What is the LMA?
The LMA is an agreement between you and Your Lawyers and all of the other Claimants who join the group of Your Lawyers’ Claimants bringing claims against British Airways arising from the two 2018 data breaches.
By entering into the LMA, you are appointing a committee to represent you in the litigation and to provide instructions to Your Lawyers on your behalf.
Why do we need the LMA and the committee to be appointed?
We currently represent a substantial number of clients who claim compensation arising from the two 2018 data breaches. It is likely that this figure will increase significantly in the future and that we will likely represent thousands more clients. As such, it will be impossible for us to take instructions on every element of the case from each person individually.
The appointment of a committee is the mechanism by which we are able to make decisions on behalf of everyone bringing claims against British Airways in order to achieve the best outcome possible in the litigation.
The creation of a committee is necessary and routine in group litigation of this kind.
It is expected that the Court will order the claims brought against British Airways to be managed under a single Group Litigation Order. To participate in the litigation, we need all Your Lawyers’ Claimants to be grouped together to be able to make decisions effectively, to obtain insurance against adverse costs and to agree funding for the costs of disbursements (such as Barristers, Expert Witnesses and Third Party Assistance).
Will I still be able to speak to you about my claim and will I receive my appropriate share of compensation if I sign the LMA?
Yes. We will still need to speak to you about the individual elements of your claim and you are welcome to contact us. The committee will only provide instructions in respect common aspects of the claim on behalf of the entire group or, if applicable, on behalf of subset groups. We will always remain responsible for providing instructions on the individual aspects of your claim.
In respect of your compensation, the LMA provides a mechanism to ensure that you receive a reasonable level of compensation.
What is a Group Litigation Order?
We have reached the stage where our claim and claims brought by other firms of solicitors need to be managed together as they share common or related issues of fact and law.
We anticipate that the Court will soon make a Group Litigation Order in order to manage all of the claims together, and expect Your Lawyers will be appointed as one of the firms responsible for leading the action.
A Group Litigation Order is similar to a US Class Action in that it has the effect of consolidating a large number of claims together so that they can be heard jointly by the court. By entering into the LMA, you are taking a step we need you to take in order to be able to participate in the Group Litigation Order when it is made.
What will it cost me to agree to the LMA?
What happens if I do not wish to sign the LMA and join the GLO?
It will be necessary for you to have the protection of insurance to cover the costs of the claim. It is a requirement of the Legal Expense Insurer that the Claimants bringing a claim through Your Lawyers are grouped together as one Claimant group. It will also be a requirement of the litigation funder too should that be necessary.
This means that if you do not sign the LMA that you will be unable to benefit from the insurance we arrange for you or from litigation funding. This will mean that you will either have to purchase your own policy of legal expense insurance to cover the risk of you having to pay the opponents costs or pay the opponents costs personally. It will also mean that you will have to pay your own court fees, expert witness fees and barristers’ fees upfront.
If you do not have legal expense insurance to cover the risk of having to pay the opponents fees, the Court may preclude you from joining to the Group Litigation meaning that you may miss out on any compensation awarded or settlement negotiated in respect of those Claimants who are participants of the Group Litigation.
Who are the members of the committee?
The members of the committee have been selected because of their diverse range of skill sets and their commitment to act in the best interests of the group. They include a managing director of wealth management company, a senior financial advisor and a Police Civil Servant. We may add further people to the committee in the future.