Project Description

CAT claim against car shipping cartel

In February 2020, five shipping companies fined by the European Commission (EC) for running a cartel had a £150 million opt-out claim filed against them at the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT). The claim is being funded by Woodsford.

The EC found that maritime car carriers fixed prices, rigged bids and allocated the market for roll-on, roll-off (“RoRo”) transport of vehicles into Europe. According to the EC, the carriers had agreed to maintain the status quo in the market and to respect each other’s ongoing business on certain routes, or with certain customers, by quoting artificially high prices or not quoting at all in tenders for vehicle manufacturers.

This follow-on class action is brought on behalf of millions of motorists and businesses who bought or leased a new car between October 2006 and September 2015. Claimants should be entitled to compensation because of the additional cost passed on in the price of their vehicles by the higher transport charges which resulted from the operation of the cartel.

Affected cars include passenger cars and light commercial vehicles such as vans, which represent over 80% of all new car and van purchases in the UK. Examples of affected cars include Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Peugeot, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, Citroën and Renault.

An application has been made to the CAT for a Collective Proceedings Order. Currently, such applications are all stayed pending further guidance from the Supreme Court in the matter of Merricks v Mastercard, the appeal of which was heard in May 2020 and judgment is keenly awaited. Further information on the claim
and updates on its progress can be found at www.cardeliverycharges.com.

Woodsford worked closely with Scott + Scott and Brick-Court Chambers to develop the legal strategy and financial structures for this claim.

Woodsford is confident that the claim will succeed; delivering recompense to the affected car buyers.

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