The Lawyer magazine has published its “Top 20 cases of 2021” highlighting that while constitutional law claims sparked by Brexit have dissipated in the last 18 months, the UK Government and its busy legal team continue to play a major role in 2021’s biggest cases. The Lawyer confirms that 2021 is set to be a busy year in the competition world too, with the Competition Appeal Tribunal playing host to one of the industry’s most anticipated cases.
Five QCs and eleven Juniors at Monckton Chambers were instructed, some in multiple cases, across four of the twenty cases highlighted by The Lawyer for 2021:
- Merricks v Mastercard
Competition Appeal Tribunal, 5 February
“Four years since the case first emerged, with oodles of legal fees spent and judgments from three separate courts, Merricks v Mastercard needs no lengthy explanation. With £14bn worth of damages on the line and the potential to impact 46.2 million adults, this monumental dispute is now heading back to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.”
For the claimant, Walter Merricks:
Paul Harris QC, instructed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan competition partners Boris Bronfentrinker and Nicola Chesaites.
- Good Law Project v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, 17 May, six days
“The UK Government will soon be attempting to fend off a judicial review concerning its £15bn procurement scheme for personal protective equipment (PPE), in what is one of the most notable cases to emerge from the pandemic. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is going up against the Good Law Project and campaign group EveryDoctor in the case, with three separate claims to be heard collectively in February.”
For the claimants, The Good Law Project and EveryDoctor – Brendan McGurk, instructed by Rook Irwin Sweeney partner Alex Rook.
For the defendant, The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Michael Bowsher QC, Ewan West, Imogen Proud, Khatija Hafesji and Alfred Artley, instructed by the Government Legal Department.
For the third-party intervener, Pestfix – Alan Bates, instructed by Osborne Clarke partner Catherine Wolfenden and associate director Craig McCarthy.
For the third-party intervener, Ayanda – Alan Bates, instructed by Lewis Silkin senior associate John Shea.
- R (Heathrow Airport) v Her Majesty’s Treasury and HMRC
Administrative Court, High Court, 22 February, two days
“The airline and retail industries have both borne the brunt of economic challenges posed by Covid-19, so the UK Government’s decision to scrap duty free rules for non-EU passengers did not go down so well. The VAT Retail Export Scheme – which had allowed shops in airports to sell goods without charging VAT – was withdrawn at the start of this year after an extensive consultation on measures in 2020. In response, Heathrow Airport has teamed up with Global Blue and World Duty Free for a judicial review challenge on the decision. They appear in a rolled-up hearing in February covering permission and substance on a number of grounds.”
For the claimants, Heathrow, Global Blue and World Duty Free – Daniel Beard QC, Brendan McGurk and Jack Williams, instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partners William Robinson and Deba Das.
- The Secretary of State for Health and the NHS Business Services Authority v Servier Laboratories, Servier Research and Development Limited, Les Laboratories Servier SAS and Servier SAS
High Court, Chancery Division,14 July, four weeks
“The “ever-greening” of drug patents has caused much ire in recent years as big pharma companies seek to maintain margins. The latest litigation of this ilk comes against French-headquartered Servier, against which the Secretary of State for Health and the NHS allege a breach of EU and UK competition law after it supposedly paid to delay the patent expiry of its blood pressure-lowering ‘blockbuster’ drug, Perindopril.”
For the first claimants, The Secretary of State for Health and the NHS Business Services Authority – Jon Turner QC and Philip Woolfe, instructed by Peters & Peters partners Jonathan Tickner and Jason Woodland, and of counsel Emma Ruane.
For the second claimants, the Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers – Daniel Beard QC, Julian Gregory, Imogen Proud and Alexandra Littlewood , instructed by RPC partner Catherine Percy.
For the third claimant, the Welsh Ministers – Josh Holmes QC and Laura Elizabeth John, instructed by Geldards partner Paul Hopkins
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