OLG Munich applies German Legal Services Act in favour of claim vehicle
Last week, the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Munich rendered a preliminary decision regarding the German Legal Services Act. This law prescribes rules for the way to provide legal services and therefore the discussion in Germany is whether and how claim vehicles are covered by this act. In its preliminary decision, the OLG applies the law narrower than the District Court (Landgericht) Munich did previously in this case. As the OLG Munich is important for cartel damages cases, this might set a precedent for other claim vehicles in Germany.
What was the case? The claim vehicle Financialright claim started proceedings in Germany on behalf of 70,000 aggrieved parties of the truck cartel to recover a total of around €500 million in damages from MAN, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault. These truck manufacturers, together with DAF, had been fined in 2016 for violating competition rules in the period of 1997 to 2011.
The Munich Regional Court declared Financialright Claims partly inadmissible and its claims unfounded. It considered that the agreements with its underlying parties would not comply with the Legal Services Act and the claim was insufficiently determined.
The OLG Munich came to a different conclusion in its preliminary decision. At the beginning of the appeal hearing, president Müller stated that he considered the assignment of claims to be legally valid. The court also found that the claim was not insufficiently determined. The OLG Munich therefore provisionally referred the case back to the lower Munich court. The Munich court will now have to consider the claims (again). Financialright Claim may then have another opportunity to file the agreements with its underlying parties with the court.
bureau Brandeis is assisting claim vehicles in several cartel damages proceedings relating to the trucks cartel in The Netherlands. Please do not hesitate to contact Sophie van Everdingen should you have any questions.