Automating and Streaming the Group Litigations Process in the UK
A group litigation (also referred to as a class action in other jurisdictions) involves a number of claimants joining forces to bring a claim against one or more defendants. In the UK, these include claims by representative claimants, claims by multiple claimants managed together by the court using its case management powers and group litigation orders (GLOs).
Recent examples include the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) rights issue, where investors and shareholders initiated litigation proceedings against RBS as a result of the loss suffered (this settled last year) and the more recent Volkswagen emissions scandal where more than 60,000 VW owners made a successful High Court application for group litigation order.
The number of group litigations in the UK is on the increase and this trend is set to continue. In 2015, the UK introduced an ‘opt out’ regime for group litigations meaning that parties can now be included by default. Less importance is therefore placed upon identifying all potential claimants prior to the filing of a group litigation. Data breaches under the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws have also contributed to a significant increase in group litigations.
However, the challenge still remains for law firms to find an effective method of collecting and managing potential claims together, often by a set deadline specified by the court. The UK lacks a set registration procedure for collecting and storing these details, so it is often a manual, time consuming and costly process for law firms.
Several firms now advertise their involvement in group litigations through postings on their firm website in the hope that additional claimants may come forward, but more often than not, this still simply leads claimants to a contact email address or telephone number, resulting in a paper heavy process with complicated workflows and multiple systems and processes involved.
However, this no longer needs to be the case. Sky Discovery has developed an innovative solution to capture potential claimant details and key claim information via an online microsite that can be seamlessly implemented within an existing law firm’s website. This microsite increases the sign-up rate as it enables potential claimants to quickly and easily enters their claim details, upload supporting documentation and immediately submit agreements online using a digital signature. Automated checks are performed to verify the identity of claimants and they are sent automated e-mail confirmations, updates and reminders for any outstanding supporting documentation. Sky Discovery can also implement Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / Pay-per-Click (PPC) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) techniques to attract the interest of a wide audience of potential claimants.
Any submitted claimant data and supporting documentation is automatically uploaded to an online review platform. The legal team can use this platform to review claimant details and documentation, track communication and view a range of customised dashboards and reports. The system can also generate regular progress updates and projections based on volumes and throughput. The law firm is one again able to focus on their area of expertise, rather than the costly, time consuming process of collecting and managing this information.
If you are interested to see Sky Discover’s innovations in the Group Litigation space, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation.