GCR 100 - 17th Edition


Professional notice

The role of economists may seem uncontroversial within the antitrust community, but can still raise questions outside it. After all, economics can determine how agencies and courts perceive the likelihood that a merger will hurt consumer welfare; how much and to whom cartelists caused damage; and whether a company’s conduct was possible only because it dominated the market.

James Denvir, a longtime US antitrust attorney, recently said that “in front of the government, in many cases the most important advocate is the economist and lawyers come second”. He was quoted in an ProPublica article titled “These Professors Make More Than a Thousand Bucks an Hour Peddling Mega-Mergers”, which assailed economists who put their academic stature to work on behalf of corporate consolidation.

Of course, economists are not only on the side defending the merger, cartelists or dominant company. In addition to the competition authorities that employ economists – either full-time or as outside contractors – a host of plaintiffs and third parties also use economics to advance their own interests.

Battles between economists with differing views and clients have even gone from warring submissions on paper to occasional live debates, thanks to the growing popularity of “hot-tub” presentations in which judges can pit experts directly against each other who pick out the flaws and weaknesses of each other’s claims.

As more competition matters go before non-specialist tribunals, the ability to translate numbers and equations into language that non-economists can understand has become ever more crucial – as has the ability to go beyond language. Shortly before leaving the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, deputy for civil litigation David Gelfand advised economists to “use lots of charts and pictures when presenting to lawyers. Text slides, not so much.”

Many of the consultancies whose members’ names commonly appear on white papers, witness lists and expert reports feature prominently in the Economics 21 – our annual list of the top economics practices around the world.

The Economics 21 is GCR’s assessment of the world’s leading economic consultancies. Each entrant qualifies for the list based on factors including size of practice, reputation, work over the past year and number of nominations to our sister benchmarking publication, Who’s Who Legal: Competition.

We asked the consultancies to provide details about the work they’ve done over the past year, including case-by-case breakdowns in mergers, cartels and behavioural matters. We also asked them to differentiate between their expert testimony work and their consulting practices, and say how their work helped drive the outcome of a case. We believe this information will give readers a better understanding of the 21 groups that appear in our listings.

The increase in deal litigations in the US has created opportunities for head-to-head clashes among several economists from these consultancies. For example, when the Department of Justice sought to prevent General Electric from selling its appliance business to Electrolux, the agency hired Michael Whinston of Bates White to explain to the court why competition from Asian manufacturers was not enough to prevent harm to consumers. Whether Judge Emmet Sullivan ultimately would have given more weight to Whinston’s testimony or that of Electrolux’s expert, Jonathan Orszag of Compass Lexecon, is unknown – GE dropped out of the deal in December 2015, before the trial ended. But even without a decision, the DOJ counted it as a victory.

Judge Sullivan did get to reach the end of trial when the Federal Trade Commission challenged the Staples/Office Depot tie-up, albeit without hearing the office supply companies present any witnesses. That meant the FTC could say that Charles River Associates senior consultant Carl Shapiro’s testimony and analysis concerning the hypothetical monopolist test – in which he said Amazon.com would not prevent harm to corporate customers from the merger – “stands unrebutted. Defendants chose not to call their economic expert, Jonathan Orszag, in this proceeding.” (That Orszag was the defence expert in both litigations is not for lack of colleagues; Compass Lexecon counts 374 competition specialists, more than any other group in the Economics 21.)

The contributions of economists to competition matters sometimes become public even without a court proceeding. In ongoing tussles about the level of competition in Australia’s telecommunications market, Economics 21 entrants NERA and Frontier Economics recently produced submissions on behalf of incumbent telecom Telstra and the Competitive Carriers’ Coalition, respectively. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority commissioned Oxera to report in March 2016 on how vertical restraints affect small businesses.

Doors continued to revolve between competition authorities and private consultancies. Canada’s Competition Bureau appointed Bates White partner Paul Johnson as the TD MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics. Copenhagen Economics hired Carsten Smidt, the deputy director general at the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority, and Emmi Martikainen from Finland’s Competition and Consumer Authority. John Davies, head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s competition division, joined Compass Lexecon, as did Xavier Boutin after spending seven years on the chief economist team at DG Comp. Charles River Associates hired Simon Chisholm and Francesca Sala from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

In just a sample of the musical chairs within the Economics 21, Cornerstone Research hired Peter Davis, a former deputy chairman of the UK’s Competition Commission, and Boaz Moselle from Compass Lexecon. Former DG Comp chief economist Damien Neven joined Compass Lexecon’s Brussels office from Charles River Associates. Charles River Associates hired Lars Wiethaus from E.CA Economics.

