Antitrust and Competition Law

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Representative Matters

As a “highly recommended”* antitrust law practice, Butler Rubin provides clients with more than 30 years of counseling and courtroom experience representing businesses on both the plaintiff and defendant sides of complex antitrust and other competition-related matters. Unlike many other law firms with expertise in these areas, the firm not only counsels clients in the area but also regularly litigates antitrust cases.

Areas of Service

  • Antitrust Litigation – from the initiation of litigation through trial, we are experienced in all areas of antitrust litigation including issues such as jurisdictional challenges, Twombly motions, summary judgment motions, class certification challenges, Daubert challenges and motions in limine.  Our goal is to streamline litigation and create the most efficient (and favorable) resolution for clients.
  • Opt-Out Litigation – helping corporate counsel and their organizations assess opt-out risks and rewards, and make well-informed decisions about whether or not to opt- out of antitrust class litigation through assessment, risk/reward analysis and litigation.
  • Antitrust Counseling – counseling on pricing, information exchange, supply and distribution chain management, trade association activity, dealer relations, and agreements with competitors.
  • Antitrust Investigations – providing antitrust training seminars and compliance audits, representing both companies and individuals in criminal antitrust matters, responding to subpoenas, civil investigative demands and grand jury summonses in federal and state antitrust investigations.
  • Unfair Competition Litigation – representing clients in a wide variety of antitrust, good faith and fair dealing, business tort and dealer litigation including injunctions, trial and appeal. Over the past several years, we’ve litigated several high-profile antitrust cases involving national and international monopolies and contracts.
  • Trade Secrets/Business Torts Counseling and Litigation – from structuring relationships with new or existing employees, contract review and trade secret protection strategies through litigating matters for breach of agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets and employee theft.
  • Franchise/Distribution Relations – helping clients who are in a position to either add or terminate new dealers or franchisees. This comprehensive analysis provides a summary of industry-specific state laws, outlines relevant case law across one state or all 50 states, and develops a case-specific approach to minimizing a company’s legal risks.

Representative Matters

From our first antitrust case as counsel for the plaintiff in the ground-breaking case Spray-Rite v. Monsanto to our representation of a Fortune 500 company in In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, we have litigated competition disputes to a successful conclusion for a wide variety of companies.

  • Represented LCD manufacturer in opt-out litigation involving alleged price-fixing (Motorola Mobility, Inc. v. AU Optronics Corporation, et al., N.D. Ill.).
  • Defended a company accused of price fixing in the automobile and truck industries (In re Aftermarket Filters Antitrust Litigation, N.D. Ill.).
  • Defended a market maker in private litigation alleging a conspiracy discriminating against certain options traders.  (Last Atlantis v. Chicago Bd. Of Options Exchange, N.D. Ill.).
  • Defended an insurer accused of conspiring to prevent issuance of surety bonds to municipality (Guarantee Co. of America v. City of Grand Rapids, W.D., MI.).
  • Represented an opt-out antitrust plaintiff in a case accusing the corrugated industry of coordinated downtime at its mills (In re Linerboard Antitrust Litigation, E.D. PA.).
  • Represented and advised a class member regarding opt-out options and in securing a settlement with the credit card industry in connection with claims of unlawful coordination on debit card fees (In re Visa/MasterCard Antitrust Litigation, E.D. NY).
  • Prevented former employee of an on-line trading company from disclosing key company secrets, including salary and other compensation information he unlawfully obtained concerning the company’s top executives.
  • Advised a national magazine distributor faced with a competitor’s interference with contracts essential to the distributor’s business.
  • Represented Fortune 500 company as opt-out plaintiff in massive civil litigation to recover damages from multi-national manufacturers convicted of fixing prices on items used in the production of its goods. (In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, D.D.C.).
  • Represented an executive of a meat processing corporation targeted in an investigation of an alleged conspiracy to restrain trade in the foodstuffs industry.
  • Prosecuted an unfair competition case on behalf of largest franchisee in retread tire industry against market leader (Treadco v. Bandag, American Arbitration Association).
  • Defended a manufacturer in dealer termination litigation alleging violation of franchise and antitrust laws.  (Argo Int’l v. Viking Pump, N.J.).

As part of our practice, our lawyers are active in leadership positions in the antitrust industry and various trade groups including the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, the Council on Antitrust & Unfair Competition Law of the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association’s Antitrust Committee. Before joining Butler Rubin, members of the practice held positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the offices of State Attorneys General.

*Rated as a “highly recommended” Antitrust Law Practice by international publication, Global Competition Law 100.