Twenty Years Later: What Are the Risks Faced By Plaintiffs’ Counsel, and How Have These Risks Changed?

AuthorGarth Myers and David Rosenfeld
Pages101-117
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101
TW ENT Y YEARS L ATER: WH AT
ARE THE RISKS FACED BY
PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL, AND
HOW HAVE THESE R ISKS
CHANGED?
Garth Myers and David Rosenfeld
Abstract: The Class Proceedings Act, 1992 was intended to
promote access to justice. To do so, it uses the availability of
premium fee awards to incentiv ize lawyers to undert ake class
actions. Premium fee awards may be calculated as a percent-
age of the recovery or a base fee with a multiplier applied to
the base fee. This premium i s designed to ref‌lect, inter alia, the
inherent risks a ssociated with the conduct of class proceed-
ings on a contingency basis. However, the landscape of class
proceedings litigation has drastically changed since the in-
ception of the CPA over twenty years ago. Class proceedings
have become increasingly more protracted and considerably
more expensive to litigate. This sea change has necessitated
a re-evaluation of the risk s confronted by class counsel in
prosecuting clas s proceedings in order to develop a modern
understanding of the context in which the goals of class ac-
tions are now pursued. This p aper explores the risks current ly
faced by class coun sel with a view to developing a new under-
standing of the context in which class actions are pursued.
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