Class Actions Around the Globe

Studies over the years have consistently shown that the United States has one of the most expensive tort systems in the world (costing $429 billion in 2017). The U.S. business litigation environment is well-known to be particularly litigious, costly and ineffective. Yet, despite these obvious flaws, countries around the world are increasingly “importing” the most problematic features of the U.S. litigation system. Read More...

A recent ILR study shows that most EU Member States, including the UK, are rapidly adopting collective redress mechanisms without setting in place essential safeguards to prevent litigation abuse. To make matters worse, traditional European litigation safeguards, like the “loser-pays” rule, are eroding.

On top of these country-specific developments, the European Commission has also issued a proposal for a directive on collective actions that would allow consumers to bring American-style class action lawsuits in the EU. The proposed system goes further than the broadest form of collective action currently in existence in the EU.

As these trends develop around the world, those looking to take advantage of the courts in order to make a profit are also expanding globally. Third party litigation funders, which invest in claims for a percentage of the awards, are growing vigorously in many countries, including Australia, Canada, and the UK. The Financial Times reported that £70 billion (or approximately $100 billion) was a reasonable estimate of the amount of litigation funding available to funders and firms worldwide.

To mitigate these risks, ILR engages around the world to caution foreign policymakers and stakeholders against adopting U.S.-style class actions and advocate for safeguards and alternative methods of dispute resolution. ILR also commissions timely and substantive research that is often cited by foreign policymakers, stakeholders, and the media.

Suggested Resources

Research

All Results for Class Actions Around the Globe

  1. "Lawyers Win Big In The US Collective Action System"

    April 30, 2019 | News

    In a letter to the editor of the Financial Times (paywall), U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard said European consumers "deserve a collective action system that is fair and just for them, not one designed as a payment scheme for plaintiffs' lawyers and the third-party funders." A bill currently before the European Parliament would institute a Union-wide class action system.... Read More

  2. UK Appeals Court Revives Record-Breaking Class Action

    April 16, 2019 | News

    According to Law360, the U.K. Court of Appeal has revived a proposed £14 billion ($18.3 billion) class action against Mastercard that was previously dismissed in 2017.... Read More

  3. In the News Today - April 8, 2019

    April 08, 2019 | News

    Victoria Mayor Reverses Course, Says Municipal Energy Suits Are a Bad Idea... Read More

  4. In the News Today - March 19, 2019

    March 19, 2019 | News

    Will 2019 Be A "Watershed" Moment in Australian Class Action Litigation?... Read More

  5. In the News Today - March 12, 2019

    March 12, 2019 | News

    Litigation Funders Hit the Jackpot at the Expense of Consumers... Read More

  6. In the News Today - March 1, 2019

    March 01, 2019 | News

    EU's GDPR Remains a "Legal Puzzle"... Read More

  7. In the News Today - February 4, 2019

    February 04, 2019 | News

    The Granston Memo, One Year Later; Are New Data Rules Fueling Securities Litigation in Europe?... Read More

  8. U.S. Litigation Funder Enters The Australian Market

    January 29, 2019 | News

    In the latest sign of the explosive growth of the litigation funding industry, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that U.S.-based litigation funder Burford Capital is entering the Australian market.... Read More

  9. Hey UK, Don't Follow in Our Footsteps on Collective Actions

    December 20, 2018 | Blogs

    In June 2019, a UK court will decide if two different huge collective actions will be allowed to move forward, giving plaintiffs' lawyers and litigation financiers massive paydays, while consumers get next to nothing.... Read More

  10. Lawsuit Over Coffee Warning Labels Named Most Ridiculous of 2018

    December 18, 2018 | Press Release

    A lawsuit targeting California coffee houses for not including warning labels on their products tops the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's (ILR) list of the Top 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2018. ... Read More