Depiction of Oxera plays a key role in £25m rail fares dispute settlement

Oxera plays a key role in £25m rail fares dispute settlement

Today, a settlement, worth up to £25m, has been approved by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in a mass antitrust damages claim against a UK train operator over rail fares, meaning that millions of pounds could now be claimed by train passengers that used South West Trains between 1 October 2015 and 20 August 2017.

  • This is the second settlement under the Consumer Rights Act, which came into force in 2015.
  • The settlement is the first to achieve a tangible payout to consumers.

The settlement represents a landmark moment in UK class actions since it is the first time in over a decade that UK consumers are to receive competition damage related payments. The last time consumers received compensation was in the Passenger Air Surcharge settlement payout in 2008.

Today’s settlement in the mass antitrust damages claim against the UK train operator, Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited, is the second ever settlement under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and the first to include a payout directly to the consumers. It could be worth up to £25m, depending on how many travellers come forward to claim.

Oxera Partner, Robin Noble led the team of Oxera economists—including Rob Catherall, Debby Moore, Wiktor Woszczek, Sophie Kummel and Moustapha Ajram—and acted as an expert on behalf of Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited in the settlement. Oxera’s role involved advising on settlement damages and commenting on the quantification of alleged consumer harm.

Commenting on the case, Robin Noble said ‘This settlement marks an historic milestone within the consumer collective legal regime, representing the first tangible payout to consumers for years.’ Robin goes on to explain that ‘the values at the heart of this settlement are based on extensive economic analysis—that serves to highlight the importance and impact of economics in legal proceedings’.