Paul Harris QC leads on behalf of the claimants in Walter Hugh Merricks CBE v Mastercard Inc.
The UK’s current regime for collective competition law proceedings was introduced on 1 October 2015 by way of amendments to the Competition Act 1998 made by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The reforms arose out of an April 2012 government consultation and a recognition that it was “rare for consumers and SMEs to obtain redress from those who have breached competition law” (see the extract at §20 of the Supreme Court’s judgment). Given that a key driver of the reforms was a desire to improve access to redress for consumers and small businesses, it may be regarded as a matter of some disappointment that not a single application for a collective proceedings order has yet been granted. Against that background, there can be little doubt that the long-awaited Supreme Court judgment in Merricks will reinvigorate the UK’s collective proceedings regime.
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