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

02.10.2019 EU law
Seminar: Data protection implications of (a no-deal) Brexit

Seminar - On October 2nd at 4 pm, we organize a seminar where we will discus the implications of a (no-deal) Brexit on data protection.  These issues affect all businesses interacting between UK and EEA (including EU) and which send or receive data to and from UK. We will highlight the main challenges both in the case of a hard Brexit on 31 October 2019 and in other scenarios. We will also offer guidelines to help your organisation mitigate the respective risks.

Read more

06.09.2019 NL law
Supervision of crypto services

Short Reads - On 3 September 2019, De Nederlandsche Bank ("DNB") published a press release in which DNB points out to providers of crypto services that they should prepare for imminent DNB supervision. Companies facilitating the exchange of crypto currency for normal money and companies that offer crypto wallets will have to comply with a registration obligation from the beginning of 2020.

Read more

11.09.2019 EU law
Legal trend: climate change litigation

Articles - Climate change cases can occur in many shapes and forms. One well-known example is the Urgenda case in which the The Hague Court condemned the Dutch government in 2015 for not taking adequate measures to combat the consequences of climate change. Three years later, the Court of Justice of The Hague  upheld this decision, and it is now pending before the Dutch Supreme Court. This case is expected to set a precedent for Belgium, i.a. Since both the Belgian climate case and the Urgenda case are in their final stages of proceedings, this blog provides you with an update on climate change litigation.

Read more

05.09.2019 NL law
ECJ answers preliminary questions on jurisdiction in cartel damage case 

Short Reads - On 29 July 2019, the ECJ handed down a preliminary ruling concerning jurisdiction in follow-on damages proceedings in what is termed the trucks cartel. The court clarified that Article 7(2) Brussels I Regulation should be interpreted in such a way as to allow an indirect purchaser to sue an alleged infringer of Article 101 TFEU before the courts of the place where the market prices were distorted and where the indirect purchaser claims to have suffered damage. In practice, this often means that indirect purchasers will be able to sue for damages in their home jurisdictions.

Read more

Our website uses functional cookies for the functioning of the website and analytic cookies that enable us to generate aggregated visitor data. We also use other cookies, such as third party tracking cookies - please indicate whether you agree to the use of these other cookies:

Privacy – en cookieverklaring