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Year in Review 2023

A message from our Managing Director  

This year was one of distinction and accomplishment at our firm. Showcasing our outstanding performance and contribution to the UK’s legal landscape, we began the year by shortlisting in various prestigious award categories. Later going on to secure several wins and commendations, these accolades underscore our firm’s commitment to justice, innovation, business growth, diversity, and inclusion.

We carried on achieving recognition throughout 2023, with rankings in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. On a personal note, I was delighted to be commended in both these guides.

The past 12 months have marked a significant upsurge in the number of class actions being undertaken by our firm, emphasising our experience in group litigation.

Our Data Breach team spearheaded investigations into several high-profile incidents and launched multi-party actions against the likes of Arnold Clark, Capita, and the Metropolitan Police. The team was particularly delighted to successfully settle its hard-fought claim against Equifax this year, securing compensation and justice for thousands of affected clients.

Our Investment Fraud and Mis-selling team continued to pursue justice and compensation for investors and pension holders let down by their financial advisors – notably through collective actions. For example, in Autumn 2023, we launched a case against St. James’s Place for negligence, mis-selling, and overcharging.

In another action of note, in September this year, our Workers’ Rights team launched an equal pay action against Birmingham City Council. The Council may have already paid out £1.1 billion to settle historical equal pay claims, but this scandal is far from over.

This is all in addition to ongoing Dieselgate cases against Mercedes and Vauxhall, and Equal Pay cases against Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsburys.

Throughout 2023, we remained at the forefront of pivotal legal battles, underpinned by our dedication to integrity, innovation, and the pursuit of justice. The year’s milestones, recognitions, and advancements serve as a testament to our firm’s unwavering commitment to our clients, our people, and the wider legal sector. Furthermore, having demonstrated proactive participation in industry events, legal discussions, and media platforms, we have continued to solidify our position as a leading claimant law firm, and a force to be reckoned with.

We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2024.

Andrew Nugent Smith

MANAGING DIRECTOR

January 2023

We were shortlisted in three categories at the Modern Law Awards.

Kicking off the year in style, we were delighted to announce that our firm was shortlisted in three categories at the prestigious Modern Law Awards. The categories were:

      • Boutique law firm of the year   
      • Innovation of the year   
      • Business growth award   

 

The awards identify and celebrate the most outstanding talent and success stories in the UK legal sector, so it was an honour to be shortlisted.

We were shortlisted at the Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards & the Women & Diversity in Law Awards

We were shortlisted for D&I Initiative of the Year at the Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards 2023.  These awards, hosted by Law.com, celebrate top female lawyers who have made invaluable contributions in making the UK legal profession increasingly more diverse. 

In further award news, our firm was shortlisted for ‘Race Equality Initiative of the Year’ at the Women & Diversity in Law Awards 2023. These awards, hosted by The Global Legal Post, celebrate those working in the UK legal sector who have made invaluable contributions to facilitating change and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. 

We expressed our opinion that a rise in UK class actions was good news for access to justice

According to research by Thomson Reuters, the value of UK competition class-actions launched in 2022 surged to over £26bn. That’s up from £4bn in 2021. Commenting on the findings,  Senior Associate Nathaniel Barber said: 

“We welcome the growth in the value of UK group actions. While a long-established means of securing justice in the US, group litigation — and other forms of collective redress — have only recently taken off in the UK. It’s vital that the legal landscape ensures a level playing field and enhances access to justice for groups of claimants who have been harmed by wrongful conduct. That England is becoming the destination of choice for such claims is a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, there is work to do and the procedural and practical framework still has to catch up”.   

Kingsley Hayes examined Meta’s €400mn data protection fine

Partner and Head of Data and Privacy Litigation, Kingsley Hayes, examined the €400mn data protection fine brought against Meta by the Irish Data Protection Commission. Kingsley’s article was published in UK Tech News, 23 January 2023, and can be found here. 

There was an important development in our case against Better Retirement Group (BRG)

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) announced the failure of Better Retirement Group (BRG), which facilitated many transfers from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The failure meant that claims made against the business by our Investment Fraud & Mis-selling team were likely to be valid, and that the company is guilty of mis-selling.   

