Welcome to the sixth edition of our quarterly disputes newsletter, which covers key developments in the dispute resolution world over the last three months or so.
The development which stands out from this period is the foundering of representative actions in both the data protection sphere (see our summary below of the Supreme Court's decision in Lloyd v Google) and the sphere of parent company liability for the actions of overseas subsidiaries (see our summary of the Court of Appeal's decision in Jalla v Shell). On the evidence of those decisions, it would appear that there is some way to go before this jurisdiction embraces a true US-style "class action" regime. However, large groups of claimants nevertheless continue to test the boundaries of how to obtain collective redress from the English courts, with news recently hitting the press that, notwithstanding the failure of the claims above, Facebook will shortly face a new collective proceeding based on its use of the personal data of its users - albeit using a different legal "hook", and following the route contained in the Competition Act 1998.
Beyond those developments, we have seen an important Privy Council decision handed down which restates - and likely broadens - the test for obtaining a freezing injunction, alongside the usual steady trickle of interesting cases on the perennial topics of contractual interpretation and privilege. And we have also seen some fairly radical proposals emerge from the Civil Justice Council which seek to reform the pre-action process that parties must follow in this jurisdiction before they can enlist the help of the courts. Should those proposals proceed, they will very likely result in a significant frontloading of costs at a very early stage in the life of a dispute, prior to court proceedings being issued.
We hope that you continue to enjoy reading this round-up, whether a litigator by trade or a generalist, and whether in-house or in private practice, and that you will share it with any of your colleagues who may also find it useful. We also hope that you are keeping well as a new year, and a new return to the workplace, begins.