alan Bates, provides the perfect illustration of why a new government should take steps to reverse PACCAR and restore clarity and choice to the market as soon as possible. 


The resulting GCR article can be found here (subscription required).  

You can read the commentary mentioned above of Alan Bates, Founder of the Justice For Post Masters, published in The Guardian here 



29 April 2024 –

Members of the House of Lords have wrapped up their close examination of the Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill, diving into thedetails of how LFAs work. Litigation funding agreements have been under scrutiny since the Supreme Court called them into question in 2023 in the PACCAR matter. Now, the bill aims to undo that decision, stirring up debates about its retrospective nature. Some argue it’s essential that the bill apply retrospectively, while others worry about potential legal tangles and human rights implications. Despite the concerns, the Lords gave the thumbs-up to the retrospective element during the committee stage, setting the stage for further discussions and potential amendments.

Committee stage is a thorough examination of the individual parts (clauses) of the bill. Starting from the front of the bill, members work through the clauses in order, considering changes (amendments) to the wording or proposals for new clauses. Report stage, a further chance to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes, is scheduled. Find out more about the bill in the House of Lords Library briefing. The aim of the Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill is to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision, as DBAs are subject to different legislative requirements which may make LFAs unenforceable.

Members speaking at committee stage put forward amendments ( click the link for PDF) to the bill to be discussed.


15th April 2024 – The Bill had its second reading in the house of lords


19 March 2024 – On 19 March, the government published HL BILL 56  ” described as a bill to amend section 58AA of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 to make provision about the enforceability of litigation funding agreements.”  The Bill then had its first reading in the house of Lords.




On 4 March 2024, the Ministry of Justice published a press release unveiling plans to introduce legislation which will make it easier for claimants to secure third party funding, in an apparent reversal of the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in PACCAR, which made many litigation funding agreements unenforceable.

Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk, provided the following comments:

It’s crucial victims can access justice – but it can feel like a David and Goliath battle when they’re facing powerful corporations with deep pockets. This important change will mean more victims can secure vital third party funding to level the playing field and support their fight for justice.The sub-postmasters were able to secure third party funding in their legal action against the Post Office. Now others will too.”

Speaking to Alex Bagley from the Global Competition Review, regarding the MOJ’s announcement, Erso’s Sarah Breckenridge provided the following comments:

“Yes, [we are pleased with the MOJ’s decision], whilst we await the detail on the legislation itself, it is gratifying to see that the MOJ appears to wish to address all types of litigation, not just competition opt-outs, in a PACCAR reversal.  The focus of the MOJ press release appears to be on cases by individuals against big corporations, and – rightly- uses the Post Office case as an example. I do think though it’s important to remember that funding plays an important role in more than just such “David v Goliath” disputes. The financial risk of litigation can have a chilling effect on all types of businesses from SMEs upwards, and the ability of a funder to offer to invest on commercially negotiated terms (ideally without being hampered on the structure of a return) can address that problem.

It’s difficult to say [how we expect this legislation will be drafted to fix the Paccar ruling].  Various commentators quickly identified potential issues with the initial drafting proposed to address opt-out cases in the CAT. It was incompatible, unintended, or conflicting drafting across the complex web of primary and secondary legislation in this area which led to the PACCAR problem in the first place. One hopes that the draft legislation is given full scrutiny and that the industry participants themselves have time to review and comment on it.

Funders have been quick to adapt to the constraints of the PACCAR decision. However, until there is legislative change, and/or the Court of Appeal has ruled on the particular drafting solutions which have been put forward for high-stakes cases such as O’Neill v Sony, we can expect defendants to continue to try to unpick LFAs in the CAT for all manner of reasons, not just the percentage share. Regardless of the PACCAR decision there had been a natural shift in the funder approach to pricing anyway, motivated by the increased competition in the market over time and by individual funder innovation. Multiples have been a mainstay of Erso’s approach from its outset and in many cases will continue to make economic sense for us and for funded parties whether or not PACCAR is reversed.”

Realistically, much as we would welcome it, we cannot see a new, workable law being implemented in short order. The Post Office issue has no doubt contributed to the MOJ’s widely publicised stance on reversing PACCAR, but we should not conclude that addressing PACCAR therefore has a higher priority than the other matters demanding legislative time in the run-up to an election.  

The resulting GCR article can be found here (subscription required).