RHA Launches Funded Legal Action Against The Truck Cartel

13th June 2017

www.truckcartellegalaction.com

The Road Haulage Association is now giving UK haulage and logistics firms (whether or not they are RHA members) the chance to sign up to its legal action for compensation against truck manufacturers found guilty of illegal price fixing.  In July last year the European Commission fined MAN, Volvo Group (which includes Volvo Trucks and Renault Truck) Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Iveco and DAF close to €3 billion (£2.6 billion) for price fixing and other cartel activities between 1997 and 2011.  The compensation claim will be brought before the Competition Appeals Tribunal.  If successful, haulage and logistics companies will get money back for vehicles sold or leased to them at inflated prices because of the cartel, if they sign up to the claim.

This is the first fully funded group claim against the truck manufacturers on behalf of affected hauliers.  All UK truck owners can join the group legal action at www.truckcartellegalaction.com. There will be no cost for hauliers to be part of the group claim. 

Early indications are that compensation could be in the region of  £6,000 per truck on average. Companies that have purchased or leased new or second-hand trucks direct from manufacturers (including Scania) or dealers from 1997 onwards are eligible to join the claim.  During the period the cartel operated we believe around 650,000 new trucks were sold.  Although this legal action is being spearheaded by the RHA, non-RHA members are able to join.

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. Our legal team at Backhouse Jones, Exchange Chambers and Brick Court will seek the best compensation deal that we can on behalf of our members and other UK victims of this cartel. To ensure that as many affected hauliers are able to join the claim, we have secured funding from Therium Capital Management Limited and the largest tranche of After The Event insurance that’s ever been underwritten so there’s no cost to joining the claim, or any other risks if the claim is unsuccessful.”

Backhouse Jones, solicitors, and barristers from Exchange Chambers and Brick Court will lead the claim.  The group legal action is being funded by litigation funder Therium Capital Management Limited, who will cover the costs, including significant insurance cover. The RHA has therefore carefully organised the claim so as to avoid any cost or risk to hauliers joining the legal action.

On behalf of the legal team, David Went of Exchange Chambers said: “We are taking this case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal as it is the specialist court in the UK that deals with these types of claims and is an effective way to see redress for operators. The initial stage involves asking the 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.”

 

About the case:

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is working with Backhouse Jones (the Solicitors) to bring a claim for compensation on behalf of RHA members and non-members against the main European truck manufacturers
who were involved in a 14-year price fixing cartel between 1997 and 2011. The claim
is based on the Truck Cartel decision of the European Commission dated 19 July 2016 in which

DAF, Daimler (Mercedes), Iveco, MAN, and Volvo/Renault were together fined €2.926 billion. The European Commission is continuing its investigation against Scania but the RHA currently plans to include Scania trucks in the case from the outset. The RHA claim will be brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Rod McKenzie

RHA Director of Communications

07711 193968

r.mckenzie@rha.uk.net

 

Sam Everard

Press Officer

RHA

01932 838921

mob: 07734 605560

s.everard@rha.uk.net

 

Desiree Maghoo
Therium
+44 207 938 8959
dmaghoo@questorconsulting.com

 

Notes to Editors

About The RHA

The Road Haulage Association is the only trade association dedicated to the UK road transport industry.  With 7,000 members and a total truck fleet of 100,000 vehicles we campaign for the logistics industry with governmental bodies.  We lobby for change and support our members with a range of benefits.  We offer shop products, training, legal services and insurance to our members at the best possible rates.  With 85% of everything bought or sold in the economy travelling on the back of a truck we keep the UK economy moving.  We campaign for better facilities for trucks and drivers, improved road building, safer roads and improved air quality and emission standards.

 

About BHJ

Backhouse Jones are specialist transport law solicitors. The Chambers Guide describes Backhouse Jones as “the premier firm dealing with road transport” and having “far and away the biggest market share of any firm in this field”.  The firm has built upon its extensive heritage and is uniquely placed to provide industry specific advice to transport clients ranging from world class multinationals to entrepreneurial start-ups. The firm’s specialism also makes it the go-to destination for top tier legal advice for all of the major trade associations in the transport industry, including the Road Haulage Association with whom the firm has partnered for the collective proceedings action against the truck manufacturers. The firm regularly represents clients in complex litigation in matters which have affected the transport industry.

 Steven Meyerhoff, Director will head up the team.  Further details can be found at www.backhousejones.co.uk

 

About Exchange Chambers

Exchange Chambers is an award-winning set of chambers, consistently ranked as a leading national set with a proven track record in all major areas of law.  With over 155 members, including 16 silks, many of its barristers are recognised leaders in their own specialist fields.

David Went was recognised as one of the leading competition lawyers worldwide under 45 years old (and among only a select number of barristers) in Who’s Who Legal: Competition – Future Leaders 2017. He was previously named in Global Competition Review’s list of the leading 40 competition law specialists under 40 years’ old worldwide in 2012 and has consistently been ranked in the leading legal directories since 2010, including a top tier ranking in Chambers & Partners.  David has worked solely on EU/UK competition law matters for the entirety of his 17-year legal career both at the bar and in the law firm environment.  Prior to returning to his roots as a barrister during 2015 (having originally been called to the bar in 1999), David’s considerable competition law experience has been acquired at two leading US law firms in Brussels and London, most recently as partner at Sidley Austin LLP. 

David is based at Exchange Chambers (Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool) and at a leading commercial/chancery set of chambers in London (Three Stone).  Further details on David’s experience can be found at http://www.exchangechambers.co.uk/barristers/david-went

 

About Therium

Founded in London and Jersey in 2009, Therium is one of the most established global litigation financing firms, with a market-leading track record of generating superior returns for its investors. In April 2015, Therium secured $300 million to invest in commercial litigation financing, the largest ever single investment in the litigation funding sector, globally. In April 2016, Therium became the first European litigation finance company to launch a full service business in North America, Therium Inc., which is headquartered in New York. In June 2016, Therium was the first company to launch a litigation funding business in Scandinavia with the establishment of Therium Nordic AS in Oslo.

Therium has consistently been at the forefront of innovation in litigation finance, pioneering the combined use of insurance tools alongside funding vehicles, and introducing portfolio funding.