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Osborne Clarke acts on cartel case raising important issues on limitation


Written on 11 February 2020

International legal practice Osborne Clarke has acted for the claimants in a recent Commercial Court trial involving important time bar issues arising out of a computer components cartel. The outcome of the case is likely to have significant implications both for follow-on damages claims and for insolvency practitioners. 

The case considers the question of whether the limitation period started to run when admissions of guilt were made in a US DRAM memory chips cartel investigation, which preceded the European Commission’s investigation, or whether time runs from the date of the Commission’s decision. These points will be of wider interest since it is common for cartel decisions of the European Commission to follow an investigation in the US, or elsewhere.  Can claimants and practitioners assume that limitation runs from the date of the Commission decision or do they have to investigate in detail what may have happened previously in other investigations?

Judgment is currently awaited following the preliminary issue trial in the Commercial Court. The case is Granville (and others) v Infineon Technologies AG, Micron Europe Limited (and others). Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy act for the defendants.

In the recent 2020 Edition of GCR 100, Global Competition Review ranks Osborne Clarke as one of the top four European claimant firms in relation to cartel claims:

“Osborne Clarke … has an exceptional track record in pursuing claimant damages cases, securing important victories before courts across Europe. Under the leadership of Thomas Funke in Cologne and Simon Neill in London, nine partners work in tandem across the firm’s Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Madrid, London, Hamburg and Hong Kong offices.”

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