Concordia warrant challenge is dismissed

16 Jan 2019

Thee Competition And Markets Authority v Concordia International Rx (UK) Ltd [2019] EWHC 47 (Ch)

The High Court (Marcus Smith J) has today dismissed Concordia’s long running challenge to the warrant granted to the CMA in respect of Concordia’s premises in October 2017. The ruling concerns the first challenge to a warrant granted under the Competition Act 1998.

The decision is the subject of an open judgment in which the Judge rejected Concordia’s argument that the CMA had no reasonable basis for seeking a warrant at an advanced stage of investigations concerning Concordia. The judge reached the conclusion that the warrants were justified on the basis of the evidence which he had found was subject to public interest immunity (PII) and which Concordia had not seen.

The judgment is here. It is the latest in a series of judgments arising from the challenge which also include:

  • The judgment of the Court of Appeal in August 2018 that evidence which is subject to PII (and which cannot be disclosed to the challenging party) may be taken into account as part of a closed material procedure to determine the challenge;
  • The ruling of HHJ Matthews that a special advocate should not be appointed in connection with the challenge;
  • The ruling of Marcus Smith J in December 2018 that evidence relevant to the challenge was subject to PII. This evidence was considered in a closed material proceeding as part of the final hearing.

Mark Brealey QC acted for Concordia. Rob Williams acted for the CMA.