Our application for a Group Action Order was listed in the High Court this morning.
Mr Justice McAlinden stated that he could see the logical necessity in the course of action being proposed by our barrister. He said it was obvious the matter should be heard by way of a group action claim and further that Edwards & Co. should be appointed coordinating solicitors. The representative for the Manufacturers and Volkswagen Financial Services UK Limited confirmed that he did not anticipate any great disagreement between the parties regarding proceeding in this manner. He confirmed that whilst his solicitors did not yet have instructions to act for the authorised dealer defendants it is likely they will come on record for them shortly. For that reason he asked that the application be adjourned to allow them to coordinate instructions for all nine defendants and then be in a position to agree the terms of a Group Action Order with us. The application was re-listed on 18th September 2018 and the Court directed that it expected the parties to present an agreed set of terms on that date.
We had also applied to stay the proceedings pending the outcome of the similar claim in England and Wales. Mr Justice McAlinden was in full agreement and went as far as to say that the Court would not look favourably on any application to push ahead with a parallel claim in Northern Ireland. It has always been our position that we wish to limit the potential cost for each of you. In Northern Ireland solicitors are not allowed to work on a No Win No Fee basis – as is common in England and Wales. Solicitors here are obliged to take money on account from claimants to cover their own costs and those of the Defendants, should the claim be unsuccessful. In the event of a successful claim you would receive your compensation and your original money on account back. We are running the claim as a group action so that any potential costs can be split amongst the claimants. Our barrister confirmed to the Court that we would prepare a Costs Sharing Agreement over the Summer for all claimants to enter into.