Class Actions Worldview: Part III—Australia, Germany, and France

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— sometimes without key procedural safeguards that exist in U.S. class proceedings. Jones Day has one of the largest and most successful groups of defense-side class action practitioners in the world. Building on the experience of litigators in 40 offices on five continents, this Guide examines new developments and risks in class action procedures around the globe (in particular, in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, England and Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and The Netherlands), and assesses the common trends and differences among respective national laws. It is our goal that, armed with these insights on class action trends, companies operating across the world can understand, assess, and manage class and collective litigation risks in the global marketplace. 

In Part III, we examine class actions activities in Australia, Germany, and France. Class actions have existed at the federal level in Australia since 1992, and most of the Australian States now have class action regimes of their own. For most claims in Germany, each plaintiff must file his or her own case, but there also are five types of German collective proceedings. In France, while the regime of class action is already quite comprehensive compared to other EU Member States, it has not yet gained significant traction in the French litigation landscape.

Previously in series:  

Part I: The United States and the European Union

Part II: Italy and Spain

Read the Guide here.

Insights by Jones Day should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the Firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request permission to reprint or reuse any of our Insights, please use our “Contact Us” form, which can be found on our website at This Insight is not intended to create, and neither publication nor receipt of it constitutes, an attorney-client relationship. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Firm.