Steven Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm today was selected as an Honoree for the American Antitrust Institute’s (“AAI”) 2019 Antitrust Enforcement Awards for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice. He was selected for this prestigious award for his key role in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2311, No. 2:12-md-2311 (E.D. Mich.).
The Auto Parts End-Payor Plaintiff cases stem from the largest criminal antitrust investigation in U.S. history, resulting in more than $2.9 billion in criminal fines. The cases encompass 41 separate actions against more than 160 Defendants, each involving different automotive parts and different conspiracies. They allege that Defendants engaged in decades-long global conspiracies to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate markets for numerous automotive parts, from wire harness systems to air conditioning systems to windshield wipers. Counsel negotiated 74 unique settlements totaling more than $1.2 billion.
The End-Payor Plaintiffs’ recovery in Auto Parts is a significant achievement for private antitrust enforcement. In order to obtain recovery, counsel (comprised of Steven; Cotchett, Pitre, & McCarthy, LLP; Robins Kaplan LLP; and Susman Godfrey LLP) overcame challenges unique to civil antitrust litigation, such as demonstrating antitrust injury and pass-through. Moreover, counsel successfully obtained significant settlements with several Defendants who were not prosecuted in the DOJ criminal cases, did not plead guilty, or did not apply for leniency. Counsel’s efforts went far above and beyond the parallel criminal cases and resulted in recovery for the true victims of the conspiracy. The Auto Parts rulings have enriched the body of law on antitrust issues—in particular, those arising in indirect purchaser and component parts cases—and have been cited numerous times in subsequent antitrust decisions across multiple jurisdictions.
In 2017, the Firm was honored for this same award for its record-setting settlement in In re Cipro Cases I and II. It was also a Finalist for this award in 2015 for its success on In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation.
The American Antitrust Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization devoted to promoting competition that protects consumers, businesses, and society. It serves the public through research, education, and advocacy on the benefits of competition and the use of antitrust enforcement as a vital component of national and international competition policy. AAI’s award will be presented at an awards dinner on November 12, 2019, following the AAI’s Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference. Honorees receive an engraved award.