Court of Appeal rejects follow on claims for conspiracy

12 Nov 2013

The Court of Appeal has allowed IMI’s appeal against the judgment of Roth J, and has ruled that follow on claims brought in the tort of conspiracy by claimants in the Travis Perkins group cannot be brought under section 47A of the Competition  Act 1998.

The Court found that a conspiracy claim could in principle be brought under section 47A if supported by the Commission’s infringement findings – that may only be in rare cases.  The Court nevertheless upheld the approach to section 47A established in the Enron cases, and rejected a wider interpretation that the claim made need only be consistent with the Commission’s findings.

In the present case, the conspiracy claim depended on showing that the defendants intended to injure the claimants.  The Court of Appeal disagreed with the judge’s finding that an intent to injure could be inferred from the defendants’ intention to benefit their own businesses, noting for instance that the claimants might have been able to pass any losses on.

The Court hence ordered that the remaining conspiracy claims should be struck out.

Click to read the Newson v IMI full judgment

or our case note on Newson v IMI PLC written by Brendan McGurk.