Mass claims and class actions
Clients facing the risks of mass claims and class actions are under enormous pressure. With our team of highly experienced lawyers, and our second-to-none expertise in handling complex mass claim and class action proceedings globally, we are uniquely positioned to defend interests and protect businesses against the continuing challenges inherent in these types of matters.
Freshfields offers highly experienced litigation lawyers, coordinated litigation and regulatory strategies, efficient project management, and powerful legal tech tools to defend mass claims and class action proceedings across the globe.
Our team have specific know-how to cover all areas in which mass claim risks can arise. This includes integrated, industry-specific knowledge of the automotive, consumer, healthcare/life sciences, financial services and TMT sectors – and our expertise includes hot areas of mass claim and class action litigation, including antitrust, data protection, product liability, shareholder litigation and ESG. Our team is experienced in dealing with increasing risks fueled by consumer-friendly legislative environments and expanded availability of claims funding, and we understand the implications of an active claimant bar and new procedural regimes around the globe.
Freshfields draws upon this nuanced understanding of the relevant legislative regimes in deploying resources, and negotiating with or litigating against mass claims counter-parties – as well as with governmental/public entities, regulatory bodies and other institutions as and where needed.
Freshfields also offers legal tech solutions, including case management platforms and easy-access reporting tools, which can be tailored to our client needs – and which bring efficiencies, such as document automation and automated claims intake, as well as better collaboration and communication with our clients.
Recent client successes
Representing a leading US tech client in relation to data privacy litigation across Europe following an alleged data protection incident.
We are currently defending such claims in Germany, Austria, Italy and the UK. In Germany alone, this involves the defence of 20,000+ pre-action and 5,000+ issued claims, brought by numerous German claimant law firms and a legal tech venture. Overall, this is the biggest data privacy mass claims litigation in Europe to date.
Defending Mastercard in the groundbreaking Merricks v Mastercard collective proceedings (class action) before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, including in its certification appeals to the UK Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
The case is reportedly the largest damages claim ever brought in the UK and is continuing to shape the approach to all UK antitrust class actions. Read more about the litigation in our case study.
Representing Rio Tinto in a federal climate change class action in Puerto Rico against several oil, gas, and mining defendants, including Rio Tinto PLC.
Filed by various municipalities of Puerto Rico, the lawsuit alleges that defendants’ production, promotion, refining, marketing and sale of fossil fuel-based consumer products worsened global warming, and contributed to the catastrophic hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico in 2017.
Representing 3M company and its officers and directors in a securities class action in the US.
The action challenges disclosures regarding and accounting reserves for allegedly billions of US dollars in potential liability in pending mass tort and environmental litigation.
Awards & Recognitions
Band 1 Ranking for Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2023, Multi-Jurisdictional: Dispute Resolution
Band 1 Ranking for Global Crisis Management, Chambers Crisis & Risk Management 2023
Innovation Award for the Mass Claims Unit in Germany, Azur Awards, 2023
Litigation of the Year – Cartel Defence, GCR Awards 2023, Global Competition Review
Law Firm of the Year for Dispute resolution (Cross-border), China Business Law Awards, 2023
Commercial Litigation Award, Benchmark Litigation, 2022
Law Firm of the Year for Dispute Resolution, JUVE Awards, 2021
Commercial Litigation Team of the Year, Legal Business Awards, 2021
“Freshfields have tremendous experience and expertise across the EU, in APAC and in the US, besides of course being a powerhouse in the UK."
“They are very smart lawyers. They're pragmatic, realistic and practical."
“They successfully handle very complex matters and are able to make it look easy."
“Broadly positioned practice with excellent international connections.”