Practice/Industry Group Overview
Schnader has a rich tradition of providing sophisticated litigation and counseling to its clients in the area of Antitrust and Trade Regulation. We deal with the complete spectrum of antitrust issues for companies operating in numerous different industries, ranging from small privately held businesses to Fortune 50 corporations. Our attorneys are also diverse: in addition to their experience in private practice – occasionally representing plaintiffs as well as defendants, which gives us a special perspective – a number of our lawyers also have experience in-house with major national and international corporations and in government service. Additionally, we regularly draw on the insights of former judges and law clerks as to the courts' views on antitrust matters.
Leadership in Litigation
Historically, we have taken the lead in such seminal cases as Brunswick Corp. v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat (announcing the principle that a private antitrust plaintiff seeking damages must prove injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent), the Civil Antitrust Actions Involving Antibiotic Drugs, the Electrical Equipment Antitrust Litigation, the Broadcast Network Antitrust Cases, and the Airport Car Rental Antitrust Litigation.
More recently, we have represented a metropolitan hospital alleged to have colluded with an insurance carrier to drive a competitor out of business and to have conspired and attempted to monopolize the market; a foreign airline in a nationwide class action brought by U.S. travel agents alleging that the major airlines had conspired to reduce their commissions; and a major book publisher in industry-wide litigation under the Robinson-Patman Act and California state law alleging price and promotional allowance discrimination.
An Integrated Approach
Schnader's litigators have a well-deserved reputation of knowing the court, administrative agency, and arbitration systems, rules, and protocols and how to use them to our clients' advantage. This is particularly important in complex areas such as antitrust law. We have the experience needed to conduct the extensive factual investigations and analyses that have become the hallmark of modern antitrust litigation. We have the technology to manage the large quantities of documents and data that frequently arise out of antitrust and trade regulatory matters. Indeed, we have become a leader in the use and defense of predictive coding, one of the major analytic tools being used to streamline and reduce the cost of discovery. We also have the skills required to organize and analyze data effectively, and have worked successfully with numerous expert economists, accountants, and other consultants to do so.
We have a stable of talented trial lawyers to present the results of our case preparation effectively in court. Our firm includes lawyers with experience in a wide variety of substantive areas of law that might intersect with antitrust law in a particular case as well as knowledge of many different industries. We also have lawyers who have successfully litigated not just antitrust issues and cases but virtually every procedural issue that might arise in those cases, including pleading standards, the propriety of a class action, use of multidistrict proceedings, attorney and judicial disqualification, injunctions, privilege, expert evidence, and attorneys' fees. Members of our Appellate Practice Group often assist in briefing and arguing these matters as well as in presenting complicated issues to trial courts, and are also available to assist in developing the best record, preserving all significant points for possible appeal, and positioning critical issues for early determination in both the trial court and on appeal. We draw on these extensive resources as appropriate when staffing a particular matter, at the same time maintaining our longstanding tradition of taking care to keep the team lean. We are tough and innovative in our litigation strategies and devoted to achieving good results quickly. In every case, we are flexible and sensitive to client concerns and objectives.
Schnader attorneys combine their extensive antitrust experience with a pragmatic approach in counseling in an effort to achieve each client's goals while avoiding or minimizing the risk of expensive litigation. We provide advice on a broad spectrum of competition and business matters, including:
- distribution arrangements
- promotional programs
- product, customer, and geographic allocations
- bundling and tying
- exclusive dealing
- business-to-business exchanges
- joint buying arrangements
- joint ventures
- mergers and acquisitions
- trade associations and standards development
Our attorneys regularly counsel on issues arising under all of the principal trade laws. We also provide guidance under state antitrust, consumer protection, and unfair competition laws.
Representation Before Regulatory Authorities
In addition to private antitrust matters, Schnader attorneys represent clients in litigation, administrative proceedings, and other dealings with state and federal government competition authorities in the United States. At the federal level, we regularly deal with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. We also have contacts with various state regulators and are able to consult and assist with international competition matters through our networks and attorney contacts in other countries.
Representative Litigation Matters
Other recent or major antitrust litigation representations include:
- Counsel for a large insurance company in a case brought under Section 1 of the Sherman Act alleging that the implementation of a restricted health care provider network unlawfully foreclosed certain providers from the market.
- Counsel for several linerboard manufacturers in a nationwide class action alleging price fixing.
- Counsel for a national waste management company in a patent-related antitrust action brought by a new market entrant alleging violations of the Sherman Act and the Lanham Act.
- Counsel for a movie theater chain alleged to have prevented a competitor from entering the market in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
- Counsel for a software developer sued by a licensee claiming violations of the Sherman Act and California antitrust and unfair business practices laws as well as copyright laws.
- Counsel for a major shipping company defending allegations of monopolization under the Sherman Act.
- Counsel for one of several engineered wood product manufacturers named in an antitrust conspiracy class action.
- Counsel for a large real estate developer regarding litigation over the potential development of a competitor retail outlet.
- Counsel for a major telecommunications company in a state law antitrust and breach of contract suit seeking in excess of $100 million in damages.
- Counsel for a major chemical manufacturer accused of participating in a conspiracy to fix prices and allocate market shares regarding a commodity chemical.
- Counsel for an American chemical manufacturer suing European companies for fixing commodity chemical prices in markets around the world.
- Counsel for major tobacco companies in class action by cigarette vending machine owners alleging price discrimination in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act and the Clayton Act.
- Counsel for retail pharmacy corporations in multidistrict litigation alleging unlawful pricing in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and the Robinson-Patman Act.
- Counsel for a national entertainment conglomerate defending against Sherman Act claims by a concert promotion company.