Hausfeld among ‘Top class actions to watch in 2022’ by Law360

Several ground-breaking cases brought by Hausfeld have been recognised by Law360 as part of their ‘Top UK Class Actions To Watch in 2022’ feature. Following years of slow progress, 2021 turned out to be a milestone year for opt-out collective actions, with an already busy 2022 agenda for the Competition Appeal Tribunal on the horizon with collective actions brought by consumers and businesses pursuing credit card companies, truck manufacturers and tech giants for damages. Our Trains case was mentioned as having been granted certification recently.

Emissions

Law360 notes the ongoing emissions-cheating claims against the likes of Volkswagen and Mercedes. Hausfeld is bringing emissions claims against Mercedes.

FX

The feature highlights the proposed collective action accusing banks of rigging foreign exchange markets. In one of the claims, FX Claim UK, Hausfeld acts for Phillip Evans in his application to pursue an opt-out collective action against the banks seeking damages in respect of their unlawful practices in the FX market.

Apple and Google

Both claims being pursued by Hausfeld before the Competition Appeal Tribunal are challenging excessive fees charged by Apple and Google for purchases on their App stores. Hausfeld is acting on behalf of 30+ million consumers who may have been affected by the tech giants’ unlawful practices.

Law 360 said:

“Two separate cases coming before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, brought by consumers, are challenging fees charged by Apple and Google for purchases on their app stores. Both claims are being pursued by Hausfeld & Co LLP, which slapped Apple with a £1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) lawsuit on behalf of 20 million customers in Britain in May. The law firm then turned its sights on Google with a £920 million lawsuit on behalf of more than 19 million Android users in July. The lawsuits are seeking collective proceedings orders, alleging that the tech giants abused their market dominance by charging "excessive" commissions on app sales. The claims allege that the online giants have violated U.K. and European competition law by taking a commission every time consumers in Britain buy applications, pay subscriptions or make purchases using the companies' operating systems. In May the tribunal will hear arguments whether Dr. Rachel Kent can be authorized to act as the class representative in the Apple claim, and if her claims can proceed on behalf of the proposed class, which includes anyone who made purchases in the Apple app store after Oct.1 2015. Both proceedings are another test of the CAT's appetite for opt-out, U.S.-style class actions, as any U.K. phone users who bought apps, paid subscriptions or made other in-app purchases could be eligible for compensation.” 

Other

In addition, lawyers will be watching the Tribunal’s action in relation to the two groups representing truckers and small business can proceed collectively. Eyes will also be on Merricks following the Mastercard certification for further guidance on thorny issues including the scope of opt-out claims, the tribunal's appetite for awarding damages and brought by different class representatives against the same defendants.

A ruling by the U.K. Supreme Court, Okpabi & Others v Royal Dutch Shell & Another in February that Shell can be held liable in the English courts for oil pollution allegedly caused by its subsidiary in Nigeria shocked the business world by opening the door for parent companies in Britain to face U.K. liability for their operations overseas. This case is close to our heart as Hausfeld acted for Corner House Research on a pro bono basis, which intervened in support of the initial appeal, unanimously allowed by the Supreme Court. All eyes are now back on the High Court case which involves some 50,000 Nigerian members of the Ogale and Bille communities, who say their property was polluted as the result of leaks from oil pipelines operated by the Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria Ltd., a subsidiary of the group.

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