While it is undeniable that class actions have a place in antitrust litigation, class action procedures need to be rethought and reformed so that the great costs they extract can be truly justified, says Peter Sullivan, co-chair of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP's antitrust practice group.
Transmeridian Exploration Inc. is asking a bankruptcy judge to approve the bidding and sale procedures for a plan to sell the debtors' interests in a Kazakhstan oil field to Ufex Advisors Corp. for $35 million.
Once companies are required to measure their carbon output and disclose the results, there will be a considerable amount of legal work associated with representing and financing the companies that can track and verify carbon, says Susan Mac Cormac, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster LLP's venture capital/emerging companies group and the cleantech group.
The entire financial services sector is about to enter an era of huge regulatory reform, and two top issues that have arisen are the need to think intelligently about systemic risk and consumer protection and to ensure that the industry remains globally competitive, says Nicholas F. Potter, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP whose practice focuses on corporate transactions in the insurance industry.
Right now we’re in the middle of a wave of litigation broadly relating to the financial crisis, and those cases will continue for some time. But after that, we are going to see some very large matters arising out of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity, says Patrick E. Gibbs, co-chair of Latham & Watkins LLP's securities litigation and professional liability practice group.
The fact that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission operate under different procedural rules but without any clear standards for deciding which agency gets which case is something of an embarrassment, says R. Hewitt Pate, head of Hunton & Williams LLP's global competition team.
The Employee Free Choice Act's "elimination of democratic principles" is not the type of reform that is needed in employment law, says Kenneth Kirschner, Hogan & Hartson LLP's labor and employment practice leader.
Sarbanes-Oxley did a lot more damage to the business world than was needed, and the hoops that issuers have had to jump through to comply with it have significantly increased operating costs – almost always unnecessarily, says William L. Prickett, chair of Seyfarth Shaw LLP's securities and financial litigation practice group.
Antitrust litigation and government investigations arising from disputes between branded and generic drug companies will continue to be prevalent, particularly if Congress passes legislation to amend the Sherman Act to make certain types of settlement agreements illegal, says Kevin Sullivan, a leader in King & Spalding LLP’s antitrust practice.
The biggest problem right now in securities litigation is the cost to corporations and their shareholders of dealing with all the litigation stemming from the revelation of a historical problem. The solution may involve rethinking the limits of director and officer indemnification, says Norman Blears, a leader in Hogan & Hartson LLP's securities and corporate governance litigation group.
The next wave of bankruptcy cases will likely involve the commercial real estate market, the paper and pulp industry — and the related newspaper industry — and commodities, says Marcia Goldstein, chair of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP's business finance and restructuring department.
Globalization is now a reality and the standards of business conduct for firms operating worldwide need to have some consistency and predictability. The Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission need to reconcile their differences over the rules governing single firm conduct, says James H. Walsh, chair of McGuireWoods LLP's antitrust and trade regulation department.
While further copyright legislation seems quite possible in connection with widespread use of Internet content, wholesale revision of large chunks of the Copyright Act does not seem very likely in the near-term, says Jeffrey P. Cunard, who leads Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s corporate intellectual property and information technology practices.
When creditor committees become overly confrontational, costs are unnecessarily increased and creditors’ returns unduly diminished. I think the solution would come in the form of increased oversight over committee practice, and through a revived spirit of professional “self-regulation," says Douglas M. Foley, chair of McGuireWoods LLP's restructuring and insolvency department.
The Obama administration cannot help but be more aggressive than the U.S. Department of Justice has been in the past few years, particularly with respect to single-firm conduct cases. The Bush team all but shut down the monopolization enforcement program at the Antitrust Division, says Daniel M. Wall, co-chair of the antitrust and competition practice group at Latham & Watkins LLP.
The recent successful criminal prosecutions of several of the most prominent plaintiffs attorneys of the past 30 years, including Mel Weiss and William Lerach, have conclusively demonstrated that criminal activity has permeated the highest ranks of decision-making in the plaintiffs bar, says Joseph DeSimone, co-leader of Mayer Brown's securities litigation and corporate governance action group.
We should expect more enforcement from the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice in monopoly and exclusionary practice cases — particularly in the pharmaceutical, communications and technology sectors, says Gary W. Kubek, a leader in antitrust litigation and counseling for Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Bankrupt clothier Hartmarx Corp. has asked a judge to approve the $85.5 million sale of substantially all of its assets to private investment firm Emerisque Brands UK Ltd., on the heels of an adversary suit brought by former licensing partner Perry Ellis International Inc. alleging trademark infringement and unfair business practices.
The lawyer for the salaried retirees of agricultural machinery maker Massey Ferguson Inc. has alleged the entity now in charge of their health care benefits unilaterally changed the plans in violation of a magistrate judge's order.
Johnson & Johnson plans to head to arbitration to seek the return of its full rights to market and sell arthritis treatment Remicade from Schering-Plough Corp. now that Merck & Co. plans to acquire the pharmaceutical company.