The Government has announced that the Law Commission will restart its review of the rules relating to class actions and litigation funding.
The Law Commission first announced a review in 2017, but a year later it announced that the review was a low priority and had been put on the back burner.
The Government's announcement that the review has been reactivated will be of interest to potential defendants and their insurers, as well as to potential claimants, their lawyers and litigation funders.
The Law Commission previously released a draft terms of reference in March 2018 which suggested that its review is likely to consider the following issues:
To what extent should the law permit class actions and litigation funding, and are the current rules adequate?
Should the courts have a role in supervising, managing or approving class actions and litigation funding arrangements?
When should class actions be permitted, who should be able to bring a class action, and how should the class be defined?
What is the appropriate procedure for determining class actions, and how should issues that are not common to all parties be resolved?
What, if any, regulatory framework should apply to commercial litigation funders, conditional fee arrangements and crowdfunding of class actions?
How should costs, settlement and the payment of claims be dealt with?
The Australian Law Reform Commission recently published its own review of Australian class actions, which we discussed here. We expect the New Zealand Law Commission will take a keen interest in the ALRC's recommendations when carrying out its review.
We will continue to monitor the Law Commission's review, and will update you with any significant developments. If you or your business would like further information or advice in relation to the Law Commission's review, please contact the authors or your usual Bell Gully advisor.
This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.