Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has secured a landmark judgment in relation to an antitrust damages claim before the German Federal Supreme Court. Public transport company VBK had brought a claim against the firm’s client, German rail construction company Schreck-Mieves, in respect of damages allegedly suffered from Schreck-Mieves’ participation in the rail infrastructure cartel.
In German cartel damage claims, courts have developed a practice to allow claimants to rely on prima facie evidence with the defendants required to disprove that specific transactions were affected by the cartel and that damages occurred.
The Norton Rose Fulbright antitrust and competition team together with the litigation team successfully challenged this prima facie evidence which as a result shifted the burden of proof away from the defendant back to claimants. The defendant’s case was presented by German Federal Supreme Court barrister Prof. Dr. med. Christian Rohnke, with whom the Norton Rose Fulbright team works on a regular basis.
This marks the first time that the German Federal Supreme Court examined the issue of prima facie evidence in a cartel damage claim. The judgment will have significant implications for pending multibillion-euro German cartel damage claims in other sectors.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by competition partner Dr. Maxim Kleine and included dispute resolution and litigation partner Dr. Christian Wolf and completed by antitrust and competition associates Katja Weiss and Dr. Tobias Teichner.
The Norton Rose Fulbright global antitrust and competition team advises on all aspects of antitrust law including multinational control clearances, cartel defense, antitrust compliance matters, abuse of dominance cases, and the important area of antitrust damage litigation.
For further information please contact:
Stefanie Kerschke, PR & Communications Executive Germany
Tel: +49 89 212148 339; Mob: +49 174 34 528 72
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