As EU Member States start to prepare for the new Collective Redress Directive our dispute resolution lawyers have created some tools to help businesses impacted by it

Collective Actions are on the rise. EU Directive (EU) 2020/1828 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and repealing Directive 2009/22/EC introduces a new EU-wide right for collective actions to be brought on behalf of consumers. The Directive will allow collective actions to be brought by a representative body against businesses if they breach EU laws intended to protect consumers. This includes laws in a broad range of areas such as data protection, travel and tourism, financial services, energy and telecommunications.

We are tracking the implementation of the Directive in each EU Member State and have mapped the current European collective action landscape it is updating to assist businesses with monitoring and assessing the risk of being targeted by a consumer class action in Europe.

The Directive entered into force on 20 December 2020 and has to be implemented in EU Member States by 25 December 2022. The laws must come into force by 25 June 2023.

The law is a Directive, meaning that each Member State has discretion to implement it into their domestic regime as they see fit. Some Member States already have well-developed collective action regimes which can be used to address a wide range of legal issues; others have the procedural mechanism but for a more limited pool of complaints; and others still have no collective action regime at all under current laws. Consequently, there will be varying degrees of change afoot in each Member State in the period up to 25 December 2022, the deadline by which Member States must pass national laws to implement the Directive.

Below are links to two maps to assist businesses with monitoring and assessing the risk of being targeted by a consumer class action in Europe:

  1. The Current Collective Action Landscape Map: this map provides a snapshot of the currently available collective action mechanisms in major European jurisdictions (EU and non-EU). Class actions have already arrived in Europe, with certain jurisdictions emerging as particularly “high-risk” for companies who may find themselves on the receiving end of a mass claim. Businesses can use this map as a starting point to assess the likelihood of being sued by a group in each jurisdiction, to understand what form such action might take and to identify what procedural hurdles might exist to slow down or prevent the action from gaining ground.
  2. The Collective Redress Directive Implementation Tracker: this tool tracks the implementation of the Directive in each EU Member State. It uses a simple colour code to denote the stage of implementation, and indicates, based on the existing collective action regime in any given country, what level of change will be required in order for the Member State to implement the Directive.