UK private competition actions
UK private competition actions

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

  • UK private competition actions
  • Reforms introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Reforms introduced by the EU Damages Directive
  • Follow-on v stand-alone claims
  • Choosing between the High Court and the CAT
  • Limitation periods
  • Jurisdiction
  • Antitrust liability
  • Funding
  • Collective actions
  • more

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.

Any individual or company that has been damaged by a breach of EU competition law has a right to claim compensation in national courts of EU Member States. Companies or individuals who have suffered loss as a result of a breach of UK or EU competition law can bring an action for damages in the UK against the party (or parties) that engaged in the anti-competitive behaviour.

A direct purchaser from, for example, a cartelist is clearly in a position to bring an action for damages. The position is less clear-cut for other purchasers in the supply chain, ie indirect purchasers. This may come down to whether the inflated price and the losses are passed on.

Damages actions can either be 'stand-alone' (ie where there is no infringement decision issued by a competition authority) or 'follow-on' (ie an action brought after and relying on an infringement decision issued by a competition authority).

Major changes to the regime were introduced in 2015 through the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (see Reforms introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 below). Further, albeit limited, changes were introduced by the