Economic consultancies also expanded geographically. Compass Lexecon opened in Hong Kong with Derek Ritzmann, formerly chief economist at the Competition Commission of Hong Kong. CEG opened its new office in Düsseldorf.

Perhaps the most significant shift in the market came as GCR 100 went to press, when Benelux competition policy and regulation consultancies Lexonomics and E.CA Economics merged, and Lexonomics founder Theon van Dijk became co-director of E.CA’s Brussels office.

A guide to the Economics 21

Global head

This indicates the leader of each consultancy’s competition practice. In several instances, there is more than one individual listed.

Home jurisdiction

This indicates the country where the consultancy first operated.

Total size of the firm

This indicates the total number of economists at the consultancy.

Number of competition economists

This figure indicates the total number of economists specialising in competition economics. A specialist is someone who spends at least 50% of his or her billable time working on competition matters. Economic consultancies use different terms to refer to senior and junior specialists. As such, we have grouped the competition specialists at each consultancy in the same way.

  • Group one: equivalent to a partner in a law firm, who leads major matters.
  • Group two: equivalent to a non-equity partner in a law firm, who leads cases but is not in a top level position.
  • Group three: equivalent to an associate with at least six years’ experience in a law firm, and who is on track for the second group.
  • Group four: equivalent to an associate within a law firm, with less than six years’ experience.

Percentage of the firm specialised in competition

This figure indicates the ratio of economists at the consultancy who specialise in competition economics, compared with the firm as a whole.

Number of Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees

This indicates the number of economists who appear in GCR’s sister publication, Who’s Who Legal: Competition.

Number of lateral hires

This figure indicates how many competition specialists joined the consultancy at group one or group two level between 31 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.

Number of departures

This figure indicates the number of group one or group two-level competition specialists who left the consultancy between 31 July 2015 and 30 June 2016. This does not specify the reason for leaving but does include retirement.

Number of internal promotions

This figure indicates how many competition specialists were promoted to group one between 31 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.


This section provides a picture of the largest matters that each consultancy handled between 31 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, though we make every effort to include significant developments since the end of this period, in the interests of making the publication as relevant as possible. We asked every consultancy in the Economics 21 to tell us about their headline cases of the last year, as well as any other interesting work that did not attract as much press coverage.

 Lateral HiresDeparturesPromotionsWho’s Who Legal:
Competition Nominees
Analysis Group1226
Bates White Economic Consulting1036
Berkley Research3116
Case Associates0001
Charles River Associates53338
Compass Lexecon731335
Copenhagen Economics9452
Cornerstone ResearchN/AN/AN/A6
E.CA Economics0103
Economists Incorporated1205
Edgeworth Economics1042
Frontier Economics0046
NERA Economic Consulting034415
RBB Economics1671014
Tendências Consultoria Integrad2240
The Brattle Group1034
LitigationPhase II mergers
Analysis Group176148614
Bates White Economic Consulting8113407
Berkley Research157131
Case Associates5150
Charles River Associates1772910
Compass Lexecon374N/A8N/A
Copenhagen Economics2112127
Cornerstone Research114N/AN/AN/A
E.CA Economics243203
Economists Incorporated355224
Edgeworth Economics628320
Frontier Economics929198
NERA Economic Consulting102184721
RBB Economics82364031
Tendências Consultoria Integrada18992
The Brattle Group6120262

Senior hires, departures and promotions

ConsultancyLateral Hires
RBB Economics16
Copenhagan Economics10
NERA Economic Consulting34
RBB Economics7
Copenhagan Economics4
ConsultancyInternal promotions
Compass Lexecon13
RBB Economics10
Copenhagen / Oslo5

RBB boosted its number of competition specialists from 72 to 82 this year, thanks to 16 lateral hires and 10 internal promotions that greatly outweighed seven departures. Copenhagen tied with Oslo on five internal promotions and with AlixPartners on nine lateral hires, to more than balance out four departures.

