Group litigation is yet another type of flexible funding which an individual may find advantageous when considering a claim. A Group Litigation Order (GLO) is useful when multiple parties have been affected by someone else’s conduct but are unable to individually facilitate a claim.
A GLO allows everyone to bring their own claim, but all the claims are managed collectively by the court where there are shared or related issues.
A GLO has certain costs benefits for the individual over other types of multi-party litigation. Normally, these types of litigation can be expensive for an individual as each claimant is liable jointly and severally for costs of the group claim as a whole. Whereas, GLOs ensure that the claimant is not so exposed, and only liable for:
The key principle is that the individual litigant is only liable for their proportion of the common costs and individual costs. All of the claimants in a GLO share the common costs equally.
Therefore, where an individual is a member of a group in the course of litigation, any costs order made against the other side will be split between the group. This means that a client is entitled to recover the costs for which he would have been liable to his solicitor for if successful.
Similarly, if the litigation is unsuccessful, the cost is shared equally between the group, rather than each individual being liable for the whole.
Further, the GLO system offers the court greater flexibility in dealing with costs. They are able to recognise if the claim of one party is more sizeable than another and can apportion the costs if necessary to protect smaller claims. The court has also in the past imposed a cap on costs to ensure proportionality and fairness for claimants.This can offer a suitable alternative where pursuing an individual claim may be unmanageable or uneconomic. With the increasing use of third-party funding opportunities such as Crowd Funding, GLOs are likely to be on the rise.