Our Investment Fraud & Mis-selling team alerted people to two common forms of mis-selling

      • Personal Equity Plan (PEP) mis-selling. In recent years, an increasing number of people have complained about the way PEPs were sold, with many investors losing huge sums of money. 
      • Property investment fraud and mis-selling. Our expert lawyers have helped many people recover their losses after investing in property schemes. Quite often, these investments turned out to be fraudulent. All too often, promises of significant returns never materialised.  Victims sometimes invested in property developments that were never built. 

We launched an investigation into the Arnold Clark data breach

In January 2023, customers of Arnold Clark may have had their personal information exposed following a data hack. The breach happened after hackers broke into the car dealer’s systems. The cybercriminals then demanded a multi-million-pound ransom and threatened to upload customer information to the dark web if they were not paidTens of thousands of people were thought to be at risk. Our Data Breach team launched an investigation and group action to find out what happened and how this breach affected Arnold Clark customers. 

 

February 2023

We boosted our team with three prestigious new hires

Already boasting some of the most formidable solicitors in the UK, we further strengthened our team with three prestigious new hires. 

Associate Bill Singer joined us from Simpson Millar. He has an enviable reputation fighting against unequal odds to advance cases through the courts, and achieving resolution via negotiated settlements. 

Associate James Kelliher also joined us from Hayes Connor Solicitors. James has vast experience in data breach law, and has been successful on a number of multi-claimant and group action claims. We are delighted that James and Bill have joined our team as our firm goes from strength to strength.   

In addition, Paul Neville joined us as a paralegal within our Investment Fraud & Mis-selling team. A seasoned litigator, prior to joining our firm, Paul worked as a paralegal at several international and national law firms. 

We raised awareness about stocks and shares ISA mis-selling

Our Investment Fraud and Mis-selling solicitors warned that they were seeing a rise in mis-sold stocks and shares ISA claims. Stocks and shares ISAs are not the same as cash ISAs. They carry more risk and are subject to market volatility. So, while you can earn more with a stocks and shares ISA than a standard cash ISA, there is no guaranteed return, and you could end up losing money

March 2023

We took an important step forward in our case against Mercedes

Handing down its judgment in March 2023, the High Court accepted our application for a Group Litigation Order (GLO). A GLO allows people who have suffered common or related issues to have their cases managed collectively and effectively via a group action. 

A GLO is the best way to coordinate all the moving parts involved in multi-party claims. It establishes a clear timetable and process for all the claims in a case against the same Defendant(s). In this instance, the Claimants were all owners or lessors (or former owners or lessors) of Mercedes diesel vehicles.   

Representatives from our firm attended the CORLA Annual General Meeting

Representatives from KP Law (then called Keller Postman UK), including Associate Nathaniel Barber attended the Annual General Meeting of the Collective Redress Lawyers Association (CORLA) at the Law Society.

Established in November 2021, CORLA was founded by a group of law firms that are deeply committed to improving access to justice for claimants by way of collective redress.

KP Law is a founding member of CORLA, alongside Edwin Coe, Hausfeld, Leigh Day, Milberg London, and PGMBM. Nathaniel is CORLA’s Membership Secretary.

modern law awards

Our firm was Highly Commended in the Modern Law Awards 2023

We were absolutely delighted to have been Highly Commended at the 2023 Modern Law Awards for the Boutique Law Firm of the Year (11+ employees) category. 

D&I initiative

We won ‘D&I Initiative of the Year’ at the Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards

We were thrilled to win ‘D&I Initiative of the Year’ at this year’s Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards. 

We won ‘Race Equality Initiative of the Year’ at the Women & Diversity in Law Awards

We were absolutely delighted to win ‘Race Equality Initiative of the Year’ at the Women & Diversity in Law Awards 2023. 

We celebrated IWD 2023

In March 2023, our firm’s Women’s Network hosted a series of events, including a panel event to celebrate IWD2023.

We featured in The Times’ Financial & Legal Checklist

We were pleased to share that our firm was featured in The Times’ Financial & Legal Checklist, published on Saturday, 25 March 2023.  