On the other hand, NERA lost 34 competition experts, though this was due partly to a change in how it reported the school-year return of some Group Four‐level staff who left to complete their studies. The firm hired none laterally, though it did promote four internally, including Agustin Ros to senior vice-president and Subramaniam Ramanarayanan to vice president. And as GCR 100 went to press, US president-elect Donald Trump named NERA managing director Jeffrey Eisenach to lead the transition at the US Federal Communications Commission.

Compass Lexecon went from 33 nominees in the Economists section of Who’s Who Legal: Competition last year to 34 this year. Yet Charles River Associates still maintained its lead, going from 36 to 38 Who’s Who Legal entrants – despite having fewer than half as many competition specialists as Compass Lexecon. As the dark horse third-place finisher, NERA managed to add to its number of economists recognised by Who’s Who Legal: Competition, despite decreasing its overall number of competition specialists, while RBB Economics lost one Who’s Who Legal nominee. Frontier Economics fell from nine to six Who’s Who Legal nominees.

Most competition specialists 

Compass Lexecon remains the behemoth of antitrust economics, with more than twice as many competition specialists as runner-up Charles River Associates. NERA took a hit in its number of competition specialists, going from 136 in last year’s survey to 102 this year – still in the top five, but now edged out in size by Berkeley and Cornerstone. Not that the latter two stood still; Berkeley added 45 competition specialists, Cornerstone 16. Meanwhile, 13 more economists were enough for Edgeworth Economics to hurdle into the top 10, ahead of the Brattle Group.

Number of government investigations

After leaping from 13 to 31 investigations last year to tie for first, RBB Economics now outstrips Oxera. Non-confidential matters for RBB, now the clear leader in advising companies targeted by government probes, included plenty of headliners: the European Commission’s case against Google for abuse of dominance in search and in mobile device operating systems, and against banks for euro interest rate derivatives and foreign-exchange manipulation; the dozen European member states that looked into Booking.com’s price-parity clauses. Meanwhile, the Brattle Group maintained its place in third, and NERA Economic Consulting moved into fourth by acknowledging that it had worked on 18 probes. However, all except four market investigations – including the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s market study of the private healthcare market, in which the firm consulted for Bupa health insurance – are confidential.

Number of antitrust litigations

The top three spots on this list look much the same as last year, with just a few more matters for each. But RBB Economics blazed up the ranking from eighth place to tie for third, as it boomed from 13 litigations last year to 40 this year – a massive increase. It probably can thank the increase in competition litigation in the European Union, as RBB advises more than a dozen companies that face cartel damages claims in countries from Spain to Austria. E.CA Economics entered the list this year with what it calls “a balanced portfolio of defendant and plaintiff cases, with some bias towards defence cases.” It assists companies being sued for damages based on many of the same cartels as RBB, such as air cargo and sugar, but also works for plaintiff groups in matters including UK retailers’ claims against Visa and MasterCard.

Number of in-depth merger investigations

RBB Economics overtook NERA Economic Consulting for the top spot this year – and it was not a very close race. While NERA’s number of in-depth mergers dropped by two, RBB added nine. The latter worked on tie-ups around the globe, with the largest number in the European Union and South Africa. Not all of its clients succeeded in closing their deals; two of the most-watched mergers RBB worked on for the buyers, Staples/Office Depot and Halliburton/Baker Hughes, failed under the opposition of US antitrust agencies.


AlixPartners is a growing firm with four Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees, providing economic counsel to some big name clients on a variety of issues.

  • Nine lateral hires to aid the growing team
  • High-profile work including for Visa International
  • Aided clients in governmental investigations, particularly in the financial industry
Global headsLiam Colley, Bruce Den Uyl
Home jurisdictionUK, US
Total size of firm34
Competition economists26
% of firm specialised76%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees4
Group one5
Group two11
Group three7
Group four11
Lateral hires9
Internal promotions1

Managing directors Liam Colley – a Who’s Who Legal nominee – and Bruce Den Uyl, based in London and Chicago respectively, head the economics consultancy team at AlixPartners. The firm has seen significant expansion over the last few years, and now totals 34 specialist competition and finance economists.

