UK Trucks CPO: Defendants challenge litigation funding agreements

Cartelists facing applications for collective proceeding orders by the British Road Haulage Association (RHA) and UK Trucks Claim Limited (UKTC) have told a London court today (4 June) that the proposed class representatives’ litigation funding agreements are unenforceable.
 
In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) found that MANVolvo/RenaultDaimlerIveco, and DAF fixed “gross” list prices of heavy and medium heavy trucks between 1997 and 2011 in a settlement decision.
 
Whistleblower MAN received immunity from fines, while the remaining companies received penalties totalling EUR 2.92bn.
 
Non-settling firm Scania was fined EUR 880m for its involvement in September 2017. Its appeal of the EC decision was published in February last year.
 
The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) decided last month to grant a stay of the main CPO hearing, to await the outcome of MasterCard’s application to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the April ruling that Walter Merricks’ 14bn CPO application be sent back to the Tribunal for reconsideration.
 
The main hearing was originally set for June, but the court instead decided to consider preliminary issues about funding arrangements and costs. The truck-makers, led by DAF, are contending that due to the RHA and UKTC’s “unenforceable” funding agreements, the two vehicles cannot act as class representatives.
 
Bankim Thanki QC, representing DAF, said that the litigation funding agreements (LFAs) entered into by the RHA and UKTC were “unenforceable” as they constitute Damages-Based Agreements (DBAs) under the relevant law.
 
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