Terms of Use


Basics

The CrowdJustice Terms set out below provide details of the terms of using the CrowdJustice product. We recommend that you read the CrowdJustice Terms in full and print out a copy for your reference as they constitute our entire contract with you in relation to your use of CrowdJustice.

This Basics section sets out some key issues related to your use of CrowdJustice. It does not form part of the CrowdJustice Terms.

  • We do not provide legal advice or legal services. We don’t endorse any of the Cases and we don’t exercise editorial control over what Case Owners choose to publish on their Case Page. We do our best to make sure that no one acts fraudulently or improperly on the site, but you have to make your own judgment about whether to help fund a Case.
  • This is a donation site! Investing in a case means investing in your community and in our legal system, but it is not a financial investment. In rare cases, a Case Owner may recover some of the funds that you donated (for example, if it wins its Case and recovers its costs from the other side). If you donated over £1,000 to that Case, you may get some of your donation back. Otherwise, any money raised that the Case Owner doesn’t use or recovers will go to a charity which supports access to justice and the provision of free legal advice, or to another Case on CrowdJustice. We’ve currently designated the Access to Justice Foundation as the charity we support.
  • Please note that Legl does not offer regulated investments through the platform. Therefore it is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. As with all donation-based crowdfunding, there is no recourse to either the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Risks of funding litigation

  • In our view UK case law indicates that pure funders – Backers who don’t have a personal interest in the Case, don't stand to benefit from it and don’t control the course of the Case – will not typically have any liability beyond their initial Pledge. Like any existing practice based on law, this could change. In any case we are obliged to emphasise that we do not give, and this is not, legal advice, and should not be construed as such – in particular, we cannot advise whether or not the Courts would see you as a pure funder or not in any particular circumstance. If you have concerns on this point you should seek independent legal advice. We make no warranties or representations as to costs or other risks of donating to any particular Case.
  • Legislation that came into effect in the UK in April 2015 indicates that in judicial review cases, people who donate over a certain amount may have to be identified to the courts. That amount has been set at £3,000. This requirement could expose Backers who give over £3,000 to judicial reviews in certain instances to further costs risks. The requirement brought in by this legislation will exist whether you donate to a Case online or offline.

Introduction

The CrowdJustice fundraising platform available at www.crowdjustice.com (the "site") (“CrowdJustice”), is owned by The Justice Platform Ltd, a limited company registered in England and Wales under company number 09534141 trading as: (i) Legl; and (ii) CrowdJustice (“Legl”, “we”, “us”, “ours” as appropriate). CrowdJustice is a crowdfunding and community engagement platform for public interest litigation. CrowdJustice enables communities to raise awareness about an issue and fund legal action. Learn more about our case policies here.

These CrowdJustice product terms of use ("CrowdJustice Terms") and website terms (the "Website Terms") govern use of CrowdJustice. By using CrowdJustice, users (“you”, as appropriate) agree to these CrowdJustice Terms and the Website Terms. Please read them carefully.

We may make changes to these CrowdJustice Terms at any time by sending you an email with the modified CrowdJustice Terms and/or by posting a copy of them on the site. Any changes will apply to you seven days after the date of our email to you or the date on which we post the modified terms on the site, whichever is the earlier. If you continue to use the site after that period has expired, it means that you accept any such changes. You should ensure that you refresh your browser each time you visit the site to review the latest version of these CrowdJustice Terms.

These CrowdJustice Terms and the Website Terms should be read in conjunction with our privacy policy, which you can read here ("Privacy Policy"). By agreeing to these CrowdJustice Terms you also confirm that you accept the Privacy Policy and you agree to the way we may handle your personal information under the Privacy Policy.

To the extent your use of the site extends beyond access to and use of the CrowdJustice service, such use may be governed by other service-specific terms which are available on the site. You will also be asked to accept such other service-specific terms before using the relevant service(s) on the site.

Definitions

In these CrowdJustice Terms we refer to a “Case” as the legal project for which funding is sought; a “Case Page” as the page on our site setting out information on a Case; a “Backer” as a person contributing funds to a Case via the site; and a “Case Owner” as the person seeking to raise funds on the site. “Pledges” are the funds pledged by Backers to fund a Case; the “Campaign Period” is the period for which Pledges can be accepted on the site in relation to a particular Case. The “First Target” is the minimum amount of funds sought by a Case Owner and below which threshold no Pledges are collected; the Case Owner may also specify a higher, “Stretch Target”. When the money amount of Pledges meets or exceeds the First Target within the Campaign Period, the Case Owner has run a “Successful Campaign”.

