When your business is facing multiple investigations of cartel conduct across the globe, you need lawyers with the right experience in coordinating the company’s defense. This requires knowledge of the cartel laws and procedures in multiple countries, experience in front of international competition agencies and a proven record of coordination with counsel throughout the world. Vinson & Elkins lawyers have the requisite experience and the record, having successfully defended numerous companies in multi-national enforcement actions.
More the 30 countries have active cartel enforcement agencies with the authority to severely penalize companies accused of cartel behavior. In today’s global economy, goods are shipped throughout the world. Cartel conduct in one country therefore can have serious repercussions in jurisdictions throughout the world, sparking investigations by multiple countries. The most prominent jurisdictions investigating cartels throughout the world are the United States, Canada, the European Commission, Brazil, Japan, China, Australia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in cartel investigations involving all of those countries.
Our work for clients has many layers: We work with companies at the outset of investigations, handling the defense of grand jury investigations in the U.S. and responding to dawn raids in other jurisdictions. We quickly and efficiently conduct internal investigations to understand the scope of the potential problems a client faces. We advise on worldwide leniency strategies. We represent our clients throughout all phases of investigations, coordinating with local counsel in jurisdictions throughout the world. We are committed to providing our clients with the best cartel defense strategy to resolve multiple investigations on favorable terms.
There are many complex and nuanced issues to navigate in global investigations, each having ramifications. For example, there is often an issue as to whether to seek leniency in one or more jurisdictions or whether to continue to employ culpable employees. It takes years of experience, which we have, to advise on these difficult issues, consider both the legal and business implications, and navigate the various laws in multiple jurisdictions.
Our global cartel defense team is led by:
Craig Seebald, with 30 years of experience in the area, he has defended numerous companies in global cartel investigations;
Lindsey Vaala, the co-chair of the ABA’s Antitrust Section’s Cartel and Criminal Conduct committee, whose practice involves defending clients in multijurisdictional cartel, price-fixing and related civil and class action litigation across a variety of industries; and
Zach Terwilliger, the former U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted federal crimes, as well as the litigation of civil matters, and led a staff of more than 300 criminal prosecutors, civil litigators and support personnel across four offices.
Vinson & Elkins’ lawyers have represented corporate defendants and/or individuals in nearly every major investigation over the past decade.
In addition, our team has helped many companies avoid criminal investigations by proactively conducting internal investigations and conducting antitrust training. Indeed, we have also represented companies in obtaining amnesty from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. The government has a very successful amnesty program that allows companies to self-report antitrust violations in return for an agreement that the corporation and its employees will not be prosecuted. In short, we know the process and are able to move clients through the investigation effectively and efficiently, and when necessary, we are prepared to litigate.
Defended a large Japanese auto parts company in multiple investigations in the U.S. and coordinated defense in various other jurisdictions
Defended a large Japanese corporation and coordinated defense of company in the U.S., Canada and the European Commission; negotiated the first ever settlement agreement with the European Commission
Represented multiple large Japanese corporate defendants in U.S. grand jury investigations and Canadian investigation as well as U.S. and Canadian follow-on civil litigation
Represented a Chinese company, the largest worldwide producer of MDI in the U.S., in a grand jury investigation and follow on civil suits
Represented a Japanese company in investigations and civil litigation
Represented a German graphite electrodes supplier in worldwide investigations and civil litigation
Represent a senior executive of large tuna fish producer
Represented senior executive of major steel company in Australian investigation
Represented Japanese company and its U.S. affiliate in criminal antitrust investigation that was resolved without charges and related civil class action litigation