CAT fast-track procedure for SMEs
Produced in partnership with Constantine Cannon LLP

The following Competiton guidance note Produced in partnership with Constantine Cannon LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • CAT fast-track procedure for SMEs
  • Types of claims that may be allocated to the fast-track procedure
  • Practical and strategic considerations
  • Brexit

BREXIT: The law and practice referred to in this Practice Note may be impacted by Brexit. For further information on the potential impact, see: The effect of Brexit on UK competition law in a deal or no deal scenario.

One of the reforms under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which came into force on 1 October 2015, is the power granted to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to provide for a new fast-track procedure for claims brought under section 47A of the Competition Act 1998. Whilst the new fast-track procedure applies to claims for damages or any other claim for a sum of money, it is likely that it will be most attractive for injunctions.Competition Act 1998, s 47A

See further, Competition law and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The CAT’s new Rules of Procedure, published by the government on 8 September 2015 (SI 2015/1648, the CAT Rules), set out the details of the fast-track procedure in Rule 58. Under the CAT Rules the CAT can order that proceedings are, or cease to be, subject to the fast-track procedure at any time during proceedings, following an application of a party, or on its own motion. CAT Rules, SI 2015/1648, r 58(1)

In practical terms, the allocation of proceedings to the fast-track will have three key consequences:CAT Rules, SI 2015/1648, rr 58(2)(a), 58(2)(b), 68(5)Enterprise Act 2002, Sch 4, para 15A(3)

  1. the main substantive hearing will be fixed to commence as soon as possible following the CAT's order and, in any event within six months

  2. recoverable costs will be capped at a level to be determined by the CAT, and

  3. the CAT will