Six leading laws firms have joined forces to establish a collective redress association for claimant practitioners and stakeholders in the group litigation sector. UK group litigation firms Edwin Coe, Hausfeld & Co, Keller Lenkner UK, Leigh Day, Milberg London, and PGMBM have founded CORLA, the Collective Redress Lawyers Association.
The association aims to promote and implement reforms of the practice area in order to provide effective access to justice in a field that is relatively new to the UK legal system. CORLA is urging law firms, lawyers, barristers and others involved in collective redress nationwide to apply to become members and join CORLA in its drive for change.
CORLA came about after those practising in the area for claimants on a regular basis began exploring more efficient and effective mechanisms for individuals harmed by wrongful conduct to exercise their rights and gain access to justice. Collective redress, or group litigation, not only allows access to justice for the many – but unites victims from all backgrounds, places and age groups not only holding large corporations to account but often shedding light on the malpractice of an entire industry.
Whilst UK practises have been dealing with group litigation for around 20 years, the courts have been met with some criticism over the efficiency of handling the needs of multiple clients with the needs of defendants. For this reason, CORLA, officially launched on 31st March at the Law Society, has set out the following objectives:
- To offer a credible and experienced voice on issues affecting collective redress
- Develop relationships with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Justice, Judiciary, Select Committees, Consumer Advocacy groups to become recognised advocates for collective redress and reform.
- Establish links with key jurisdictions which share CORLA’s aim in achieving best practise in the area and achieving internationally renowned standards.
Co-President Martyn Day, of Leigh Day, commented: “CORLA considers that a better understanding of the challenges faced by claimants seeking to access the justice process and the further development and expansion of collective redress in the UK are not only desirable, but essential to the interests of justice. “It is with this in mind that we have founded CORLA and we urge any practitioners specialising in group litigation to become a member and join our common aim of simplifying the system to the benefit of all involved.”
Co-President David Greene said: “The justice process must deliver effective access to justice in a world where many people may suffer from wrongs committed by governments and business. Recent examples show that the ad hoc response, in this jurisdiction, to mass wrongs leaves access to justice for citizens far behind. CORLA will seek to address, with others, the failings to build an effective comprehensive process for all.”
From 1 April, CORLA will seek applications for full and associate membership.
Guy Robson, Vice-President, CORLA: “We are delighted that so many with a deep-seated commitment to collective redress were able to attend CORLA’s launch event at the Law Society yesterday. Now that CORLA is up and running, we welcome applications for solicitors, barristers, experts and others to join CORLA and help shape the discussion on the future of collective redress in the UK. Membership details can be found at corla.org.uk.”
A sub-committee has already been set up to focus on CORLA’s public policies and aims and this sub-committee will canvas participation and engagement on topics from new members.