Definition of champerty in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtʃampəti/


[mass 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.
Example sentences
  • First, that ought to weigh with the court in considering, in connection with the law of champerty, whether the agreement into which he entered was justifiable.
  • It is said to be Victoria where the agreement is made, a State in which maintenance and champerty is no longer unlawful, perhaps not even tortious.
  • Historically, English and American common law has prohibited champerty - and officially, that is still the American rule.



Example sentences
  • In our contention the Court of Appeal wrongly regarded the 1993 Act as abolishing more than the consequences in criminal law and in tort of champertous conduct.
  • A champertous agreement was illegal and void, involving as it did criminal conduct.
  • In any event even if they themselves were a firm of solicitors their agreement would be champertous.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French champartie, from Old French champart 'feudal lord's share of produce', from Latin campus 'field' + pars 'part'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cham|perty

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.