Areas of expertise

Group Litigation

Members of 12KBW have been instructed in many of the largest and most prominent group actions in the courts of England & Wales.

We have been instructed in group litigation across our practice areas including: product liability; industrial disease; clinical negligence; environmental damage; and injuries caused by accidents, disasters and human rights abuses. Our specialist barristers provide expert advice in respect of the particular procedural and strategic issues that arise in claims brought under group litigation orders or by other forms of collective redress.

We are presently instructed in some of the most high-profile group cases proceeding through the courts, including: the Grenfell Litigation, acting for a cohort of more than 100 firefighters who claim physical and psychiatric injury arising out of the rescue and recovery operation at Grenfell tower, and the Contaminated Blood Products Group Litigation, claims concerning the provision of products which carried HIV, hepatitis and other viruses to haemophiliacs.

Over the last 25 years, members of chambers have been at the forefront of the large number of group claims arising out of Britain’s industrial legacy, in many instances appearing on each side of the litigation. The claims, which have a combined value of several billions of pounds, include: the British Coal & British Steel Coke Ovens Workers Litigation; the Coventry Homefire Litigation; the Phurnacite Workers Group Litigation; the VWF litigation; the Miners’ Knee litigation; and the British Coal Respiratory Disease Litigation, which remains one of the largest personal injury claims ever brought worldwide.

We are presently acting in several group actions in which current and former military personnel bring claims against the Ministry of Defence in respect of injuries including noise-induced hearing loss, NFCI, and PTSD.

In the field of environmental litigation, we have acted in several group actions arising out of mass pollution overseas, including: the Bomu Bonny Pipeline Litigation, claims brought by 15,600 claimants arising out of two huge oil spills in the Niger Delta; the Nchanga Copper Mine Litigation, claims brought by 2,000 claimants in respect of the pollution of waterways and land surrounding a copper mine in Zambia; and the Amerisur plc Putumayo Group Litigation, claims brought by c.300 Colombian campesinos concerning oil contamination of their local waterways.

Members of chambers have acted in group litigation arising out of physical and sexual abuse, including: claims concerning alleged abuse by security guards working on land owned by a Kenyan avocado producer; claims brought by orphans in respect of sexual abuse by a British Airways pilot during stopovers in Kenya; and the Iraqi Civilian Litigation, claims against the Ministry of Defence brought by civilians who were assaulted and unlawfully detained by UK military personnel during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Our specialist costs team complements our work in this area and can provide advice on the unique costs issues to which group litigation gives rise. As all members of our costs team are also personal injury specialists they bring in-depth crossover expertise to such issues.