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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers
News Group Actions 24th Mar 2021

Henderson Chambers & Addleshaw Goddard Launch the “Seroxat Series”

Henderson Chambers and Addleshaw Goddard, the legal team who acted for GSK, have collaborated to produce the “Seroxat Series” – a series of four video conversations discussing the key takeaways from the successful defence of the long-running Seroxat group litigation.


The claimants issued a claim form in 2007 alleging that GSK’s prescription only antidepressant drug, Seroxat, was defective within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 because it was worst in class for discontinuation symptoms when compared with other drugs in the comparator class.

The litigation was effectively stayed for almost five years from December 2010 after the Claimants’ public funding was withdrawn on merits grounds. Although a number of claimants discontinued, a group of over 100 claimants revived the action from 2015 onwards having obtained third-party litigation funding.

Mr Justice Foskett set out the nature of the Claimants’ case which was being permitted to proceed to trial. In November 2018, Mrs Justice Lambert J was appointed as the trial judge. The trial finally started in April 2019, but it was quickly adjourned to allow the Court of Appeal to rule on the question of the scope of the Claimants’ claim.

Following GSK’s success in the Court of Appeal, GSK applied for judgment on the basis that the claims were legally untenable. Judgment was entered in GSK’s favour on 3 July 2020, along with an award of costs, in part on an indemnity basis.


The videos feature Louisa Caswell, Sivan Daniels, Mark Chesher, Gabriella Coombe, Cécile Burgess and Megan Goodman from Addleshaw Goddard; and Charles Gibson QC, Malcolm Sheehan QC, Adam Heppinstall QC and James Williams from Henderson Chambers

In the first video “Careful & Efficient Case Management” we discuss the importance of holding the other side to their pleadings and how strict case management was vital for GSK’s success. The second video “A Holistic Approach to Defect” discusses how, for the first time, the English Court of Appeal endorsed the “holistic approach” to the assessment of defect under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

In the third video “Regulation & Product Liability” the theme is how regulatory approval affects a product liability claim.  In the final video of the series “Group Actions & Third Party Funding” we discuss how third party commercial funders backing individual claimants in the context of large group actions face the risk of significant costs liabilities being passed on to them if the claims fail to succeed.

For more information on the series please visit The Seroxat Series – How to Navigate Product Group Litigation.

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