Brian has extensive experience representing U.S. and international businesses in complex litigation at the trial and appellate levels. He is particularly experienced in litigating and resolving antitrust claims in U.S. and European courts, recovering more than a billion dollars for his corporate clients and the classes he has represented.
Brian is Vice Chair of the firm and serves on the firm’s Global Executive Committee. His broad global experience demonstrates his ability to tackle and find solutions for the most novel legal issues, as well as represent his clients at all stages of global antitrust litigation and other complex business disputes, whether in the discovery, damages, trial, appeal or settlement phase, or whether in the U.S., Europe, or globally. This unique combination enables him to counsel and act for clients comprehensively, in a commercially sensitive manner, and wherever necessary.
Brian represents clients from a wide range of sectors including automotive, retail, transportation, petroleum, utility, financial services, and pharma.
Brian currently represents or has represented purchasers of auto parts, car glass, air freight services, rail freight, carbon graphite, polyurethane foam, paraffin wax, marine hose, Visa/MasterCard services, trucks, power cables, elevators, and pre-stressing steel in their individual cartel damage claims in the US, Europe and/or globally. In the marine hose matter, on behalf of a group of oil and gas companies, he led the negotiations with cartelist Parker ITR which produced a first of its kind private global settlement agreement.
Many of Brian's diverse clients are listed in the US and Global Fortune 100 and Fortune 500.
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1999
Indiana University- Bloomington, B.A.J., 1996
District of Columbia
The United States Supreme Court
Several Federal Courts
Managing Editor, Journal of Law and Commerce
President, CertifiKID, a national deal website focused on kids’ activities and family entertainment. In 2010, Brian co-founded the business with his wife Jamie who serves as CEO and runs the day to day operations. His focus with the business is on high level business strategy and partnerships, as well as legal and financial issues. In April 2019, Jamie and Brian appeared on the popular ABC television show Shark Tank and cut a deal with Kevin O'Leary (a/k/a "Mr. Wonderful"), which was one of the top five biggest investments he has made in any company in ten seasons of the show. In 2020, CertifiKID acquired Macaroni Kid, a digital media powerhouse that delivers hyper-local content on the best things to do and places to go with kids through 500 local influencers' e-newsletters for more than 4,000 communities across the country, making CertifiKID one of the largest parent-focused digital media and advertising companies in the country, reaching millions of families nationwide.
- "Criminal Antitrust Panel," Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court (Nov. 15, 2018), Panelist
- "International- Private Antitrust Enforcement Around the Globe," AAI 11th Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference (Nov. 7, 2017), Panelist
- "Global antitrust litigation - A brave new world," GCR Live 5th Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum (Feb. 5-6, 2016), Panelist
- "Private Enforcement: New International Approaches and Developments," Northwestern Law (May 20, 2015), Panelist
- “Delivering Substantial Shareholder Returns Through Cartel Damages Litigation, on a Risk-Free Basis and with No Financial Investment," 10th Corporate Counsel & Corporate Compliance Exchange (April 7-9, 2014), Panel Leader
- "Chapter 39: USA," The International Comparative Legal Guide to Cartels & Leniency (2014), Co-Author
- "Principles and Objectives of Formal and Informal Settlements in EU Competition Cases: The Claimant’s Perspective," submitted for European University Institute's 13th Annual Competition Law & Policy Workshop, (publication pending), Co-Author
- "Prosecuting Class Actions and Group Litigation - Understanding the Rise of International Class and Collective Action Litigation and How this Leads to Classes that Span International Borders," World Class Actions, Chapter 26, September 2012), Co-Author with Michael Hausfeld
- "The Novelty of Wal-Mart v. Dukes," American Bar Association, Business Torts & Civil RICO Committee, Business Torts & RICO News (Vol. 8, Issue 1, Fall 2011), Co-Author with Sathya S. Gosselin
- "A Proposal for a Transitional Forum," submitted for Law Seminars International: Antitrust Claims Against Foreign Firms and Cartels conference (Sept. 7-8, 2006), Co-Author
- "What It Takes to Dominate in the Elite Game of International Litigation," The American Lawyer (Sept. 28, 2017)
- "Bar hopping," Global Competition Review (June 30, 2014)
- "Jury Finds Chinese Vitamin C Makers Fixed Prices; $153.3M Judgment Entered," Mealey's Legal News & Litigation Reports (March 14, 2013)
- "Rising Star: Hausfeld's Brian Ratner," Law360 (March 22, 2012)
- "Brian Ratner, People on the Move," Business Journal (April 4, 2012)
- "Vitamins cartel action filed against Roche in Panama," Law360, (Sept. 11, 2009)
- "40 under 40," 2009 Legal Times (July 14, 2009)
- "Unprecedented Global Settlement Reached with Parker ITR in Marine Hose Cartel," Class Action Litigation (March 13, 2009)
- "Private settlements could gain steam, lawyers say," Law360 (March 12, 2009)
- "'Shell Model' Opens Door to European Class Actions," The American Lawyer (Jan. 7, 2008)
WHAT OTHERS SAY
- Recommended Lawyer, Antitrust - Civil Litigation/Class Actions since 2013
- Hall of Fame in 2020 – described by the Legal 500 as "including individuals who have received constant praise from their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession."
