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In brief ESG is an acronym for environment, social and (corporate) governance – factors considered originally (and separately) to be a measure of an organisation’s corporate social responsibility, and which are becoming increasingly important in determining its financial and general success. ESG encapsulates a broad range of issues including (but by no means limited to) sustainability, corporate ethics, human rights, social good, climate change and corporate culture. Why is ESG important? The broadness of the…

ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) issues, including human rights, have increasingly become a board level concern as the trend towards stakeholder capitalism and regulatory intervention on the topic has grown. Actions to impose statutory responsibilities on directors, to introduce programmes on specific issues (such as forced labour and conflict minerals), to mandate disclosure and transparency, and to threaten the corporate licence to operate through sanctions or restrictions on procurement, have all contributed to an…

The UK Supreme Court gave its judgment in Mastercard Incorporated and others (Appellants) v Walter Hugh Merricks CBE (Respondent) [UKSC 2019/0118] on 11 December 2020. It confirmed the decision made by the Court of Appeal that a representative applying for certification of a class must show that they have a method with a realistic prospect of assessing loss across the whole class and that the data required to apply that methodology is likely to be…

Following the European Commission’s decision in February 2018 to fine shipping companies EUR 395 million, consumer rights champion Mark McLaren has launched a class action in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”).[1] The European Commission found that maritime car carriers fixed prices, rigged bids and allocated the market for roll-on, roll-off (“RoRo”) transport of vehicles. Estimated to be worth £150 million, the follow-on class action is brought on behalf of all persons who purchased…

On 4 March 2020, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) handed down a significant judgment in the UK’s follow-on Trucks cartel litigation, in which it determined those parts of the European Commission (“Commission”) settlement decision that are binding in establishing liability.[1] The Tribunal also considered whether it can be an ‘abuse of process'[2] for defendants to contest facts previously admitted in their settlement with the Commission. Which parts of the Commission decision are binding?…

1. Summary of English case law The most recent English case to consider the application of choice-of-forum clauses in commercial contracts to cartel damage claims was Microsoft Mobile OY (Ltd) v Sony Europe Limited [2017] EWHC 374 (Ch). This case centred on a cartel damages claim brought by Microsoft against Sony with regard to contracts for the sale of lithium-ion batteries. The supply contract contained an arbitration clause and, importantly for this decision, the agreement also…

The English Supreme Court in Vedanta Resources PLC and Another v Lungowe and others has allowed over 1,800 Zambian villagers to issue proceedings in England against an English parent and its Zambian subsidiary. This decision could pave the way for other mass tort claim bearing similar features. The decision tipped in favour of England as the proper place to bring this claim due to the perceived inability for the Zambian claimants to obtain access to…

The Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019 (the “Act”) received Royal Assent on 12 February 2019. The Act allows UK law enforcement agencies including the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority, to apply for a court order with extra-territorial effect (an Overseas Production Order or “OPO”) to obtain data stored electronically, directly from communications service providers (“CSPs”) based outside the UK, in order to assist with domestic investigations and prosecutions of serious…