AXA v CMA featured in The Lawyer’s ‘cases to watch’

11 Nov 2014 | by Caroline Sweeney

A case in which 7 members of Monckton Chambers are acting has been featured as one of The Lawyer’s ‘cases to watch’.

AXA & Others v Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) received the following commentary:

This case constitutes the first substantive challenge to the newly formed Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision regarding the UK’s private healthcare market. 

The CMA decided the various players needed to divest assets to ensure fair competition. 

It follows a two-year investigation by a group of independent panel members at the Competition Commission (CC), which became part of the new CMA. 

Measures included a crackdown on benefits and incentive schemes provided to referring clinicians by private hospital operators and measures to increase the availability of information to patients on private fees and hospital performance.

The new regulator argued that many private hospitals faced little competition in local areas across the UK and there were high barriers to entry. 

It concluded this led to higher prices for self-pay patients in many local areas – and for both self-pay and insured patients in Central London, where HCA, a for-profit operator of healthcare facilities that owns more than half of the available overnight bed capacity, charges significantly higher prices to insured patients than its closest competitor. 

The case is listed for a two-week trial from 19th January.

Tim Wards QC, Kassie Smith QC, Josh Holmes, Ronit Kreisberger, Rob Williams, Anneli Howard and Ligia Osepciu are all acting in this case for various parties.