HC Deb 28 July 1890 vol 347 c1058
MR. KNOX (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been called to an agreement alleged to have been made between Messrs. Emerson & Dudgeon, solicitors and emergency agents, and Lord Massereene, by which Messrs. Emerson & Dudgeon agreed to charge only costs out of pocket in the case of proceeding against tenants which were unsuccessful, and, in the case of proceedings which were successful, to look only to the tenants for payment, being equivalent to an agreement to indemnify a party to an action against the greater part of the ordinary costs of the action, not from charity, but with a view to profit, and a stipulation for payment of the full costs only in the event of success in the action and out of the sum to be recovered therein; whether Messrs. Emerson & Dudgeon, in making such an agreement and acting in accordance therewith, were guilty of champerty and maintenance; how many of Lord Massereene's tenants were proceeded against in the High Court at dates subsequent to the making of the agreement; whether, having regard to the large number of persons who have suffered, or who, owing to their poverty, are unable to avail themselves of their civil remedy, he will consider the advisability of resorting to the old Common Law process of indictment for champerty and maintenance; and whether he will call the attention of the Law Society to the matter?


I must ask the hon. Gentleman to defer the question.