Settlement reached in construction Industry blacklisting group litigation


Settlement has been reached in the final set of extant claims in the ‘blacklisting’ group litigation. The proceedings concerned the use by a number of construction companies, over a period of five decades, of two secret blacklists which together contained the names of over 3,000 workers in the construction industry.

Over 700 claimants brought claims in respect of the loss and damage resulting from the use of information about them held on these lists. Among the Defendants were Sir Robert McAlpine, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Skanska UK and VINCI. Claims were brought in conspiracy and defamation, and for breach of confidence, misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. In the course of the litigation the Defendants made wide-ranging admissions of liability in respect of their use of the lists, and issued apologies. Substantial sums were agreed in the individual claims by way of settlement.

The 11-week trial of the Lead Claims was due to start on 9 May 2016. It had been recognised by The Lawyer as one of the top 20 most significant cases of 2016.

Hugh Tomlinson QC acted for the group of Claimants represented by Guney Clark & Ryan Solicitors. Anthony Hudson QC acted for the Claimant group supported by the UNITE union. Guy Vassall-Adams QC, Ben Silverstone and Kirsten Sjovoll acted for the Claimant group supported by the GMB union.