Bill Singer and Kingsley Hayes commented on the Arnold Clark data breach

Bill Singer commented on the damaging leak of Arnold Clark customers’ personal data in Car Dealer Magazine. While Head of Data and Privacy Litigation, Kingsley Hayes, discussed the Arnold Clark cyberattack in UK Tech News. 

Kingsley Hayes discussed the ransomware attack on The Guardian in New Law Journal

Partner and Head of Data and Privacy Litigation, Kingsley Hayes, examined the growing cybersecurity threat to UK businesses in light of The Guardian ransomware attack. Kingsley’s article was published in New Law Journal and can be found here. 

April 2023

We were shortlisted at The Lawyer Awards 2023

In April 2023, we were shortlisted for the ‘Litigation Boutique Firm of the Year’ category at The Lawyer Awards 2023.

The Lawyer Awards recognise the UK’s most exceptional legal talent for two decades and are among the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the British legal sector. We were delighted to have been identified as an outstanding performer in this category.

We launched a data breach group action against Cambian Group

In January 2023, Cambian Group, which is one of the largest children’s social care providers in the UK, discovered “unauthorised activity” on its computer systems. In April, our data breach team launched an investigation to find out how this data privacy breach was allowed to happen, and how the security incident affects those who use Cambian’s services.

Kingsley Hayes commented on TikTok’s ICO fine in the International Business Times and UK Tech News

Head of Data and Privacy Litigation, Kingsley Hayes, commented on how TikTok’s £12.7 million fine by the ICO represented a clear neglect to protect young children in the UK after unlawfully processing their data. Kingsley’s comments were published in the International Business Times, and in UK Tech News.

Associate Bill Singer commented in The Sunday Post on the extent of Arnold Clark’s data breach

Associate Bill Singer provided details on the extent of Arnold Clark’s data breach and the harm this has caused for many customers. Bill’s comments were published in The Sunday Post and can be read here. 

May 2023

We launched a new data breach group action following the Capita data breach

In March 2023, Capita experienced a ransomware cyber-attack. Following the security incident, criminals exfiltrated some data from Capita’s servers. Over half a million UK pension holders could be affected by this data security incident.  

Our cyber experts are investigating this breach to find out what happened, which pension plans are involved, and how the breaches affect victims.

Our data breach team commented on the European Court of Justice’s GDPR compensation threshold ruling

We discussed the implications of the European Court of Justice’s recent refusal to set a minimum threshold for data protection compensation claimsOur comments were published in The Register, in Law360 and in Legal Futures. 

June 2023

lawyer awards

We were commended at The Lawyer Awards 2023

We were delighted to receive a commendation for ‘Litigation Boutique Firm of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards 2023. The Lawyer Awards recognise the UK’s most exceptional legal talent, and are among the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the British legal sector.

Our commendation in this category is testament to the continued success and dedication of our outstanding team.   

We launched a new data breach group action against MOVEit/Zellis

In June 2023, hackers exploited a security flaw in the MOVEit file transfer software. The breach affects several global organisations that use this software. Payroll provider Zellis is one organisation affected. Zellis provides payroll support services to hundreds of companies in the UK. 

Our cyber experts are investigating the breach to find out what happened, which organisations are involved, and how the breach affects their employees.  

Ben Rees discussed the new FCA powers to combat misleading and fraudulent claims

Investment Fraud & Mis-selling Technical Director Ben Rees discussed the new FCA powers to combat misleading and fraudulent claims. Ben’s article was published in Law360 and can be found here. 

James Kelliher commented in Computer Weekly on recent ICO reprimands for individual data breaches

Associate James Kelliher discussed how the ICO reprimands are failing to hold those responsible for data breaches to account. James’s comments were published in Computer Weekly and can be found here. 

Bill Singer commented on the Arnold Clark data breach claim

Associate Bill Singer commented on the ongoing Arnold Clark data breach claim and the fraud risks to those impacted. Bill’s comments were published in Computer Weekly and can be read here. 

Kingsley Hayes discussed the Zellis data breach

Partner and Head of Data and Privacy Litigation, Kingsley Hayes, commented on the hack of payroll service provider Zellis via third-party file transfer software MOVEit in Infosecurity Magazine. Kingsley’s comments were also published in The Stack, Employer News and UK Tech News. 

