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OFT v Foxtons

Office of Fair Trading v Foxtons Ltd [2008] EWHC 1662 (Ch); [2008] 29 E.G. 91 (C.S.), Morgan J

Michael Kent QC and Andrew Davis have succeeded in striking out part of the OFT’s claim in this test case brought by the OFT in which the OFT is seeking injunctions and declarations pursuant to the Unfair Contract Terms Directive and the 1999 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. The OFT seeks to restrict the use of certain contract terms in lettings contracts. The terms in question are used by the majority of letting agents and the case is therefore very important in the lettings market.

This case is the first time that the scope of the OFT’s powers to seek relief pursuant to the Directive and the Regulations has been considered in this context in this jurisdiction and has important ramifications as to the manner in which the various enforcement bodies can deploy their powers under the Directive and the Regulations.

In striking out parts of the OFT’s claim, Foxtons have restricted the relief the OFT is entitled to seek. The OFT has permission to appeal and the appeal will be heard later in the year.

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