United Kingdom

On behalf of the team

On 11 December 2020, the UK Supreme Court rendered its long-awaited judgment on Merricks v. Mastercard, rejecting Mastercard’s appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales of April 2019. [1]UK Supreme Court 11 December 2020, [2020] UKSC 51 The appeal related to the procedure for collective proceedings concerning claims for damages in competition cases. It was the first collective proceedings case of this sort to reach the Supreme Court, and addressed important questions about the correct legal requirements for certification of a claim. The main elements of the Court of Appeal’s decision were:

  • When the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) determines whether claims are “suitable” to be brought in collective proceedings, this entails that they are more suitable for being brought in collective proceedings than as individual claims.
  • At the certification stage, the applicant is not required to meet a certain threshold for the merits of the case or the evidence, apart from the ordinary tests applicable when the defendant applies to strike out or for a summary judgment.
  • Collective proceedings may result in the award of aggregate damages that reflect the total loss of the group, which damages can then be divided among the group in a manner that does not have to reflect the actual loss of each individual.

The Supreme Court referred the case back to the CAT.