Kingsley Hayes argued for live facial recognition regulation

Kingsley Hayes also discussed the regulatory hole surrounding the use of live facial recognition in the UK. Kingsley’s article was published in Computer Weekly, and can be found here. 

Kingsley Hayes discussed the class action data privacy implications of Prismall v Google in Law360

In addition, Kingsley Hayes discussed the High Court’s judgment in the Prismall v. Google case and its future implications for data privacy group litigation. Kingsley’s article was published in Law360 and can be found here. 

We took part in the London Legal Walk

In June, several of our London team took part in the London Legal Walk. This year, a record 16,000 walkers took to the streets and parks of London, including the lord chancellor, lord chief justice and master of the rolls. Thank you to everyone who donated to this campaign, which helps to fund much needed frontline free legal advice agencies.

July 2023

We launched a crisis response service for pension providers affected by the Capita data breach

As well as helping claimants get justice and compensation through our group action, in July, our data breach team launched a crisis response service to offer support to pension schemes suffering the consequences of the Capita data breach through no fault of their own.

Empowering scheme administrators to take charge of the rectification process on their members’ behalf, we provided legal services to scheme members and helped schemes to support their members’ compensation claims for damages against Capita.

Alessio Ianiello commented on the FCA’s new consumer duty

Following the introduction of the FCA’s much-anticipated Consumer Duty, financial regulatory compliance solicitor Alessio Ianiello, associate in our Investment Fraud & Mis-Selling team shared his thoughts. 

You can read what Alessio had to say in IFA magazine. 

August 2023

We launched a group action and investigation following the Metropolitan Police data breach

In August 2023, the Metropolitan Police (the Met) experienced a data breach after a cyber security incident. The breach happened after an unauthorised party gained access to the systems of one of the force’s suppliers. The security failure involved Digital ID, a company which makes warrant cards and identification badges. Our data breach team began investigating this incident.

Ben Rees commented on the growing risk of investment fraud in the private wealth sector

Technical Director Ben Rees commented on the risk of increasing investment fraud in the private wealth sector being driven by rapid developments in artificial intelligence and deepfake technology. Ben’s comments were published in TheWealthNet and can be found here. 

Lucy Burrows discussed the ICO’s warning to firms over generative AI risks

Associate Lucy Burrows examined the ICO’s warning to businesses over the data privacy risks that generative AI poses. Lucy’s article was published in Data Centre Review and can be found here. 

Kingsley Hayes commented on the EU Digital Services Act

Partner and Head of Data and Privacy Litigation Kingsley Hayes commented on the roll-out of the Act and its implications for Big Tech. Kingsley’s comments were published in Reuters and can be found here. 

James Kelliher discussed the ICO’s intervention in the Farage/NatWest privacy dispute

Associate James Kelliher considered the main takeaways from the ICO’s action in the Farage/NatWest privacy dispute. James’s article was published in Law360 and can be read here. 

September 2023

We launched a Birmingham Council equal pay action

In September 2023, Birmingham City Council issued a Section 114 notice. As a result, spending on all but essential services will now be stopped.   

The reason for the financial collapse has been linked to the Council’s inability to meet the £760 million it owes following multiple equal pay claims. But while some Council leaders have tried to blame those workers fighting for equality for the crisis, the bottom line is that the Council owes money for unfairly discriminating against women.  But the fight for equal pay at Birmingham City Council is far from over!  

We launched a group action to help those who have not yet received justice and compensation for the Council’s failures get what they are owed. 

Our Investment Fraud & Mis-selling team launched an action against St. James’s Place

St. James’s Place (SJP) provides financial planning and investment services. But not all SJP’s 850,000 plus clients are getting the service they expect and pay for.  

  • Bad financial advice has resulted in some SJP clients making inappropriate investments, often with a higher risk profile than suitable  
  • Some SJP clients have been misled about the potential performance expectations of the funds they invested in  
  • Some clients have paid significantly more to invest with SJP, despite almost identical but cheaper funds being available  
  • Many SJP clients are paying regular, and sometimes substantial, adviser fees for a review service they are not receiving  
  • Others have seen significant fee increases since investing with SJP.  

