We are Stibbe Follow-On Civil Litigation specialists

With follow-on civil litigation becoming increasingly prevalent, we offer the sound legal advice and guidance our clients need and assistance in court, including economic analysis.

Follow-On Civil Litigation

With the recent campaign by the European Commission to facilitate antitrust damage claims, we have seen a significant rise in the volume of follow-on civil litigation cases. We help to identify the risks and guide our clients to a swift conclusion.

To ensure the highest level of service, specialists from our litigation and competition law practices collaborate to form an integrated Antitrust Litigation Group that specialises in defending clients against antitrust damage claims. With proven experience in cooperating with economic experts, their combined experience makes them one of the strongest groups in the Benelux.  

We are involved in many national disputes, some of which have led to preliminary procedures before the European courts in Luxemburg. Furthermore, competition law infringements often have a cross-border element resulting in civil litigation in multiple jurisdictions occurring more or less simultaneously. Our Antitrust Litigation Group has successfully represented clients in disputes connected with almost all Western and Northern European jurisdictions.

Through strong working relationships with top-tier law firms in other jurisdictions around the world, we can, at very short notice, advise on appropriate strategies to deal with both national and international dimensions of follow-on litigation.

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16.02.2018 EU law
Who is a consumer? The dynamic approach to the concept of 'consumer' under the Brussels I Regulation

Short Reads - On 25 January 2018, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") rendered a preliminary ruling in a case between Austrian citizen Maximilian Schrems and online social network Facebook. The ruling is important for two reasons. First, the ECJ approved a dynamic approach to the concept of 'consumer' under the Brussels I Regulation. Secondly, the ECJ clarified that the special consumer forum can only be invoked by the specific consumer who is party to the contractual relationship with the professional trader.

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01.02.2018 EU law
Dissemination of misleading information on the safety of a medical product can be a "by object" infringement

Short Reads - On 23 January 2018, the European Court of Justice delivered its judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Italian Council of State. The request concerned an agreement between Roche and Novartis to make public statements concerning the alleged lack of safety and efficacy of one of Roche's products which competed with a product licensed to Novartis (the Agreement). The Court of Justice found that such an agreement can, under specific circumstances, constitute a restriction of competition "by object".

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01.12.2017 EU law
General Court partially annuls the European Commission's ICAP decision (in the YIRD case)

Short Reads - On 10 November 2017, the General Court (GC) partially annulled the European Commission's 2015 decision to fine UK-based broker ICAP close to EUR 15 million for "facilitating" various infringements relating to Yen interest rate derivatives (YIRDs). The GC's judgment provides a useful overview of the current state of EU case law on (i) "by object" infringements; (ii) the role of facilitators in cartel cases; (iii) "complex single and continuous infringements"; (iv) the presumption of innocence; and (v) the Commission's duty to state reasons when setting the level of a fine.

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01.02.2018 EU law
Qualifying dawn raid documents as 'in scope' or 'out of scope': marginal review by Belgian Court

Short Reads - On 13 December 2017, the Brussels Court of Appeal rendered a judgment clarifying the qualification 'in scope' and 'out of scope' of documents seized by the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) during dawn raids at the applicants' (Distripaints NV and Novelta NV) premises. The dawn raids were launched after a complaint by SA Durieu Coatings, which accused both distributors of colluding with its competitor Akzo Nobel.

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02.01.2018 EU law
Court of Justice: Suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorised distributors from selling on third party internet platforms

Short Reads - On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice rendered its much anticipated judgment in a dispute between a supplier of luxury cosmetics (Coty) and one of its authorised resellers. The central question was whether Coty is allowed under the competition rules to forbid its resellers to sell Coty products over third party internet platforms with visible logos (like eBay or Amazon).

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01.12.2017 EU law
National courts may declare that a practice infringes competition law after it was the subject of a commitment decision

Short Reads - On 23 November 2017, the European Court of Justice delivered its judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court regarding the legal consequences of an European Commission commitment decision. The Spanish court sought guidance as to whether an EU commitment decision concerning long-term exclusive supply agreements between Spain's leading oil and gas company Repsol and its service station tenants, prevented the Spanish court from declaring that the agreements infringed competition law. 

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01.02.2018 EU law
Highest German Court rules that ASICS's ban on using price comparison websites violates EU competition law

Short Reads - On 19 January 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) published its judgment concerning an appeal brought by shoe manufacturer ASICS against a fining decision. The FCJ ruled that ASICS had infringed competition law by prohibiting its retailers from participating in price comparison websites. The judgment confirms the strict approach of German courts relating to vertical online sales restrictions.  

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02.01.2018 EU law
Court of Justice dismisses appeal by Telefónica on non-compete clause in telecoms transaction

Short Reads - On 13 December 2017, the Court of Justice dismissed the appeal brought by Telefónica against a judgment of the General Court (GC) regarding a non-compete agreement [see our July 2016 Newsletter]. The judgment confirms the finding of the GC that the non-compete clause agreed upon between Telefónica and Portugal Telecom (PT) amounted to a market sharing agreement with the object of restricting competition.

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06.12.2017 EU law
EU Court of Justice: Suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorised distributors from selling on third party internet platforms

Short Reads - Today the ECJ rendered its much anticipated judgment in a dispute between a supplier of luxury cosmetics (Coty) and one of its authorised resellers. The central question was whether Coty is allowed under the competition rules to forbid its resellers to sell Coty products over third party internet platforms with visible logos (like eBay or Amazon).

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01.12.2017 EU law
Court of Justice dismisses appeal of British Airways in Air Cargo case

Short Reads - On 14 November 2017, the Court of Justice dismissed the appeal by British Airways (BA) and upheld the fine for its participation in an infringement in the air cargo sector. It ruled that the General Court (GC) had been correct in not granting a full annulment of the infringement decision, as BA had only sought a partial annulment before the GC.

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