Taking on the UK Government on behalf of the Solar Industry
When the UK solar industry found the subsidies it depended on withdrawn, Asserson led the challenge to “unlawful” UK Government proposals.
Following the UK Government’s announcement that it wanted retrospectively to reduce the Feed-in-Tariff subsidies payable in respect of the generation of solar energy, we were instructed in late 2011 by one of the leading “rent-a-roof” free solar companies to advise them. These subsidies underpinned the growing free solar industry in the UK. The changes seriously damaged the industry and its prospects. Urgent action was needed.
Asserson’s dispute resolution team immediately issued judicial review proceedings, challenging the Government’s proposal as unlawful. In light of the severe impact of the proposal on business throughout the UK and Asserson’s tenacity and perseverance, Asserson succeeded in obtaining positive decisions from the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court within four months, a period of unprecedented speed in a commercial case of this kind.
The Government’s proposal was struck down as unlawful. Following the Judicial Review, Asserson was instructed by a further 13 solar companies. The Firm is now acting for a group of these companies in a major claim under the Human Rights Act against the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to compensate the solar industry for losses sustained as a result of the proposal. Damages are estimated to be in excess of £200 million. The High Court and Court of Appeal have already determined issues of liability in favour of Asserson’s clients. The remaining issues of causation and quantum will be heard during a 10-week trial in early 2018.