Backhouse Jones, in conjunction with Addleshaw Goddard, have lodged a ground-breaking legal action with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on behalf of the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
The application - lodged on 17 July, 2018 - signals the start of a claim against European truck manufacturers found to be colluding in a 14-year price fixing cartel (the “Trucks Cartel”) between 1997 and 2011.
The application seeks compensation in excess of £1 billion for thousands of road haulage operators who have suffered loss as a result of the illegal cartel activities.
The legal action, which is open to RHA members and non-members alike, currently has over 3,650 road haulage operators signed up with a further 650 who have registered an interest. It is anticipated that the number of claimants signing up will increase significantly over the coming months and this can be done by visiting www.truckcartellegalaction.com.
Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “We have worked tirelessly on behalf of the industry to see fair play. This is a perfect example of the truck manufacturers working behind closed doors. We need transparency. We estimate that the truck cartel will have impacted upon the buyers of 600,000 trucks that were purchased in the UK between 1997 and 2011, amounting to a potential compensation claim of over £5Bn. On the same basis, we estimate that operators in the rest of Europe bought 3.4 million trucks and could also be due compensation of over £25bn.”
Early indications suggest that UK transport operators which opt into the claim could be entitled to damages of £6,000 for every 6-tonne and above vehicle they bought or leased between 1997 and 2011. The claim is fully funded by Therium Capital Management Limited and has the benefit of After the Event Insurance, allowing claimants to participate in the collective proceedings without contributing to their own funds.