Articles

The Growth of Collective Redress in the EU: A Survey of Developments in 10 Member States—the need to maintain safeguards

The Growth of Collective Redress in the EU: A Survey of Developments

The Growth of Collective Redress in the EU: A Survey of Developments in 10 Member States—the need to maintain safeguards

30.05.2017

In 2013, the European Commission adopted a Recommendation on Collective Redress. It invited Member States to adopt a collective redress framework by July 2016 that would include the features mentioned in the Recommendation and then by July 2017, to report to the Commission about the extent to which they had done so. On the basis of the Member States’ report, the Commission will assess whether further actions by the EU is required.

After some years of hesitation by national legislatures, it is now clear that collective redress or so-called class-action models are multiplying across the EU. A large majority of the Member States now have at least one way for claimants to combine their claims and sue an alleged harm-causing party or parties for damages before national courts.

Though collective redress presents advantages (mainly the potential time and cost efficiency of dealing with multiple, similar claims at the same time), such mechanism is not without risks. In particular, experience in non-EU jurisdictions has shown that the opportunity to aggregate claims can in some cases cause litigation abuse. This potential for abuse is more potent where the rewards of litigation far outweigh the risks meaning that there are significant financial incentives for filing weak (or even entirely meritless) claims.

The Commission’s 2013 Recommendation acknowledged this risk and proposed several safeguards that are intended to prevent abusive litigation by keeping the risks and rewards under control.

It is particularly appropriate to determine whether safeguards have been adopted at all, and whether and how those safeguards are being implemented in practice.

Against this background, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) has ordered a survey on the “state of play” of collective redress in 10 Member States (including all of the largest economies). The survey was coordinated by Sidley Austin LLP in Brussels. It called on the expertise of practitioners in all of the Member States surveyed, including Stibbe Amsterdam (Jeroen Kortmann) for the Netherlands and Stibbe Brussels (Oliver Stevens) for Belgium[1]. The survey identifies trends and issues that seem to be emerging across the EU. It finds that Member States have been accelerating the introduction of policies that simplify lawsuits, with the value and volume of claims increasing steeply. However, ILR’s study also finds that Member States, depending on the Member State in question, have failed to a larger or lesser extent to implement or maintain important safeguards for collective redress.

To view the PDF version of the survey, please click here.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Stibbe has not contributed to the editing of the report.

Team

Related news

09.07.2020 NL law
ACM geeft bedrijven meer ruimte om samen te werken voor klimaat- en milieudoelen

Short Reads - De Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) wil dat Nederlandse bedrijven meer ruimte krijgen om samen te werken op het gebied van duurzaamheid. Vooral voor het bereiken van klimaatdoelen, zoals de vermindering van CO2-uitstoot, krijgen bedrijven meer mogelijkheden om onderling afspraken te maken zonder de concurrentieregels te overtreden. Dat staat in de (concept) leidraad ‘duurzaamheidsafspraken’ van de ACM.

Read more

07.07.2020 NL law
Actualiteiten bescherming Nederlandse ondernemingen

Short Reads - Het afgelopen half jaar zijn er verschillende ontwikkelingen geweest op het gebied van bescherming van Nederlandse ondernemingen. COVID-19 zorgde daarbij voor een stroomversnelling. De verslechterde economische situatie als gevolg van COVID-19 maakt dat ondernemingen sneller bloot kunnen komen te staan aan ongewenste overnames of investeringen. Het Kabinet biedt ondernemingen handvatten ter bescherming tegen ongewenste overnames en investeringen als de nationale veiligheid in het geding komt.

Read more

08.07.2020 NL law
Dutch State breached duty of care in providing information to victims and surviving relatives of plane crash

Short Reads - Earlier this year, the District Court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch State is liable vis-à-vis the victims and surviving relatives of a 1992 plane crash in Faro, Portugal. The State was found liable because it is responsible for the information provided by the Dutch Aviation Safety Board (a government agency) to the victims and surviving relatives. This information, on the causes of the crash was deemed by the court to be incorrect and incomplete.

Read more

03.07.2020 NL law
E-book NOW-2: Second Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure Work Retention

Articles - On 17 March 2020, the Dutch cabinet announced the first emergency package of support measures to alleviate the economic consequences of the corona crisis. This emergency package inter alia comprised the First Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for the purpose of Work Retention (“NOW-1”) and the Temporary Bridging Measure for Self-Employed Persons (“Tozo-1”).

Read more