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Mirovia, the first international PR and communications network dedicated to the legal sector, has launched a European-wide class-action PR desk to meet the PR and communications needs of clients who are both bringing and defending class action type litigation across EU member states and the UK. The Mirovia Class Action PR Desk, the first initiative of its kind, has been launched to coincide with the EU Directive on Representative Actions for the Protection of Collective Interests of Consumers. The Directive means that EU member states must implement changes in their collective redress regimes by the end of this year, fuelling the trend of increasing class-action litigation across Europe.

The Mirovia Class Action PR Desk has been created by leading legal sector PR and communications agencies – Byfield Consultancy (UK), Eliott & Markus (France), Eye Communications (Germany), Valletta Relazioni Pubbliche (Italy), Gerico Associates (Spain) and Stark Narrative (Netherlands) – and will initially serve clients bringing and defending class actions in these countries. Mirovia has already coordinated significant class and group actions, having launched the first shareholder action against Volkswagen in Germany and the UK in the Dieselgate scandal, and is adding additional Class Action desks across key European and other international jurisdictions as the alliance continues to grow.

The Mirovia Class Action Desk is being coordinated from London by Byfield Consultancy, an agency with significant experience in building offensive and defensive class action PR strategies and campaigns. Byfield has advised law firms and third-party litigation funders on cases including shareholder actions against VW and Tesco, alleged market manipulation in financial markets, misselling claims, and unfair competition actions.

This new service is available to law firms, third party litigation funders, representative groups and companies in single or multiple legal jurisdictions. It allows Mirovia to offer joint legal PR support across its network of agencies and to provide local language support in relation to local media and other key stakeholders who take an interest in class actions. This will expand the network’s services at a time when shareholder activism and consumer related action are becoming more prevalent in European courts – having risen by 120% in the last four years – and companies across the continent are facing more class action suits, particularly in relation to competition, data protection, consumer rights and environmental concerns.

Gus Sellitto, Managing Director and Founder of Byfield Consultancy, said: “Our new class action desk is a direct response to the EU Directive and the increase in class action activity that has already started in key European countries, and which will increase significantly over the next 12-18 months. Class-action claims draw a lot of attention, including from the media, and having a planned and sustained litigation PR strategy in relation to building or defending these claims is going to become more and more important as class action litigation continues to grow. Mirovia can now coordinate PR campaigns at a pan-European or in-country level to provide effective communication campaigns for claimants and defendants involved in class action litigation.”