Back in January, The Lawyer revealed its top 20 cases of 2023, which featured several high-profile disputes that will be playing out in court this year. The Lawyer has now published what it considers to be the top 10 appeal cases of 2023, and we're delighted to report that PJ Kirby KC has featured in the list.
R (on the application of PACCAR Inc and others) (Appellants) v Competition Appeal Tribunal and others (Respondents)
The Supreme Court will decide whether litigation funding agreements promising a fixed percentage of recoverable damages are lawful, in a landmark appeal closely watched by competition lawyers, litigators and third-party funders across the UK.
The appeal is brought by DAF Trucks, one of the five major European manufacturing groups found to have breached competition law by the European Commission in 2016.
The Dutch manufacturer is now facing collective claims launched by Road Haulage Association and UK Trucks Claim, which seek to recover damages on behalf of purchasers of trucks. The class action was first launched in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and is funded by Therium.
The Supreme Court must consider whether the claimants' litigation funding agreements – which promises a fixed share of damages – amount to damages based agreements (DBAs) and subject to UK regulations.
DAF Trucks unsuccessfully argued at the CAT, the High Court and the Court of Appeal that the collective claim should fail because the funding agreements amount to DBAs, but are not enforceable as they do not comply with legal requirements. If deemed unenforceable by the Supreme Court, the likely consequence is that most, if not all, UK litigation funding agreements currently in existence would be unenforceable.
Read the full list here
For the respondent, Road Haulage Association
Gatehouse Chambers' PJ Kirby KC, with David Went of Exchange Chambers and Charlotte Wilk of Gatehouse Chambers. Instructed by Director of Backhouse Jones Solicitors, Steven Meyerhoff.