07:13, June 14 448 0

2017-06-14 07:13:07
Therium funds £3.9bn claim over cartel price fixing

Litigation funder Therium Capital Management has funded a £3.9bn compensation claim against a number of European truck manufacturers who were found by the European Commission to have engaged in illegal price fixing for 14 years.

The claim, run by The Road Haulage Association and solicitors from Backhouse Jones on behalf of RHA members and non-members, will be bought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and if successful, could award those affected with compensation of £6,000 per truck.

It is understood that the list of manufacturers includes DAF, Daimler (Mercedes), Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault, which were fined €2.926 by the European Commission last year for colluding to fix prices.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “UK truck owners affected by the truck cartel have potentially paid too much for their lorries over a 14 year period and we’re determined to get a fair deal for them. This is a chance to get their compensation with no risk to their business or finances.

“As the representative body with sole responsibility for UK road freight operators, we are duty-bound to act on behalf of our members’ wishes. They have made it clear that they feel angry about the truck pricing cartel and want us to represent them. ”

Steven Meyerhoff at Backhouse Jones has instructed Mark Cawson QC, David Went and Stephen Connolly at Exchange Chambers and Brick Court Chambers’ James Flynn QC to lead the claim, while it is not yet known which firm will be representing the truck manufacturers.

Exchange Chambers’ David Went said: “The initial stage involves asking the [Competition Appeals] Tribunal to authorise the RHA to act as industry representative and to set out the basis on which operators can opt into the claim. The first hearing is expected to be later this year.”

All UK truck owners have been invited to join the group legal action, the first of its kind against the truck manufacturers to have received funding. On Tuesday, The Lawyer reported that group legal proceedings had been launched against Volkswagen and Bosch in the Netherlands over the levels of nitrogen oxide emissions produced in its vehicles.