Scott+Scott UK LLP – 29 Feb 2020 – Press Release

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London – [29 February], 2020 – A group legal action under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 has been filed in the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on behalf of consumers and businesses who purchased or leased new cars and vans. The United Kingdom’s Competition Appeal Tribunal is a court which hears and decides cases involving competition or economic regulatory issues.

The claim is against five maritime car carriers who participated in a cartel in the market for shipping new cars and other vehicles into Europe.

The representative of the claimant group, Mark McLaren, has filed against MOL, “K” Line, NYK, WWL/EUKOR and CSAV.

This legal action follows the European Commission’s (EC) ruling on 21 February 2018 that the above shipping companies had violated EU competition law, imposing fines of over €395m. The EC held that the shippers had coordinated rates, allocated tenders, coordinated reductions of capacity in the market and exchanged commercially sensitive information to maintain or increase the price of intercontinental shipping of new vehicles.

There have been investigations and regulatory decisions by regulators all around the world, including Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the United States, Peru, Brazil, South Africa and Chile. Outside the EU, regulatory fines have exceeded $755 million.

When buying or leasing new cars, consumers and businesses pay for delivery costs and this class action will help to ensure that those who were overcharged get their money back.

The claim is being brought in the CAT as a collective action on an opt-out basis, so that all eligible consumers and businesses will benefit from any damages awarded without incurring any legal fees or risk of adverse costs. The value of the claim is believed to be in excess of £150 million.

Mark McLaren is representing the UK motorists and businesses who bought or leased affected vehicles. He worked for nine years at Which? The Consumers' Association, and currently sits on the Consumer Panel of the Legal Services Board. He is a consumer rights champion who has dedicated his career to fighting for consumers across a range of sectors. To complement his skills and experience, Mark has put together an advisory committee led by former Court of Appeal Judge Sir Richard Aikens, which includes Nick Stace (former CEO of The Prince’s Trust and Non-Executive Director of the Financial Conduct Authority), Kate Wellington (CEO of the Costs Lawyer Standards Board) and Steve Fowler (Editor-in-chief of Auto Express).

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29 February 2020

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