UK and Europe gears up for collective redress in competition law
LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Top tier US claimant law firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of two heavyweight UK competition lawyers to spearhead its recently launched European office.
Rob Murray, until recently a Reporting Panel Member of the Competition Commission, and Vincent Smith, who joins from his post as Senior Director for Competition at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), will both be based in London and represent businesses and consumers harmed by violations of competition laws in Europe.
Their arrival coincides with the OFT’s consultation paper on the facilitation of private competition actions, and the European Commission’s Green Paper on damages claims for breaches of competition law – disciplines in which Cohen Milstein is independently ranked as the US’s leading law firm.
The firm expects to announce further appointments in the litigation and financial services area soon.
Rob Murray, who has 20 years’ experience as a competition lawyer in both the UK and Brussels, , said:
“We believe that the time has come for businesses and consumers who have been the victims of hardcore cartel behaviour to seek redress. We see this first and foremost as a question of access to justice within the framework of a justice system that has different checks and balances. This is why we will not only engage fully with the competition and other authorities on the question of improving access to collective redress, but also encourage the development of a competitive market for third party funding and insurance.”
Vincent Smith, who recently led the OFT settlement negotiations in the Independent Schools case and was involved in the groundbreaking Mastercard interchange fees decision, added:
“After leading the OFT’s 180-strong competition function for over three years, I see this as a unique opportunity to join what I believe is the world’s leading competition claimant law firm. At a time of substantial change in European private law redress in competition matters , this is a clear continuation of my previous role as a public enforcer of competition law, and an exciting opportunity to help the victims of cartels and other anticompetitive behaviour.”
Cohen Milstein name partner and Chairman Michael Hausfeld, one of America’s most widely respected litigators, said:
“For over 36 years we have been representing consumers and businesses injured by violations of US antitrust law, and litigated against some of the largest corporations in the world. As Europe gears up for collective redress in competition law both Rob and Vincent have the knowledge and experience to develop some of the best aspects of redress for businesses and consumers within the context of well-established principles of UK and European competition law.”