A three judge panel has ruled a litigation funding agreement in WFIC LLC v. Labarre to be champertous, meaning to invest in litigation with interest in future proceeds, and, thus, void. The lawyer who represented the plaintiff in the original case obtained a $12.5 million jury verdict for his client, but received no money in contingency fees since the payment to the litigation funding investors was to come out of his fees. It is left to be seen what impact this decision will have on future litigation funding within Pennsylvania, as there is not much precedent on chemparty or litigation funding within the State’s jurisprudence.
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Summarized by Meghan Hallinan.