Harcus Sinclair and Slater & Gordon have teamed up with a Dutch organisation to co-ordinate their proceedings against VW over the diesel car emissions scandal.
The Dutch group has been formed by Benelux law firm AKD, US firm Labaton Sucharow and German firm Breiteneder, and is called Stichting Volkswagen Car Claim, but is known as The Foundation. It has begun action against VW, software supplier Bosch and Dutch local traders on behalf of some 180,000 Dutch claimants. 41,000 people are being represented in the UK by Harcus Sinclair and Slater & Gordon.
Litigation Futures has reported that the two firms aim are working with other groups around Europe to share expertise, knowledge and resources so far as possible. Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, told Litigation Futures that VW had refused to deal with all the claims in a single EU jurisdiction, forcing claimants to go through their national courts instead.
Guido van Woerkom, director of The Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Harcus Sinclair, who have done an excellent job in paving the way for car owners to seek redress from VW through the courts.
“Since its establishment in 2015, The Foundation has tried to reach a reasonable settlement with Volkswagen AG on behalf of aggrieved car owners, so far without any success.
“[Our board] now sees no other solution than to mobilize all affected car owners to force Volkswagen, Bosch and car traders to accept their responsibility and offer a reasonable compensation.”
Back in January Harcus Sinclair applied for a group litigation order in claims against VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda arising out of the emissions scandal. It was the first group litigation order sought in relation to the scandal on behalf of UK consumers.
And in March The European Commission hosted a meeting of 22 consumer protection authorities from across the continent where it was agreed that a collective action against VW should be prepared.
VW has denied doing anything illegal in the UK or any other European countries.