Class actions and major group litigation can be seismic events not only for the parties involved, but for whole industries and parts of society. That potential impact means they are one of the few types of claim that have become truly global in both importance and scope, as reflected in this third edition.

There are also a whole host of factors currently coalescing to increase the likelihood and magnitude of such actions. These factors include continuing geopolitical developments, particularly in Europe and North America, with moves towards protectionism and greater regulatory oversight. At the same time, further advances in technology, as well as greater recognition and experience of its limitations, are giving rise to ever more stringent standards, offering the potential for significant liability for those who fail to adhere to such protections. Finally, ever-growing consumer markets of greater sophistication in Asia and Africa add to the expanding pool of potential claimants.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that claimant law firms and third-party funders around the world are becoming ever more sophisticated and active in promoting and pursuing such claims, and local laws are being updated to facilitate such actions before the courts.

As with previous editions of this review, this updated publication aims to provide practitioners and clients with a single overview handbook to which they can turn for the key procedures, developments and factors in play in a number of the world's most important jurisdictions.

Camilla Sanger
Slaughter and May
London
April 2019