On 14th February, the GCR Awards announced those lawyers and litigators whose superior technical skills, practical judgement and excellence in serving clients during 2019, set them among the very best in their field. Hausfeld partners on both sides of the Atlantic were nominated in 3 out of 5 individual lawyer categories.
- Litigator of the Year: Anthony Maton
- Lawyer of the Year - Under 40: Anna Morfey
- Lawyer of the Year: Bonny Sweeney
When considering cartel prosecution cases, GCR selects the most creative, strategic and innovative litigation on behalf of plaintiffs in a private action for cartel damages.
Our pan-European work on Trucks Cartel and Disposable Contact Lens antitrust litigation in the US were recognised in the ‘Litigation of the year – Cartel prosecution’ category, together with two other claims.
Employees of law firms, economic consultancies, government agencies, universities and competition advocacy organisations can cast a winning vote by 28th February. Personal email addresses will not be accepted.
To help you make that choice, Global Competition Review highlighted:
Litigator of the year: Anthony Maton (Europe)
Anthony Maton launched Hausfeld’s European hub in London in 2009, and it celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019. He recognised the positive impact funding and flexible fee arrangements would have on the ability of corporates to pursue competition claims. Even as managing partner of the office, he remains hands-on and contributes to the litigation strategy. During 2019, due to his unwavering support, Hausfeld brought the first stand-alone collective action to the Competition Appeal Tribunal on trains with Charles Lyndon, where Maton was instrumental in bringing competition expertise to the claim; and filed an application for opt-out collective proceedings ‘FX Claim UK’, and helped negotiate funding and insurance.
Lawyer of the year - Under 40: Anna Morfey (Europe)
Anna Morfey drives Hausfeld’s initiatives on abuse of dominance, technology and collective actions, as well as traditional follow-on damages litigation. In the UK, she was the firm’s lead partner on the first stand-alone collective action filed at the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal and the first based on abuse of dominance allegations. She is co-lead partner on the ‘Trucks’ UK litigation, leading on the preliminary issue heard in the CAT in December concerning the binding nature of recitals in European Commission decisions. In the EU, Morfey leads Hausfeld ’s representation of Foundem as intervener in the General Court supporting the commission’s Google Shopping decision.
Lawyer of the year: Bonny Sweeney (US)
Bonny Sweeney co-chairs Hausfeld’s antitrust practice group. In 2019, she successfully concluded an antitrust price-fixing case involving parking heaters, winning approval of a settlement that returned 100% of estimated damages to class members. She also prevailed in a class certification motion for direct purchasers in the Packaged Seafood Products antitrust litigation, and won a Ninth Circuit victory in Corcoran/CVS – an unfair competition case in which consumers allege that CVS overcharged them for co-payments on generic prescription drugs. In Corcoran, the Ninth Circuit overturned a district court ruling granting summary judgment for the defendant, narrowing the class. Sweeney and her co-lead counsel are set to try the $124 million class action to a jury in April 2020. In addition to her work in competition law, she represented 11 torture victims who sued the former Sri Lankan defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2019. Although the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case following Rajapaksa’s election as president in December 2019, to prevent him from asserting immunity, the case helped bring to light torture inflicted by members of Rajapaksa’s security forces following Sri Lanka’s civil war.
Litigation of the year – Cartel prosecution: Pan-European Trucks Cartel Claims
The European Commission in 2016 fined multiple truck manufacturers, including Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, for participating in cartel to fix the prices of medium and heavy trucks sold across Europe from 1997 and 2011. The commission initiated its probe after truck manufacturer MAN blew the whistle on the scheme. The companies were also accused of introducing low-emission technology and passing on the cost of this technology to customers. Claims against these companies have reached €5 billion, covering 500,000 plus trucks and more than 10,000 affected companies by close of 2019 across Europe.
Litigation of the year – Cartel prosecution: Disposable Contact Lens antitrust litigation
Contact lens purchasers have accused lens manufacturers, independent eye-care professionals and trade association American Optometric Association of allegedly colluding to impose minimum pricing policies on retailers. The plaintiffs alleged this conduct prevented big box stores such as Walmart, Meijer and Costco, as well as online sellers, from offering discounted contact lenses. In June 2016, a federal court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss. In December 2018, the court certified multiple classes, including a number of horizontal and vertical consumer classes asserting a damages claims under the Sherman Act, and in November 2019, the court denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment, noting, in part, that the plaintiffs had “submitted direct evidence of both horizontal and vertical pacts.”