The process has been slow and challenging, not least because all banks have sought to remit consumer claims from the small claims procedure to the ordinary court, exposing clients to the risk of significant awards of expenses. To counter this we have obtained civil legal aid to protect our clients, but that in itself was a tortuous process with the banks objecting to the granting of civil legal aid to the legal aid board.
We remain of the opinion that the ability of UK banks to push consumer small claims into the ordinary court with an exposure to potentially unlimited expenses is not ECHR compliant. Pursing a case before the European Court of Human Rights is a slow process and two years down the line, we await to hear whether our case of Walls v. United Kingdom will have traction.
That said, the time spent has been invaluable. The process has disclosed the multiple lines of defences through very long and detailed adjustment processes. We know the arguments and defences of the banks. We have ingathered case law, refined and adjusted our position.
The Board of GLC has agreed that we should now move to 'phase two' of our three stage strategy. This will involve, working with our partners at the Glasgow Advice Agency Ltd, raising much larger groupings of litigations on behalf of consumers in the East of Glasgow, and across the South of Glasgow.