Permission to appeal granted in Air Cargo class action case

02 Jul 2009

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal to Emerald Supplies Limited against the decision of the Chancellor striking out the representative element of its cartel damages claim against British Airways plc (BA). The claim arises in connection with BA’s alleged participation in a cartel in relation to the fixing of fuel surcharges in connection with airfreight services in breach of Article 81 EC. Emerald brought a claim in its own right against BA but also sought a declaration that BA has infringed Article 81(1) EC and in respect of the heads of loss that may be recovered on behalf of other direct and indirect purchasers of air freight services in order to facilitate potential damages claims by them. The Court of Appeal will now consider the availability in English law of a representative claim in cartel damages claims at a time when collective forms of redress in competition cases are under consideration by a number of interested bodies such as the Office of Fair Trading and the EC Commission. Permission was granted both on the appeal’s prospects of success as well as the importance of the issues raised.

Ben Rayment is junior counsel to Emerald instructed by Hausfeld LLP.

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