With the phone hacking hearing due to wrap up later this month, students and other avid legal watchers may be wondering what the next best gig in town will be.
While the government has disappointingly balked at a judge-led rather than a parliamentary inquiry into the culture and ethics of bankers, any inquiry could still be shadowed by thousands of claims against banks being litigated through the courts.
According to the firms that are already instructed, this could be the next big litigation boom in the City, with a whole raft of firms rushing to take a slice of the 28,000 businesses affected by interest rate product mis-selling.
However it appears the FSA would prefer to keep the banking scandal out of the courts by way of a redress scheme for the victims of mis-selling, it appears on first glance that this would be a nicely packaged compensation scheme where SMEs could write a simple letter to their bank and get a payout. Think payment protection insurance (PPI).
The FSA even claims there was no need for businesses to call those nasty claims management companies or greedy lawyers, stating: “Customers do not need to use a claims management company because the process is straightforward”.
This has outraged those firms already well down the road of staking claims against the banks on behalf of dozens of customers for anything between £100,000 and £100m.
Many are on the cusp of litigation and have raised concerns that the redress scheme is “cute” for the banks but is unclear for those seeking damages and may cause some claimants to lose out by missing limitation periods.
Those claimant firms include Collyer Bristow, Cooke Young & Keidan, Carter Ruck, Bracewell Law and Lexlaw – the latter two are even offering up no-win no-fee deals.