This year, AlixPartners worked on a succession of high-profile cases. Their litigation work included assisting Visa International; two separate groups of claimants pursuing the foam cartel through the High Court of England and Wales; six original equipment manufacturers on various car and truck parts cartels globally; a pay-for-delay litigation; and multiple confidential engagements. They advised companies on mergers, including Deutsche Telekom and Orange in obtaining an unconditional Phase II clearance of the sale of EE to BT, and EE on the proposed Three/O2 merger in the UK.

On the government investigations front, the AlixPartners represented HSBC in the UK Competition and Markets Authority probe of the retail banking sector, which resulted in behavioural remedies but no price controls. The team also continues to represent Visa Inc in the European Commission’s investigation of inter-regional multilateral interchange fees. The firm acted for Markit in relation to the EU enforcer’s investigation of the credit default swap market, which closed with commitments and no infringement decision.

Bates White Economic Consulting

Bates White offered economic expertise on several high-profile mergers and behavioural cases.

  • Involved in seven second request merger reviews, including the Halliburton/Baker Hughes tie-up
  • No group one or two departures in the last year
  • Helped secure significant settlements for plaintiffs in Urethane antitrust litigation
Global headsGeorge Rozanski, Randal Heeb, Cory Capps
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm158
Competition economists81
% of firm specialised51%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees6
Group one10
Group two13
Group three19
Group four39
Lateral hires1
Internal promotions3

Bates White continued to show its reputation among peers this past year with six Who’s Who Legal nominations, including co-heads George Rozanski and Cory Capps. Based in Washington, DC, the firm dedicates a large portion of its practice to economic litigation but also has 51% of its work in economic consulting. It grew further in size and now counts 81 competition specialists.

Of the 27 mergers on which Bates White worked last year, seven received second requests and several stood in the national spotlight. It prepared a testifying expert on behalf of the US DOJ in support of the antitrust division’s challenge to the proposed US$34.6 billion merger between Halliburton and Baker Hughes. The firm provided economic analysis of the merger’s effects on competition and that information supported the DOJ’s lawsuit against the deal, which the companies eventually abandoned. Partner Michael Whinston testified on behalf of the DOJ when the agency went to trial to stop the sale of General Electric’s appliance business to Electrolux, a deal that was abandoned at the end of 2015.

Bates White also advised on a number of prominent behavioural matters, both in private litigation and as a result of government investigations. That work included testifying at deposition and trial for a large group of opt-out plaintiffs in the Urethane antitrust litigation. The firm analysed impact and estimated damages, finding that the plaintiffs were overcharged by US$608 million, or 11%, between 1994 and 2003 as a result of alleged price-fixing conspiracy among chemicals suppliers. The opt-out plaintiffs reached settlements with the defendants, including a US$400 million payment from Dow Chemical.

Berkeley Research Group

The Berkeley Research Group grew substantially and now has one of the largest teams of competition economists in the market.

  • Hired 135 economists, of whom 45 are competition specialists
  • Two managing directors and one director promoted
  • Had lateral hires at several offices around the world
Global headsHenry Kahwaty, David Kaplan, David Scheffman
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm815
Competition economists157
% of firm specialised19%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees6
Group one26
Group two29
Group three50
Group four50
Lateral hires3
Internal promotions1

US-focused consultancy Berkeley Research Group grew considerably in the past year, hiring 135 new economists, of whom 45 focus on competition. The firm also added a couple of managing directors to boost its international presence; Ernesto Carrasco joined the Mexico City office from Carrasco Consultores, and Christos Pitelis – a professor and head of the strategy and international management group at the University of Bath – joined the London office. Director David Campbell also joined the Washington, DC, and Los Angeles offices after presiding over Wicomico Analytics Group.

It was a busy year for BRG, especially in front of Canada’s competition authority. Henry Kahwaty provided expert testimony in Parkland Fuel Corporation’s acquisition of Pioneer Energy, a merger involving the acquisition of gas stations and wholesale gas station supply contracts that was challenged by the Competition Bureau in Canada. Additionally, Church testified for the Toronto Real Estate Board in a high-profile dispute between the board and the Competition Bureau regarding sales prices and other information realtors used to create virtual office websites.

