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£5bn class action claim filed at Liverpool High Court

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In what is widely considered to be one of the largest claims in British legal history, a joint UU/US firm has filed a complaint at Liverpool High Court seeking £5bn in compensation for victims of an environmental catastrophe in Brazil.

The law firm filing the complaint, SGP Law, is a new entrant to the UK legal scene and is comprised of a partnership between both UK and US Lawyers. SGP is representing 240,000 claimants, all of whom are alleged victims of the Sanmarco dam collapse in 2015, in which 19 people were killed and hundreds more were permanently displaced. The claim for £5bn is against mining company BHP Billiton has been filed in a UK Court as the legal action is more likely to be able to progress more quickly than if the claim was filed in Brazil. BHP Billiton is also a UK registered company.

Tom Goodhead, partner at SPG Law, said the firm chose to commence litigation in Liverpool because as well as SPG having offices in the City, they were also keen to demonstrate that there are alternative s to London Courts when proceeding with large scale claims. Commenting further, Goodhead said:

Three years on from the tragedy, nearly a million Brazilian citizens affected by the disaster have either not been compensated at all or have received low financial settlements. The process of compensation has so far been in the hands of the defendants. This is about putting the claimants in control.”

SPG are proceeding with the litigation on a conditional, no-win no-fee basis. The Firm will take up to 30% of any compensation they are able to secure; this fee will not be applied to members of the indigenous population though, according to SPG.

If you are thinking about suing another company but are worried about the costs of resolving the dispute or going to court, Advantage Litigation Services can help. We have vast experience navigating the different ways of funding commercial dispute resolution and are best placed to help you identify the most appropriate funding option and litigation protection that will best benefit you and your business. Click here to contact us or call 0800 160 1298 to discuss how we can help you manage the risks and find a funding option that works for you.

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