Hiu Man Chan
Antitrust breaches have led to some of the highest-stakes litigation for damages in US and EU corporate history. Our experts have extensive testifying experience in the US and the UK (which has become the main hub of antitrust litigation in Europe) and distinctively we bring experience from both sides of the ‘v’.
Our antitrust economists sit in a wider commercial disputes practice and work with our experts in forensic accounting, valuation, and eDiscovery to cover all aspects of antitrust damages analysis. We also draw on AlixPartners’ deep bench of industry experts who give valuable insights into the real-world economics of different levels of the supply chain, allowing us to ensure that our damages assessment is rooted in facts of the industry.
Our multi-disciplinary teams are perfectly suited to addressing the key challenges in antitrust damages cases. Some antitrust cases need both an economic assessment of the likely competitive landscape in the counterfactual and ultimately the valuation of the excluded business in that counterfactual to compare to the real-world valuation. Our business valuation experts are instrumental in such cases. Other damages cases require sophisticated economic and statistical analysis to compute likely overcharges, and may also benefit from forensic accounting expertise, to address matters such as pass-on―a central issue in many jurisdictions.
Antitrust breaches often also involve class action claims to recoup damages on behalf of consumers and indirect purchasers. We are involved in some of the highest profile antitrust class actions in both the US and the UK.
EC bearings cartel, Competition Appeal Tribunal (UK)
We were instructed as quantum experts by Peugeot-Citroen who brought claims for damages before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal following on from the 2014 European Commission decision finding an EEA-wide cartel in automotive bearings from April 2004 to July 2011 and imposing fines of €953 million. We assessed the value of commerce (VoC) affected, the impact of the cartel on bearings prices using sophisticated econometric techniques, the damages suffered by the client from the cartel including interest, and whether some of these damages had been passed on to the downstream customers.
Our analysis and findings were included in three expert reports submitted to the court. These included a full rebuttal report of the expert analysis submitted by the three experts acting on behalf of the defendants.
Three minor defendants settled early in the process. The case was settled with the three major defendants shortly after the receipt of our rebuttal report.
US wire harness cartel (US)
We were instructed as experts for FCA in a $1bn claim for damages against Yazaki in relation to DOJ and EC decisions finding a cartel in the market for wire harnesses. We produced expert reports estimating the damage sustained by our client using sophisticated economic and statistical analysis of how prices were affected by the cartel.
The case settled shortly before trial.
EC Copper tubes cartel (UK High Court)
We advised the lead defendant when a group of builders’ merchants filed a £350m follow-on claim for damages with the CAT (later moved to the High Court) relating to the EC finding of a long-standing cartel in copper tubes.
We combined economics, forensic accounting, industry expertise, and data extraction techniques to provide our client with a holistic approach to the damages calculation. Our econometric analysis of overcharge found no statistically significant evidence, and we demonstrated how the claimant’s statistical evidence did not fit the facts regarding the fundamental relationship with LME copper prices. We also demonstrated why any pass-on would likely have been close to 100%, given economic theory, and the evidence of how claimants had responded to the severe inflation in LME copper prices post-cartel due to global shortages.
The case settled at a mediation where we were the only economic experts representing all defendants.
EC Polyurethane cartel (UK High Court)
We acted for a group of direct purchaser claimants in a follow-on action for damages arising from the European Commission’s 2014 decision finding a cartel in the polyurethane foam sector and fining the defendants €114 million. Our expert economic analysis covered both overcharge and pass-on to compute damages suffered by several large furniture and mattress manufacturers.
The case was brought before the UK High Court and settled shortly before trial.
Libor cartel (UK High Court)
We acted for the claimant in the first European litigation brought in relation to findings by EC and UK regulators of “serious, widespread” collusion and manipulation of LIBOR by the 16 submitting panel banks. Our client Graiseley Properties sued Barclays for £70m in the UK High Court due to losses incurred on swaps purchased from the bank linked to the LIBOR interest rate. We fielded a team of experts to address all aspects of quantum. Our economists used statistical analysis to estimate the impact of individual submissions compared to a non-collusive counterfactual.
The case settled shortly after receipt of our rebuttal reports for a sum reported in the press to be £40m.