OFT Discussion Paper on Private Enforcement

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Diana Good, May 04, 2007

The UK Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) Discussion Paper on private actions (published on 18 April 2007) follows the European Commission’s Green Paper initiative with an emphasis on consumer actions. Whilst there are a number of sensible proposals adopted in the paper, there are other areas where it is questionable whether the approach is either necessary or desirable. As a competition litigator, I have a great interest in ensuring that this area of law develops since so much is still uncertain. What we need is a body of case law which will set out the parameters and procedures for resolution of private actions in the courts. But it is doubtful that the proposed proliferation of actions and tribunals will generate the clarity and focus which is required. I deal first with the proposals which seem sensible and then with those which need greater thought.

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