 

We launched a group action to help affected SJP clients get compensation for this negligence, mis-selling and overcharging. 

October 2023

We ranked Tier 1 for Group Litigation: Claimant in The Legal 500 UK Guide 2024

group litigation: claimant

We were delighted to be ranked Tier 1 in The Legal 500 UK 2024 guide for Group Litigation: Claimant.  

The guide recognised our Firm’s “bespoke and individualised service”, commending the team for our sharp client focus and ability to represent customers and workers against large and well-resourced organisations. 

Our Managing Director Andrew Nugent Smith was also recognised as a Leading Individual in this field. Other members of our talented team were also commended in the 2024 guide. This included Partners Mark Kenkre and Kingsley Hayes, as well as our Legal Director (now Partner) Hannah Wright Jones. Senior Associates Nathaniel Barber and Lesley-Ann Ainsworth were also noted as key lawyers. 

We were ranked in the Chambers and Partners UK 2024 Guide

Chambers and Partners UK 2024 Guide

Also this month, our firm was ranked Band 2 in the Chambers and Partners UK 2024 Guide for Group Litigation: Claimant. 

Members of our senior team were commended for their expertise, with Managing Director Andrew Nugent Smith ranked Band 2, Partner and Head of Investment Fraud and Mis-selling Mark Kenkre ranked Band 3, and Senior Associate Nathaniel Barber noted as an Associate to Watch. 

The guide noted our experience in representing consumer classes, affirming that we are “well equipped to handle complex and substantial group claims across a broad spectrum, including workers’ rights, emissions litigation, data breaches and financial mis-selling.” 

Hannah Wright Jones was promoted to Partner

We were delighted to announce that Hannah Wright Jones had been promoted to the position of Partner. Hannah’s depth of experience and outstanding legal acumen have been instrumental in our biggest cases. Her promotion is a recognition of her value to the firm and a vote of confidence in her ability to help lead our groundbreaking work in the class action sector.

November 2023

Andrew Nugent Smith attended the Global Class Actions Symposium in London

On 13 and 14 November, legal specialists from across the globe gathered in London to discuss and debate the hottest topics in the class actions space. Our Managing Director, Andrew Nugent Smith, joined other experienced class action lawyers from the fields of competition, the environment, consumer protection, Big Tech, and finance and securities, at the prestigious event.

Lesley-Ann Ainsworth and Lucy Burrows nominated for the Women & Diversity in Law Awards

We were delighted that Senior Associate Lesley-Ann Ainsworth and Associate Lucy Burrows were nominated at the Women & Diversity in Law Awards 2024. Recognising the exceptional individuals and teams making the UK legal profession more diverse and inclusive, the awards will take place in London on 13 March next year. 

We looked at the ICO’s latest draft Data Protection Fining Guidance

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ensures that organisations in the UK follow the latest data protection rules. It has the power to impose substantial fines on organisations that don’t take their data protection responsibilities seriously, but it doesn’t always issue a fine if an organisation gets something wrong.  

In Data Protection Fining Guidance (currently in draft format), the ICO has outlined its process for determining whether to punish companies that have failed to safeguard personal data. We looked at this guidance in more detail.

December 2023

We wished all our clients a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

As we approached the end of another year, we wished all our clients a joyful and healthy Christmas and New Year.  

We value the relationships we have built with you and are truly grateful for the opportunity to represent you. We look forward to continuing to work hard for you next year.  

Thank you once again for choosing us as your consumer-champion law firm.  May you find peace and happiness in the company of family and friends, and may the new year bring you prosperity, good health, and success.  

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  

About our firm

Experts in a wide range of commercial, employment and consumer litigation, when it comes to getting justice for our clients against big companies, we don’t just even the score, we take the fight to them.

The strength and means of our firm ensure that we never have to back down from a challenge. And with access to whatever resource we need – be that time to go the long-haul or the expertise to delve deep into the evidence – we have everything it takes to win.

With years of experience working in commercial litigation and a genuine understanding of the inner workings of large defendants, our knowledge of the business world sets us apart from the usual group action law firm. In addition, our deep understanding of the litigation system – from the best people to use on any case to the most effective technical approach – means we are perfectly placed to deliver justice.

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