Deloitte Legal joins forces with Frommer Legal to launch defendant class action law firm in Munich

The joint venture, dubbed Classreaction, takes aim at the growing risk of claims in Germany

Igor Plotnikov

Deloitte's German legal arm has teamed up with German boutique firm Frommer Legal to establish a new law firm focused on defending companies against class actions in Münich amid a rise in European class action lawsuits. 

The new firm, dubbed Classreaction, intends to leverage Deloitte Legal’s international expertise with Frommer Legal’s ‘digital and process know-how’ to guide European clients through class action proceedings. 

The shareholders are a combination of Frommer Legal lawyers, including managing partner Björn Frommer and partners Axel Gillessen and Katja Nikolaus, alongside Thomas Northoff, Deloitte Legal’s German managing partner. 

Classreaction’s service offering will include project planning, legal analysis, control of operations and legal process management to guide companies through the full lifecycle of class action claims. The firm said it was set up in response to a rise in susceptibility for German companies regarding class action cases in recent years.

It added: ‘The phenomenon of class action lawsuits is mainly known from the USA. Legal proceedings cost the US economy around $264bn a year, $100bn of which is borne by small and medium-size enterprises.’

‘Due to the high workload involved, affected companies often need support in dealing with a large number of simultaneously incoming lawsuits.’

Founded in 1999 as Waldorf Frommer, Münich-headquartered Frommer Legal uses in-house legal tech solutions to tackle mass proceedings across a number of areas, including copyright, media and entertainment, trademark and data protection and compliance law, among others. 

The firm’s cloud-based legaltech platform, JUNE, will be a key pillar of Classreaction’s service offering. The platform, designed and launched last year with class action claims in mind, maps the workflow of a case on a single platform in order to better integrate clients into the full scope of legal proceedings to ‘guarantee maximum transparency’, the firm said. 

Deloitte Legal has been steadily expanding its European footprint over the last year. It acquired maritime boutique Munari Giudici Maniglio Panfili in the northern port city of Genoa in May, adding 20 lawyers to its 200-strong Italian legal team. 

The deal came just sixth months after Deloitte Legal entered a strategic alliance with top Italian employment boutique LabLaw, in a move both sides said would help consolidate LabLaw’s market-leading position while helping Deloitte Legal grow its international employment practice. 

Earlier this year, a study published by CMS revealed that class actions in the EU and the UK grew by 120% from 2018-2018 as a result of the introduction of US-style opt-out procedures in the UK and the Netherlands, with the number of technology cases having increased 15-fold over the last four years.

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