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Germany: Hausfeld and Burford team up to tackle German cartels

 |  October 28, 2015

A new EUR 30 million joint venture has been announced between US-headquartered claimant firm Hausfeld and global financier Burford Capital, which will see the two firms expand into Europe through a new office in Berlin, with designs on an increasingly active competition litigation market.

Today’s announcement sees litigation firm Hausfeld expand its European practice into Germany, having opened a Brussels office in October 2014, positioning itself to take full advantage of the opportunities available for claimants and defendant litigators under the EU Damages Directive, which will have to be implemented into the legal systems of member states by 27 December 2016.

Speaking to CDR, Burford Capital chief investment officer Jonathan Molot says the new venture is about getting justice for victims of cartelised conduct: “In Germany there are lots of companies that have been victims of price cartels. They owe a duty to their shareholders to pursue these claims, but lack the budget to do so.”

Funding is the only viable option, he says, given Germany’s prohibitions on contingency fees and other alternative fee arrangements. “The joint venture between Hausfeld and Burford enables German companies to pursue meritorious claims and get the recoveries they deserve, without straining their legal budgets or taken undesired legal risk.”

The new venture, Hausfeld Rechtsanwälte will formally open in Berlin by 1 January 2016, and is borne out of client demand stemming from the rising number of competition claims in the region; this rise, in part, symptomatic of increased activity from the German regulator Bundeskartellamt, as well as the European Commission, at which Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has made a significant impact in her first year on the job, staunchly sticking to her mandate of upholding the Commission’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to all cartels.

Full content: Legal Business

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