LAWFUEL – The Law Firm News Wire – DLA Piper is attempting to see off a US attack on the UK competition market by launching its own team representing both defendants and claimants in private and class actions, The Lawyer reports.
Mike Pullen, the firm’s head of competition and trade in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is launching a pan-European group of around 20 lawyers to work on private actions resulting from competition law breaches.
“It’s driven by client demand,” Pullen said. “We’re in all the right jurisdictions and we have strength in contentious competition work. You can’t rely purely on litigation teams.”
The group will work with teams in Australia and the US, giving a total headcount of 40 lawyers.
The European group will work for both defendants and claimants. Private actions are a hot topic, but many City firms, such as Slaughter and May, have decided to concentrate purely on defence work.
The framework for individual claims already exists, but last month the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) put out a discussion paper designed to raise awareness of private actions, as first reported by The Lawyer (18 April).