Background - Practices (Details)

Antitrust Recovery


Crowell & Moring pioneered the concept of proactively identifying and successfully pursuing antitrust recovery opportunities for corporate clients. We have a proven track record in recovering overcharges that our clients have been forced to pay due to cartel or other illegal conduct by suppliers or competitors. As one client explained:

"At DuPont, we take recovery opportunities very seriously. Our entire Legal Department now keeps its eyes open for such opportunities and we have enjoyed tremendous recovery success. The Crowell & Moring lawyers are a key part of our recovery strategy. They not only help us get our money, but they know how to work with our suppliers so that we retain valuable supplier relationships throughout."

— Senior Vice President and General Counsel, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company

Such recovery opportunities often arise out of charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and/or findings of cartel behavior by the European Commission, followed by the institution of U.S. civil class action litigation.

We provide our clients with sophisticated alternatives to the class action approach, often achieving recoveries through negotiation, arbitration, and litigation that are as much as ten times greater than the class recoveries. These alternatives maximize recovery based on an approach that is balanced and tailored and that demonstrates resolve and commitment to results without sacrificing important commercial relationships with actual or potential suppliers. Using this approach, we have been able to turn most recoveries into "win-win" situations for our clients and their key suppliers.

Our antitrust recovery practice frequently provides a superior alternative to class actions for several reasons, including that:

  • We typically are able to achieve recoveries for clients that far exceed those of a class settlement.
  • We have the experience and sophistication to pursue business remedies for clients that are often ignored by class counsel or that are inappropriate to class settlement.
  • We pursue global solutions for our clients, whereas class actions often only look at solutions limited to the United States. With offices in London and Brussels, and relationships around the world, Crowell & Moring has experience litigating before courts and arbitration panels in the United States and abroad. We were also one of the first firms to bring antitrust recovery actions before the U.K. Competition Appeal Tribunal and in the U.K. High Court.

As a full-service recovery practice, we recognize that many clients prefer to proceed simply as a class member because of time, budget, or vendor relations considerations. Not only can we advise clients in evaluating how to best proceed, but when the best approach is to join a class settlement, those clients are not left to fend for themselves. Instead, they continue to receive the high level of professional service they have come to expect from us as we guide them through the class action claims process.

Crowell & Moring continuously monitors class action settlements and alerts our clients when they might be entitled to a recovery. We then help them through the data collection, analysis, and claims filing process, reducing their administrative burden and maximizing their recovery.

Our antitrust litigators have obtained substantial recoveries for dozens of Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries. As one client said:

"Instead of us paying lawyers, we like it when our lawyers bring us checks. The Crowell lawyers brought us the recovery opportunity and then recovered millions of dollars for us. They know how to do this right."
— Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AT&T, Inc.

Representative Engagements

  • Recovered hundreds of millions for clients in litigation claiming price fixing and cartel activity in the DRAM industry
  • Recovered $90 million for clients from attempts to monopolize the copper market
  • Recovered more than $60 million for clients in litigation claiming price fixing and cartel activity in the rubber chemicals industry
  • Negotiated substantial recoveries in a price-fixing class action against LCD manufacturers; we continue to represent several clients and we are preparing for trial in 2013
  • Negotiated recoveries of over $30 million for client group in claims against four parcel tanker shipping companies, stemming from their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices, and allocate customers