"Brian Ratner and Melinda Coolidge are both first class. They are personable, knowledgeable and deliver results." (Legal 500 US, Antitrust - Civil Litigation/Class Actions, 2020)
"[T]he 'incredibly impressive' . . . Brian Ratner [is a] highly skilled negotiator and litigator, and real fighter with an outstanding strategic sense . . . brilliant lawyer Brian Ratner is a very smart and business-oriented negotiator . . . [He] thinks strategically, is an excellent negotiator and has a solid foundation of substantive law." (Legal 500 US, Antitrust - Civil Litigation/Class Actions, 2013-Present)
"Engaging, highly competent professional who can simplify complex antitrust matters and make them comprehensible to a non-antitrust attorney." (Legal 500 US, Antitrust - Civil Litigation/Class Actions, 2011)
Who’s Who Legal
- Thought Leader, Competition: Plaintiff in 2021
- Global Leader, Competition: Plaintiff in 2020
- Recommended Lawyer, Competition: Plaintiff since 2018
"Brian Ratner earns impressive recommendations for his competition plaintiff expertise. He is considered ‘smart and likeable,’ and 'one of the next-generation leaders.'" (Who’s Who Legal, Competition - Plaintiff - Legal Marketplace Analysis, 2020)
Brian Ratner has "a brilliant legal mind while being extremely pragmatic and commercially minded," commented interviewees. (Who’s Who Legal, Competition - Plaintiff - Legal Marketplace Analysis, 2019)
"He is praised as a lawyer who 'goes the extra mile,' and whose 'high-quality work product is feared by competitors.'" (Who’s Who Legal, Competition - Plaintiff - Legal Marketplace Analysis, 2018)
- Super Lawyer, Antitrust Litigation in Washington, DC since 2014
- Leading Global Litigation Lawyer in 2021
- Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer since 2019
- Leading Lawyer in America since 2018
American Antitrust Institute
- Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice in 2019: an honor he received as part of the In re Vitamin C Litigation case team.
Global Competition Review
- Litigation of the Year - Cartel Prosecution in 2019: an honor he received as part of the In re Vitamin C Litigation case team.
- Local Litigation Star from 2013-2015 and Antitrust Litigation Star in 2013 by Benchmark Litigation.
- Rising Stars in 2012 by Law360
- 40 under 40 by in 2009 The Legal Times
Disclaimer: The DC Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters; the Legal 500 is published by Legalease Ltd. The Benchmark Plaintiff Guide is published by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC and Institutional Investor, Inc. The Law360 Rising Stars list is issued by Portfolio Media, Inc. The Legal Times “40 under 40” list is issued by American Lawyer Media. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation – Brian represents large corporations that directly purchased rail freight shipping services from BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific in their claims for damages stemming from the alleged rail freight cartel in the early 2000s.
