Brussels Antitrust/Competition partner (and English lawyer) Matthew Hall brings us an update on antitrust class actions filed under new procedures in the UK.

Antitrust class actions in the UK are beginning to take hold before the specialist Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”).  The two filed to date show the possibilities at different ends of the

 In the past few years, Professor Mark Moller of DePaul University Law School has proven to be one of the most thoughtful critics of modern class action law in the legal academy. While most commentators take on class action decisions from either a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant standpoint, Professor Moller appears intent on evaluating these opinions

In re Hydrogen Peroxide was an antitrust class action. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that is often used a bleach for pulp and paper. In this case, the plaintiffs, all purchasers of hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals, sued their suppliers, alleging that the defendants had sold them more expensive chemical grades when less expensive ones

 … to provide a brief update on the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., which held that, unless there is a specific contractual basis to do so, one party cannot force another to submit to classwide arbitration.  

Since the decision involves a firm client (which had retained a team headed by firm colleague Amy Manning), I’m going to refrain from the usual tactical analysis.  Instead, I’ll simply reprint the firm’s press release, and wish Amy and the rest of the McGuireWoods team congratulations on a job well done.  

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of McGuireWoods Client
in Landmark Class Action Arbitration Case

CHICAGO – McGuireWoods LLP announced that it has secured a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of firm clients Jo Tankers B.V. and Jo Tankers Inc. In a 5-3 decision in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. et al v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., No. 08-1198, 559 U.S. ___ (2010), the court addressed the key question of whether parties can be compelled to submit to class arbitration where the arbitration clause is silent on the issue of class treatment. In the decision, the court held that “a party may not be compelled under the [Federal Arbitration Act] to submit to class arbitration unless there is a contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed to do so."

Continue Reading We interrupt this hiatus …

Antitrust class actions can be tough cases for defendants. By their nature, cases against alleged monopolists lend themselves well to David-versus-Goliath rhetoric. But, just as difficult, a number of the fundamental questions in antitrust class actions can only be decided after a “battle of the experts” that costs a great deal of money