Firms clamour as BA’s case takes off

The investigation into the alleged price-fixing at British Airways (BA) and a number of other airlines is providing much work for the City’s biggest competition practices. As first reported by The Lawyer (26 February), Slaughter and May is advising BA on the latest investigation, but Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith and Lovells are all thought to have landed instructions.

And it won’t just be law firms on this side of the pond who are drawn into the case. With UK authorities working in conjunction with the US Department of Justice, class action attorneys are no doubt drawing up documents as we speak.

Competition lawyers have also raised the spectre of extradition, suggesting that the BA board could become the latest targets of the Extradition Act 2003, and face the prospect of an enforced trip to the US. However, if a prosecution can be brought in the UK, then technically there is no justification for an extradition request.