- In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation – Brian served as co-lead counsel in the landmark case on behalf of vitamin direct purchasers who were overcharged as a result of a ten-year global price-fixing and market allocation conspiracy. The case settled for over $1 billion, and in 2003 the case went to a jury trial resulting in a verdict of $148 million in trebled damages. The jury trial was the twelfth largest U.S. jury verdict that year.
- Empagran, S.A. et al. v. F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Ltd., et al. – Brian was one of the principal lawyers that led this case on behalf of foreign vitamin purchasers. The case was litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, resulting in a groundbreaking judgment on the scope of the U.S. Sherman Act jurisdiction. The case was designated as the “Matter of the Year” by The Global Competition Review.
- In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation – Brian serves as co-lead counsel in this landmark case alleging a conspiracy to fix the price and limit the supply of Vitamin C sold for export to the United States. The case resulted in entry of a 2013 judgement for $153.3 million post jury verdict in the director purchasers’ favor – the thirteenth largest U.S. verdict in 2013. To date, settlements total $32.5 million. The jury verdict was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled unanimously in 2018 in favor of the class and set the standard of deference to be afforded a foreign government’s submissions in U.S. courts. In 2018, the case was awarded The Global Competition Review’s “Litigation of the Year – Cartel Prosecution” award in 2018, as well as the American Antitrust Institute’s “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice” honor.
- Oncology & Radiation Associates v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. – Brian served as one of the lead lawyers in a case of unlawful monopolization against a drug manufacturer, which settled for $65 million.
- Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., et al. – Brian served as co-lead counsel in a case alleging unlawful monopolization on behalf of purchasers of an enzyme used in DNA amplification, human-genome research, and medical diagnostics, which settled for $33 million.
- In re American Express Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Litigation – Brian serves as one of the lead lawyers representing the class.
- Brian has been representing car manufacturers and other OEMS including BMW, PSA and GKN regarding their auto parts cartel damage claims, and helping them achieve outstanding recoveries.
- Brian acted on the defense side on behalf of Geodis in a U.S. class action against freight forwarders alleging a conspiracy to fix surcharges on air cargo shipments.
- Brian advises businesses on the antitrust implications of their business practices and supply relationships, and works with them to craft approaches to both eliminate or reduce potential risk as well as protect and enhance their ability to pursue antitrust claims.
Commercial & Financial Disputes
Brian has broad experience in complex litigation in fields including securities and investor litigation, commercial contract disputes, intellectual property, and whistleblower representations. His pioneering work in developing and offering flexible fee and case funding options allows clients to reach sensible and practical arrangements that prioritize businesses’ needs and help manage legal costs and risk.
MTB Investment Partners, LP v. Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. – Brian served as one of the lead counsel in this securities fraud matter that led to a settlement that returned more than 115% of recognized losses after attorneys’ fees and expenses to former shareholders in HearUSA, Inc.
We have extensive experience representing public and governmental entities, including state Attorneys General Offices, municipal utility boards, and counties in high-stakes investigations and litigation involving a variety of legal practice areas, including antitrust, consumer protection, financial services, and environmental law. The firm’s public entity portfolio includes:
- Retention by state Attorneys General Offices for antitrust litigation against Big Tech platforms.
- Retention by the largest public water supplier in the country relating to environmental contamination.
- Retention by public entities to pursue antitrust claims relating to fraud in financial markets; and
- Retention by the state of West Virginia in one of the earliest cases against the pharmaceutical industry relating to the opioid crisis, filed decades before the current wave of opioid litigation.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
Who's Who Legal, 2020
Earns impressive recommendations for his competition plaintiff expertise. He is considered 'smart and likeable,' and 'one of the next-generation leaders.'
Legal 500 US, 2020
Brian Ratner and Melinda Coolidge are both first class. They are personable, knowledgeable and deliver results.
Legal 500, 2014-Present
[T]he ‘incredibly impressive . . . Brian Ratner [is a] highly skilled negotiator and litigator, and real fighter with an outstanding strategic sense . . . brilliant lawyer Brian Ratner is a very smart and business-oriented negotiator . . . [He] thinks strategically, is an excellent negotiator and has a solid foundation of substantive law.”