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LAs leave 25% of class action settlements unclaimed
Legal Interview | 2009/10/05 22:32
UK – Local authority pension schemes could be losing up to £125m (€136m) by not participating in class actions, a report from the Goal Group has claimed.

The firm, which provides specialist class action services, calculated that between 2007 and 2008 UK local authority pension schemes lost almost £8.5bn on their investments, of which around £140m could be recovered through legal action.
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Between 2008 and 2009, however, it revealed the losses by UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) increased to £22.5bn while the potentially recoverable funds from class actions more than doubled to £370m, because the financial crisis is likely to create a "far more sustainable stream of cases, albeit at less inflated settlement values".

In total, this means LGPS' lost around £31bn between 2007 and 2009 but have the potential to recover £500m. Goal Group claims, however, that £125m, or 25% of potentially recoverable funds, could be left unclaimed if local authorities do not start to increase their participation in legal actions.

Goal Group quoted statistics from Nera Economic Consulting stating the number of federal class action filings in US courts, the main location for these cases, peaked at 258 in 2008. This was the highest level since 2002, but the report noted the first half of 2009 has already seen 127 cases filed, of which 67% named at least one financial company as the primary or co-defendant.

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