Class Actions in Competition Law

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1 6 th Meeting of the UNCTAD Research Partnership Platform Geneva, Friday Class Actions in Competition Law Building Competence. Crossing Borders. Prof. Dr. Patrick L. Krauskopf, LL.M. (Harvard), Attorney-at-Law (Zurich New York) The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNCTAD

2 Class Actions in Competition Law Agenda I. About us II. Background III. Objective IV. Plan V. Key Messages 2

3 I. About us ZHAW School of Management and Law One of Swiss leading business schools: scientifically grounded, interdisciplinary, and strongly oriented to real-world business practices. Center for Competition and Commercial Law Focuses on selected aspects of international commercial law at the intersection of business and law. We facilitate cooperation and build networks with premier academic and business partners. 3

4 II. Background Who are the «real» victims of an antitrust law violation? Clients and consumers High risks Procedural difficulties High costs 4

5 II. Background Improvement through Class Actions Opt-out: All members of a defined group are bound into the action unless they opt out Opt-in: Members have to opt in to the action 5

6 II. Background Subject Matter of Antitrust Class Action Follow-on claim: Civil law action is initiated after the public procedure has established an infringement Stand-alone claim: Regardless of public law procedure 6

7 II. Background Geographical spread of Class Actions EU: Efforts to introduce class action law suits 7

8 II. Background Advantages of Class Actions - Administration of Justice is simplified - Cost effective - Identical decisions for a variety of similar situations - Eliminating imbalance of power - Public Interest - Deterrence - Economy 8

9 II. Background Risks of Class Actions Liability and financial consequences for companies Leniency notice from competition authorities could be undermined De facto absence of defences Defendant bears costs of their own legal representation Settlement is preferred (legal blackmailing) 9

10 III. Objective Strengthening Antitrust Civil Law Introduction of Class Action Law Suits 1 2 Analyse functioning Establish «Best of antitrust class action Practices Class Action lawsuits in Competition Law» 10

11 III. Objective Consolidated observation of facts Extensive examination of risks & rewards Scientific grounded prediction of economic & social benefits Implementation of gained findings to estabish Best Practices 11

12 III. Objective Best Practices Enforce the position of consumers and improve their protection Integrate advantages without leading to «over the top» claims for damages Different style of analysis: Class action as a process instrument (e.g. punitive damages, contingency fees for lawyers, fishing expeditions) 12

13 IV. Plan Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Survey the relevant legal systems and case studies identify the substance & implementation of class actions Evaluate results Create «Best Practices Class Action in Competition Law Regimes» Propositions for implementation in specific law regimes Evaluate tools and tricks Assist legal framework guaranteeing class actions 13

14 Africa & Middle East Asia Pacific Europe North America Latin America IV. Plan Relevant Legal Systems Approach: Limited jurisdictions and results in a reasonable time Israel Australia Belgium Canada Argentina South Africa India Japan France Germany Puerto Rico Brazil Chile New Zealand Russia Lithuania UK USA Colombia Mexico 10th July

15 V. Key Messages Efforts to strengthen private enforcement in several countries and EU Consumer Protection Class Actions simplify the Administration of Justice: Saving time and money Objective: Establish «Best Practices Class Action in Competition Law» and assist implementation To find the most efficient and best practices for Class Actions in Competition Law 15

16 Thank you for your attention! Prof. Dr. Patrick L. Krauskopf, LL.M. Chairman Center for Competition Law +41 (0)

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