Hausfeld has launched a High Court claim against Pilkington Group on behalf of motoring giant Volvo, almost three years after the car glass manufacturer was fined for price fixing.Pilkington was handed a €140m (£100m) fine by the European Commission in 2007 for conspiring with three glass manufacturers - Asahi, of Japan; Guardian, of the United States; Saint-Gobain, of France - to fix the price of flat glass and allocate markets for car glass products between 1998 and 2003.
Volvo has instructed Hausfeld partner Anthony Maton to pursue Pilkington for losses it suffered as a result of the price fixing.
Maton said: “The car glass cartel was fined at record levels by the Commission and caused substantial damage to our client Volvo and others in the struggling car industry.
“Volvo has therefore instructed us to recover the significant financial losses it suffered due to these inflated prices over a period of five years.”
Litigators across the City have reported a significant rise in the number of follow on actions arising from cartel investigations.
Last month British Airways went to the High Court to request that a number of international airlines, including Air France, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Cargolux, Qantas and Emirates, be named as co-defendants in a lawsuit over a price-fixing cartel for air-freight services.
BA pleaded guilty to price fixing to regulatory authorities in the US, Australia and Canada and were recently fined by the regulatory authority in South Korea. The EC, however, is yet to deliver a verdict on its investigation into the airline.
Slaughter and May partner Richard Swallow instructed Kenneth MacLean QC of One Essex Court to represent BA. Maton, who is representing two flower importers who claim to have suffered losses as a result of the alleged cartel, has instructed 20 Essex Street’s Iain Milligan QC to bring the claim.
That case is currently awaiting judgment from the Court of Appeal to decide whether Hausfeld can bring a representative action against BA.