Today, on the 1st October 2015, when we are supposed to be celebrating the brave new world of the Competition Act 1998 (“CA”) as amended by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA”), cartelists and other competition law infringers up and down the land must be rubbing their hands in glee at the transitional provisions contained in Rule 119 of the Competition Appeal Tribunal Rules 2015 (“the 2015 CAT Rules” or the “New Rules”).
The glee stems from the fact that these transitional provisions are very broad in temporal and material scope and yet very narrow in terms of gateway they provide into the new promised lands of flexible standalone claims, and of collective redress leading to effective enforcement of private damages claims. The problem, in essence is this: these transitional rules set in aspic for an unnecessarily long time the old CAT regime and all its manifest defects, defects which were the express cause for reform in the first place. Continue reading →
The big news from last week’s UK announcement on reforming private competition enforcement is that the government plans to introduce opt-out class actions for competition claims.
The proposals incorporate various “safeguards” designed to ensure that the perceived excesses of US class actions do not become a problem here. Some of the safeguards are really no more than statements of the obvious – no-one can be surprised that we will not have US-style triple damages, or that law firms won’t be able to bring a claim without even having a claimant. On the other hand, some safeguards – such as the prohibition on contingency fees – will surely serve to limit the usefulness of UK class actions.
Financing aside, the big unanswered question is how attractive claimants will find such class actions (or “collective actions”, as the government prefers to call them, emphasising the differences with the US). Continue reading →
Filed under Abuse, Agreements, Damages, Policy, Procedure
Tagged as class action, collective action, competition law, competition law blog, consultation, DBIS, indirect purchaser, private actions