Brick Court Chambers

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The Legal 500 2020
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The Legal 500 2020
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Court of Appeal dismisses truck manufacturers’ appeal against CAT judgment on the application of the abuse of process principle to settlement decisions taken by the European Commission


The Court of Appeal (Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, Lord Justice Flaux, Lady Justice Rose) today handed down a significant judgment on the extent to which it is open to the addressees of a Commission settlement decision (Trucks) to advance a case inconsistent with the recitals to that decision. 

The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal which found that such a course would be abusive save where it was justified on particular grounds set out in its judgment.  The Court rejected the manufacturers’ arguments that (i) the application of the abuse of process principle conflicted with EU law (in particular Article 16 of Regulation 1/2003 and the fundamental right to effective judicial protection), and (ii) was inconsistent with the domestic authorities on abuse of process. 

The judgment is here.

Marie Demetriou QC, instructed by Hausfeld & Co LLP, represented the Suez, Veolia and Wolseley Claimants;

Daniel Jowell QC and Tom Pascoe, instructed by Slaughter and May, represented the MAN Defendants;

Sarah Ford QC and Daniel Piccinin, instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, represented the Volvo/ Renault Defendants;

Matthew Kennedy, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, represented the Iveco Defendants.