The High Court has upheld the validity of an ATE insurance policy and expressly confirmed that ATE insurance does not fall foul of the torts of maintenance or champerty.
Unlike many other common law jurisdictions, the torts of maintenance and champerty continue to exist in Ireland. Litigation funding is an issue that has come to the fore in recent times and as a result the ancient laws of maintenance and champerty have been put under the spotlight.
In the recent case of Greenclean Waste Managment Limited v Leahy (No.2), the High Court confirmed that the rules against maintenance and champerty remain applicable in an Irish context and that an ATE policy must comply with these rules in order to be valid and enforceable. However the High Court found that the policy before the Court did not breach the common law principles of champerty or maintenance. The law of champerty must be interpreted in line with modern ideas and realities. ATE insurance serves an important purpose in allowing those who would otherwise not have access to the courts to enjoy such access.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.