CrowdJustice has an all-or-nothing funding model, which means that if a case does not reach its First Target, the Case Owner does not receive any funds and Backers’ cards are not charged.

Case Owners

References in this section to “you” are to a Case Owner.

After a Case Owner submits details about its Case to the site, and its Case has been accepted for publication by CrowdJustice, the Case Owner may, subject to these CrowdJustice Terms, publish its Case Page on the site. Any such decision is subject to our limitation of liability set out below in these CrowdJustice Terms.

Legl may evaluate a Case Page and/or the Case, and decide at its sole discretion whether or not to permit the publication of the Case Page on the site.

By publishing a Case Page on the site, you represent, warrant and undertake on a continuous basis to Legl, Backers and any users of the site that:

  • you are 18 years of age or over;
  • your Case Page gives an accurate summary of the issues in the Case and the purposes for which the funds raised will be used;
  • you will use all funds raised in a Successful Campaign to pay directly and solely for fees and/or costs associated with the Case as described on the Case Page;
  • you will inform Legl of and return any unused funds to the site in accordance with these CrowdJustice Terms;
  • you will comply with all applicable laws and regulations in relation to your Case and your use of funds raised;
  • you will be responsible for paying all fees and collecting and remitting all applicable taxes (including VAT) connected with your use of the site, the Case and the Pledges you receive;
  • no fraudulent, criminal, or otherwise improper uses will be made of Pledges contributed via your Case Page;
  • no offensive, obscene, racist, defamatory, misleading or deceptive content, including photographs, videos, or text, will be uploaded on the site or in any email correspondence with Backers; and
  • the content you upload does not breach any intellectual property rights of third parties.

If you are a registered charity intending to claim Gift Aid on Pledges, you furthermore warrant that the Case is a cause which is in advancement of the charity’s objects and which the charity is free to pursue under charity law.

Adverse Costs

You represent and warrant that you are solely responsible for all legal costs and fees and adverse costs in relation to the litigation relating to your Case, and agree to indemnify any Backer for any damages, losses, costs and expenses it may incur as a result of any Pledge to your Case.

Compliance

We make best efforts to verify the identity of a Case Owner and the identity of the legal representative instructed in relation to a Case. Should we request further information from you in this regard, you agree to provide it promptly.

If we suspect any fraudulent, criminal or improper activity on the site, in addition to terminating your access to or use of the site in accordance with these CrowdJustice Terms, we may report or disclose information about you and/or your use of the site to relevant law enforcement, at our sole discretion and without notice to you.

Correspondence between Case Owners and Backers

Case Owners may email Backers via the site with updates in relation to their Case from time to time. Case Owners may not use the site to generate junk or spam email to Backers.

Receipt of personal information by Case Owners

Where Backers opt to share their contact details with Case Owners (including after a Backer has Pledged), or where Case Owners have invited Backers to donate via the site, Case Owners will have access to and/or receive those contact details.

Case Owners agree that these details are provided in relation to the Case, and agree not to abuse this information in any way; to use information only for the purposes for which it was given; and not to disclose any information about a Backer to any other person except as required by applicable law.

Case Owners are responsible for complying with all applicable data protection legislation.

Conduct and content

Case Owners are solely responsible for all data, information and content uploaded on a Case Page.

We are not responsible for saving or archiving any content and we recommend that Case Owners make backup copies of any material uploaded.

Case Owners must ensure that the content they upload does not breach any intellectual property rights of third parties. It is the responsibility of the Case Owner to ensure that any photographs or videos uploaded, or text used on the Case Page, are permitted for the purpose for which they are used, and are not in breach of relevant copyright protection.

We do not actively edit, verify content or exercise editorial control over Case Pages published on the site or email updates by Backers sent via the site, but we reserve the right to remove or edit any content posted on the site or in any services associated with the site (such as email updates via the site), or to suspend or terminate an active Case Page at any time, at our sole discretion and without notice. We will not be liable to you for any losses that you suffer or incur as a result of us doing so.

We furthermore reserve the right to cancel any Pledges made to a Case without notice should we in our sole discretion determine that you have breached any of these CrowdJustice Terms or pose any risk of doing so. We will not be liable to you for any losses that you suffer or incur as a result of us doing so.

Pledges

The First Target is "all or nothing". If a Case does not reach the First Target by the end of the Campaign Period, any Pledges made by Backers to the Case will be automatically cancelled.