Case Associates

The smallest consultancy in the survey, but one that punches above its weight.

  • Overwhelming volume of work focuses on follow-on damage actions
  • Does regulatory work in media sector
  • Has been involved in litigation across the world, including in Lithuania, New Zealand and the UK
Global headsCento Veljanovski
Home jurisdictionUK
Total size of firm5
Competition economists5
% of firm specialised100%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees1
Lateral hires0
Internal promotions0

Cento Veljanovski is the founder, head and driving force of Case Associates, a London consultancy. It’s a small shop: only four other economists work at the firm, but all are specialised in competition. All of the firm’s work is related to litigation, in which Veljanovski acts as an expert.

Case Associates recently advised E-Trans International Finance, a foreign exchange money transfer organisation, in its case against Kiwibank in New Zealand for closing its accounts. Veljanovski participated in a hot tub, giving evidence that the actions of the bank in closing the accounts substantially lessened competition, but New Zealand’s High Court ruled in favour of the defendant in June 2016. In Leeds City v Samsung Electronics, a LCD cartel follow-on action, and an £11 billion damages action regarding MasterCard’s alleged price-fixing of interchange fees, Case undertook initial advisory work involving preliminary quantification of damages to assist lawyers and clients with secure litigation funding. In the flexible foam cartel follow-on damage action, the firm provided a preliminary quantification of overcharge damages before disclosure in the England and Wales High Court.


CEG may not be the biggest or oldest consultancy, but it picks up significant work for both governments and companies.

  • Eight offices in Europe, Australia and North America
  • Involved in investigations in Brazil, Singapore and Europe
  • Several government agencies are clients
Global headsNils von Hinten-Reed, Paul Reynolds, Jason Ockerby, Tom Hird
Home jurisdictionUK, Belgium, Italy, Australia, US
Total size of firm44
Competition economists30
% of firm specialised68%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees1
Group one11
Group two5
Group three8
Group four11
Part-time consultants9
Lateral hires2
Internal promotions4

CEG is celebrating the 10 years since it was launched by Tom Hird, Nils von Hinten-Reed, Paul Reynolds and Jason Ockerby as Competition Economists Group. In that time, it has expanded beyond Europe to Silicon Valley and Sydney. The firm opened offices in Paris in September 2015 and in Düsseldorf in May 2016.

Among other work for defendants, Von Hinten-Reed, Maarten Janssen and Loes Van Bohemen submitted an expert report for Mitsubishi Elevators Europe against a cartel damages claim brought by East-West Debt, which a Dutch court threw out in July 2016.

Barbara Veronese is advising Postemobile in a €300 million damages claim brought before the Rome court by Three Italia after Italy’s Antitrust Authority ruled that Poste Italiane must grant nondiscriminatory access to the postal office networks to Postemobile’s rivals.

The firm continues to have a strong hand in the interchange fee litigation making its way through the UK courts; it is currently acting for Sainsbury’s in the supermarket chain’s cases against Mastercard UK and Visa UK. CEG is also helping to defend Gruppo Argenta against allegations that it participated in a vending machine cartel, after Italy’s Antitrust Authority fined the company and its rivals more than €100 million in June 2016 for alleged market-sharing and price-fixing.

Charles River Associates

Charles River has worked on many complex cases throughout the US, Europe and elsewhere, and the firm remains a global powerhouse in the competition economics field.

CRA has 177 competition economists and works with 20 affiliated academics exclusively

CRA economist Carl Shapiro played a crucial role in helping the US Federal Trade Commission block the Staples/Office Depot merger

Lateral hires include former antitrust authority economists

Global headsMargaret Sanderson
Home jurisdictionUS, Europe
Total size of firm493
Competition economists177 employees, 20 exclusive affiliated academics
% of firm specialised36%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees39
Group oneN/A
Group twoN/A
Group threeN/A
Group fourN/A
Lateral hires5
Internal promotions3

CRA continues to serve as one of the leading firms for competition experts and is involved in a number of complex and interesting cases in the US and abroad. The firm also had several notable hires over the past year, bringing on consultants with regulatory and industry experience: Lars Wiethaus, Dan Donath, Francesca Sala, Simon Chisholm and Jennifer Fish. CRA also promoted three people to principal last year: Konstantin Ebinger, Oliver Latham and Josh Lustig.

Perhaps the most notable case with CRA involvement in North America this past year was the firm’s support of the US Federal Trade Commission’s case to block the US$6.3 billion merger between office supply companies Staples and Office Depot. Senior consultant Carl Shapiro, with the support of other CRA economists, analysed the antitrust and competitive issues around the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies. Judge Emmet Sullivan of a Washington, DC federal court sided with the FTC and leaned heavily on Shapiro’s testimony on market definition, market shares, competitive effects and entry in granting the agency a preliminary injunction.

In Europe, CRA economists advised supermarket operators Ahold and Delhaize before the European Commission and, after a referral, Belgium’s Competition Authority. The team provided economic reports in support of the deal, analysing local competition between the parties and their rivals based on disaggregated sales, price and loyalty card data and on econometric analysis of the impact of Ahold’s recent entry. The Belgian enforcer eventually cleared the tie-up with some divestitures.

Compass Lexecon

Compass Lexecon throws its weight into some of the world’s biggest competition cases, both mergers and conduct.

  • Involved in 198 merger-related matters
  • 374 competition economists
  • Many lateral hires and internal promotions across the firm’s offices
Global headsDaniel Fischel, Jonathan Orszag, Mark Israel, Jorge Padilla
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm473
Competition economists374
% of firm specialised79%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees33
Group one99
Group two39
Group three73
Group four150
Lateral hires7
Internal promotions13

Compass Lexecon saw a lot of change this past year, hiring nine people to senior positions within the firm. Three competition economists joined the firm as vice presidents – Daniela Bambaci in Houston, Aleksandra Boutin and Xavier Boutin in Brussels, and Matthias Pflanz and former OECD competition head John Davies in London. Damien Neven joined as a senior consultant in Brussels; Derek Ritzmann as senior vice president in Hong Kong; and Elizabeth Wang as senior vice president in Boston. The 13 promotions took place across the firm’s US and London offices, including four to the executive vice president level.

Companies hire Compass Lexecon to work on some of the biggest, most complex mergers around the globe, including Aetna/Humana, Anthem/Cigna, Sysco/US Foods, Expedia/Orbitz, Alaska Airlines/Virgin America, Agrium/Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Dell/EMC, AT&T/DirectTV, Siemens/Dresser-Rand and BT/EE.

In antitrust litigation, Compass Lexecon worked on a wide variety of major price-fixing and antitrust class action matters, such as Southeastern Milk, NCAA Athletic Grant-in-Aid Cap; and liquid-crystal-display and and cathode-ray-tube follow-on damages claims. In the Wellbutrin XL pay-for-delay case, senior consultant Robert Willig testified on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline that there was no likely anticompetitive delay to entry and that the reverse-payment settlement was procompetitive.

Copenhagen Economics

Scandinavian firm Copenhagen Economics continues to be a mainstay in front of the Swedish and Danish competition authorities, and added former deputy director-general of the Danish enforcer Carsten Smidt in September 2016.

  • Advised on 12 government antitrust investigations this past year
  • Worked on seven mergers
  • Nine lateral hires and five promotions
Global headsClaus Kastberg Nielsen, Henrik Ballebye Okholm
Home jurisdictionDenmark, Sweden
Total size of firm50
Competition economists21
% of firm specialised42%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees2
Group one2
Group two3
Group three9
Group four6
Lateral hires10
Internal promotions5

Copenhagen Economics maintained its modest practice and continued to be heavily involved in Northern Europe. On the merger front, the firm provided expert testimony for energy company Logstor in its acquisition of Powerpipe. The court dismissed in their entirety claims from Sweden’s Competition Authority that the merger would be anticompetitive, although the enforcer appealed the decision to Sweden’s highest court. The firm also consulted on two deals for Finnish retailing conglomerate Kesko, both of which were approved. In total, Copenhagen Economics worked on seven mergers this past year.

