CAT awards Achilles Information Limited £3.8 million – Philip Woolfe acts for successful claimant

14 Feb 2022
Philip Woolfe

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) has delivered judgment on a claim for damages brought by Achilles Information Limited, a provider of supplier assurance services, against Network Rail.

Until May 2018, Achilles operated a supplier assurance scheme in the rail industry. In May 2018 Network Rail announced that businesses operating in the rail sector would only be allowed access to Network Rail infrastructure if they were assured by the RISQS scheme operated by the Rail Safety Standards Board.

In 2019, the CAT heard at trial on liability ruled that Network Rail’s imposition of the “RISQS-only Rule” was anti-competitive and in breach of the Chapter I prohibition, and ordered that Network Rail must accept supplier assurance provided by alternative providers, including Achilles ([2019] CAT 20). Network Rail appealed against that ruling but it was upheld by the Court of Appeal in 2020: [2020] EWCA Civ 323.

In October 2021, the CAT heard Achilles’ claim for damages arising out of Network Rail’s breach of the Chapter I prohibition. In its judgment of 11 February ([2022] CAT 9), the CAT has valued Achilles claim at approximately £3.8 million. The Tribunal rejected Network Rail’s arguments that Achilles would not have been in a position to continue operating in the market in May 2018, and that Achilles would not have been able to maintain a viable business.

Philip Woolfe acted for Achilles throughout the proceedings. Stefan Kuppen acted for Achilles at the 2019 liability trial.