Cartel investigations


White & Case has been involved in the leading cartel cases of the past decade, including matters involving lysine, nucleotides, newsprint, copper, rubber thread, steel, tanker shipping, chemicals, plastics, insurance, auto parts, aviation and SRAM/DRAM.

A recent update by the DOJ's Antitrust Division highlighted its three most prominent cartel investigations, in liquid crystal displays, cathode ray tubes and air transportation. We represent parties in each investigation and the parallel civil cases.

In addition, we have developed a strong background in the drafting and interpretation of amnesty agreements through our work for Stolt-Nielsen—obtaining the only injunction against criminal antitrust enforcement in US history. For Stolt-Nielsen, we defeated the Antitrust Division in a three-week criminal trial, resulting in a complete vindication for our client. The victory also led directly to a revised DOJ amnesty policy. Given our extensive work in this area, we are well positioned to help clients navigate this policy.

White & Case often handles investigations on a fast track to maximize opportunities for leniency and related programs. In particular, clients rely on us for our extensive capabilities in handling international cartel investigations, from the criminal phase through follow-on civil proceedings. Given the international character of much cartel activity and the increasing priority accorded by jurisdictions around the world to the detection and prosecution of cartels, clients count on our multijurisdictional resources to respond at a moment's notice when they encounter a cartel problem.

Clients choose us for our:

  • Global team with experience where you need it
  • Deep and extensive dawn raid defense capability
  • Knowledge of complex multijurisdictional investigations and major global competition law authorities
  • Experience with some of the largest recent cartel investigations
  • Proven ability to stand up to competition law authorities when necessary and try the case in court
  • Strong record of obtaining successful outcomes in cartel investigations
  • Vindication of due process rights
  • Developing many innovative "firsts" in antitrust, precedents that our team has conceived of, implemented and won


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View more information on Antitrust litigation & class actions

View more information on Pharmaceutical antitrust litigation

View more information on Drug Pricing

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View more information on European state aid

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Only team to win "Competition Group of the Year" 7 times

Top 3 in the "Global Elite"
GCR 100 2023

Top 6
Cross-Border Antitrust
Chambers Global 2023

Band 1
Antitrust: Cartels
Chambers USA 2023

Tier 1
Antitrust: Cartels
The Legal 500 US 2023

"They are fearless. . .their position in the market is that they will fight the authorities tooth and nail."
Chambers Global 2019

"If you want fighters, White & Case is the firm to go to."
Global Competition Review 2019

"Extensive experience with cartel litigation and government investigations, including trial wins in this area. White & Case generally tries at least one major cartel case a year."
The Legal 500 US 2021

"White & Case LLP's cartel team regularly represents corporates and individuals in high-profile civil and criminal cartel proceedings, including bet-the-company litigation for major pharmacy industry players."
The Legal 500 US 2023

"They know which arguments the court will be most receptive to," says one source, explaining: "They have an insight into how the judges think and how the cases have developed."
Chambers Europe 2022


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.

Nine cartel trials, nine wins
White & Case has taken nine cartel cases to trial. We won every one.

Seven-year, six-continent US DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury investigation
Represented France-based Nexans SA, the second-largest global copper and optical fiber cable products manufacturer for infrastructure, industrial and construction projects, throughout the globe including investigations in the EC, US and Australia. The DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury investigation closed with no action taken against Nexans, despite the cooperation of other parties and parallel investigations on six continents.

First US federal court dismissal of a criminal cartel indictment
Represented Stolt-Nielsen S.A., a global shipping company. The dismissal, coming after a month-long antitrust criminal trial, rested upon an amnesty agreement between the company and the US DOJ Antitrust Division and the defeat of the Antitrust Division's multinational antitrust price-fixing charges. In a rare ruling, the District Court held in an extensive written opinion that each of the Antitrust Division's six trial witnesses were not credible and that the Antitrust Division violated the due process rights of Stolt-Nielsen and its executives.

Overturning EC dawn raids
Victory in the EU General Court for Intermarché Casino Achats. The Court held that the dawn raids by the European Commission at our client's premises were partially illegal for lack of probable cause (fishing expedition).

Kato Kagaku Co. Ltd. on cornstarch cartel
Kato Kagaku on a price-fixing claim filed against Kato Kagaku by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) as part of the JFTC's investigation into an alleged cartel. This was the first and only case in which the JFTC overturned its surcharge payment order entirely.

Defeated the JFTC in its first decision on abuse of superior bargaining position
Groundbreaking ruling in which the JFTC reversed and reduced fines and rescinded part of a cease-and-desist order against Toys "R" Us Japan. Included the first time that antitrust investigators raided a foreign-affiliated firm on suspicion of abusing its dominant bargaining position.