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BREAKING: Hybrid agency ‘class action’ has enough claimants to trigger legal process

The no-win, no-fee legal group behind the Group Litigation Order says it expects to lodge papers on or before 14th December.

Nigel Lewis

class action hybrid estate agencies

The legal organisation putting together the controversial £20m Group Litigation Order or ‘class action’ against several online estate agencies including Purplebricks says it now has enough claimants to trigger the legal process.

Contractors for Justice (C4J) says it now has hundreds of claimants lined up and that the current will be ‘sealed’ and pre-action papers submitted to the courts from 14th December.

Any potential claimants that are considering joining the action have until midnight on 14th December to submit their intention to proceed via the C4J website.

The premise of the claim is that, in law, these self-employed agents were in effect employed for the purposes of holiday pay and pension contributions being owed by the company to the individual.

The claim is for approximately 20% of each person’s total earnings from the companies that C4J are set to pursue.

Each individual submission is anonymous and is accepted on a no win-no fee basis. If the claim is not successful, there will be no legal fees to pay. There are two choices of fee deal for each claimant with a percentage of any win being paid to C4J on such success.

Individual claims could be worth tens of thousands of pounds, C4J claims.

“I’m frankly amazed at the take up,” says C4J spokesman Peter Fletcher. “From the day that we announced that we were supporting formerly self-employed estate agents in a claim to recompense their holiday pay and statutory pension contributions, my team have been inundated with interest from hundreds upon hundreds of Purplebricks agents in particular’.

Only one agency, Purplebricks, has responded to in the past to requests for comment on the C4J legal claims. Earlier this year it said that: “All Territory Operators entered into a commercial licence agreement and this was clearly set out in their contract with Purplebricks. We have always taken legal advice in regards to our licensing model – and the advice is very clear that these individuals were operating as limited companies, running their own business and with full control over their own staff.”

The Group Litigation Order is to be pursued via an Employment Tribunal hearing.

December 1, 2021

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