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Law360 Analysis: Price-Fixing Among Class Action Plaintiffs Firms

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WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014 -- In a recent Law360 article, Baker Botts antitrust lawyers Joseph Ostoyich and William Lavery “take new look at an old and fairly common practice among businesses that ostensibly compete with each other.”

Ostoyich and Lavery reviewed the “common practice” and don’t believe that it looks good, noting that it “looked a lot like price-fixing among class action plaintiff firms.”

In the article, they note that as soon as a “government price-fixing investigation becomes public knowledge, within a week, the first civil case is filed: a purported nationwide class action of direct purchasers filed in federal court by a law firm on behalf of a single named plaintiff.”

Throughout the process, Ostoyich and Lavery write that, “courts can and should require law firms vying for lead counsel positions in class cases to submit blind bids detailing their rate proposals.” The Manual for Complex Litigation calls this an “experimental” approach to lead counsel selection, but that is a holdover.

Ostoyich and Lavery add, “Competitive bidding makes sense. It is, after all, what the antitrust laws require of all competitors. There should be no exception for plaintiffs’ lawyers.”

To view the entire Law360 article, please click here.



About Baker Botts L.L.P.
Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 15 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients’ industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Throughout our 174-year history, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit BakerBotts.com.

 

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