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Miscellaneous in the Competition Appeal Tribunal

Socrates Training Ltd v. The Law Society of England and Wales Roth J [2016] 4 Costs LR 739

In the Competition Tribunal, where parties are of very disparate means, it is important to strike a fair balance between enabling access to justice for the claimant and providing protection to the defendant from unmeritorious claims. The same principles apply to the assessment of costs in the tribunal as they do in the High Court under CPR rule 44.3. Whilst it is important to ensure that costs are at a level that is not disproportionate to what is involved in the case which includes not only the monetary value of the claim, regard also has to be had to the  significance to the parties of the issues raised.

Agents Mutual Ltd v Gascoigne Halman Ltd [2016] CAT 20 Roth J

Application to vary   a Costs Management Order in the Competition Appeal Tribunal made pursuant to the Competition Appeal Tribunal Rules 2015 r 53(2)(m).  Determination on the papers to avoid incurring disproportionate costs at a further hearing. The High Court did not have jurisdiction to make case management directions for proceedings in the CAT. Parties could not give the High Court or indeed the CAT jurisdiction, which they did not possess. The fact that the parties might have agreed to give the High Court jurisdiction to determine the approach to costs management in the tribunal was fundamentally misconceived. Contemporaneous previous correspondence indicated that there had been no discussion about costs management in the tribunal or that there had been any agreement that it should be dispensed with. Even if the parties had agreed to dispense with costs management in the tribunal, that would not preclude the tribunal’s power to make such costs management orders as it considers appropriate, albeit that any agreement between the parties would be a very relevant factor to take into account.  Application for variation refused.

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