UK law schools could face student class action over COVID and strike disruption

More than 30,000 students across England and Wales have joined the 'Student Group Claim'

UK law schools could face student class action over COVID and strike disruption

A multi-million-pound group legal action against UK universities over COVID and strike disruption could extend to law schools, reported the Law Society Gazette. The number of law students joining the claim now approaches 3,000.

More than 30,000 students across England and Wales have joined the ‘Student Group Claim’ to seek compensation from universities over disruption caused by staff strikes and the pandemic, reported the Gazette. The legal challenge is being led by law firms Asserson and Harcus Parker.

Ryan Dunleavy, a partner at Harcus Parker, told the Gazette that just under 3,000 law students have joined the group claim so far. “Our most advanced cases on behalf of law students are against universities, largely because most of our clients have studied at those larger institutions, but increasing numbers of students and former students from law schools are approaching us via the Student Group Claim website,” he said. 

“They are also asking us to bring cases on their behalf for loss of in-person teaching and access to facilities due to the pandemic. Although we have not formally engaged with the law schools yet in those cases, we are actively investigating those cases with a view to taking them forward.”

Should a group claim fail, students will not have to pay. The Student Group Claim website states that students keep at least 65 percent of any compensation they recover, while 35% covers legal fees. How much compensation students receive will depend on what courses they are on, university fees and how their experience was affected by strikes and Covid, but the firms estimate that students will be able to claim on average £5,000 or more.

The claim is being supported by litigation funding and insurance worth £13.5m, the Gazette reported.

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