Jurisdiction for competition damages actions
Jurisdiction for competition damages actions

The following Competition guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Jurisdiction for competition damages actions
  • Can you seek damages in the EU?
  • Which Member States?
  • The concept of an ‘anchor’ defendant
  • When the harm occurs elsewhere
  • Jurisdiction clauses

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.

The jurisdiction in which a competition damages action is heard can be of key strategic importance because the court systems of certain EU Member States are often considered to favour claimants or defendants depending on their procedural rules. Issues determining jurisdiction frequently lead to disputes between claimants and defendants early in the proceedings.

The consequences of this forum-shopping is that certain jurisdictions, namely the UK, Germany and the Netherlands have gradually become the jurisdictions of choice to hear (both follow-on and standalone) competition damages actions.

The issues to consider in relation to jurisdiction include:

  1. whether a claim has a sufficient EU nexus

  2. how the rules apply when there are multiple defendants located in different Member States

  3. the approach to the concept of an ‘anchor’ defendant

  4. the circumstances in which claimants can seek to establish jurisdiction on the basis of where the harmful event occurred, and

  5. the effect of jurisdiction clauses in competition damages claims together with the implications for the delaying tactic known as the ‘Italian torpedo’.

See also, Considering jurisdictional issues as a claimant or defendant in a private competition action—checklist.