United Kingdom

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 allows 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).

The recent increase in group litigation is facilitated by the ready availability of TPLF in the UK. Litigation funding, which is largely unregulated in the UK, is 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


In Scotland, which has its own independent judicial system, a new collective action mechanism for all causes of action went into effect on July 31, 2020. The mechanism will operate on an opt-in only basis, with the option for the government to permit opt-out class actions at a later date.

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