Book and webinar Financing Collective Actions

Collective actions and the financing of complex mass damage cases have been among the most debated and controversial topics in civil justice in Europe over the past decade. It doesn’t need much explanation that oftentimes these complex cases involving a multiplicity of parties and events or consequences taking place in different countries trigger private international law questions, as for instance the ongoing evaluation of the Brussels I-bis Regulation evidences (see among others the 2023 Study in support of the evaluation; a 2021 Working Paper by Burkhard Hess; a 2022 report by BEUC on PIL and Cross-border Collective Redress). Another key issue is the funding of these inherently costly litigations. The Representative Action Directive, applicable since June 2023, and the European Parliament Resolution on Responsible private funding of litigation, adopted in 2022, have proliferated discussions on the funding of collective actions. With the entry into force of the Dutch collective damages procedure (WAMCA) in 2020, enabling compensatory actions, the Netherlands has re-confirmed its reputation as one of the frontrunners in having a well-developed framework for collective actions and settlements in Europe. High stake cases involving privacy, environmental law, human rights and consumer law have found their way to the courts and have benefitted from third party funding.

These developments have triggered the Dutch Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Security to commission a Study on the need for a procedural fund for collective actions, published in 2023 (in Dutch). The book Financing Collective Actions in the Netherlands: Towards a Litigation Fund?, based on this study and including updates, has just been published (Eleven International Publishing 2024) and is available open access. The book is authored by Xandra Kramer (Erasmus University Rotterdam/Utrecht University), Ianika Tzankova (Tilburg University), Jos Hoevenaars (Erasmus University Rotterdam, researcher Vici team) and Karlijn van Doorn (Tilburg University). It discusses developments in Dutch collective actions from a regulatory perspective, including the implementation of the RAD, and contains a quantitative and qualitative analysis of cases that have been brought under the WAMCA. It then examines funding aspects of collective actions from a regulatory, empirical and comparative perspective. It delves into different funding modes, including market developments in third party litigation funding, and  addresses the question of the necessity, feasibility, and design of a (revolving) litigation fund for collective actions.

The hardcover version of the book can be ordered from the publisher’s website, which also provides access to the free digital open access version through the publisher’s portal.

A launch event and webinar on ‘Financing Collective Actions: Current Debates in Europe and Beyond’ will take place on 3 July from 15-17.15 CET. Confirmed speakers include Jasminka Kalajdzic (University of Windsor) and Rachael Mulheron (Queen Mary University London). Registration for free here.