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Business Interruption Consultancy

Group Actions / Compensation Schemes

Group Claims

The Braer tanker disaster in 1993 was our first introduction to a Group Claim where there were many claimants seeking compensation from a single party as a result of a single event. After the Braer came the Sea Empress, Erika and Prestige oil tanker disasters and we were able to develop and hone claim management and data gathering techniques that not only benefited the individual claims but also the claims as a group through a consistency in approach and a validation of the supply chain metrics. In simpler terms the sales agents cannot claim for more fish than is caught by the fleet!

Where liability has not been admitted we are able to use the experience and skills described under Liability Denied but applied to a group scenario. In this case there are a larger number of variables and costs that must be considered when approaching the market to fund the action. What are the similarities and differences of each case from a loss as well as a legal perspective? How is communication with a large group to be handled efficiently and at the end when the legal argument is won is there still a question of determining loss in each case?

Using our experience in assessing loss and with group actions we are able to build flexible models that enable funders to see potential returns and claimants to appreciate the increase in percentage of claim that will be retained as the group increases in size and costs are shared. This transparency ensures that not only the legal action can be funded efficiently but that the distribution of settlement net of costs and funders return is fair and understood.

We have a wide range of experience of such events some of which are set out below.  

Claim Schemes

It does not take a great deal of imagination to appreciate that with the depth of experience we have in preparing group claims it is a short distance to be able to set up the infrastructure for compensation schemes or to be able to advise those who are doing so. 

As such, we are currently advising those who are developing the Dispute Resolution Scheme being sponsored by UK Finance, as well as the Financial Ombudsman Service who have acquired a larger role from 1st April 2019. 

MAP

When British Coal was found liable for negligence relating to miners suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease the resulting compensation scheme had to operate on an industrial scale. There were some 580,000 claimants; it was the largest personal injury compensation scheme in the world.

We designed, built and operated the medical assessment process (MAP) for the DTI. We set up regional assessment centres throughout the UK, and recruited and trained teams to provide a flexible and mobile on-site scanning solution using the latest scanners. As the scheme developed we had a fleet of 107 Land Rovers covering six million miles to collect over one million historic medical records so that respiratory specialists could provide expert evidence. Trusted relationships were built up with over 80% of the GP practices and hospitals in the UK as part of this dispersed and highly complex process.

Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997

The UK government introduced the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 which prohibited ownership and sale of handguns. Manufacturers, retailers, individual owners and rifle ranges suffered losses. We encouraged the industry to form the Firearms Industry Compensation Group (FICG) which successfully lobbied for the trade to be included in the scheme.

We prepared and negotiated some 3,000 claims for the trade and private individuals using a network of valuation centres across the UK that we designed and operated. A key part of the success of the firearms hand-in that followed the Dunblane tragedy was as a result of us working closely with the firearms industry and the Home Office to build a complete database of handguns and their values which was used for valuing the stock being surrendered.

Oil Pollution – IOPC Funds Claims

From our dominant position representing the majority of the member of the fishing and tourist industries in the Braer and Sea Empress oil tanker disasters we then went on to represent those affected by pollution from the Erika and Prestige.

Since our early involvement in 1993 we have used our experience in financial loss assessment to influence the IOPC (International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds) in its interpretation of the manner and scope of the losses suffered such that the current claims manual of the IOPC is largely as a result of the manner in which we presented the claims.