On 26 March the Consumer Rights Act 2015 was enacted. The Act will bring about substantive change in a number of areas. Of most interest to competition law buffs is Section 81 of the Act which gives effect to Schedule 8 which, in turn, amends the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002. These changes, when they come into force, will significantly bolster the importance of the Competition Appeal Tribunal – at long last turning it into the primary venue for competition cases in the UK. The changes will also usher in the possibility of opt-out collective actions and create a ‘fast track’ for smaller injunction disputes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (about which we have blogged previously here and here).
Pursuant to Section 100(5) of the Act, these changes will “come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may appoint”. So competition lawyers will have to continue biting their nails in excited anticipation – watch this space.