The High Court has dismissed a restitution claim brought by a number of construction companies to recoup some of the penalties imposed on them by the OFT in its 2009 Construction Decision.
The OFT imposed penalties totalling almost £130 million on 103 construction companies for bid rigging. Some of the companies successfully appealed their penalties to the CAT and secured significant reductions. Six companies that had chosen not to appeal sought to argue that they were entitled to have their penalties reduced under the principles set out by the House of Lords in Woolwich v Inland Revenue.
Mr Justice Morgan noted that the scheme for statutory appeals under the Competition Act 1998 provided for appeals to a specialist tribunal (the CAT) on a tight timetable and subject to other procedural safeguards, and held that the policy underlying this scheme would be undermined if it were possible for parties to ignore the statutory system and challenge their penalties in another way.
Please click to view the judgment in Lindum et al v OFT