Norton Rose Fulbright secures landmark German competition judgment for rail construction company

Germany Press release - Business January 7, 2019

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. 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

Notes for editors:

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm providing the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. The firm has more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

Recognized for its industry focus, Norton Rose Fulbright is strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through its global risk advisory group, the firm leverages its industry experience with its knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Norton Rose Fulbright operates in accordance with its global business principles of quality, unity and integrity, aiming to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of its offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg. For more information, see For more information, see