In the latest edition of our Future of Consumer series, CONSUMER CLASS ACTIONS – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES, we focus on class actions that will be of particular interest to those within the Consumer sector. We explore some of the key areas of class action risk that businesses in the Consumer sector are facing across key jurisdictions of the UK, the US, and Australia, including:
- Product liability and consumer law;
- Supply-chain issues (with a focus on business human rights and environmental, social, and governance);
- Data and privacy;
- Employment class actions; and
- Securities class actions.
We also examine key mitigating steps that businesses can take to protect themselves against the risks of exposure to such class actions and costly and reputation-damaging campaigns.
Whilst class actions have been traditionally associated with US litigation, they have become an increasingly prominent feature of both the UK and Australian litigation landscape in recent years.
Various factors, including the proliferation of law firms competing to take on this work, the availability of funding options, and the ability of both firms and funders to use sophisticated mass social and traditional media advertising campaigns to raise large classes to pursue claims, mean that class actions are likely to continue to grow in prominence and breadth.
By virtue of their customer and product focus, coupled with their scale, geographic reach and perceived “deep pockets”, companies in the Consumer sector are obvious targets for class action law suits.