Market-leading practice specialising in defending companies and individuals in class actions and group litigation around the world.
Clifford Chance's global team of litigators has extensive experience across the full spectrum of group litigation, including securities and shareholder litigation, financial reporting claims, claims arising from data breaches and data misuse, anti-trust disputes, climate change litigation and consumer claims.
We are regularly instructed to represent businesses in the most high-profile and reputationally significant cases, often involving issues of public, political and media interest, including matters following on from, or running parallel to, regulatory and criminal investigations. We are also experts in advising directors and senior managers facing personal liability.
The third party litigation funding market is now a multi-billion dollar industry underpinning class actions and group litigation around the world. Litigation funding remains a cornerstone of the US litigation market and part of the mainstream in the UK and Australia, while recent years have seen its widespread emergence in Europe. We understand the impact of the proliferation of third party litigation funding, as well as after-the event insurance, on the strategy of defending multi-party claims.
We bring to bear our experience of high-stakes group litigation combined with our international expertise in key markets and products to deliver clients a business-focused defence team operating at the apex of the market. That team includes our UK and US-based forensic accountants and economists, who enable us to provide specialist expert advice in-house, which is aligned with, and complements, the legal strategy. That is one example of our commitment to driving efficiencies and value in the delivery of our client service.
Our class action practice has an excellent track record and deep experience of the practical and legal considerations involved in defending a class action in the Australian courts. We have acted for professional advisers, corporates and individuals in class actions in the Federal and Supreme Courts. Our experience includes shareholder class actions, misleading and deceptive conduct and tort-based actions, and claims involving financial reporting, public disclosure documents and insolvency situations, with particular expertise in acting for auditors, corporate finance professionals and directors.
In Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain, we have an outstanding track record in representing and defending clients in shareholder class actions relating to financial reporting, alleged failure to disclose price-sensitive information, prospectus liability and fraud, as well as claims relating to financial products, product liability, professional liability, D&O liability, climate-related claims follow-on damages claims in cartel cases and consumer protection. We have acted for a wide range of issuers and other corporates, investment funds, directors and officers, financial institutions, asset managers and audit firms.
We have significant experience in defending clients facing group litigation. In recent years, we have been instructed on a number of high-profile group claims in the UK involving Group Litigation Orders (GLOs), representative actions and other types of multi-party litigation. This experience includes acting for corporates and financial institutions across a variety of sectors. We understand the strategic considerations of defending group litigation, including the roles of claims managers, third party litigation funders and after-the-event insurers, and the dynamics of settling multiple claims. Where cases go to trial, we bring to bear our market-leading trial practice and deliver results for our clients.
Our US class action practice has decades of experience in defending global corporations, financial institutions, and individuals in a wide range of complex cases, including those involving securities, commodities and antitrust claims. As experts in the vastly developed body of class action law and procedure in the US, we have deep expertise in all aspects of class action litigation. In recent years, the US team has been active in the technology and data privacy-related class action space, a rapidly burgeoning area for high-stakes claims.
- In the UK, advising a corporate client in relation to a threatened claim brought by a group of 76 institutional investors under s90 of FSMA, in connection with the company's IPO and other transactions.
- In the UK, defending a major listed company in connection with an action brought by 103 shareholders and former shareholders under s.90A FSMA, alleging that, as a result of false and misleading statements and/or material omissions in the statements made to the investing public, shareholders suffered nine-figure losses.
- In the UK, representing News Group Newspapers in its high-profile civil litigation defending numerous claims for misuse of private information (largely personal data). This managed litigation is one of the largest and longest running group actions in the English Courts.
- In the UK, defending two UK banks in the High Court in connection with a claim by 39 closed US banks including allegations of breaches of competition law and LIBOR manipulation.
- In the UK, advising a major outsourcing supplier in the financial services sector on GDPR, breach of confidence and misuse of private information claims arising from a ransomware incident, including with respect to follow-on collective actions in the UK (representative action and GLOs) and the US (class actions).
- In Australia, representing the auditors of Hastie Group Limited (a large construction/engineering company in liquidation) in defending shareholder class action proceedings in the Federal Court.
- In Australia, advising an investment bank in relation to anticipated class actions relating to the IPO of a technology company on the ASX.
- In Australia, representing Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in proceedings, including competing class actions arising from the collapse of electronic retailer Dick Smith Group. The class actions settled (without any return to the litigation funder) in February 2021.
- In the US, representing a major financial institution in securities class actions challenging Wall Street's underwriting practices and research analysts in 310 initial public offerings of tech companies. We defeated class certification on appeal.
- In the US, representing a major financial institution in connection with numerous class actions and regulatory investigations, including a criminal cartel investigation by DOJ, alleging manipulation of LIBOR, including claims under the Commodity Exchange Act, RICO, the Sherman Act, and state law.
- In the US, representing a Canada-based international financial institution in a class action lawsuit alleging manipulation of the US$12 trillion market for debt securities issued by the US Treasury, and related derivatives.
- In The Netherlands, defending a major corporate in a purported class action and in an action of multiple named investors seeking compensation, who claim that they bought the company's shares at an inflated price resulting from the alleged failure of the company to disclose information in a timely fashion.
- In The Netherlands, representing a listed company against a claim of shareholder organisation VEB, which claimed that a EUR 300 million share issue was unlawful.
- In Germany, acting for Volkswagen in a EUR 5.4bn shareholder action pursuant to the Capital Investors Model Proceedings Act in connection with the Volkswagen/Porsche takeover and related capital market disclosure issues.
- In Germany, assisting a leading global original equipment manufacturer with a multiparty lawsuit in relation to climate change.