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Supreme Court cites Zuckerman on Civil Procedure, 4th Edn. in landmark case on representative actions


On 10 November 2021, the Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated judgment in Lloyd v Google LLC [2021] UKSC 50. The decision contains some important conclusions about the scope of the representative action procedure under CPR 19.6, which drew on arguments written by Juliet Wells in Zuckerman on Civil Procedure, 4th Edn.

Mr Lloyd had sought to bring claims against Google for misuse of private information and breach of statutory duty under the Data Protection Act 1998, alleging that Google had secretly collected and sold data relating to the internet activity of iPhone users. Relying on CPR 19.6, he claimed to represent everyone resident in England and Wales who owned an iPhone at the material time.

The Supreme Court considered whether the ‘same interest’ requirement in CPR 19.6 was satisfied in respect of the proposed claims. Interpreting CPR 19.6, the Court held (at para 72) that the ‘same interest’ requirement could be satisfied even where the interests of the representative and the represented parties diverge, “provided there is no true conflict of interest” between them. In coming to this conclusion, he cited with approval the reasoning in para 13.49 of Zuckerman on Civil Procedure.

The decision represents an important development in the interpretation of CPR 19.6, marking a shift away from the more restrictive approach to the ‘same interest’ requirement in cases such as Emerald Supplies Ltd v British Airways plc [2010] EWCA Civ 1284.

Juliet Wells is the general editor of Zuckerman on Civil Procedure and wrote the passage relied on by the Supreme Court.

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