United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, and more narrowly the jurisdiction of England and Wales, has in place several procedures by which collective or representative actions can be brought before the court.  The most commonly used procedure is known as Group Litigation Orders (GLO), which allow the court, on an opt-in basis, to join multiple claims together.

A more recent mechanism was introduced in the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) in 2015. The CRA allows certain competition law damages claims to be brought on an opt-out basis before a specialized court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). This relatively new instrument appears to be increasingly attracting the filing of multi-million and multi-billion pound cases.There is no real regulation of TPLF in the UK that would protect from consumers from such injustices. Certain TPLF providers, with the support of the Civil Justice Council, launched a voluntary code of conduct in November 2011, but the code is fundamentally flawed.

This recent increase in group litigation is facilitated by the readily availability of Third Party Litigation Funding (TPLF) in the UK. Litigation funding, which is largely unregulated in the UK, is reported to be growing rapidly. The industry launched a voluntary code of conduct and an industry association (Association of Litigation Funders) in 2011, but the code remains self-regulated and is not subject to government oversight and enforcement. Read more at Justice Not Profit

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