2021 was another challenging year but again Lawgistics came out fighting for the motor trade and saw a huge number of court victories against consumers who had either their own overzealous expectations or those of the people advising them. Our results in court and employment tribunals yielded almost one million pounds worth of wins for car dealers.
We have seen more “ambulance chasing” in the forms of emissions claims, commissions claims, and GDPR alleged breaches. All the emissions claims have either been shut down or passed over to the manufacturers. Despite an excess of 100 different commission claims hitting the Lawgistics’ desks, not one single dealer has had to part with their money. Further, the Supreme Court ruling for Lloyd v Google LLC  UKSC 50 in November 2021, gave us more ammunition to successfully fight off spurious GDPR claims from consumers wanting free cash.
Looking forward to 2022, we are expecting this trend to continue. There have already been a number of cases in court during the first week of January. One win from that week was the successful defence of a set aside application meaning our client can go ahead and enforce the £8k CCJ we won for them earlier in 2021. A second win was when our client decided to settle while at the court hearing. Their case had been ongoing for approximately two years and the car was now worth a fair amount more than when it was originally sold, so settling meant our client was in profit.
Consumer reforms are on the horizon following the government’s Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation which closed in October. Under review is whether to make Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mandatory across the motor trade. Also coming up is the new Consumer Duty, the proposals for which were published by the FCA in December 2021. John McDougall, our newest legal advisor & finance specialist, will provide more details as they become available.
In regard to employment law, following another government consultation, we expect to see businesses having to take a more open approach to hybrid/flexible working requests. The April requirement for staff to be COVID vaccinated will only apply to the health sector – there are no regulations which will allow other employers to force their staff to be COVID vaccinated. With reference to looking after employee personal data, we are expecting the ICO to publish new guidance which employers will need to follow.
We will, of course, continue to report on all motor trade relevant legal developments as they happen throughout the year via our regular legal updates. We know from feedback how helpful you find them, and we will, as always at Lawgistics, be on your side.
Impression works with businesses across the automotive aftermarket supply chain such as parts suppliers, warehouse distributors, motor factors and independent garages. Covering all aspects of automotive aftermarket marketing, including social media, event management, customer newsletters and PR, Impression is able to quickly establish itself within a client’s business and work towards their objectives.