Josh Holmes QC and Nikolaus Grubeck succeed in Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain strike-out

30 Jul 2021

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has dismissed a standalone damages claim brought by a drinks wholesaler against Coca-Cola’s GB bottler, Coca Cola European Partners Great Britain Limited (CCEP).

Forrest Fresh Foods had alleged various abuses of dominance. Allowing CCEP’s application for summary judgment, the Tribunal emphasised that a breach of competition law is a “very serious allegation” that needs “proper and careful pleading”. Mrs Justice Bacon held that “a defendant faced with such a claim is entitled to know what the conduct is complained of, how that has infringed competition law and the loss and damage said to have flowed from that. We consider that the particulars of claim fail on all three points and the evidence does not serve to remedy that deficit.”

A written judgment with the Tribunal’s full reasons can be found here.

Josh Holmes QC and Nikolaus Grubeck acted for CCEP, instructed by CMS.