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The Commercial Litigation Journal: March/April 2011

Michael Isaacs looks at how collective consumer claims may work under the enhanced powers given to the FSA in October 2010 by the Financial Services Act 2010

When one thinks of collective action, it brings to mind US-style group claims (class actions) of the Erin Brockovich type, where a large number of injured individuals sue a large company on behalf of the entire injured class. Such cases have rarely been seen in this jurisdiction. However, recent years have seen the rise of significant thematic issues in financial services, and substantial amounts of associated litigation. New FSA powers of collective redress are therefore significant for those in the sector.

Alison Padfield examines legal developments in before the event legal expenses insurance

Legal expenses insurance remains an area of intense interest and concern for the profession, particularly in the current economic climate when individuals and companies must consider all other avenues before resorting to litigation. The principal forms of insurance are:

In the first of two parts, Alan Watts and Anna Bateman review recent cases on the law of confidence and privacy

The past few years have seen some significant developments in the law of confidence, such that it is now firmly established to encompass the new(ish) cause of action known as misuse of private information. This two-part article provides a summary of some recent cases in these areas.

Pannone LLP

James Thackray considers recent cases about freezing orders

During the last 18 months, aspects of the practice and procedure involved in seeking and defending freezing orders have been scrutinised by the courts. This article reviews four of the most recent decisions and, in looking at the exercise of the court’s discretion, asks whether there is a discernible trend in this area.

Antony Woolich and Joseph Botham analyse the impact and effect of the new rules on horizontal co-operation agreements

The European Commission (the Commission) adopted new rules on horizontal co-operation agreements on 14 December 2010. The adoption of the rules came at the end of a process that saw the circulating of a questionnaire to the member states and a consultation with stakeholders in 2008, and a public consultation that took place in May and June 2010.

Peter Dodge discusses the potential for increased litigation and the themes that may emerge

It is a truism that cyclical falls in property prices following periods of excess tend to lead to cyclical increases in mortgage-related litigation. While only some of this litigation will concern fraud, there is a widespread perception that dishonest schemes were particularly prevalent during the property bubble that ended in 2007.

Kennedys

Karishma Jasani Paroha, Gareth Cremen and Michael Judin investigate product liability legislation in South Africa

The landscape of consumer protection in South Africa will change on 1 April 2011 when the South African Consumer Protection Act 2008 (No 68 of 2008) (the SA CPA) comes into force. It will act as a statutory umbrella for consumer protection, and all other laws that provide for consumer protection will need to be read with the SA CPA to ensure a common standard of consumer protection.