This website has been created in order to inform members of the public and potential class members about the SW/SE and TSGN claims. The website will also form one of the ways in which Justin Gutmann, the Class Representative for the SW/SE claim and the proposed Class Representative for the TSGN claim, will communicate with the class members of the SW/SE claim and the proposed class members of the TSGN claim.Back To Top
The legal basis of the claims is largely very similar. The main distinction between the claims is that they each relate to different routes and are therefore brought against different train operating companies.
The SW/SE Claim relates to the South Western and Southeastern routes, whereas the TSGN Claim relates to the Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, and Gatwick Express routes.
The SW/SE Claim was filed on 27 February 2019 and the Collective Proceedings Order Application hearing took place on 9 – 12 March 2021. On 19 October 2021, the SW/SE Claim was certified. Justin Gutmann has been approved as class representative, and the claims were held to raise common issues and be suitable to be brought in collective proceedings.
The TSGN Claim was filed on 24 November 2021 and Mr Gutmann is the proposed class representative for this claim.Back To Top
The SW/SE Claim:
The SW/SE Claim comprises claims against the following train operating companies:
However, each of these claims are case managed and dealt with together, so we refer to just one claim.
First MTR South Western Trains Limited is the train operating company currently operating all rail services under the South Western rail franchise. Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited previously operated the South Western rail network until 20 August 2017.
London & South Eastern Railway Limited is the train operating company that operated all rail services under the Southeastern rail franchise until 17 October 2021.
The TSGN Claim:
The TSGN Claim comprises claims against the following train operating companies:
Collectively, the Defendants to the SW/SE Claim and the TSGN Claims are the ‘Defendants’ and ‘Proposed Defendants’ respectively.Back To Top
Yes, please see the map routes for each here: South Western Railway Network, Southeastern Railway Network, TSGN NetworkBack To Top
The claims combine the individual claims of class members against SW/SE and/or TSGN for damages arising from both the Defendants’ and the Proposed Defendants’ alleged abuse of their dominant position in breach of competition rules (Section 18 of the UK’s Competition Act 1998).
Mr Gutmann alleges that both the Defendants and the Proposed Defendants have breached competition laws by charging Travelcard holders too much for travel on the SW/SE and TSGN routes: specifically, it is alleged that the Defendants and the Proposed Defendants do not make (cheaper) ‘boundary’ fares or ‘extension’ fares available, or sufficiently available, for purchase on their services.Back To Top
Boundary fares allow rail passengers who own Travelcards to travel beyond the zones covered by their Travelcard to their destination of choice without paying twice for the part of their journey within their Travelcard’s eligible zones.
For example, if a rail passenger owned a zones 1-4 Travelcard, but needed to travel from Waterloo to Reading they should be able to purchase a fare from the edge of zone 4 to Reading, as they have already paid for the part of their journey that covers zones 1-4 by purchasing a Travelcard. However, owing to the difficulty in purchasing boundary fares and the fact that consumer awareness of their existence is very low, rail passengers end up paying for the full journey from, for example, Waterloo to Reading or London Bridge to Luton and, in doing so, pay twice for the part of the journey from zone 1 to the boundary of zone 4.Back To Top
Mr Justin Gutmann is the class representative in the SW/SE and proposed class representative in the TSGN claims. Mr Gutmann was approved as the Class Representative in the SW/SE Claim in the Tribunal's judgment dated 19 October 2021.
Mr Gutmann has spent a large part of his professional life dedicated to public policy, market research and, specifically, to consumer welfare. His final post prior to retirement was as a Head of Research and Insight at Consumer Focus, the UK’s statutory consumer champion, and later Citizens Advice. Mr Gutmann also spent eight years working for London Underground as Market Planning Manager.Back To Top
As the class representative for the SW/SE claim, Mr Gutmann will have conduct of the claims against the train operating companies on behalf of all class members, except for those who choose to ‘opt-out’ of the class in due course. If Mr Gutmann is approved by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the TSGN Claim, his responsibilities will be the same.
