I recently wrote an opinion piece for the New Law Journal, saluting Walter Merrick’s recent class action success in the Supreme Court & puts the case for a wider collective process for redress:
In Mastercard Incorporated and others v Walter Hugh Merricks CBE  UKSC 51,  All ER (D) 67 (Dec) LJJ Sales and Leggatt rationalised the ‘opt out’ class action process by quoting from Judge Posner in Carnegie v Household International Inc (2004) 376 F 3d 656, 661, a decision of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: ‘The realistic alternative to a class action is not 17m individual suits, but zero individual suits, as only a lunatic or a fanatic sues for $30’.
Our own process of opt out actions, with one important exception under CPR Pt 19.6, is limited to claims for breaches of competition law. Perhaps the time has come for widening the subject matter.
Europeans (for which purpose I include the UK) have not quite come to terms with the ascription ‘class action’. Perhaps it resonates too much of litigation in the US. The stain of the hot coffee litigation in the US runs deep this side of the Pond…
If you aren’t receiving our legal updates directly to your mailbox, please sign up now
Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.
Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.