Germany

Germany does not have a general mechanism for collective action; however, collective redress mechanisms do exist for specific sectors. For example, Germany’s model case system, the KapMuG, is used to bring claims against securities issuers. In these cases, the court resolves common legal issues jointly, potentially permitting individual damages claims later.

Germany also began allowing consumer associations and qualified NGOs to file privacy class actions in 2015. Under this instrument, qualified NGOs have the standing to file for injunctions against any data privacy violation affecting consumers in a broad spectrum of cases. 

Broader collective redress for damages could become a reality in the near future, as the new governing coalition in Germany, made up of the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, announced their intention to introduce a collective action law.

The move towards more collective litigation in Germany is fueled in part by the presence of third party litigation funders (TPLF). TPLF has been present in Germany for some time, focused mainly on large commercial and group actions. Following the recent string of high-profile consumer and financial controversies, more U.S., British, and other foreign law firms, as well as litigation funders, have been entering the market.