A bargain with a plaintiff or defendant, campum partire, to divide the land or other matter sued for between them if they prevail at law, the champertor undertaking to carry on the suit at his own expense.

This offence differs from maintenance in that in the latter the person assisting the suitor receives no benefit, while in the former he receives one half, or other portion, of the thing sued for. This was an offence in the civil law. To maintain a defendant may be champerty.

While elements of champerty remain violations of law or attorney ethics, the prohibitions have been greatly relaxed in modern times and generally now prohibit only the attorney formally covering all costs of an action.


One who makes pleas or suits, or causes them to be moved, either directly or indirectly, and sues them at his proper costs, upon condition of having a part of the gain.