While group litigation and collective actions have traditionally been more difficult to pursue in the UK than in the U.S., changes to UK civil procedure rules and societal attitudes towards group ligation means that these types of claims are becoming more common.
Drawing on Orrick’s experience in the well-established U.S. class actions landscape, we have drawn parallels between the U.S. and UK models, and considered how the strategies and tactics utilized in the U.S. can serve as a roadmap for clients facing collective actions in the English courts.
Who is at risk? UK-based entities and foreign-based entities with interests or subsidiaries in the UK could be at risk. In particular, if an international company is facing U.S. class action claims this could lead to global contagion and a potential UK class action style claim. Given the nature of these claims, they are typically faced by companies who provide goods or services to individuals. In particular, organizations subject to cybersecurity breaches and privacy laws are likely at significant risk.
What can at-risk companies expect in this new UK litigation landscape and how should they react? Lawyers from Orrick’s Class Actions team in the U.S. and UK developed a comprehensive guide analyzing these actions in both countries, which can be found here.
We’ve outlined below the key stages of such an action, compared and contrasted the U.S. and UK regimes and distilled our key observations and actions for each stage.