1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Champerty

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CHAMPERTY, or Champarty (Lat. campi partitio, O. Fr. champ parti), in English law, a bargain between a plaintiff or defendant in a cause and another person, to divide the land (campum partiri) or other matter sued for, if they prevail, in consideration of that person carrying on or defending the suit at his own expense. It is a misdemeanour punishable by fine or imprisonment. It differs only from maintenance (q.v.), in that the recompense for the service which has been given is always part of the matter in suit, or some profit growing out of it. So an agreement by a solicitor not to charge costs on condition of retaining for himself a share of the sums recovered would be illegal and void. It is not, however, champerty to charge the subject-matter of a suit in order to obtain the means of prosecuting it.

See Fifth Report of the Criminal Law Commissioners, pp. 34-9.