The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) flagged in its March 2011 consultation on reforms to the UK competition regime that it was “keen to promote private sector-led challenges to anti-competitive behaviour” and would bring forward separate proposals on this in due course.

Following on from this, we understand that BIS is currently looking at whether a new form of collective action should be introduced for competition claims. Indications are that any proposal could include some form of “opt-out” action, in which claims can be pursued on behalf of a class of claimants who are deemed included in the action unless they have specifically opted out. We understand that BIS is likely to bring forward proposals for consultation in the first few months of 2012.

Kim Dietzel, a partner in our competition litigation group, has been involved in discussions with BIS on these issues. We will continue to monitor developments, together with the competition team.