The court was asked whether it was possible to assign as a chose in action a cause of action in tort for damages for personal injury, and if so under what circumstances it was possible.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. The claimant did not have an interest in the injured party’s claim of a kind that the law should or does recognise as sufficient to support an assignment of what would otherwise be a bare right of action. She was therefore guilty of ‘wanton and officious intermeddling with the disputes of others’ and ‘The assignment in this case plainly savours of champerty, given that it involves the outright purchase by Mrs. Simpson of a claim which, if it is successful, would lead to her recovering damages in respect of an injury that she has not suffered.’
Maurice Kay VP LJ, Janet Smith D, Moore-Bick LJ
 EWCA Civ 1149, (2012) 124 BMLR 1,  1 Costs LO 9,  1 All ER 1423,  PIQR P2,  2 WLR 873,  QB 640
England and Wales
Cited – Trendtex Trading Corporation v Credit Suisse HL 1981
A party had purported to sue having taken an assignment of a dishonoured letter of credit, in the context of the abolition of maintenance and champerty as crimes and torts in the 1967 Act.
Held: The assignment was struck down as champertous, . .
Cited – Torkington v Magee 11-Jul-1902
Chose in Action defined
The effect of the 1873 Act was essentially procedural and it did not render choses in action that had not previously been assignable in equity capable of assignment.
Channell J defined a debt or other legal chose in action: ”Chose in Action’ . .
Cited – Ord v Upton CA 7-Jan-2000
A bankrupt labourer (aged 30) after the bankruptcy order issued a writ against a doctor who had treated him for back pain before the bankruptcy order, claiming damages for negligence, including damages for pain and suffering as well as damages for . .
Cited – Tolhurst v Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd 1902
Cited – Sibthorpe and Morris v London Borough of Southwark CA 25-Jan-2011
The court was asked as to the extent to which the ancient rule against champerty prevents a solicitor agreeing to indemnify his claimant client against any liability for costs which she may incur against the defendant in the litigation in which the . .
Cited – British Cash and Parcel Conveyors Ltd v Lamson Store Service Co Ltd 1908
The court explained the law underlying the civil and criminal penalties for the maintenance of an action by third parties: ‘It is directed against wanton and officious intermeddling with the disputes of others in which the [maintainer] has no . .
Cited – Ellis v Torrington CA 1920
An assignment of the benefit of a covenant in a lease held to be sufficiently connected with enjoyment of the property as not to be a bare right of action. The assignment was not void.
Scrutton LJ stated that the assignee of a cause of action . .
Cited – Peters v General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation Ltd 1938
Held: A policy of motor insurance was personal to the original policyholder and incapable of being assigned to a purchaser of the vehicle in respect of which it had been issued, since the identity of the insured was material to the risk undertaken . .
Cited – Compania Colombiana de Seguros v Pacific Steam Navigation Co 1964
The court considered the situation arising where an insurer took an sssignment of the right of action from the insured.
Held: Once there has been an effective assignment of a chose in action, the assignor has no continuing interest in the . .
Cited – Giles v Thompson, Devlin v Baslington (Conjoined Appeals) HL 1-Jun-1993
Car hire companies who pursued actions in motorists’ names to recover the costs of hiring a replacement vehicle after an accident, from negligent drivers, were not acting in a champertous and unlawful manner. Lord Mustill said: ‘there exists in . .
Cited – Regina (Factortame Ltd and Others) v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (No 8) CA 3-Jul-2002
A firm of accountants had agreed to provide their services as experts in a case on the basis that they would be paid by taking part of any damages awarded. The respondent claimed that such an agreement was champertous and unlawful.
Held: The . .
Cited – Holden v Thompson 1907
Several children were removed by their impoverished parents from the care of a religious institution. A charity supporting them, employed solicitors to act for them to defend proceedings brought by the institution. The solicitors now sought their . .
Cited – Pressos Compania Naviera S A And Others v Belgium ECHR 20-Nov-1995
When determining whether a claimant has possessions or property within the meaning of Article I the court may have regard to national law and will generally do so unless the national law is incompatible with the object and purpose of Article 1. Any . .
Cited – Shaws (EAL) Ltd v Pennycook CA 2-Feb-2004
Tenant’s First Notice to terminate, stood
The landlord served a notice to terminate the business lease. The tenant first served a notice to say that it would not seek a new lease, but then, and still within the time limit, it served a second counter-notice seeking a new tenancy. The . .
Cited – Wilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Personal Injury, Torts – Other, Contract
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.445405