Recently, the Government’s department for Business, Innovation and Skills (‘BIS’) published its plans to reforms the way in which private actions in competition litigation are dealt with in the UK, particularly in the Competition Appeals Tribunal (‘CA’).
The reforms are likely to bring about a range of significant changes, for both claimants and defendants, but it is clear that the Government is keen to avoid criticism for adopting a “US style” regime.
The changes include:
1. Introducing an “opt-out” collective action regime in the CAT (click here for story)
2. Introducing an “opt-out” collective settlement regime in the CAT (click here for story)
3. Introducing a “fast-track” system in the CAT, intended to benefit SMEs in particular (click here for story)
If the proposals within the Government’s Response are implemented, it will no doubt have a significant impact on the UK’s competition litigation process but it is probably fair to say that most practitioners will be positive about the changes, particularly in relation to the widening of the CAT’s remit, which has been criticised historically.
A particularly important point, which seemingly has yet to be addressed, is whether Conditional Fee Agreement (‘CFA’) success fees and After the Event (‘ATE’) insurance premiums will be recoverable in the CAT, particularly in light of the “loser pays” principle being proposed as a safeguard to unmeritorious claims being pursued. Watch this space…
If you are in need of litigation funding or insurance in respect of a piece of competition litigation, contact one of our specialist team below to discuss the requirements and how we can assist: