We act for charities, small businesses, individual and groups of consumers who have been impacted by scams by rogue traders, mis-selling and price fixing. We work closely with Government, court based bodies and consumer organisations, and lobby for changes to legislation, to find better ways for consumers and vulnerable groups to obtain better access to court-based remedies through innovative funding options and court procedures. We intend to use significant recent changes to legislation in our pursuit of fairness for consumers and small businesses.
Our Consumer Law practice in Europe and the UK, is rooted in the tradition established by the firm’s Chairman, Michael Hausfeld, who is widely noted for his David & Goliath cases against big corporations in the US. The UK practice includes Ingrid Gubbay, a former Principal legal advisor for Which?, the largest consumer organisation in the EU, where she gained first-hand knowledge of consumer issues and the needs of small businesses.
Hausfeld has long been pushing for reform of the collective redress system which could facilitate speedier recovery and encourage settlements in private damages claims related to anti-competitive behaviour. We were part of a Working Group consulted on the envisaged changes to the private enforcement of competition law in the UK. These were finally introduced on 1 October 2015 when the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the “Act”) and the new Competition Appeal Tribunal Rules 2015 came into force.
The Act, amongst other provisions, introduces a new opt-out regime for collective claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) which aims to deliver a more effective mechanism for individual consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) to obtain redress from companies who have infringed competition law, which had an appreciable effect on the UK market. The Act also contains a number of important provisions which extend the CAT’s powers such as the introduction of a new fast-track procedure and the ability to grant injunctive relief.
With Hausfeld’s unparalleled experience acting for victims of anti-competitive behaviour, Hausfeld intend to utilise the new opportunities which the Act brings with a view to maximising recoveries for consumers and SMEs more quickly and efficiently under the new regime. For more information please click here.
Our impressive track record in recovery of damages from cartelists in Europe, will likely be further enhanced by the introduction of presumption of harm in cartel cases in the Damages Directive. Due to come into force by the end of 2016, the Damages Directive disposes of the need for the claimants to rely on historic data and other extensive evidence to establish a prima facie case against the cartelists. For more information please click here.