The future of group proceedings in Scotland

November 24, 2023

Three years have passed since the introduction of a new rule to allow group proceedings to operate in Scotland – reshaping the landscape of the country’s civil court action.

Before 31 July 2020, each case was required to be brought forward individually, which led to a fragmented and time-consuming process. The change allows two or more parties who have the same or similar claim to raise their actions together. This advance aims to streamline and modernise the civil court in Scotland by encouraging the expeditious progress of group proceedings thus making the most efficient use of time spent in court.

The Volkswagen NOx Emissions litigation was one of the first group proceedings raised in Scotland. It allowed thousands of claimants to raise one group action against the same defenders and Pogust Goodhead is now bringing a number of similar cases in Scotland. 

“The procedure fits well for large-scale consumer actions, product liability cases and anywhere where there has been wide-scale negligence or failings resulting in loss, injury or damage to a class of pursuers, meaning the possibilities for future group proceedings in Scotland are wide-ranging. It is certainly an area in which active litigation will likely be seen in the years to come.” Alison Webb, Partner, Pogust Goodhead.

In collaboration with Chambers and Partners, we are proud to share the first instalment of our new series which covers Collective Redress and Class Actions. The practice guide, co-authored by our Scottish team Alison Webb, Megan Lafferty, Eilidh Beveridge, Derek Couper and Natalia Bell, examines the group proceeding cases so far and what can be learned from them and concludes with the authors’ views on the progress, pitfalls and possibilities for group proceedings in Scotland.

Read the practice guide here.

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