Competition Appeal Tribunal ordered the Law Society to pay Socrates Training’s costs up to a maximum of the approved budget of £230,000.
Last month, the tribunal ruled that the Law Society abused its dominant position by requiring over 3,000 law firms to buy its own fraud training in order to maintain their Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation.
The consequential order said that the Law Society “shall not oblige CQS accredited firms to purchase exclusively from the Law Society mandatory training in mortgage fraud, anti-money laundering and financial crime required for CQS accreditation”.
The society has withdrawn the financial crime module, the only one still live, as a result.
The proceedings have been stayed for two months to allow the parties to seek agreement on quantum. If this fails, Socrates has until 1 September to serve points of claim on quantum and the society then 28 days to respond.
Socrates quantified damages in the claim form at £112,500, on the basis that the society’s conduct lost it the custom of 75 law firm firms that would spend some £600 each for two and a half years.
On costs, the tribunal ordered Chancery Lane to pay Socrates’ costs of mediation, to be assessed if not agreed, up to £4,000 plus the company’s share of the mediator’s fees, and also its costs of the proceedings up to a maximum of £230,000, to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed.
The society’s budget had been capped at £402,500, though it had originally sought £637,000.