Dutch litigation firm targets French cartel claims with Paris launch

Quartet of senior lawyers open Paris arm of bureau Brandeis to pursue complex antitrust damages actions

Dutch litigation practice bureau Brandeis has opened a Paris office staffed by four senior EU and French competition experts to represent victims of cartels and other antitrust infringements.

The office will seek to take advantage of reforms in the EU to enable stronger public recourse to claims for damages for breaches of competition law including by way of class actions.

The team is led by chief executive Marc Barennes, who spent 15 years working for the European competition authorities, including as a senior court advisor (référendaire) with the General Court of the European Union and legal officer with the European Commission (DG Competition). Subsequently, he had a two-year spell as an executive director at Luxembourg boutique CDC Cartel Damage Claims before this lastest move.

He is joined by partners Sarah Subrémon, a former Deputy Rapporteur General of the French Competition Authority, David Reingewirtz, formerly a partner at Paris litigation boutique Kadran, and Philippe Zeller, who was a partner at DS.

In a statement, the quartet said: “Our relationship with bureau Brandeis Amsterdam allows us, whenever it is in the best interest of our French and EU clients in pan-European cases, to offer them the option to bring their damages claims before either the French or the Dutch Courts, which are notorious for being very favourable to antitrust victims.”

They added that they were already working on bringing a number of individual and collective damages actions for both private and public entities and promised the the arrival of new partners and associates, as well as the launch of new teams targeting other types of “high-stakes litigation".

Hans Bousie, a founding member of Amsterdam-based bureau Brandeis Amsterdam, said the Paris team had “a similar vision of the practice of the law, in particular that litigation is a tool to obtain justice”. 

Last February, international claimant litigation firm Hausfeld opened in Amsterdam after absorbing niche claimant firm Zippro Meijer, the two firms having enjoyed a longstanding working relationship acting together on several local cases.

And in June, Hausfeld announced a collaboration with Spanish independent Eskariam on joint follow-on litigation in relation to the 2019 Spanish milk cartel, which saw Spanish competition regulators fine ten cartelists, including leading international brands Danone and Nestlé, a total of €80m, for their involvement in an illegal cartel.

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