Michael Hausfeld’s law firm helped to oversee the extraction of an additional $200 million during the past 12 months from air carriers accused of a massive conspiracy to fix prices for hauling cargo, bringing the total take from 17 settlements during the past three years to $485 million.
Hausfeld LLP was one of four lead firms (along with Kaplan Fox, Labaton Sucharow, and Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman) against Deutsche Lufthansa A.G., Swiss International Air Lines A.G., and nearly 30 additional defendants. The team managed more than 60 law firms in the action. The alleged price-fixing is thought to have inflicted billions of dollars in overcharges on direct and indirect purchases of air cargo shipping services.
The case required a vast amount of factual investigation and legal analysis, according to Hausfeld partner Brent Landau. “We vigorously litigated all aspects of the case to get the best results for our clients and the class — including by achieving substantial settlements,” he said.
Another highlight for Hausfeld was its role in reaching the first civil settlement with a Chinese company in an antitrust case. Aland (Jiangsu) Nutraceutical Co. agreed to pay $9.5 million to a class of direct vitamin C buyers and $1 million to indirect purchasers. Hausfeld was co-lead counsel for the direct purchasers with Boies, Schiller & Flexner and Susman Godfrey. The Eastern District of New York case was an offshoot of much larger Justice Department and private litigation against a cartel that involved European and Japanese manufacturers; Hausfeld was co-lead counsel in the original case.
The deal required the defeat of arguments by China’s Ministry of Commerce that the companies had acted in accordance with China’s regulatory scheme. Trial was to commence against the remaining defendants before year’s end.
Hausfeld has been named interim class counsel with Susman Godfrey against Barclays Bank PLC and additional defendants accused of juicing LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate, a benchmark interest rate that serves as a foundation for trillions of dollars of financial products worldwide. Barclays has conceded wrongdoing. More than two dozen law firms have filed lawsuits in the Southern District of New York and others were investigating possible claims.
“Given the size of the market and extent of financial products potentially affected, litigation regarding the manipulation of LIBOR is shaping up to be one of the largest, if not the largest, antitrust case in history,” said Hilary Scherrer, one of the partners on the case.