Any person or firm affected by anti-competitive behaviour....may bring the matter before the courts of the Member States and seek damages, submitting elements of the published decision as evidence that the behaviour took place and was illegal. Even though the Commission has fined the companies concerned, damages may be awarded without these being reduced on account of the Commission fine.
The European Commission estimates that the victims of competition infringements, such as illegal price fixing, market sharing and bid rigging, are currently forgoing up to €23.3 billion each year across the EU in compensation. The primary victims of competition infringements are businesses and as such our specialist Competition Litigation team, which spans the EU and US, focuses on and exclusively represents businesses with significant competition disputes and claims.
While the European Commission, the OFT and other regulators investigate and levy significant fines against infringers of competition laws, those fines are not in turn distributed to the business victims of the anti-competitive conduct in question. Rather, it is up to the victims themselves to take action to recover their losses. As a starting point, under EU law the infringement decisions of the European Commission are binding proof before the courts of EU Member States that the anti-competitive behaviour complained of took place and was illegal. Accordingly, any company affected by anti-competitive behaviour may bring the matter before the courts of the EU Member States and seek damages, which are often substantial.
Stewarts Law has extensive experience in conducting cases in the UK, European and US courts as well as negotiating private commercial settlements and is acting for a number of major FTSE 100 and 250 businesses in cases arising from both cartels and abuses of dominance as well as general competition law. As such, Stewarts Law is at the forefront of conducting proceedings for and developing commercial solutions on behalf of corporate victims of anti-competitive behaviour.
Our UK team is led by Jonathan Sinclair, who has been consistently recognised as an expert in the field of commercial litigation by Chambers and Legal 500 and has specialised in competition litigation since damages claims first began to develop in 1998. Scott Campbell also has extensive experience of competition litigation in the EU and has acted for several years in many of the leading cases in this practice area. In the US, David Straite has conducted numerous competition matters in the US courts on behalf of corporate clients. As such, our transatlantic team offers a truly integrated approach to its clients' competition recovery strategies.