On 20 December 2021, Waksman J dismissed the Volkswagen group’s strike out application in relation to the test for reliance in deceit. The defendants, relying on Cockerill J’s recent decision in Leeds v Barclays, had argued that conscious awareness was required for a claim in deceit and that the claimants did not contend that they were consciously aware of the implied representations by the defendants that the cars were lawful to drive and complied with emissions legislation. Waksman J disagreed with the defendants that the law was as clear-cut as the defendants said, at least in cases of representations implied by conduct, and refused summary determination. (The appeal in Leeds v Barclays is due to be heard on 22 February 2022.)
Adam Kramer QC was instructed by Leigh Day as part of a broad counsel team (co-instructed by Slater & Gordon UK Ltd and Excello Law Ltd) including Tom de la Mare QC, Oliver Campbell QC and Adam Heppinstall QC.
The hearing also determined the claimants’ application for summary determination in relation to part of the issue of whether the vehicles were of satisfactory quality for the purposes of the claimants’ contractual claim. That application failed on the basis that there was a real argument that (in the respects considered in the application) the defendants did not commit a criminal offence and that the vehicles were of satisfactory quality.
The VW NOx Emissions Group Litigation Order was made in May 2018 and the main trial is listed for 2023.
The Judgment can be read in full here.