The European Antitrust Review 2010

United Kingdom: Private Enforcement<sup>1</sup>

01 September 2009

The private enforcement of competition law has been one of the most dynamic areas of law in the UK over the past few years. This has in large part been due to a number of changes to procedural rules in the UK designed to facilitate private enforcement of the competition rules. These legislative changes provide a framework around which a body of case law has begun to develop. There has been a steady increase in the number of antitrust claims lodged before the English courts. A substantial proportion of cases have been settled prior to trial which, while reducing the number of published judgments, suggests that defendants increasingly recognise the likelihood of their being found liable to pay substantial damages.2 All of these developments take place against a background of intense policy debate at the European level, most notably the Commission's Green and White Papers on damages actions.3