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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


The Blueprint to Trial – Here to Stay?

23 October 2023

Since the “blueprint to trial” concept arose in collective proceedings in 2022, it has become an increasingly important concept in the certification of collective actions. The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) has now repeatedly highlighted the need for a Proposed Class Representative (“PCR”) to come prepared with a methodology prepared by the instructed expert economist, setting out how the claim will be advanced at trial (a so-called ‘blueprint’), ahead of the certification stage – the aim being to safeguard against unmanageable cases coming to trial.

On 5 October 2023, the CAT’s judgment in Walter Hugh Merricks CBE v Mastercard Incorporated and Others, Merchant Interchange Fee Umbrella Proceedings [2023] CAT [60] (the “Merricks” and “MIF” proceedings) helped to clarify at least one aspect – the blueprint to trial requirement is expanding and looks as though it is here to stay. However, despite its seemingly increasing importance, a number of questions, such as the exact scope of the blueprint and whether the obligations imposed are too onerous, remain.

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