Costs and timescale
As a "class member" in a class action, you have no fees or costs to pay, since they are all paid by your representative. However, the representative can apply to the Class Action Assistance Fund for assistance in paying some of the fees and costs.
If the court dismisses the class action, you will not have to pay anything to the defendant.
A long time can elapse between the authorization of a class action and the final judgment, in some cases extending to a period of many years. The timeframe depends on a series of factors, including
- the involvement of different jurisdictions, for example in the case of a multi-juridictional class action;
- the complexity of the case or the issues raised;
- the nature and number of the parties;
- the number of judicial proceedings.
The timeframe also depends on the judicial pathway for the class action. It must first be authorized, which may take several months or even years.
In addition, every case is unique. Although two cases may appear similar at first sight, they may lead to different outcomes.