It’s a type of group action used when a group of people are affected by the same issue and have experienced the same level of harm. Basically all of the people claiming will have been affected in the same way and so will typically be awarded the same amount of compensation.
One court-appointed solicitor will represent all claimants. This will usually be the law firm dealing with the most clients or the first law firm to ask to be appointed.
They’re the UK equivalent of class actions in the US! Group actions are becoming more common in UK law as they allow individuals with similar complaints to join together against the defendant.
Entering into any legal claim can be intimidating especially if the defendant is a large, well known and well-resourced company. Think David and Goliath, however, Group Litigation allows access to justice when it may have otherwise been impossible.
If you have suffered damage or distress caused by a company who broke the law, you have a right to claim compensation. In many cases, where a breach occurs, you won’t be the only person making a claim. In such circumstances, it is often worth joining a group action claim to increase your chances of success.
You may be eligible to make a group claim when something occurs that affects a large number of people at the same time e.g. a data breach. Once a group action is set up, you’re ready to join it. But don’t worry about the technicalities – we can manage this for you, that’s what we are here for.
In group action cases you may claim compensation for:
Financial losses: A data breach can lead to both financial and/or identity theft. And the result of either of these can be devastating. With enough information, cyber criminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. Scary stuff!
Distress, anguish and anxiety: Even if you haven’t lost out financially, this doesn’t mean that there is no harm done. Being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on your mental and psychical health. No one enjoys spam mail.
Loss of privacy: You do not have to have experienced harm as a direct result of a data breach. If a company does not protect your data in the way it is legally obliged to do, and you have suffered a loss of privacy, you can make a claim. For example, if your email address was stolen or otherwise put at risk.
No. Just because your case is part of a group action doesn’t mean that you will receive the same amount of compensation as everyone else.
All claims within a group action are settled based on their own strengths, and, as such, the value of your claim depends on the extent of your suffering. So if your claim is successful, you will receive what you are owed by law.
If you do go to court, a judge will consider all the circumstances, including the seriousness of the breach and the impact on you and then make a decision on compensation.
A court must first decide whether claims can be grouped together to form one group action. If granted, a group litigation order (GLO) allows group action proceedings to begin. People can then individually join the group action claim.
In order for you to be included, you must have a common interest with the group and show damage or distress caused by the defendant.
We will take the necessary steps to find a lead ‘test’ case where we will narrow down the issues to find criteria for other cases in the group. This basically means that not every claim with the group has to go to court.