Case Owners can also set a second, Stretch Target. The Stretch Target is flexible, meaning that all Pledges made after the First Target has been reached are collected on a rolling basis regardless of whether the Case reaches the Stretch Target by the end of the Campaign Period.

Case Owners acknowledge that Backers may fail to fulfil payment of Pledges and that such failure is entirely outside our control. We consequently cannot guarantee and shall have no liability to a Case Owner should they fail to receive any funds pledged by Backers in relation to their Case via the site.

In the event we seek to verify any information regarding you, your Case, the Recipient (as defined below) or your Case Page to our satisfaction, we may delay, withhold, cancel or refund any Pledges or other amounts without notice. We will not be liable to you for any losses that you suffer or incur as a result of us doing so.

Fundraising

Updates to Case Page

Once the Campaign Period has begun, you cannot change the First Target nor the Campaign Period. The Campaign Period can be extended only after the First Target has been reached, in order to continue raising the Stretch Target over a longer period of time.

Recipient

Funds raised in a Successful Campaign will be transferred to the Case Owner's solicitor or legal representative, save for where the Case Owner is an organisation, charity or NGO, or where the Case (as determined by Legl in its sole discretion) is a general legal project that does not require or involve legal representation, in which circumstances funds will be transferred to the Case Owner directly (in each case, the “Recipient”).

Fundraising through CrowdJustice does not create a contractual relationship between the Case Owner and the Recipient.

The Case Owner must notify the site of the identity and contact information of the Recipient at the time of submitting information about its Case. In the event a Case Owner withdraws its instructions to the Recipient before the end of the Campaign Period, the Case Owner must notify us immediately. A failure to do so will constitute a breach of these CrowdJustice Terms.

Fees

It is free to create a Case Page. If you do not run a Successful Campaign, we do not collect any fees, Backers’ Pledges will be cancelled automatically, and cards will not be charged.

If you do run a Successful Campaign, a 3% fee plus payment processing charge applies to each Pledge.

Legl is, subject to applicable laws, hereby authorised to deduct its fees together with any applicable taxes from the Pledges collected in Successful Campaigns. The third party payment processor used by Legl collects its fees automatically at the time of a successful transaction.

In the event any of these fees change, we will update the CrowdJustice Terms.

Timing of payment and beneficial ownership

The timing of transfer of funds raised in a Successful Campaign (less the fees set out in this section and any applicable taxes) to the Recipient may take several working days from the end of the Campaign Period, depending on how quickly our payment processor releases the funds. Case Owners should take this into account when planning the allocation of funds raised following a Successful Campaign.

WHILST BACKERS’ PLEDGES ARE APPLIED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO THE CASE OWNER’S CASE, WHERE THERE ARE UNUSED FUNDS THERE IS A RISK THAT PLEDGES MAY BE APPLIED TO A CASE THAT A BACKER DOES NOT SUPPORT. WE HAVE SOUGHT TO MITIGATE THIS RISK BY ARRANGING REFUNDS OF AMOUNTS OVER £1000 AND SPECIFYING THAT, WHERE THERE ARE ANY REMAINING UNUSED FUNDS, PLEDGES MAY NOT BE APPLIED TO ANY CASE WHICH BACKERS ARE NOT REASONABLY EXPECTED TO SUPPORT.

THE PRECISE PROCESS IS EXPLAINED IN DETAIL UNDER ‘UNUSED FUNDS’.

Unused funds

Where the Case Owner is a registered charity and intends to claim Gift Aid

Where the Case Owner is a registered charity and intends to claim Gift Aid on Pledges made to its Case, the charity agrees that for the duration of the Case, it will treat the Pledges received from Backers as restricted for its Case as described in its Case Page.

Where such a charity determines, at any time after the end of the Campaign Period, that some or all Pledges will not be used in relation to any fees or costs associated with its Case (“Unused Funds”), it shall retain those Unused Funds for its own general charitable purposes.

Backers

Backers agree that where a charity seeks declarations of Gift Aid on Pledges, even if a Backer is not eligible for Gift Aid, that his or her Pledge may be applied for the charity’s general purposes, and that the Backer is not entitled to a Refund Amount (as defined below) under any circumstances.

All other Case Owners

In all other cases, if for any reason the Case Owner or Recipient reasonably determines, at any time after the end of the Campaign Period, that some or all Pledges will not be used in relation to any fees or costs associated with a Case (“Unused Funds”), the Case Owner represents and warrants that it will:

  • as soon as possible inform Legl by email (info@crowdjustice.com) of the amount of the Unused Funds; and
  • within 10 days of informing Legl, or alternatively within 10 days of receipt of the Unused Funds from the Recipient (whichever is sooner), return all Unused Funds to Legl, to be applied as set out below.

