Looking Forward Into 2024 and Beyond: Seven Trends in UK Disputes

February 7, 2024

The coming year promises to be a pivotal one for litigation in the United Kingdom, with a number of changes on the horizon that will influence the way disputes are administered and resolved.

We explore seven trends that will define the litigation landscape in 2024, ranging from the integration of advanced technologies like AI and crypto into both legal and commercial processes, to the complex legal challenges emerging from geopolitical conflicts and climate change.

The first trend examines the continued expansion of collective or class actions in the UK since the landmark Merricks decision by the UK Supreme Court in 2020. The second trend delves into the ramifications of the July 2023 UK Supreme Court decision in PACCAR and subsequent legislative instruments that Parliament is set to enact this year, in particular addressing their impact on opt-out competition collective action proceedings. Third, the article sheds light on recent court decisions indicating a growing inclination towards judicial intervention through anti-suit injunctions. This intervention has so far aimed to prevent claims from being brought in Russia, even where such actions breach arbitration agreements pointing to seats outside of England. The fourth trend highlights judicial and statutory developments under the Arbitration Act 1996, including some questions raised more broadly for the arbitration community following the high-profile decision in Nigeria v P&ID involving corruption during the underlying arbitration proceedings. The fifth trend highlights several novel ways claimants have been seeking to enforce environmental and social issues through the courts, and how ongoing litigation in Europe and the US may shape the UK’s legal landscape going forward. Finally, we discuss how technological developments in AI and crypto assets, including their regulation, are likely to feature in English litigation.

Please click here to read the full trend series.