Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

BMW’s application for permission to appeal appointment of representative party in BMW Diesel emissions group proceedings refused.

Further to our previous article of 18th January 2024 (here) in which we highlighted success in the appointment of a representative party and for permission to proceed with group proceedings concerning BMW diesel emissions cases,  the court heard and refused an application for permission to proceed with a reclaiming motion (appeal) against the decision of the Lord Ordinary (Lord Ericht) brought by BMW on 08 February 2024. Compass’s Robert Milligan KC and Adam Black appeared for the representative party.

 A brief judgment was issued on 20th February 2024 and can be found here.  

 In refusing BMW’s motion, the Lord Ordinary emphasised several important points:

 First, the procedural framework for group proceedings is based on the commercial actions model. In that context, the Inner House had expressed the view that leave should only be granted in respect of interlocutory matters only where such delay is overweighed by compensating benefits which further the justice and effective disposal of the case at hand. To that end, the Defender’s arguments that there was a general point of importance which would benefit the development of the law in group proceedings in Scotland fell to be rejected as such guidance would not further the just and effective disposal of the case at hands. 

 Second,  that the delay which would be occasioned by a reclaiming motion was a relevant consideration in refusing leave to reclaim.

 Third, that the Defenders do not have a strong interest in ensuring the group members are adequately represented.

 Balancing the interests of the parties, leave to reclaim was refused.


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