Legl may at its sole discretion take any action including legal action to recover Unused Funds. These CrowdJustice Terms do not entitle a Backer to any rights or claims whatsoever against Legl to recover Unused Funds.

A Backer’s right to be reimbursed the Refund Amount only takes effect if and when Legl has taken receipt of Unused Funds and subject to the following terms.

Following receipt of Unused Funds from the Case Owner, Legl will contact Backers who contributed more than £1000 to the Case at the email address provided by that Backer at the time of contribution to ask whether:

  • the Backer would like a refund of its contribution on a pro rata basis (“Refund Amount”); or
  • the Backer would prefer the Refund Amount be donated to an Approved Cause.

Backers must respond within 21 calendar days. If a Backer does not respond within 21 calendar days, Legl will either attempt to reimburse the Refund Amount on a pro rata basis using the payment details from which the original contribution was made, or donate the Refund Amount to an Approved Cause, such decision to be made at Legl’s absolute discretion.

Legl will redistribute the Refund Amount to all Backers who request a refund pursuant to the process detailed above. For the avoidance of doubt, in no circumstances would a Backer receive a refund of more than the amount it had Pledged to the relevant Case.

Any remaining Unused Funds will be given to an Approved Cause.

An “Approved Cause” is one of the following causes elected by the Case Owner:

  • a new case which advances a cause the Case Owner reasonably believes to be the same as or similar to the cause advanced by the original Case and which the Case Owner reasonably expects the average Backer would support (a “New Case”);
  • The Access to Justice Foundation; or
  • where the Case Owner is an NGO or non-profit organisation, the Case Owner.

To qualify as an Approved Cause, a New Case must be (i) a Case on the platform the Campaign Period for which has commenced, and (ii) proposed to Legl within 10 days of the end of the Campaign Period of the New Case; and (iii) identified to Legl within one year from the date of the receipt of the Unused Funds by Legl. Legl reserves the right to veto any New Case proposed by a Case Owner without giving reasons within seven calendar days of the notification to it of the proposed New Case.

Any Unused Funds held from time to time by Legl shall be held net of fees on trust for the Backers. You agree that we shall assume no duties of trusteeship other than the duty to retain and apply any such Unused Funds in accordance with these CrowdJustice Terms. At no point shall Legl have any rights of ownership or entitlement in respect of any Unused Funds.

Backers

References in this section to “you” are to a Backer.

As a Backer, you are solely responsible for evaluating a Case and investigating Case Owners to the extent you feel is necessary before you make a Pledge. Legl does not verify the content of Case Pages or investigate the use of funds Pledged once these are transferred to the Recipient. All Pledges are made at your sole discretion and risk.

You acknowledge and agree that you do not have, and your contribution (whether financial or otherwise) does not entitle you to have, any rights in or to any Case, including any ownership, control or rights to advise on the conduct or legal strategy of a Case.

Where you submit a Pledge to a Case using the payment administration system of the Website (the "Payment System"), the processing of that Pledge will be subject to the terms, conditions and privacy policies of a third party payment processor (the “Payment Processor”). Our current Payment Processor is Stripe, and any such Pledges are processed by Stripe in accordance with Stripe’s terms of service and privacy policy, and passed directly from Stripe to the Recipient. Once a payment has been processed by Stripe, it may not be cancelled or recovered. This does not affect your statutory or legal rights. We do not have access to a Case Owner's bank account details.

You may cancel a Pledge at any time before the Case has reached its First Target, without charge, by contacting us at info@crowdjustice.com.

If the Case for which you have made a Pledge does not reach its First Target before the end of the Campaign Period, your Pledge will be cancelled automatically and your card will not be charged.

If the Case for which you have made a Pledge does reach its First Target before the end of the Campaign Period, you may no longer cancel your Pledge. This does not affect your statutory or legal rights.

You acknowledge that all information you provide to us and via Stripe is true and accurate.

By making a Pledge, you represent, warrant and undertake on a continuous basis to Legl that the payment of any funds used for such Pledge will not result in a breach of applicable law.

Email updates

The email address you provide at the time of payment will be used to send you updates about any Case you support. Please email us at info@crowdjustice.com if you do not wish to be kept informed about a Case you have backed. You may unsubscribe from updates at any time.

Sharing of personal information with Case Owners

We may, after you make a Pledge, give you the option to opt-in to your name, and email address being shared with the Case Owner.

