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Lovells is set to join a raft of UK law firms, such as Addleshaw Goddard and DLA Piper, in launching its own international class action unit.
The unit will be headed by the London office’s dispute resolution partner Neil Mirchandani and will draw on the firm’s litigation lawyers across the globe.
The core team will be made up of lawyers from Lovells’ main European offices, but will also include partners from its US office, which has already had experience of class action markets.
The unit’s main work will focus on defence, but it also has litigation funding specialists to advise on the claimant side.
Lovells’ decision to set up the group came as it felt there needed to be a focal point that would act as a contact point for clients on class action issues and keep a ‘watching brief ’ on legislative and case developments.
Patrick Sherrington, the global head of Lovells’ dispute resolution practice, said: “Although group litigation is in its infancy in Europe there’s momentum behind movement towards a more US-style system.”
Mirchandani added: “The formation of the class action unit comes at a time when a number of Continental European jurisdictions have implemented, or are considering introducing, new group litigation procedures.”
Meanwhile, the EU is expected to confirm by the end of this year whether to introduce the EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner’s proposal for new Europe-wide rules on collective redress.