Further details of a potentially groundbreaking development in the claimant law sector emerged this afternoon following confirmation that a well-known US firm is poised to enter the market by opening an office in Liverpool.
On Monday class action specialist Sanders Phillips Grossman, along with other US lawyers, will launch a new British firm in the city with 28 fee-earners. SPG Law combines lawyers with expertise in group litigation related to consumer, pharmaceutical and environmental cases. ’The firm combines the talents of some of the UK’s leading solicitors and barristers with the financial resources and expertise of experienced American class action and mass tort lawyers,’ the firm says in a press release prepared for Monday. According to a spokesperson SPG Law is ’trading under the auspices’ of Excello Law, a self-styled ‘new model’ commercial firm founded in 2009 by George Bisnought.
SPG Law’s US parent firm, Sanders Phillips Grossman, has won over $1bn for its clients against major corporations including VW, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. SPG will initially focus on bringing claims in the so-called ‘dieselgate’ litigation involving Volkswagen, in partnership with Chesterfield claimant firm Your Lawyers. SPG is inviting people who bought a diesel VW, Audi, Skoda or Seat car between 2008 and 2015 to join the claim before the claims deadline of 26 October.
By the end of the year SPG intends to have more than 50 employees and be one of the largest claimant law firms in the north-west. The firm said it will offer training contracts and pupillages to local law school graduates as part of its commitment to the Merseyside region.
Founding partner Harris Pogust, who has practised in America for over 30 years, said: ’We want to bring the “US approach” to group litigation to our UK clients and marry that with the talents of some of the top barristers and lawyers in the UK. We see a great opportunity to assist UK citizens who seek recompense for serious wrongs brought upon them by major multinational corporations.
’We have chosen Liverpool as our UK base because we’re big believers in utilising the talent and resource of the region as well as the strong belief that Liverpool is a great place to start a major law firm such as ours.’
British barrister Tom Goodhead, also a founding partner, said: ’SPG Law is thrilled to be launching in Liverpool. We really feel that the considerable expertise and “US approach” of fighting hard for claimants will have a real impact on the market and benefit UK consumers enormously. We want to try and bring group litigation cases to the High Court in Liverpool because not all cases need to be tried in London.’
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry MP said: ’It is fantastic to see Liverpool attracting overseas investment, in turn bringing more jobs to the North West. As a lawyer myself, I have long believed that you do not need to be in London to enjoy a successful legal career.’
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: ’It is a reflection of Liverpool’s standing as a hub for professional services that such a prestigious international law firm has chosen our city for its UK base. SPG Law’s decision to locate here, like Taylor Wessing and the Royal College of Physicians, further underlines the private sector’s growing confidence to invest in our great city.’