BSQ Success as Competition Appeal Tribunal Decides Preliminary Issue in UKRS Case

Acting on behalf of UKRS Ltd, BSQ secured a significant judgment for our clients in the CAT. A press release from UKRS Ltd follows below. Roger Sahota was the lead partner acting for UKRS Ltd in the case. 

PRELIMINARY JUDGEMENT AGAINST NSAR IN TRIBUNAL HEARING

One of the UK’s leading training companies for Network Rail’s Sentinel Scheme has won a significant preliminary issue judgement against NSAR at a recent hearing of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.  The case began before the Tribunal last October when UKRS Training Limited sought an interim injunction against NSAR to prevent the implementation of its decision, following a dismissed appeal, to suspend their accreditation for three months under the Rail Training Accreditation Scheme.

This followed initial allegations, all denied by UKRS, of breaches of various different rules, following a series of audit visits by NSAR.

In the competition law proceedings UKRS alleges that NSAR holds a dominant position in the market for accreditation services to Sentinel card training providers as it is the only body with power to grant the relevant accreditation. UKRS contends that there was procedural unfairness and/or erroneous findings as to breach of the various rules, which amount to discrimination by NSAR; and further that the decision to suspend constitutes a refusal to supply. On either or both bases, since its conduct was not objectively justified, NSAR was said to be in breach of the Chapter II prohibition in competition law.

In asking for a hearing on a preliminary issue NSAR sought to prove it was not an undertaking for the purpose of competition law. However, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, presided over by the Hon. Mr Justice Roth, concluded in a 29-page report of the hearing that NSAR were indeed an undertaking for the purpose of competition law. The case is now set to proceed to a full hearing about the substantive complaint made by UKRS.

In a letter, following the publication of its decision of the preliminary issue, the President directed both parties to “seek to agree the terms of an order including directions for the future conduct of the proceedings.”

An agreed form of order, or alternatively any submissions in that regard if the parties are unable to reach agreement, have to be sent to the Registry email address by 4pm on 19 July 2017.

The full report of the preliminary hearing can be found on theCompetition Appeal Tribunal website here