Increasingly, businesses who have suffered a financial loss because of another business’ anti-competitive conduct are choosing to pursue private damages actions through the court system to recover the losses suffered.
The UK is one of the preferred jurisdictions for bringing private competition damages actions within Europe (having favourable rules on disclosure and wide-ranging jurisdictional reach) and recent changes to the legislative framework have made it easier for claimants both to bring a claim in the first place and to succeed in recovering damages.
The most straightforward type of competition damages claim is known as a “follow on” damages claim. For example, this is where an EU or UK cartel decision has been reached by the European Commission or the Competition and Markets Authority and where this is then relied on in a damages action, as evidence that the cartel took place. The damages claim then involves establishing that the relevant cartelised products were purchased during the relevant period from one or more cartelists as well as the value of the damages suffered i.e. primarily the level of “overcharge” paid for the products which may be attributed to the defendant’s participation in the cartel.
Perfect records are not needed. The EU Damages Directive has directed all Member States to:
The law favours the claimant in competition damages claims, however, most follow-on damages claims settle before reaching trial.
We view competition damages actions as presenting clients with the opportunity to recover a significant financial asset. Often, potential competition damages claims are valued as multi-million-pound claims.
We work with litigation insurers and funders to minimise the financial risk associated with pursuing a claim.
We regularly monitor cartel decisions as they are published by the European Commission and Competition and Markets Authority. If you believe you have overpaid for goods or services due to a supplier’s participation in a cartel, you may have a significant claim for damages. We offer a free initial consultation to assess the potential viability of pursuing a competition damages action.
Competition litigation is part of Shoosmiths’ wider litigation offering. If you would like help finding the right team or lawyer please contact us on +44 (0)3700 863 000 or contact us by email to [email protected].