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Freshfields helps Mastercard defeat £14bn class action

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) has acted for Mastercard on its successful defence of what is believed to be the largest claim ever brought before the UK courts - a proposed consumer class action claim relating to interchange fees, being brought on behalf of around 46 million consumers, for a period ranging over 16 years and for damages claimed in excess of £14 billion.

In a landmark judgment delivered today, the specialist Competition Appeal Tribunal has dismissed the application to certify the proceedings, accepting Mastercard’s arguments that the claims were not suitable for certification.  The principal reason was that, even if loss had been suffered and could be estimated across the whole class, there was no way of ensuring that a class member would receive distribution of an amount compensating any actual loss suffered.

This judgment is an important development for the UK’s collective actions regime. Additional clarity has been given as the criteria to be satisfied and the evidence required to grant certification of collective actions in the UK. The judgment also addresses the terms of funding arrangements that can be used by those bringing collective actions.

Today’s result is testament to the work by all the teams involved – Mastercard’s in-house team led by Jim Masterson and John McLaren; the Counsel team comprising Mark Hoskins QC, Tony Singla and Hugo Leith of Brick Court Chambers, Matthew Cook of One Essex Court Chambers, specialist cost Counsel Ben Williams QC and Roger Mallalieu of 4 New Square Chambers; and the team at Freshfields led by partners Jon Lawrence, Jonathan Isted, Mark Sansom and Nick Frey, and the associate team led by Lauma Skruzmane and comprising Simon Duncombe, Ingrid Rois and Amy Rawson.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms.  Our commitment, local and multi-national expertise and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most.

 

The Freshfields team was led by: