Following the announcement that Weightmans, Matrix Chambers and Kings Chambers have set up an ‘opt-out’ class action over alleged anti-competitive behaviour by European truck manufacturers, Matthew Amey gives his views in The Law Society Gazette’s article entitled ‘Litigation funders back twin ‘truck cartel’ claims’ on how litigation funding and litigation insurance are increasingly integral components to enable access to justice for a large group of victims who, by and large, are unlikely to be in a position to bring a claim on their own.
Weightmans, acting on behalf of Claimant UK Trucks Claim funded by Calunius Capital, is the third law firm to seek a group action in this field. Collyer Bristow set up a claim last year funded by Vannin and brokered by TheJudge, and Addleshaw Goddard and Backhouse Jones filed a claim on behalf of the Road Haulage Association, funded by Therium, at the CAT last month.
Matthew states: Without a solid proposal to potential claimants to remove the cash flow burden (through a litigation funder) and financial risk (through a litigation insurer), unwitting victims are unlikely to bring a claim on their own. For many general counsel, the spare funds and management buy-in will not be available without such a proposal.
A law firm might be the driver but litigation funding and insurance are the twin engines that propel the competition action, particularly where the viability of the claim is dependent on a large group of claimants signing up to a collective action – as is the case with many of the trucks cartel groupings. The question for victims of the trucks cartel is which claimant group is offering the best deal for them, a question which will generally boil down to the underpinning litigation funding arrangement.