Comparative Guides

Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.

Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.

Start by selecting your Topic of interest below. Then choose your Regions and finally refine the exact Subjects you are seeking clarity on to view detailed analysis provided by our carefully selected internationally recognised experts.

4. Results: Answers
Cartels
8.
Private enforcement
8.1
Are private enforcement actions against cartels available in your jurisdiction? If so, where can they be brought?
UK

Answer ... Both follow-on and standalone claims can be brought before the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) or the High Court.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP
8.2
Can private enforcement actions be brought against both companies and individuals?
UK

Answer ... Private enforcement actions can be brought against companies only as a follow-on claim under the Chapter I civil offence or standalone action.

Only the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) enforce the criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; while the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service enforces such offence in Scotland.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP
8.3
Are class actions or other forms of collective action available in your jurisdiction?
UK

Answer ... Following CAT approval, collective proceedings can be brought if the following requirements are met:

  • The claimants have “the same, similar or related issues of fact or law”;
  • The matter in dispute are “suitable to be brought in collective proceedings”; and
  • The representative bringing such proceedings on behalf of the wider class of claimants is regarded as “just and reasonable”.

The CAT’s approval order will stipulate whether the class will be defined using the ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ model. Under the former, the representative will bring a claim on behalf of all parties that have expressly decided to participate; while under the latter, the representative will bring a claim on behalf of all parties that fit a particular description, unless some parties expressly choose to be excluded.

In July 2017 the CAT dismissed an application for ‘opt-out’ collective proceedings in MasterCard, on the basis that the parties had not adequately shown how any damages would be distributed so as to adequately reflect the losses suffered by the individual consumer parties, given their substantial number and stark differences. On 16 April 2019, the CoA set aside the CAT’s order dismissing the application. This has now been remitted to the CAT for re-hearing. The CoA denied Mastercard permission to appeal to the Supreme Court but Mastercard have sought leave to appeal directly to the Supreme Court – the result of which will likely not be known until early Autumn 2019.

In July 2018 two collective follow-on claims for damages were commenced against truck makers fined in the European Commission’s Trucks decision. The first is an ‘opt-out’ action brought by a special purpose vehicle, UK Trucks Claim Limited, claiming damages of up to £20,000 per truck. The second is an ‘opt-in’ action instituted by industry trade association the Road Haulage Association, encompassing more than 3,650 claimants. Approval of such claims by the CAT is pending, with the hearing initially scheduled for June 2019. However, on 17 May 2019, the Competition Appeal tribunal adjourned the two applications in view of uncertainty created by the Court of Appeal decision in the Mastercard case. The CAT decided that it was in the best interests of justice to adjourn the applications until either (i) the Supreme Court denies Mastercard’s application to appeal or (ii) until such time as the Supreme Court issues judgment on Mastercard’s appeal.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP
8.4
What process do private enforcement actions follow?
UK

Answer ... Parties that are subject to a competition law investigation or infringement finding may also enter into voluntary redress schemes under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, to voluntarily compensate parties that have suffered loss as a result. A fast-track procedure for bringing claims is also available to small and medium-sized enterprises, where a hearing takes place within six months and the CAT can impose caps on the parties’ costs.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP
8.5
What types of relief may be sought and what types of relief are most commonly awarded? How is the relief awarded determined?
UK

Answer ... Follow-on actions rely on a decision taken by either the CMA or the European Commission establishing a breach of competition law, meaning that the claimant is required only to prove that it suffered damage as a result. Standalone claims will succeed only if the claimant establishes that the defendant breached competition law, and that it suffered a loss as a result. The CAT may also grant injunctions as regards both standalone and follow-on actions, and such actions may be brought in the civil courts by way of a breach of statutory duty claim.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP
8.6
Can the decision in a private enforcement action be appealed? If so, to which reviewing authority?
UK

Answer ... The decision of either the CAT or High Court can be appealed to the Court of Appeal

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP