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It is my privilege to serve as editor of the inaugural first edition of GCR’s The Settlements Guide.

Countless treatises exist to help counsel navigate substantive and procedural issues in antitrust litigation and enforcement matters. Yet the overwhelming majority of antitrust conduct matters conclude with some type of voluntary settlement. There is remarkably little practice guidance focused primarily on the settlement process in antitrust matters. This Guide fills that need.

A word on what this Guide is not. It does not address merger remedies, because that topic is addressed comprehensively elsewhere. The focus of this Guide is on antitrust conduct matters, both criminal and civil, and the settlement strategy and process considerations relevant to them.

What follows is a series of chapters from some of the world’s leading competition law experts offering their advice and insights on whether, when, how, where and why to settle global antitrust conduct matters. The goal is to provide a strategic framework for developing a settlement strategy, and to provide detail on important local considerations in most key competition law jurisdictions around the globe.

Part I covers strategic considerations for antitrust settlements. Chapter 2, Developing a Global Settlement Strategy, sets the table for the Guide by outlining overarching themes and questions that target companies should consider at the outset of any global conduct matter that stretches across multiple jurisdictions, enforcers and claimants.

Part II digs deeper into the settlement process and strategy relevant to specific antitrust government enforcers in major jurisdictions. Chapters 3 and 4 address settlement of EU cartel and non-cartel matters, respectively. Chapter 5 provides an insight into hybrid settlements in the EU. Chapters 6 and 7 offer insights on settling US governmental cartel and non-cartel conduct cases, respectively. Part II concludes with Chapter 8, which sheds light on settlement processes and considerations with China’s new integrated antitrust enforcer, SAMR.

In Part III, the Guide’s focus turns to settlement of private damages claims. The US has always been the epicentre of antitrust damages litigation, so Part III kicks off with Chapter 9 on settlement of US antitrust class actions. Just in time for Brexit, Chapter 10 details settlement considerations for the UK’s private claimant process. Chapter 11 concludes with an assessment of the settlement process in the Netherlands.

Finally, Part IV provides detailed country-specific guidance on core settlement questions for many other important jurisdictions: Australia (Chapter 12), Brazil (Chapter 13), Canada (Chapter 14), Chile (Chapter 15), England and Wales (Chapter 16), France (Chapter 17), Italy (Chapter 18), Japan (Chapter 19), Mexico (Chapter 20) and Spain (Chapter 21). Each chapter addresses specific questions about each country.

This new Guide, we predict, will become a central resource for practitioners and companies when planning settlements of antitrust cases. Thanks go to all the authors for the expertise and effort devoted to this first edition. Thanks also to the tireless energy, efficiency and organisation of the GCR editorial team.

We hope you enjoy the Guide.


1 Mark H Hamer is a partner at Baker McKenzie.

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