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A 'class action' may take place when a number of people have suffered injury or financial loss as a result of a common cause. Class action solicitors in the UK specialise in representing a large number of potential claimants with the intention of concentrating numerous sources of individual evidence, pooling resources and reducing legal costs and financial risk by pursuing legal action for just a few of the most typical claimants who effectively represent the others within the group. Class action claims generally fall into three main categories as follows :-

  • disasters involving injury claims and damage to property.
  • consumer claims related defective goods or services, causing injury and/or loss.
  • rolling claims arising from a single cause including defective drugs or consumer products

UK Legislation

A class action solicitor may call upon both the common law and statute in order to prove a case. Some areas are not protected by specific legislation that covers the disputed issue although most types of legal matter relating to class action litigation have now been previously litigated and act as precedents. There is also copious consumer protection legislation to which class action solicitors in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may refer including the main UK statutes as follows :-

  • Consumer Protection Act 1987 (Product Liability) (Modification) Order 2000 (Statutory Instrument 2000 No. 2771)
  • Consumer Protection Act 1987 (Product Liability)(Modification) (Scotland) Order 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001)
  • Product Liability (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

Litigation Issues

UK class action solicitors often represent clients on a no win no fee* basis and they deal with a wide range of issues including :-

  • manufactured goods
  • bio-medical devices
  • pharmaceutical products
  • multiple sexual assault
  • institutionalised child abuse
  • institutionalised elder abuse
  • environmental accidents
  • health and healthcare services
  • holiday travel
  • mass food poisoning
  • package holidays
  • industrial disease
  • work related injuries
  • disasters
  • aviation accidents
  • rail accidents
  • shipping accidents
  • financial services
  • pensions
  • mortgages
  • investments

Standard of Proof

The standard of proof in a civil claim is less onerous than in a criminal case which requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt. In a class action civil liability claim for damages the standard of proof is based on the 'balance of probabilities' which means a case is proved if it is more likely than not i.e. greater than 50% chance.

Time Limitation

All civil litigation is subject to time limits. In the case of personal injury compensation, a claim becomes statute barred unless it is settled or legal proceedings have been issue in a court of law within three years of discovery of the injury which in many cases means the time when the incident occurred. There are exceptions for the mentally disabled and for minors. In the case of financial losses, the time limit is 6 years. In all cases the court has discretion to extend the time limits but this discretion is rarely exercised. In truth, missing the time limit usually means that the opportunity to claim compensation for personal injury or financial loss is gone forever.

Class Action Solicitors

If you and a number of other people who have been injured in similar circumstances want to set up a class action or if you want to join an existing group legal action our lawyers offer advice on group litigation at no cost. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. For free advice from a specialist solicitor, without further obligation, simply phone the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.



*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here