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Disputes Week: CAT inundated by ‘class action’ surge


The Law Society Gazette, 5/6/24

So predicts Linklaters litigation partner Sarina Williams, who today addressed a LIDW breakout session at Brick Court Chambers on the ‘transformation of the CAT into the UK’s class actions tribunal’.

Williams noted that an amendment to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill attempted to allow collective claims based on consumer law to be brought before the CAT. This failed in the Commons but enjoyed significant support in the Lords. ‘It could well come back on to the agenda,’ she said.

Williams and Brick Court’s Robert O’Donoghue KC agreed that class action claims pertaining mainly to consumers - but also environment and data privacy - are being ‘shoehorned’ into the CAT.  With just two courtrooms and panel members potentially engaged for weeks on single cases, the tribunal faces capacity issues, noted Williams. Increasingly complex multi-party litigation exacerbates this problem.