A bit of class action – April 18

We’ve just released a story that UK universities could face compensation claims for millions of pounds – as the first 1,000 students have joined the class action to claim compensation for lost teaching time during the recent strike action.

By achieving 1,000 sign ups at www.universitycompensation.co.uk, our client Asserson, a specialist law firm in high value litigation, now has a sufficient number of students to apply for a Group Litigation Order. The story has already featured in The TimesThe TelegraphThe GuardianThe Times Higher EducationThe IndependentThe Times Brief, and Wales Online.

Working with our Bath office-based associates, Kevin Maxwell, and Andy Fuller, we publicised a league table of the top five universities with the most number of students demanding compensation. The University of Kent topped the list with 13% (127 students) signed up.

The analysis also revealed that 27% of sign-ups are overseas students, and students from most of the UK’s most prestigious universities are involved, including: Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham, Exeter, and Imperial College London.

To date, more than 100,000 students have signed petitions protesting against the loss of lectures and other classes they have paid for through tuition fees.

Our client, Shimon Goldwater, a senior solicitor at Asserson, said in the release: “No other service provider would get away with charging for 25 weeks of a service and cutting that to 22 with no price reduction. There is no question that universities owe students fair compensation.

If the class action is accepted, universities would pay out millions of pounds. Over 20,000 undergraduates attend each large UK university. Paying approximately £500 compensation each to 20,000 students would cost £10 million.”

I would watch this space for future developments, as Asserson has been frequently acknowledged for its work on ground-breaking cases. Most recently the firm achieved the largest ever Human Rights Act settlement against the UK government (£60million) in relation to a group of solar energy firms.