In December the Court of Appeal issued a key decision on the developing competition class action regime in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), in the context of a follow-on action against major shipping companies on behalf of purchasers of motor vehicles. The judgment is of wider significance for two important reasons:
- It confirms that, as a general rule, the appropriate procedural route to challenge interlocutory case management decisions in collective proceedings (or applications to bring collective proceedings) before the CAT will be by way of an appeal to the Court of Appeal, rather than by way of a claim for judicial review.
- It confirms that there is nothing in the relevant procedural rules to prohibit defendants from communicating directly with class members in relation to collective proceedings without permission from the CAT (overturning the CAT’s ruling on this issue) – though the CAT could impose this type of prohibition on case management grounds in an appropriate case.
For more information please see this post on our Competition Notes blog.