Anexo Group could see ‘significant’ benefit from any VW High Court settlement
A successful settlement in legal proceedings against German car manufacturer Volkswagen could result in “a significant positive impact” for Liverpool-based Anexo Group.
The business, a specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider with offices in Liverpool and Bolton, is acting for around 8,000 claimants in the ongoing case.
This number is expected to grow following publicity around a ruling by the High Court of Justice on April 6, regarding the class action against Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries.
Mr Justice Waksman ruled that VW subverted key air pollution tests by using special software to reduce emissions of nitrous oxides under test conditions. The High Court ruling applies not only to VW cars, but also to those manufactured by Audi, SEAT and Skoda.
Claimants argue they were sold vehicles that were represented as being compliant with emissions regulations.
In the US, Volkswagen has paid out £3.5bn in civil and criminal penalties since pleading guilty more than two years ago to criminal charges based on deceit. Global costs are thought to have reached at least $21bn.
A specialist team within Anexo’s legal services division, Bond Turner, is acting on behalf of individuals who have registered their intention to pursue a claim against VW.
In the US, individual settlements included a number of options and the compensation packages were set at various levels depending on the age and model of vehicle involved, with the sums ranging from £4,150 to more than £32,520.
In Germany, there was a similar range of options depending on the age and model of the vehicle involved, and the sums ranged from £1,190 to £5,540, plus a payment of £170 towards legal costs. In Australia, the settlement sums varied from £800 to £3,290.
Anexo said the current litigation in the High Court is ongoing and, therefore, the outcome cannot be guaranteed at present.
But in the event of a settlement being agreed, Bond Turner would be entitled to claim a percentage of any damages awarded to each of its clients, as well as legal costs.
Anexo has not currently included any potential revenue from the VW Emissions case in its forecasts.
In order to minimise the impact on the group’s overall cash resources, it is in advanced discussions with a potential lender to fund, at an agreed rate, the associated working capital for these cases.
In a statement issued today, Anexo said: “The board believes that, in the event of a settlement, the percentage of potential damages and associated costs accruing to Anexo would have a significant positive impact on the group’s expectations for profits and cash flow for the relevant accounting period.”
However, it added: “Any revenue from a settlement would be unlikely to accrue until FY-2021 at the earliest.
“There is no certainty that a settlement in favour of Bond Turner’s clients will be reached, nor is there any guarantee that such a settlement would include financial compensation.”