The firm was active in behavioural cases as well, advising the Växjö municipality in a case involving alleged anticompetitive sales activities by public entities. The court dismissed all of the SCA’s claims, which the authority appealed to the Market Court but then withdrew before proceedings began. Practice head Claus Kastberg Nielsen is also providing expert work on an abuse of dominance case and a damages case in the Stockholm district court, both which are pending. The firm consulted for companies in front of the Finnish and Danish competition authorities as well – including assessing the competitive effect of several confidential abuse of dominance cases. In total, Copenhagen Economics advised on 12 government antitrust investigations this past year.

Cornerstone Research

Cornerstone Research is a huge firm whose established presence in the UK and US allows it to work across borders for clients in major industries.

  • 114 competition-focused economists
  • Provided expertise for deals in healthcare, high technology, manufacturing, and consumer goods
  • Six Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees
Global headsRahul Guha, Andrea Shepard
Home jurisdictionUK, US
Total size of firm506
Competition economists114
% of firm specialised23%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees6
Group one16
Group two15
Group three39
Group four44

Cornerstone Research has proven itself a worthy contender in the global competition community. Rahul Guha, in the New York office, and Andrea Shepard, in the San Francisco office, co-head the practice. Consisting of 506 members, it has 114 competition specialists.

Over the past year, they have advised clients on regulatory issues in 14 mergers, including major transactions in healthcare, high technology, manufacturing, and consumer goods. In collaboration with Cornerstone’s finance practice, competition consultants have worked on regulatory and litigation matters arising in financial markets, including multiple assignments for clients and joint defence groups facing allegations related to the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate and similar benchmarks, foreign exchange derivatives, and US treasuries.

The firm has also worked on a number of cases involving allegations of vertical and horizontal conspiracy in multiple industries, including agriculture, publishing, consumer products, media and entertainment, high technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, auto parts, financial services, and transportation services. In many of these cases Cornerstone has worked on both the class certification and merits phases. The group has also been active in cases at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property, including work on several patent matters involving standard-essential patents and the use of injunction as a remedy.

Economists Incorporated

Economists Incorporated’s work on controversial mergers has put it on the other side from the US Department of Justice multiple times in the past year.

  • Represented two pharmaceutical companies and three healthcare companies on various issues
  • Worked on noteworthy deals, including the mega-merger of health insurers Anthem and Cigna
  • Advised on the ongoing Domestic Drywall antitrust litigation
Global headsJonathan L Walker, David A Argue, Matthew B Wright
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm58
Competition economists36
% of firm specialised62%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees0
Group one11
Group two3
Group three11
Group four11
Lateral hires1
Internal promotions0

Things remained relatively the same for Economists Incorporated in terms of the firm’s size this past year, even as the 36 competition specialists engaged in interesting and complex antitrust work. The team worked on Tribune Publishing’s acquisition of Freedom Communications out of bankruptcy, analysing the market affected by the deal and submitting a declaration to a federal court. The deal was investigated and opposed by the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division, and ultimately enjoined. Economists Incorporated also has been involved in the health insurance merger between Anthem and Cigna. The firm analysed the market definition and market shares, the likelihood of competitive effects arising from the merger, and the possibility of buying-side market power, among other concerns. At the time of writing, the Antitrust Division was going to trial to stop the tie-up.

Turning to conduct issues, Economists Incorporated worked on more than a dozen collusion cases this past year and several monopoly cases, including at least two in the pharmaceutical industry. Philip Nelson served as the testifying expert for plaintiff SawStop in its claim that large manufacturers of power tools engaged in a group boycott of the company’s table saw safety technology antitrust litigation. He analysed the implications of the alleged boycott and the damages claims. The firm provided deposition testimony for defendant CertainTeed Gypsum in the Domestic Drywall antitrust litigation, examining and analysing the alleged conspiracy involving gypsum wallboard products. The client won its motion for summary judgment.

E.CA Economics

E.CA Economics is an entirely antitrust-dedicated firm with three Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees leading the team.

  • 100% of team works on competition cases
  • Handling more than 20 litigation cases across Europe
  • Productive partnerships with European School of Management and Technology and Bates White
Global headsHans W Friederiszick, Rainer Nitsche
Home jurisdictionGermany, Belgium
Total size of firm24
Competition economists24
% of firm specialised100%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees3
Group one3
Group two1
Group three10
Group four10
Lateral hires0
Internal promotions0

Hans W Friederiszick and Rainer Nitsche continue to lead E.CA Economics, which includes fellow Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominee Vincent Verouden. The firm benefits from its partnerships with the European School of Management and Technology and US firm Bates White, and its team of 24 economists handle important cases for major clients out of Berlin and Brussels.

