A PERFECT STORM – WHY CLASS ACTIONS WILL SOON BE COMING TO A UK COURT NEAR YOU
A perfect storm is brewing in the United Kingdom.
The European Commission recently recommended that Member States consider implementing collective redress regimes. For several years, courts in the United States have been severely restricting the ability of foreign claimants to participate in US class actions leading to a proliferation of US class action law firms seeking relief on behalf of UK claimants in London. In August 2015, a Canadian court refused to allow foreign claimants to participate in a Canadian class action.
Then, in October 2015 the UK parliament passed legislation allowing private ‘class action’ style proceedings. Thanks to this new legislation, UK claimants left homeless by the jurisdictional constraints imposed by US and Canadian courts can now return home to seek the class action relief that has eluded them in foreign courts.
The European Commission Recommendations
In June 2013 the European Commission published its policy paper on collective redress. Although the paper does not require Member States to implement collective redress regimes, it contains proposals for addressing the violation of rights granted under European Union law including a non-binding Recommendation “on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms in Member States”. The Recommendation proposes opt-in rather than opt-out collective redress (i.e., class action) regimes.
Jan-Mar 2016 issue
McCarthy Tétrault LLP