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Setting the Limits: It Will Now be Harder to Bring Global Cartel Claims in the UK

Kim Dietzel et al., Competition Law Insight, 2016

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On 23 May 2016, the English High Court struck out a €1bn cartel damages claim in its entirety. The judgment, in the Iiyama case, sets important territorial limits on the scope of EU cartel damages claims, in particular where the claims are dependent on a chain of sales outside the EEA. This curtails recent attempts to bring global claims in the UK courts. It is also a relatively rare example of the courts refusing to take a generous approach to the pleading of such claims. This stands in contrast to previous decisions in which the UK courts have been reluctant to strike out claims originating in EU cartel decisions prior to disclosure, and have granted considerablelatitude to claimants in respect of pleading deficiencies justified by reference to the secret nature of cartels. Iiyama constitutes a warning to claimants to state explicitly whether they intend to bring claims which rely solely on the EU Commission cartel decision (follow-on claims) or also claims which go beyond the scope of the decision (standalone claims).

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