We are delighted that our overview of collective damages claims in competition cases in the UK has just been published as part of Global Competition Review’s new Guide to Private Litigation.
The Guide includes 21 chapters written by leading practitioners, exploring in depth the key themes raised in competition litigation across the globe. We are proud to have contributed the chapter covering the UK, which draws on our expertise in conducting complex private antitrust litigation matters before the UK courts and providing expert strategic advice on private enforcement risks. You can access the chapter here. The rest of the Guide is available for free to GCR subscribers here.
The UK has long been a forum of choice for private enforcement of competition law, collectively or otherwise. Our chapter considers the current trends in collective or class actions and claims aggregation in the UK, and highlights some of the key issues that have arisen in recent cases. We focus in particular on the specific opt-out collective actions regime before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), and the issues which have arisen in the two cases which have so far proceeded to a certification hearing: Pride v Gibson and Merricks v Mastercard. At the time of writing the chapter, seven applications for a collective proceedings order (CPO) had been made to the CAT under the expanded regime introduced in 2015, and an eighth CPO application has since been made (in December 2019, in connection with the European Commission’s infringement decisions in the Forex cartel). While none of these applications has yet successfully obtained certification (seven are pending determination), the sense of momentum behind the expanded regime is increasing. The Supreme Court’s hotly anticipated judgment in Merricks v Mastercard later this year is expected to have a considerable bearing on where the balance lies between facilitating redress and avoiding the risk of unmeritorious class claims, and indeed on the future of collective proceedings in the CAT.
The chapter also consider trends and key issues arising in claims brought by multiple claimants via other routes available to claimants seeking to bring collective actions (i.e. joint claims by parties that are not related) in the UK, namely representative actions, GLOs, informal claims aggregation and joint case management before both the High Court and the CAT. Finally, we also briefly touch on the issue of settlement, which has its own dynamics in the context of collective claims, whichever of the procedural routes is originally followed when bringing the claim.
If you have any questions about any of the issues covered in this chapter please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss further.