During the proceedings, Mr Gutmann will be responsible for communicating with the class and for issuing formal notices. Communication will occur via updates and announcements on this website, email correspondences, and written notices. Mr Gutmann is also supported by a Consultative Group, which is made up of industry experts, should he feel it necessary to consult the group. This group is separate to the legal advisors or economists.Back To Top
The Competition Appeal Tribunal is a specialist court based in London that covers the whole of the UK and hears disputes such as these. The Tribunal publishes its Rules and Guidance, together with information about what it does, on its website.Back To Top
As a rule, class proceedings can be brought on either an ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ basis, subject to certification by the Competition Appeal Tribunal. In ‘opt-out’ class proceedings, such as these, the claims are brought on behalf of a defined group of persons but those persons do not have to be personally identified, nor do they have to opt-in to the proceedings.
UK domiciled claimants within the class are automatically included in these ‘opt-out’ class proceedings unless they follow the specific steps to opt-out.Back To Top
The solicitors of the class representative are Charles Lyndon Ltd and Hausfeld LLP.
Charles Lyndon is a boutique litigation firm with expertise in competition law. Charles Lyndon has extensive experience of the UK collective action regime gained in building this claim and other similar actions. Charles Lyndon is a company incorporated and registered in England and Wales and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. To see their website, click here.
Hausfeld is a leading specialist law firm known for its expertise in competition litigation. Hausfeld’s lawyers have pioneered the private enforcement of competition law in Europe and have extensive experience working on collective actions on behalf of consumers and businesses. Hausfeld LLP is a limited liability partnership authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority in England and Wales. To see their website, click here.Back To Top
Whilst Mr. Gutmann is the class representative for the SW/SE claim and seeking to be the class representative for the TSGN claim and run these collective actions for the class, he is not able to fund a claim of this size and public importance on his own. Therefore, Mr. Gutmann is working with a specialist litigation funder, Woodsford Litigation Funding Limited, to bring the claims.
The non-confidential versions of certain documents relevant to the funding of the claims, namely the Litigation Funding Agreements, the Adverse Cost Deeds of Indemnity, and the After-the-Event Insurance Policies can be provided upon request by emailing info@BoundaryFares.com.Back To Top
Class Member Information
The class members for the SW/SE claim and the proposed class members for the TSGN claim are very similar, the only distinction being which route you travelled on and therefore the relevant Defendant or Proposed Defendant to your claim. Some passengers may also be eligible to claim compensation in both the SW/SE and TSGN claims.
The SW/SE claim class and proposed TSGN claim class definition:
All persons who, at any point during the period between 1 October 2015 (for the SW/SE Claim) or 24 November 2015 (for the TSGN Claim) and the date of final judgment (or earlier settlement of the claims) purchased or paid for, for themselves and/or another person, a rail fare which was not a boundary fare, or a point-to-point fare for the portion of their journey between the last station covered by their Travelcard to their destination, where:
If you fit the description above and live in the UK, then you will be automatically included in the class, unless you choose to 'opt-out'. However, if you meet the description above and are not a resident in the UK, you will likely be required to opt-in to the proceedings, in order to participate.Back To Top
Businesses are included in the SW/SE class and in the TSGN proposed class. It is called an opt-out class because anyone, including businesses, who meets the class definition will be included in the claim automatically and bound by the result, unless they ask to opt-out.Back To Top
You do not need to do anything at this stage.
If you meet the criteria in FAQ 11, you will be automatically included in the class if you were in the UK on the ‘domicile date’. The domicile date will be specified in the CPO.
More information will be made available regarding next steps as and when each claim is certified. If you Register to receive more information, you will be contacted directly when substantive updates are available or actions are required. If you do not Register to receive more information, stay tuned to this website for periodic updates and announcements.Back To Top
The only categories of persons that are excluded from the class and proposed class are:
A further hearing will take place in the SW/SE claim in November 2021 at which any further exclusions to the class will be discussed.
