Reflecting on 2023 at Pogust Goodhead

December 20, 2023

As we come to the end of 2023, we reflect on the past 12 months and the achievements of the team at Pogust Goodhead. From continuing to litigate the largest ever class action of its kind to a mammoth funding deal, this has been a busy year for our growing firm.

As our team continued fighting for justice for our clients, we marked many milestones across our 30 active cases. We were also recognised for our dedication and achievements by winning various awards.

Here are five of our top stories of 2023.

Progress for Mariana victims

Eight years on from the Mariana dam collapse, victims of the disaster continue to seek justice for Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster. This year, we continued to make progress in our case against BHP, the world’s biggest mining company. 

In March, we announced our case had expanded from 200,000 clients to over 700,000. This makes it the largest ever case of its kind. The Financial Times reported on the new estimate for potential damages in the case which stands at £36 billion.

In November, victims of the disaster travelled to Adelaide, Australia. They revealed the reality of their daily lives to BHP shareholders at the mining company’s annual general meeting.  

“I had to travel half way around the world to have my voice heard by BHP. BHP executives and board have committed two crimes – firstly, their negligence in the collapse of the dam itself but now, they are complicit in the second crime of denying me and all of the other victims of the Mariana dam disaster fair compensation.” 

 

Eight years on

The victims have now waited over eight years for justice. On the anniversary of the disaster, we shared eight stories of those affected by the tragedy in a campaign called #8YearWait.

As we prepare to face BHP in the High Court in October 2024, we remain dedicated to getting our clients the best result. BHP’s actions cannot be forgotten, and the victims of the Mariana dam disaster must receive justice.

Dieselgate

In a significant milestone for My Diesel Claim, a High Court judgment turbocharged the legal process for the alleged emissions scandal.  

A trial date has now been set for Mercedes and a decision will be made in January 2024 on two other manufacturers whose cases will be heard at the same time.  

The Court’s judgment ordered Ford to face legal action from 65,000 drivers for their involvement in the scandal, granting a group litigation order.

 

“This judgment means 2024 will be a year of reckoning for any manufacturer that cheated emissions tests. The common misperception is that Dieselgate was all about Volkswagen, but this is an industry-wide scandal. It’s clear that 2024 will be the year where car company complacency over the diesel emissions scandal will come to an abrupt end. For the sake of our clients and for those living in areas of high pollution, that is a very good thing”

Progress for Orange farmers

In July, the Cutrale family failed in their attempt to stop 1,300 orange farmers from seeking justice.  

Five years ago, the Cutrale family ‘acknowledged their participation’ in a price fixing scandal across the orange juice market in Brazil. The defendants paid $96.2 million to government funds as part of the settlement.    

Despite the strong evidence that orange growers lost nearly $3 billion because of the price fixing, the farmers affected by the scandal did not receive any of the settlement funds as compensation. 

We are now representing the affected orange farmers as they fight to seek compensation. The judgment in July was a positive step in our claim against the Cutrale family. We have already taken steps to protect and, in some cases appeal, a number of the claims that were deemed invalid. 

Gramercy funding

In October, we announced a $550 million funding partnership with Gramercy. The deal was the largest worldwide investment in a law firm and the largest single investment from Gramercy to date. 

The funding allows us to address the growing demand from victims of injustice to access redress against corporations through group litigation.

 

"This investment will not only ensure we resolve our existing cases successfully, but we now have the financial firepower to hold any company anywhere in the world accountable for corporate wrongdoing."

 

The mainstream media recognised the significance of the partnership and a number of major publications reported on the deal including:

Award wins 

This year, both the firm and individual lawyers picked up numerous awards and rankings. We are delighted to have been recognised for our legal expertise in litigation, technology, and our commitment to securing justice for victims of wrongdoing around the world. 

The Lawyer Hot 100

Our Global Managing Partner and CEO, Tom Goodhead, was recognised as one of the UK’s top 100 lawyers in The Lawyer Hot 1002023.

“For a firm that started in 2018, Pogust Goodhead is pulling more than its fair share of weight as a litigation boutique. Managing partner Tom Goodhead is the driving force behind the growth of the firm. With further actions expected in 2023, Goodhead is transforming this young firm into a major disputes player.”

Legal500

Pogust Goodhead was ranked in the Top Tier of The Legal 500 2024 guide in the category Group Litigation: Claimant. We were also ranked in Environment, Product Liability, and Civil Liberties and Human Rights. Global Managing Partner and CEO, Thomas Goodhead, received individual recognition as the driver of the firm’s success. Twelve of our lawyers also received acknowledgement in the guide.  

Chambers  

Pogust Goodhead received the highest ranking in the Group Litigation category in Chambers 2024. We also ranked in both Environment and International Human Rights categories. Members of our team also received individual recognition. Tom Goodhead received two rankings, in the International Human Rights Law and the Group Litigation categories. Lisa Lunt retained the Spotlight Position in the EDI Champion category. Matthew Newbould ranked in the Up-and-Coming category for Product Liability. 

British Legal Awards 

Pogust Goodhead won Boutique Law Firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards. These prestigious awards represent the best of the best within the UK’s legal community. We are proud to have been recognised for our legal expertise in litigation and innovation

Legal500 Green Guide 

For the second year in a row, Pogust Goodhead was included in The Legal 500 United Kingdom Green Guide. It is the first worldwide guide to recognise top law firms advising on issues around climate change, governance, and sustainability. 

“Global law firm Pogust Goodhead was founded with the intention of challenging environmental and human rights wrongdoings by global corporations. It acts at the forefront of cutting-edge international environmental justice litigation.”

These prestigious awards recognise Pogust Goodhead as one of the world’s leading group litigation firms. We have only just begun. 

Tom Hot 100 The Lawyer
Pogust Goodhead is a recommended firm in the Legal 500 Green Guide 2024.

Looking ahead to 2024 

Next year, the Mariana dam case against BHP will go to trial, and many of the Dieselgate vehicle manufacturers will appear in court in various hearings throughout 2024.   

Our teams will continue their work on a variety of medical claims, representing victims of environmental disasters, and giving a voice to those who would otherwise been silenced by multinational corporations.  

2024 promises to be an exciting year as we continue on our mission to make the world a better place, one case at a time.  

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