National Grid brought a damages claim against a number of multinational engineering groups (ABB, Areva, Siemens and Alstom) which the EC Commission had found had participated in a cartel relating to Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS). In bringing its damages claim National Grid relied on the Article 81 infringement decision reached by the Commission. The engineering companies sought an immediate stay of the claim whilst appeals against the Commission’s decision were heard. They applied for the claim to be stayed pending the outcome of the Court of First Instance Proceedings and any further European Court of Justice appeals. National Grid said such an immediate stay should not be imposed even if the final trial could not be dealt with before the European Courts had reached their final decisions.
The Chancellor decided that there should be no immediate stay of proceedings. Whilst the final trial would not be listed until after any EC appeals, steps towards trial could be taken including the closing of pleadings and the parties meeting with a view to considering appropriate disclosure. A case management conference would be fixed to consider any disclosure issues arising and other matters.
To read the judgment, please click here.
Jon Turner QC and Daniel Beard represented National Grid