For non-domiciled class members (i.e. people who did not live in the UK on the domicile date) it is still possible to be part of the SW/SE claim class or the TSGN claim proposed class, provided that you “opt in” to the claim, in writing. Information on how to do so will be available on this website at a later date. Please Register to be kept up to date.Back To Top
There will not be any cost to you. The funding arrangements in place mean that class members will not need to pay anything to be part of the claim and have no financial risk in relation to the claim.Back To Top
The SW/SE claim and the TSGN proposed claim both seek compensation for all those who have been affected by the train operating companies’ allegedly anti-competitive behavior. The total sought is around £93 million for the SW/SE Claim and £73 million for the TSGN Claim. If the claims are successful, all persons who have an eligible claim will be able to seek their share of the compensation.Back To Top
If the claims are won, all persons who have an eligible claim will be able to seek the compensation for their qualifying journeys made after 1 October 2015 for the SW/SE claim and 24 November 2015 for the TSGN claim.
If you think you are entitled to compensation you should keep any evidence of all Travelcard ownership and rail fare purchases relating to the South Western. Southeastern, Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, and/or Gatwick Express rail networks.
You may have one or more claims under both the SW/SE claim and TSGN proposed claim as long as you provide evidence of your Travelcard ownership and rail fare purchases on the relevant routes.Back To Top
No money is available now and there is no guarantee that money will be available in the future. The claims will have to be won in the Competition Appeal Tribunal unless a settlement can be agreed as between the SW/SE class representative and the Defendants and the TSGN proposed class representative and the Proposed Defendants.
The court process can take time, so please be patient. If, and when, money becomes available, class members will be notified about how to obtain a payment. Please Register to be kept up to date.Back To Top
If the collective actions are successful, class members who remain part of the class (i.e. who do not ‘opt-out’) will release the SW/SE Defendants and the TSGN Proposed Defendants from any other liability and will not be able to bring any other claims against either the Defendants or the Proposed Defendants on the same basis in alternative legal actions.Back To Top
It is too late to object to the SW/SE Claim.
With respect to the TSGN Claim, any person with an interest (including any member of the proposed class) may object to the Collective Proceedings Order Application or the authorisation of Mr. Gutmann as class representative by writing to the Competition Appeal Tribunal stating their reason for objecting by the date specified in the Tribunal’s notice.
Any member of the proposed class in respect of the TSGN Claim may also seek permission to make oral observations at the Collective Proceedings Order Application hearing, by making an application for such permission, with reasons, as part of his/her written objections.
If you wish to file an objection, you must write to the Competition Appeal Tribunal stating your reasons for objecting and send it by post, or fax, to the following address:
Competition Appeal Tribunal
Salisbury Square House
8 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8AP
Fax: 020 7979 7979
When writing to the Competition Appeal Tribunal you must include the reference [“Boundary Fares Collective Action against GTR” and Case No. TBD].
Any third party with a legitimate interest (who is not a member of the proposed class) can also apply to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for permission to make written and/or oral submissions at the Collective Proceedings Order Application hearing. Any such application must be made in writing, supported by reasons and received by the Competition Appeal Tribunal by the date in the Notice of collective proceedings.Back To Top
In the SW/SE Claim, the claim will now proceed to trial. The Tribunal has authorised the claims to continue as a collective proceedings meaning that the millions of passengers affected will now be represented at court, unless they choose to leave.
The TSGN Claim was issued on 24 November 2021 and we are waiting for a pre-hearing review to be listed and thereafter a Collective Proceedings Order Application hearing to determine whether the TSGN Claim is allowed to continue to trial. Please Register to be kept up to date.Back To Top
If you’d like to receive updates on the progress of the claims, please provide your contact information by Registering on this website.
Additionally, this website will be updated periodically, so it is a good idea to check back for new information from time to time.Back To Top