Le Patourel: CAT gives guidance on ‘Trial Tribunal’ transfers

20 May 2022

In its ruling in Le Patourel v BT [2022] CAT 21, the Competition Appeal Tribunal considered the transfer of collective proceedings to a different panel following certification.

Paragraph 6.7 of the CAT’s Guide to Proceedings 2015 envisages that the certifying ‘Case Management Tribunal’ will transfer proceedings to a differently constituted ‘Trial Tribunal’ and will therefore “bow out … to be recalled if, and only if, there is a collective settlement to be approved.” The CAT, however, considered that “in this case, and perhaps in others, there is, in our view, a much simpler solution. This is that the current Tribunal will case manage the claim through to trial and conduct the trial itself. The only issue is if a collective settlement is proposed. But at that stage, the President of the CAT can be requested to, and can appoint, a separate Tribunal panel to consider the settlement.” It held that “the Guide itself cannot rule out the proposed alternative solution”, there was nothing in the CAT Rules to prevent it, and “there are good reasons connected with the overriding objective for taking this course.”

The Tribunal proceeded to make directions to trial, which is expected to take place in early 2024.

The ruling is available here.

Ronit Kreisberger QC, Nikolaus Grubeck, and Jack Williams act for the class representative, Justin Le Patourel, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.