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Second firm eyes multi-million pound student class action over lecturer strikes

Haan: Claims could be worth as much as £1,000 per student

Leigh Day has become the second law firm to start work on a possible group action on behalf of students affected by the ongoing strike by academics over pensions.

The London and Manchester firm – known for its work on class actions – said universities could be liable for claims from potentially hundreds of thousands of affected students totalling millions of pounds.

International law firm Asserson set up a website [1] to capture students interested in taking legal action earlier this week.

Chris Haan, an associate in the firm’s consumer rights team, said the claim would involve breach of contract and the Consumer Rights Act over missed teaching time with the possibility of each student being compensated for their missed lessons and the knock-on effects.

He estimated that the claims could be worth as much as £1,000 per student, depending on whether a university provides adequate replacement lessons and the effects on the individual student.

“We would urge universities to settle this dispute quickly as they could be liable for a vast number of claims from students who have paid many thousands of pounds but who have, quite simply, not got what they paid for.

“Consumers who are not provided the services they were promised under a contract are protected by the law and we are currently investigating legal action on behalf of students from across the country.”

Cathy Olphin, a student at Lancaster University who has instructed Leigh Day, said: “I am taking this legal action in order to get back the money I have spent via my student loan and not received tuition for.

“This is not a judgment on the strikes, it is just asking the university to compensate me for the lost teaching time.”