The Impact of Third-Party Funding on Access to Justice

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Eva Storskrubb




Springer Cham




Third-party funding advantages funded parties because funded parties already tend to be calculable winners on the merits rather than parties likely to lose on the merits. Thus, parties likely to win on the merits are even more likely to win with third-party funding, but not all winning parties can secure third-party funding. Hence, the overarching question is as follows: if funders pick winners among the winners, what does real access to justice look like in an era of third-party funding? For example, would real access to justice need to involve third-party funders funding indigent or innocent respondents, expensive long-shot claimants, righteous injunctions with no monetary recovery, or unprofitable cases that espouse some worthy yet controversial position?

This chapter uses a thought experiment to identify areas of law and categories of parties where the promise of third-party funding may fall short regarding expanding access to civil justice. After outlining the thorny needles of this problem, this chapter presents a potential solution for funding long-shot winners, expensive winners, respondent winners, nonfinancial winners, and political winners—depending on the facts and circumstances of the disputes.

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