In group claims, where lots of people have been affected by the same problem, lawyers will need to investigate the claims on two levels: firstly the elements of the case that are common to all claimants and secondly those that are specific to each individual. So, for example, a successful shareholder claim might start with an investigation into whether the statements made in a prospectus were true as these would be common to all. Then individual cases would be reviewed to check that each claimant did see the prospectus, how many shares they purchased etc. etc.
The investigation phase often takes a few months as the timing of it coincides with a membership drive to generate new claimants. With new claimants comes more evidence to help the investigation.
At the end of the investigation phase, claimants can expect to receive advice from the legal team (solicitors and barrister) which sets out:
1. the legal basis for the claim
2. the strengths and weaknesses of the case;
3. a strategy for winning the claim; and
4. how likely the claim is to succeed.
TYPICAL TIMESCALE – THREE MONTHS
Step two: Pre action correspondence (Protocol)