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GDPR and data privacy will drive increase in class action claims

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GDPR’s European-wide introduction in May 2018, combined with an increasing awareness of data privacy issues amongst businesses and individuals is likely to result in an increase in data privacy related class action (also known as group action) claims and litigation in the UK.

Awareness amongst potential claimants is also being mirrored by the interest being shown by law firms and solicitors who see this area of law as having a lucrative future, both for them and their clients. A recent assessment by city lawyers Herbert Smith Freehills, who specialise in complex commercial litigation and disputes, indicates that there have been a number of “very high-profile claims” in this complex area of law, typically involving shareholder or competition claims

A spokesman for Herbert Smith Freehills commented:

One obvious area is the activity and interest on the part of the claimant firms and litigation funders who see this whole area is really attractive and potentially very lucrative for them…also, the very fact of having some of these high-profile claims tends to attract greater interest and these things tend to build a head of steam, and I think that’s what we’re seeing now.”

GDPR and the wider awareness of data misuse amongst businesses and the general public is likely to result in a lot of activity in this area and real potential for claims to be brought on a group / class action basis. This has certainly been the experience in Australia, which has a legal syatem that is very similar to the UK. HSF commented that their experience in Australia has shown that:

Claimant firms and litigation funders have really driven a growth in class actions, particularly shareholder actions, but also other claims such as those related to product liability and, in more recent times, environmental claims…we’ve seen the involvement of litigation funders particularly… in securities class actions has led at least initially to the use of closed classes, where the class is limited to those who have signed up to an agreement with the litigation funder, so it’s effectively an opt-in claim.”

If you are thinking about taking legal action against another individual or company but are worried about the costs involved, Advantage Litigation Services have the skills and expertise to help you find a way of funding commercial litigation without risking your personal finances or those of your business. Click here to contact us today or call 0800 160 1298 to see how we can help.

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