General

Privacy

There may be circumstances where we are obliged by law to disclose information about you. In the event we are ordered by a court or tribunal to disclose information about Case Owners, Backers or potential Backers, we may be obliged to provide information you have given us on the site. We will make reasonable efforts to challenge any request or order that in our view is without legal merit. By using the site, you agree that we may be obliged to make such a disclosure.

FURTHER TO SUCH AN ORDER FOR DISCLOSURE OR OTHERWISE, A COURT MAY ORDER YOU TO PAY ADDITIONAL FUNDS IN RELATION TO THE CASE TO WHICH YOU DONATED, AND SUCH ORDER MAY BE FOR AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING THE AMOUNT YOU ORIGINALLY DONATED. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL CROWDJUSTICE, ITS DIRECTORS, ADVISORS, EMPLOYEES, PARTNERS, SUPPLIERS OR CONTENT PROVIDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS, INCLUDING CONSEQUENTIAL LOSS, OR FOR OTHER DAMAGES, HOWSOEVER CAUSED (INCLUDING DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OR MISREPRESENTATION) THAT MAY RESULT FROM ANY COSTS AWARD OR OTHER ORDER AGAINST YOU.

Termination

Legl reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to suspend or permanently deny your access to all or part of CrowdJustice, the site and associated services, immediately and without notice, where you breach these CrowdJustice Terms including where there is any actual or suspected fraudulent, criminal or improper use of CrowdJustice, the site or associated services. Upon such termination, suspension or denial of access to the site, we may decide to refuse to transfer funds raised in a Successful Campaign to the Recipient where there has been a breach of these CrowdJustice Terms and/or where there is any actual or suspected fraudulent, criminal or improper use of the site or associated services. In such an instance, and subject to any relevant investigation we may undertake in relation to your Case, we may authorise a refund to Backers of your Case.

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

You agree that your use of the site and associated services are provided on an ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ basis, and that your use of the site and associated services is at your sole risk. Legl explicitly excludes any other conditions, guarantees, warranties or terms in relation to the site or its associated services, to the extent permissible by law.

TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL LEGL, ITS DIRECTORS, ADVISORS, EMPLOYEES, PARTNERS, SUPPLIERS OR CONTENT PROVIDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY DAMAGES (I) RESULTING FROM YOUR ACCESS TO, USE OF, OR INABILITY TO ACCESS OR USE THE SITE; (II) FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, DATA LOSS, OR COST OF PROCUREMENT FOR SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; OR (III) FOR ANY CONDUCT OF, OR CONTENT OF, ANY USER OF THE SITE.

The publication of a Case Page on the site in no way implies Legl’s endorsement of a Case or verification of the content of a Case Page. Nor do the inclusion of links on Case Pages to other websites imply endorsement of those sites. Any posting of comments by third parties or users of the site on the site or its associated services (including email updates sent to Backers by Case Owners via the site) do not imply or constitute an endorsement by us. For the avoidance of doubt, each user of the site acts on his/her own behalf at all time and does not act as our agent in any way.

Legl accepts no liability for the content of a Case Page or the accuracy of representations made by Case Owners on a Case Page or in associated services (including but not limited to email updates by Case Owners) provided by the site.

We do not make any representations or warranties as to the truth, accuracy, quality or completeness of information that appears on the site.

We cannot guarantee and shall not be liable to you for any loss or damage arising in relation to the performance or reliability of the Payment Processor's online payment processing services.

Nothing on the site (or in email updates provided by Case Owners to Backers via the site) is, or should be construed as, legal advice.

The decision as to whether to support a Case is that of a user of the site alone and Legl accepts no liability for the reliance of a user of the site on any content contained in the site. We cannot guarantee that any Case Owners or Backers have provided information that is accurate, complete or true. Consequently, we make no recommendation or representations in relation to any Case Owners, Backers, Case Pages or Cases.

Legl also disclaims any liability resulting from any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of any direct or indirect use of any of the information or content available on the site.

Indemnity

You agree only to use CrowdJustice in accordance with these CrowdJustice Terms. You agree that you will indemnify us, our directors and employees, for any damages, losses, costs and expenses, including reasonable legal fees we incur that arise out of any breach by you of these CrowdJustice Terms or for any liability we incur as a result of the use of the site by you and/or any other person that uses your account with your permission or as a result of your negligence.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about these CrowdJustice Terms or need any information, we’re happy to help. Please email us at info@crowdjustice.com or contact us in writing at our registered office, 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1BR.

Updated 19 August 2019