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Harcus Parker launches class action against Visa and Mastercard: the main points


Jun 1, 2023

Harcus Parker, a law firm renowned for its specialisation in class action litigation, is launching a major action against financial giants Visa and Mastercard. The aim of the action is to challenge the anti-competitive practices of these two companies, and more specifically the imposition of multilateral interchange fees (MIFs).

The strengths of the class action

In English law, there are several ways of bringing a class action. In our case, the action will be brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, a court specialising in competition law cases.

If the action is successful, members could receive compensation without having to go to court individually. This form of recourse allows groups of plaintiffs who have suffered losses to seek redress when the financial and time cost, as well as the risk, of an individual action would be too high for most plaintiffs.

Starting the Class Action

The class representative, working with a team of legal experts, lawyers and economists, builds the case and represents the members before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. To be considered at trial, the application must be certified as a class action by the Tribunal. Companies that register on our website will be kept informed of the progress of the case.

Participating in a class action

When the Court certifies the class action, it also confirms who is included in the plaintiff class. Members of the class do not have an active role in the class proceedings but can stay informed of the progress of the case to see if they will be eligible for compensation.

Obtaining compensation

When a Harcus Parker class action is successful or is settled out of court, eligible members may obtain compensation. The amount of damages is set by the Court or determined by negotiation between Harcus Parker and the defendants in the case of a settlement. The compensation is then divided between the members according to their estimated loss.

It is essential to emphasise that participating in this class action does not involve any up-front costs for members. Legal and other costs are fully covered by the funding of the action. Members are only required to contribute to these costs if the action is successful and compensation is awarded. This approach is designed to be as simple and risk-free as possible, to ensure that every business harmed by Mastercard and Visa’s anti-competitive practices gets the compensation it deserves.

Harcus Parker’s expertise in Class Actions

Harcus Parker specialises in handling complex litigation, often involving large groups of claimants. Our lawyers have extensive experience in conducting class actions and complex multi-party litigation.

The claim against Visa and Mastercard

Visa and Mastercard are accused of illegally overcharging businesses for accepting credit and debit card payments on corporate cards and on consumer cards used by foreign visitors. The complaints were lodged with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the UK judicial body specialising in competition law.

A Fully Funded and Insured Action

Our objective in bringing this class action against Visa and Mastercard is twofold: first, to seek damages with interest for past losses suffered by the companies, and second, to stop illegal charges in the future.

The Fight for Economic Justice

In the past, both at EU level and in the UK, MiFID has been found to be anti-competitive and therefore illegal. However, no court decision has yet ruled on the illegality of MIFs on corporate cards, or for cross-regional MIFs on consumer debit and credit card transactions.

Unlike other claims brought to court on behalf of individual businesses, which are primarily focused on UK BIFs, this legal action covers all businesses that accept credit or debit card payments in the UK, and specifically addresses BIFs that have not yet been decided by the courts.

If the Court agrees with our complaint that these MIFs are also illegal and should be struck down, this means that businesses will have lost money and deserve to be compensated for the MIFs they have paid.

A firm commitment to defend businesses

This is why we have decided to launch this class action against Mastercard and Visa, with the aim of compensating businesses for their past losses. Even though the UK has left the EU, it is still possible to bring claims for breaches of EU competition law in the English courts, for losses incurred up to the date of the UK’s departure from the EU, i.e. 31 December 2020.

So, through this fully funded and insured legal action, we aim to defend the rights of businesses and seek redress for the unfair charges imposed by Visa and Mastercard. Our fight for economic justice has only just begun.

By admin