Merricks: the CAT’s first collective proceedings order certification

In a key milestone for the opt-out collective regime, the Competition Appeal Tribunal  certified its first application for a collective proceedings order in Merricks v Mastercard on 18th August 2021. This is the first of several anticipated decisions on applications for collective proceedings orders (CPOs). The judgment comes almost five years since Mr Merricks first filed his application to bring a collective claim against Mastercard on behalf of a group of UK consumers relating to interchange fees.

Hausfeld Partner Nicola Boyle spoke to Ben Rigby from the Global Legal Post:

“Undoubtedly, yesterday’s judgment is a key milestone for collective redress in the UK with the first claim approved to proceed on an opt-out basis.  With the test for certification now established, the regime -  introduced in 2015 to permit an aggregate award of damages for harm to consumers and businesses – can finally take off.”

She added:

“We anticipate further judgments on certification in the coming months with 12 applications for collective proceedings now filed.  These include the Trains action relating to the costs of boundary tickets paid by rail users and the Trucks cartel claims, which will see the Tribunal consider the line between opt-in and opt-out claims. Further claims have also been filed against, amongst others, tech giants, Qualcomm, Apple and Google.”

Scott Campbell spoke to Paige Long of Law 360 (subscription only):

“Merricks is the seminal judgment for the UK’s collective actions regime and we believe it lays the foundations for it to now finally take off flourish. Hausfeld acts on 5 opt-out collective actions in the CAT, including 3 actions filed since January 2021.  We expect this to continue to grow as the regime beds in and the first cases start to get certified applying the Merricks standard.”

Hausfeld Partner Lesley Hannah talked to Global Competition Review (subscription only):

“The decision was a ”significant milestone” for the UK collective action regime, even though it has taken close to five years to arrive following appeals to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Supreme Court. With a number of other collective actions pending before the tribunal, the clarification it gave today on the two further issues arising in the context of Merricks’ claim will hopefully allow other cases to proceed promptly.”

Hausfeld's Competition Disputes team offers an in-depth review of this seminal decision for the UK’s collective actions regime in a Perspectives.