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Competition Litigation: Issues and Recommendations in Advance of the Brexit Deadline

AUTHORs: Helen Kelly, Kate McKenna Services: EU, Competition & Regulatory , Brexit DATE: 15/03/2019

The UK will no longer enjoy the enforceability of judgments under the Brussels Regulation, under which a judgement of the courts of an EU member state is recognised in all other Member States without any special procedure. 

Enforcement of non-EU judgements (which UK judgments will be, post Brexit) in an EU member state is a matter for the local law. 

Our recommendation:

Companies will need to carefully consider any plans to bring a competition law claim against an Irish defendant in the UK courts as they will potentially face 'passporting' difficulties enforcing competition law judgements from UK courts in Ireland.

Ireland an increasingly attractive venue for ‘follow-on’ competition litigation 

In the event of a hard Brexit, there are likely to be additional hurdles for claimants before the English courts who seek to rely on EU / member state competition enforcement decisions to claim damages.  

There is a significant opportunity for Ireland to become a hub for competition law damages claims.  Ireland will be one of the only EU jurisdictions where English is the spoken language and will be the largest remaining common law jurisdiction in the EU with generous document discovery rules and a specialist competition list with the Court system.

Our recommendation:

Claimants for damages as a result of breaches of competition law will need to carefully consider jurisdiction when instituting proceedings.