Group Litigation Order (GLO)
Simply put, a GLO is designed to organise court actions where many claimants intend to make a claim against one or more similar defendants. Most non-lawyers may have heard of a ‘Class Action‘ which is similar.
The Court can then manage the claims much more easily so that they are more cost-effective to run for both the Claimants and Defendant.
The Court will seek a register of names of all claimants who intend to take action together with the identity of their legal representatives.
In due course once evidence is disclosed, it is likley that ‘Test Cases’ will be selected from the Group of Claimants to try determine the issues between the parties at court. Once the Court has determined those issues, they will apply to all of the other Claimants’ on the Group Register.
Further Information on GLOs
Civil Procedure Rules Govern the Workings of GLO
The Rules are copied below for ease:
19.10 A Group Litigation Order (‘GLO’) means an order made under rule 19.11 to provide for the case management of claims which give rise to common or related issues of fact or law (the ‘GLO issues’).
Group Litigation Order
(1) The court may make a GLO where there are or are likely to be a number of claims giving rise to the GLO issues.
(Practice Direction 19B provides the procedure for applying for a GLO)
(2) A GLO must –
(a) contain directions about the establishment of a register (the ‘group register’) on which the claims managed under the GLO will be entered;
(b) specify the GLO issues which will identify the claims to be managed as a group under the GLO; and
(c) specify the court (the ‘management court’) which will manage the claims on the group register.
(3) A GLO may –
(a) in relation to claims which raise one or more of the GLO issues –
(i) direct their transfer to the management court;
(ii) order their stay(GL) until further order; and
(iii) direct their entry on the group register;
(b) direct that from a specified date claims which raise one or more of the GLO issues should be started in the management court and entered on the group register; and
(c) give directions for publicising the GLO.
Effect of the GLO
(1) Where a judgment or order is given or made in a claim on the group register in relation to one or more GLO issues –
(a) that judgment or order is binding on the parties to all other claims that are on the group register at the time the judgment is given or the order is made unless the court orders otherwise; and
(b) the court may give directions as to the extent to which that judgment or order is binding on the parties to any claim which is subsequently entered on the group register.
(2) Unless paragraph (3) applies, any party who is adversely affected by a judgment or order which is binding on him may seek permission to appeal the order.
(3) A party to a claim which was entered on the group register after a judgment or order which is binding on him was given or made may not –
(b) appeal the judgment or order,
but may apply to the court for an order that the judgment or order is not binding on him.
(4) Unless the court orders otherwise, disclosure of any document relating to the GLO issues by a party to a claim on the group register is disclosure of that document to all parties to claims –
(a) on the group register; and
(b) which are subsequently entered on the group register.
19.13 Directions given by the management court may include directions –
(a) varying the GLO issues;
(b) providing for one or more claims on the group register to proceed as test claims;
(c) appointing the solicitor of one or more parties to be the lead solicitor for the claimants or defendants;
(d) specifying the details to be included in a statement of case in order to show that the criteria for entry of the claim on the group register have been met;
(e) specifying a date after which no claim may be added to the group register unless the court gives permission; and
(f) for the entry of any particular claim which meets one or more of the GLO issues on the group register.
(Part 3 contains general provisions about the case management powers of the court)
(1) A party to a claim entered on the group register may apply to the management court for the claim to be removed from the register.
(2) If the management court orders the claim to be removed from the register it may give directions about the future management of the claim.
(1) Where a direction has been given for a claim on the group register to proceed as a test claim and that claim is settled, the management court may order that another claim on the group register be substituted as the test claim.
(2) Where an order is made under paragraph (1), any order made in the test claim before the date of substitution is binding on the substituted claim unless the court orders otherwise.