cham·per·ty /'cham-pər-tē/ n pl -ties [Anglo-French champartie bargaining for a share of disputed property, from champart share of crops paid as rent, share of property in dispute, from champ field + part portion]: an unenforceable agreement by which a person with otherwise no interest in a lawsuit agrees to aid in or carry on its litigation in consideration of a share of the subject matter of the suit (as property or damages) compare maintenance

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

An illegal agreement between a party to a lawsuit and another person who agrees to pay the costs of pursuing the lawsuit in exchange for a share of the resulting proceeds.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

An agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (the plaintiff) and another person, who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit in return for a percentage of the recovery. In some states, champerty is illegal. However, it is also the basis for the legal and commonly accepted practice of contingency fee arrangements with attorneys, who represent their clients and are paid from any award or settlement the plaintiff receives in the suit.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

Champerty is a variety of maintenance, and occurs when the maintaining party contracts for a share of the proceeds of the action or suit

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 n. An agreement between a litigant and a person who is not a party to the action, including the litigant's lawyer, for that person to pursue or financially support the litigant's claim in exchange for a portion of any damages awarded. The practice was once prohibited by the common law and it is still forbidden in some states, thereby casting doubt on the legality of lawyers advancing costs for their clients, as in the payment of expert witness fees.
2 v. To financially support or otherwise maintain or promote another person's claim.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

   an agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (plaintiff) and another person, usually an attorney, who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit in return for a percentage of the recovery (money won and paid). In common law this was illegal on the theory that it encouraged lawsuits. Today it is legal and often part of a "contingent fee" agreement between lawyer and client. It is not the same as barratry, which is active encouragement of lawsuits.
   See also: barratry, contingent fee

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Champerty — Cham per*ty, n. [F. champart field rent, L. campipars; champ (L. campus) field + part (L. pars) share.] 1. Partnership in power; equal share of authority. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Beaut[ e] ne sleighte, strengthe ne hardyness, Ne may with Venus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • champerty — [cham′pər tē] n. pl. champerties [ME champartie < OFr champart, the lord s share in the crop of a tenant s land < L campi pars < campi, gen. of campus, field + pars, part: see CAMPUS & PART2] Law an act or proceeding by which a person… …   English World dictionary

  • Champerty — Legal term for an agreement with one side of a dispute to have a share in the property being disputed; this was clearly corrupt practice. Champerty was explicitly forbidden under statute by Edward III, as was *embracery. The Latin form is… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • champerty and maintenance — Champerty is the process whereby one person bargains with a party to a lawsuit to obtain a share in the proceeds of the suit. Maintenance is the support or promotion of another person s suit initiated by intermeddling for personal gain.… …   Law dictionary

  • Champerty and maintenance — Champarty redirects here. For the medieval levy, see Champart. Champerty and maintenance are doctrines in common law jurisdictions, that aim to preclude frivolous litigation. Maintenance is the intermeddling of a disinterested party to encourage… …   Wikipedia

  • champerty — noun Etymology: Middle English champartie, from Anglo French, from champart share in litigious property, from champ field (from Latin campus) + part portion more at part Date: 15th century a proceeding by which a person not a party in a suit… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • champerty — champertous, adj. /cham peuhr tee/, n. Law. a sharing in the proceeds of litigation by one who agrees with either the plaintiff or defendant to help promote it or carry it on. [1300 50; ME champartie, equiv. to champart ( < MF: share of the… …   Universalium

  • champerty — noun investing money into an individual’s law suit. See Also: camp, campus, champertous …   Wiktionary

  • champerty — n. act of promoting the suit of a plaintiff or defendant in return for a share of the proceeds of the case (Law) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • champerty — [ tʃampəti] noun Law an illegal agreement in which a person with no previous interest in a lawsuit finances it with a view to sharing the disputed property if the suit succeeds. Derivatives champertous adjective Origin ME: from Anglo Norman Fr.… …   English new terms dictionary

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