Class actions: key issues in a rapidly developing market

Commercial Dispute Resolution has published the article “Class actions: key issues in a rapidly developing market” written by Akin Gump litigation partners Richard Hornshaw, who leads Akin Gump’s international disputes practice, and Mark Dawkins, counsel Jenny Arlington and associate Jay Jamooji. The article discusses the rise in class action litigation in the European Union and United Kingdom.

Among the topics discussed:

Factors driving increase in class actions in these regions – “[T]he rise in so-called ‘opt-out’ collective action mechanisms in jurisdictions such as the Netherlands and the UK has materially affected the economics of class action claims, making them much more attractive to potential claimants and third-party litigation funders.”

Developments in the E.U. and U.K. – In the U.K., although the country, “introduced an opt-out class actions regime for competition damages claims in 2015, it took until August 2021 for the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to certify the first ever opt-out collective action [Merricks v. Mastercard]. […] The decision in Merricks v. Mastercard has provided significant impetus to a range of other competition claims before the CAT…”

In the E.U., “[w]hilst the deadline for implementing the Directive is the end of 2022, some Member States are already ahead of the curve. The Netherlands, for example, has had a fully functional procedural class actions framework since January 2020, which bears resemblance to the US lead plaintiff and opt-out mechanisms.”

Final Thoughts – “Companies which are at risk of being the target of class action proceedings, and investors in such companies, should aim to understand the expansive landscape of these actions in order to mitigate their risk.”

To read the full article, click here.