Michael Hausfeld chalks up the difference to a change in the mind-set of legal society at every level. "When we first arrived in London," he says, "Magic Circle firms were united in absolutely barricading this kind of work, and vilifying any firm doing it as importing the worst U.S. excesses. Now we're getting referrals from the Magic Circle."
Of course, the most important minds to change are those in power. Hausfeld still foresees enactment of a U.S.style system of U.K. private enforcement, and a looser E.U. regime of collective redress. But he also admits that the legal market has evolved enough on its own that such change is no longer essential to his goals.
The remarkable truth is that the British Parliament adopted contingency fees last year, and the legal world yawnedbecause the market had already developed a synthetic equivalent. The same may happen if Parliament ever adopts a formal class action. Don't look now, but the revolution is already upon us.