Class Actions Worldview: Part I—United States and the European Union

Although class actions have been common in the United States for decades, they have not been as widely used in the rest of the world. The situation and risks remain in flux, however, as more countries have renewed momentum to enact class actions or class action-like procedures.

Those procedures vary greatly among jurisdictions. Differences include how developed the procedures are; the types of claims parties can bring; the parties that can represent classes; whether classes are structured as opt-in or opt-out; and the rules governing settlement, remedies, and financing. Many countries have enacted more restrictive class procedures than the United States. There are notable exceptions, however, that present risks to defendants sued abroad.

This is the first installment of an in-depth, multipart series on class actions that will spotlight a wide array of jurisdictions worldwide. Upcoming in the series: Part II: Spain, Italy, and England and Wales; Part III: Australia, Germany, and France; Part IV: China, Japan, Belgium, and The Netherlands.

Read the Guide here.

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