Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More Road Haulage Truck Customers Join Multi-Million Pound Anti-Cartel Legal Class Action

Pressure from Buyers and Users Mounts on Convicted Price Fixing European Lorry Makers
Shipping News Feature
UK – EUROPE – Legal firm Collyer Bristow has signed terms to establish a claimant group with a compensation claim worth at least £100 million on behalf of truck users that have been overcharged for their vehicles by members of a pan-European price fixing cartel, a case that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has taken particular interest in having previously set up its own group claim against some of the biggest names in the truck manufacturing sector.

In 2016, the European Commission found that truck manufacturers MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco and DAF had operated a 14-year cartel from 1997 and it fined the cartelists a record-breaking €2.93 billon. In September 2017, the European Commission found that Scania had also participated in the cartel and fined it €880 million. The leading truck manufacturers acted as a cartel to co-ordinate their pricing and delay Euro 3 to 6 emissions technologies.

According to Collyer Bristow, companies which own fleets of vehicles could be entitled to compensation worth around £7,800 per truck, based on current estimates. Other companies which do not own trucks but instead outsource their transportation needs to third parties who do, will also be entitled to damages. Any business in the European Economic Area that suffered financial loss from paying higher prices for trucks because of the cartel is entitled to claim compensation.

Working with global litigation funding outfit Vannin Capital, Collyer Bristow aims to help truck users impacted by this cartel, such as hauliers, retailers, manufacturers, construction firms, and couriers, to claim compensation. Stephen Critchley, Head of Competition Law, Collyer Bristow elaborated, saying:

“Firms that acquired new medium or heavy-duty trucks between 1997 and 2011 almost certainly have a case for compensation, whether they bought the trucks outright, on hire purchase or leased them directly from a manufacturer or from a supplier.

“As well as fixing prices, the truck cartel conspired on the timing of new emissions technologies, so it is possible that fleet owners and users incurred extra running costs, too. The compensation claims could run to billions of pounds. We will represent a group of claimants large enough to enjoy economies of scale but small enough to ensure that (a) we can dedicate time to each claimant and (b) claimants retain control of key decisions.”

In addition to working with Vannin Capital, Collyer Bristow will be working with London Economics to help quantify the damages and with two leading competition barristers to represent companies unfairly overcharged for vehicles.

Representation will be at no upfront expense to claimants. The cost of claims will be covered in part by the professional team deferring their fees so they are paid only in the event of success, and in part by funds from Vannin Capital in return for a share of claimants’ damages. Claimants will also benefit from the group’s ‘After The Event’ insurance from a panel of A-rated insurers.