Stuart Carson spoke about competition litigation and cartel damages claims at the Thomson Reuters 5th Annual Competition Law Conference at the Hallam Conference centre on 13 November 2018.

Stuart Carson was part of a group that gave a litigation round-up from the past year. Stuart dealt with the highlights of the year and covered the landmark ruling of BritNed v ABB, the first ever cartel damages claim judgment in the UK. He focused on the implications of the decision for other cartel damages claims and said that practically speaking the decision may have limited cross application for other cartel cases. The decision nevertheless highlighted the importance of choosing the right economic modelling and stressed that parties need to be pragmatic in their approach to settlement. The session also covered tactics and applicable law and jurisdiction, damages recovery (how much and from whom).

The conference followed a year in which the field of competition law has seen a number of significant developments. In addition to clarifying fundamental issues in respect of jurisdiction and applicable law. No doubt this was the first of many.

The first morning breakout session was titled ‘Class action litigation and the Consumer Rights Act 2015’. This session covered the advantages of class actions and whether they were necessary or even viable in competition law post the decisions in Gibson and Merricks (both of which actions failed). It also looked at economic modelling and how this is undertaken, and the future of class actions. Merricks has since been given right to appeal, and certification hearings are due this summer in respect of a truck cartel class action. These cases might shed light on the future of the class action regime.

Industry experts shared their insights on the practical implications of Gibson and Merricks, including comments from the judiciary on what is harm and what is actionable.

The conference was attended by private practice and in-house lawyers, together with regulatory representatives (Ofgem, Ofcom, CMA), economic experts and members of the judiciary. It was designed to help delegates get to grips with key changes and developments in competition law over the past twelve months and included updates on developments in the law, practical insight on its application in practice, and how the economic and political climate impacts on competition law in the UK.

For further information about this conference, please visit the Practical Law website, here.



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