TupperS Law

Socrates vs The Law Society

Case Studies
4 April 2024

Successfully challenging unfair competition in a landmark legal battle

The Challenge 

Socrates Training, a small business providing training services to law firms, challenged the Law Society's monopoly over training linked to its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS). 

The Law Society, holding a dominant position in the market, mandated that any law firm seeking accreditation under its CQS must procure training exclusively from them. 

Socrates Training saw this requirement as unjust and anticompetitive. Faced with a rejection by the Competition and Markets Authority and dissuaded by previous legal counsel, Socrates Training sought a partner who could not only share their commitment to justice but navigate the complexities of competition law with unparalleled expertise and dedication.

Our Role 

Against the formidable opposition of the Law Society, represented by Norton Rose Fulbright's competition team, a QC with juniors, and RBB Economics, we embarked on a strategic legal battle with a lean and focused team of three. Leveraging deep expertise in competition law and a commitment to justice, we argued that the Law Society had unlawfully tied the sale of two separate services, thereby restricting economic freedom and fair competition.

A classic David v Goliath case – a one-partner firm taking on the Law Society, and they won on a really tight budget against a team of much bigger firms,
Judge, British legal Awards

The Impact

The victory of Socrates Training, facilitated by the TupperS Law team, marked a significant moment in competition law enforcement in the UK. Not only did we secure a win in less than a year, a remarkable feat given the complexity of the case and the resources of the opposition, but we proudly claimed the Competition Team of the Year at the British Legal Awards for our efforts. 

The case was the first-ever standalone damages action brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal under its new accelerated procedure, setting a groundbreaking precedent for the enforcement of competition laws. It confirmed TupperS Law's position as a formidable player in the field of competition law, capable of delivering justice and upholding the principles of a free market.

Stephen guided us to victory in our claim against the Law Society with expertise, wisdom, and charm. A total pro.
Bernard George, Socrates