Antitrust litigation & class actions
White & Case's Antitrust/Competition lawyers are skillful courtroom advocates with deep understanding of competition law. We regularly handle litigations involving alleged cartels, proposed/challenged mergers, parallel civil and criminal proceedings, civil class actions and arbitrations—achieving many victories in high-stakes cases.
We have a reputation for:
- Excelling at bet‑the‑company enforcement actions, trying and winning cases against the government, private individual parties and class actions
- Pioneering cases at the intersection of antitrust law and intellectual property
- Leadership in monopolization and abuse of dominance defense
- Developing many innovative "firsts" in antitrust, precedents that our team has conceived of, implemented and won
- Challenging the legal status quo and advancing due process
In a practice area where few cases go to trial, we handle on average at least one antitrust trial per year in the US. Our trial experience benefits clients over and over:
- Proven trial defense techniques
- More options for resolving disputes short of trial
- Opportunity to avoid US$ billions in potential liability
- Deep experience across all seniority levels (partners, counsel, associates)
Class action campaigns
Clients facing antitrust class action lawsuits benefit from our experience in defending these suits and related claims around the world. Our team has obtained two of the leading defense victories in antitrust class actions at the US federal appellate level, a landmark Supreme Court ruling on class arbitration and many other significant wins. We are also at the cutting edge of advising multinational clients on the implementation of representative litigation rules in jurisdictions worldwide.
Clients turn to us on all facets of class actions including issues pertaining to:
- Antitrust claims brought under federal statutes, as well as state antitrust and consumer protection laws
- Enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice
- Data privacy laws
- Cable communications laws
- Labor laws
- Debt collection laws and other financial regulations
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Only team to win "Competition Group of the Year" 7 times
Top 5 in the "Global Elite"
GCR 100 2021
Chambers Global 2021
Chambers USA 2021
The Legal 500 US 2020
Benchmark Litigation 2021
"White & Case LLP shines across the whole gamut of antitrust defense and is also well versed to handle related trials."
The Legal 500 US 2020
"[They] impress clients with their 'outstanding experience and amazing ability to get to the truth in trial.'"
The Legal 500 US 2019
"They are fearless. . .their position in the market is that they will fight the authorities tooth and nail."
Chambers Global 2019
"They always cut to the chase with the plaintiff's firm, before any great expense is incurred."
Chambers USA 2017
Leading case for the proposition that non-trivial number of uninjured class members bars class certification
Won reversal of class certification by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in an antitrust monopolization case where plaintiffs challenged the development of a new phthalate-free version of its ulcerative colitis drug, Asacol®. The case turned on the inability of class action plaintiffs to discern which members of a class action were uninjured. The landmark ruling, premised on the Seventh Amendment, precludes the previously widespread use of post-trial affidavits in class actions as a substitute for fact-finding by juries. The Asacol ruling is widely cited as the gold standard on class certification and has broad implications far beyond its antitrust context.
Largest antitrust class action jury trial of 2013
Trial counsel to Toshiba in its complete victory in a 2013 US civil jury trial concerning price-fixing allegations in the liquid crystal display (LCD) market (N.D. Cal.). At trial, Toshiba faced price-fixing claims totaling US$2.3 billion brought by a large retailer plaintiff that previously had opted out of class proceedings against Toshiba and other LCD manufacturers. Following a six-week jury trial, the San Francisco jury unanimously returned a defense verdict for Toshiba in September 2013, finding that Toshiba did not participate in a LCD price-fixing conspiracy and therefore did not cause any damages to the plaintiff. The Financial Times recognized this case in its 2014 Innovative Lawyers report, noting it challenged "the view that juries cannot handle complex damages calculations."
Largest antitrust class action jury trial of 2012
Trial counsel to Toshiba in its 2012 direct purchaser (DPP) class-action jury trial, in which the class plaintiffs alleged cartel activity in the thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (LCD) market. Toshiba stood alone in taking the DPP civil class-action case to trial; all other defendants had settled for a total of approximately US$450 million. The jury awarded the class plaintiffs no recoverable damages against the nearly US$2.7 billion in damages the class plaintiffs had sought based on charges of price fixing. The Financial Times selected the Toshiba trial for inclusion in its 2012 Innovative Lawyers report.
Novel victory at class certification
Defeated class certification for Toshiba in both the direct and indirect purchaser cases involving allegations of price-fixing of lithium ion batteries. This is a landmark win at the class certification stage for antitrust defendants—particularly within the Ninth Circuit. The decision reversed a nationwide trend favoring class certification.
Biggest DOJ antitrust jury trial defeat of the past ten years
Trial counsel to lead Forex trader for JPMorgan Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland, Richard Usher, in landmark Antitrust Division Section 1 price-fixing Sherman Act trial.
Largest antitrust MDL in history
Represented Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary in several direct purchaser class actions that are part of In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation. After six years in the litigation and facing the prospect of a class-action trial with the direct purchasers, Furukawa engaged White & Case. Just a few months later, the direct purchaser classes settled the litigation with Furukawa.
Non-profit sector win
Successful defense of higher education application and technology platform, The Common App, against monopolization claims brought by rival CollegeNET in the District of Oregon.