Companies that have been fined by a competition authority or are said to have participated in a cartel are increasingly at risk of civil action claims. This is in large part due to European and national measures in recent years, which make it easier for parties that have been adversely affected by cartels to claim their damages. An example of such measures is the Cartel Damages Directive of the European Commission, which was adopted by the European Commission in 2014 and implemented in Dutch law in 2017.
Cartel claims on the rise
The increase in the number of cartel claims is expected to continue over the next years, particularly in the Netherlands, which is a popular jurisdiction for filing such claims. This popularity can be attributed to the possibility to bring collective claims for damages, relatively low legal costs and the relatively fast Dutch court system.
Is your company accused of participating in a cartel?
These may be some of the questions that come to mind if your company is accused of cartel membership:
- What are the risks my company is exposed to?
- What are the chances that my company will have to pay compensation?
- Can I be held liable personally?
- Is it better to seek a settlement or take the matter to court?
The effects of a cartel claim can be far-reaching. Cartel damages actions are large, complex and generally generate negative media attention for the alleged cartel members. That is why it is important to seek legal assistance at an early stage.
We are ready to answer all your legal questions in the event you and/or your company become involved in an actual or alleged infringement of competition laws. Our Competition Litigation Team consists of experts drawn from our Litigation & Risk Management and Competition & Regulatory practice groups. Our full-service team has an excellent track record. We can assist your company in every stage:
- if you suspect or discover that competition laws have been infringed;
- if you are raided by competition authorities;
- if you receive a fine;
- if you are held liable in a civil action;
- if you are facing legal proceedings or collective actions; and/or
- if you want to reach a settlement.
We can represent you in all these stages of the process and offer you strategic advice on both civil law and competition law. Where appropriate and required we team up with other experts, such as claims assessors, corporate investigators and foreign attorneys. As a result, our services stretch beyond merely bringing cartel claim procedures to a successful outcome.
For more information about competition law matters (including cartel claims and collective actions), please contact your Loyens & Loeff adviser or one of our Competition Litigation experts for an introductory meeting. If you are interested, they can also provide you with the track record of the Competition Litigation Team.