Even though Europe has not noticed significantly class action litigation to date, it is a topic on the agenda. Currently permitted in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Portugal, other nations are hunting also exploring the possibility. As the likes of US law firm Coughlin Stoig Geller Rudman & Robby hits London intent on recruiting pension funds to help its actions, the important European law firms are not taking the threat lightly.
It is also on the radar of the European Commission which is encouraging much more private enforcement of Competitors law.
The prospect of US-style class action litigation has noticed lawyers in firms such as Lovells and Allen & Overy fighting back with the launch of class action units to deal with important litigation and disputes on behalf of their corporate consumers.
A survey carried out by a important US law firm Bryan Cave located that about 60 per cent of corporations count on class actions in London inside the subsequent 3 years, while two in 3 count on items liability to be a important concentrate of such litigation.
But while a lot of a litigation lawyer may possibly be rubbing their hands in glee at the believed of such profitable costs, the firm believes that legal costs would be decrease than these paid in the US – with a single in 3 believing that some type of US contingency charge will be involved.
The UK has currently noticed class action litigation with people suing corporates more than important disasters, with individual injury law firms such as Irwin Mitchell and Pannone & Co representing victims of disasters more than a lot of years.
And the current Northern Rock saga saw little shareholders hunting to sue the government following expressing “disgust” at compensation proposals. According to the UK Shareholders’ Association (UKSA), valuation of the shares will not be fair or independent, though this is disputed by the Government.
This group is represented by law firm Edwin Coe, which represents about 7000 of the smaller sized shareholders of Northern Rock and which is calling on each and every of these to spend £50 each and every to raise funds to sue.
Corporates and banks are the new target for class action lawyers as the arrival in London of the US class action lawyers proves. Coughlin Stoig, which lately won $700 million dollars for Enron investors considering the fact that the power giant collapsed in 2001, has raised the game to a new level and brought on corporate and banking lawyers to take note. The firm is hunting to recruit pension funds and claims to have 25 consumers such as Normal Life and Scottish Widows.
Richard Elsen of Byfield Consulting, a legal Public Relations corporation, predicts that the US class action firms have their eye on the banks in the aftermath of sub-prime, with the banking sector getting an in particular fertile supply of class actions and litigation.
He attributes this to the reality that it is challenging for the important UK law firms to sue banks, which leaves a gap in the marketplace for the US entrants. The battle for Europe is set to commence and the large corporate law firms and lawyers are having prepared to defend against the American class action invaders.