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Sewage Into River

Litigation funding secured for opt-out competition claims against UK water and sewerage companies

Leigh Day has secured, on behalf of its client Professor Carolyn Roberts, a significant funding package from legal finance experts, Bench Walk.

Posted on 24 November 2022

Professor Roberts, a water resource management specialist, will represent a significant class of UK bill-paying households to bring standalone competition damages claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against water and sewerage companies in England.
The claims being prepared arise from water companies’ alleged unlawful discharges of untreated sewage and wastewater into waterways.
Collective action competition claims allow claims to be brought on behalf of a group or groups of affected individuals against companies that break competition rules. They can be especially effective where the individual damages of each class member may be relatively small in value. Opt-out claims mean that individuals do not need to sign up in order to bring the claim; instead, everyone who has suffered loss is included unless they specifically choose to opt-out.
As well as providing individual compensation and justice, opt-out proceedings also act as a deterrent to future misconduct, as firms know that consumers can act together to hold them to account for any rule breaking.
Zoë Mernick-Levene, a partner at law firm Leigh Day said:
“Leigh Day has been investigating the cases against water companies over the last year and we are delighted to be working with Bench Walk to bring what we expect will be the first ‘environmental’ collective action in the Tribunal.
More details about these claims, and how consumers can stay up to date with developments, will follow soon.”
Factor Risk Management has acted as broker for both the funding and ATE insurance.  
Leigh Day has instructed AlixPartners LLP as economic experts, Professor Peter Hammond as a consultant on the case, and Jon Turner KC, Julian Gregory, and Antonia Fitzpatrick of Monckton Chambers as the counsel team.
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