Which? has been granted permission by the Supreme Court to intervene in the landmark hearing in Merricks v Mastercard to be heard on 13 and 14 May, represented by Hausfeld and Tristan Jones of Blackstone Chambers.
The Supreme Court will hear Mastercard’s appeal in the class action brought by former financial ombudsman, Walter Merricks. In deciding the appeal, the Court will determine the test which will be applied at the certification stage to all future consumer collective actions. Which? is intervening to provide wider context to the Court of the importance of the decision in ensuring that the regime is able to operate effectively to provide redress to consumers.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal initially refused to certify the claim, finding that it did not meet the standard required under the Consumers Rights Act 2015 to go forward to trial. However, the Court of Appeal overruled the Tribunal in April last year, finding that the Tribunal had applied too strict a test at the certification stage. Mastercard is now challenging the Court of Appeal’s judgment before the Supreme Court and is it likely that the Supreme Court will set the standard that future opt-out claims need to meet.
Which? advocated in favour of the introduction of opt-out collective redress for consumers via the Consumer Rights Act 2015, having brought the first opt-in action for redress on behalf of consumers against JJB Sports plc for overpriced football shirts in 2008.
Hausfeld Managing Partner and Vice Chair, Anthony Maton, said: “The Supreme Court’s ruling will be of pivotal importance to the UK’s collective actions regime and we are pleased to be working with Which? on this crucial matter to help try and ensure the regime’s future success.”
Caroline Normand, Which? Director of Advocacy, said: “Which? has long campaigned for a collective redress scheme, but with no claim under the new regime reaching a full trial, consumers have not yet had the results they need. “This Supreme Court hearing is therefore a vital one for consumers and Which? has intervened to ensure the regime achieves its purpose of providing real access to justice.”
The case has been reported widely in the press.