A class action lawsuit allows a group of ‘victims’ to bring a case to court via one plaintiff to ensure efficiency. Before a collective case is taken to court, a broad spectrum of dispute resolution and out of court settlements can be considered. The common characteristic of the group of victims is that the same defendant damaged the individuals in the group in an identical way.
Dispute resolution and settlement action mostly takes place before or alongside a case in the court. The advantage of such alternative action is that a group effort lowers costs and allow also small claims to be included in a time consuming procedure that on an individual basis would be too expensive. A victory for the plaintiff can result in an award for damages being paid. Such payment is paid on a pari passu basis, equally and pro rata to the participants of the group, excluding other creditors outside the collective action.
Class action suits do not necessarily trigger litigation. Especially where the defendant does not want lengthy, time consuming, and expensive lawsuits while maintaining the risk of an avalanche of followers using the verdict as a precedent. Therefore, groups can settle disputes out of court. Alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration follow negotiations in a setting similar to a court where experts in an informal setting of confidentiality settle a dispute and formulate a binding recommendation.
Conflict management requires a strong case to be successful. Abuse should be avoided. This means that we only allow victims with identical cases against the same defendant. Once a group is formulated, the most effective strategy for recovery is determined. Our strategy often involves different recovery paths to maximize the outcome for our clients.