While many of E.CA’s cases are confidential, the firm did notable work this past year on some public matters, such as winning approval of the HeidelbergCement/Italcementi tie-up from the European Commission; performing research for a leading German waste company on the determinants of privatisation and re-municipalisation in the industry; and standing in as the court expert in a major Austrian casino tie-up, leading to the merger’s prohibition. In total, the firm worked on three Phase II mergers and two appeal cases.

The firm was very active in conduct matters this past year too, handling more than 20 cases across industries. E.CA worked on the air cargo cartel investigation, the damages claims involving Visa and Mastercard, and litigation in the bearings, beer, coffee, cold cuts, gas insulated switchgear, rail tracks, sugar, trucks and smart card chips industries. In many of those case, the team provided a quantification of damages – typically involving court testimony – in-depth settlement support, and a complex analysis of whether any higher prices had been passed on to the end consumer.

Edgeworth Economics

Since its founding in 2009, Edgeworth has undergone expansive growth, amassing more than 60 competition economics specialists with three offices on both US coasts.

  • Handling more than a dozen antitrust litigations in the US
  • Specialist Chinese antitrust and economic expertise
  • Testifying on liability, damages and class certification in multiple matters
Global headsJohn Johnson
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm93
Competition economists62
% of firm specialised67%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees2
Group one11
Group two9
Group three8
Group four34
Lateral hires1
Internal promotions4

With three offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Edgeworth Economics has pretty much all its bases covered in offering a US-wide competition economic consultancy. John Johnson leads the group, which includes perennial Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominee Gregory Leonard. Partner Fei Deng is also highly regarded, with sought-after expertise on advising Chinese companies on US antitrust law, and vice versa, having served as a consultant to the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of China’s Ministry of Commerce.

Edgeworth makes its name in antitrust litigation and consulting on international investigations. It is currently acting on behalf of defendants in some of the most significant US matters at the moment, including the Mushroom, Processed Eggs and Rail Freight Surcharge class actions. It is also helping to defend C&S against allegations by Midwestern grocery stores that the wholesaler and its rival SuperValu allocated markets. A Minnesota federal judge ruled in September 2016 that the grocery stores could proceed as a class, but only if that class excludes retailers in Missouri.

The firm acted on behalf of Black & Decker, Robert Bosch and other table saw makers in a case alleging that the companies boycotted SawStop’s safety technology. A Virginia federal judge ruled in October 2016 that the plaintiff’s antitrust claim is time-barred. Edgeworth is also working on behalf of a joint defence group in the Automotive Parts follow-on damages claims for wire harnesses, bearings and anti-vibrational rubber parts.

Frontier Economics

Frontier Economics continues to make its presence known in the courtroom, with several high-profile matters ongoing in the finance, retail banking, energy and air cargo sectors.

  • Advising on several complex Phase I tie-ups
  • Involved in eight Phase II mergers
  • Representing clients in four ongoing government investigations in Europe and the UK
Global headsZoltan Biro
Home jurisdictionUK
Total size of firm171
Competition economists92
% of firm specialised54%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees6
Group one9
Group two19
Group three23
Group four41
Lateral hires0
Internal promotions4

It has been another busy year at Frontier Economics, which added 15 competition specialists to its already sizable practice. Six of its competition specialists are Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees, including practice leader Zoltan Biro.

The firm is handling a plethora of behavioural matters in a wide range of industries. For example, it is currently counselling JPMorgan Chase in relation to the EU’s investigation of euro interest rate derivatives. It also recently advised the Premier League regarding the telecommunications regulator’s probe into the English football league’s sale of its television rights. Competition litigation work is rife at Frontier, as the firm continues to act on behalf of clients in the foam, smart card chips, and gas insulated switchgear follow-on damages actions, to name a few.

In mergers, Frontier advised Ladbrokes in its tie-up with Coral. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority conditionally cleared the deal in May 2016, requiring the gambling companies to sell 350 to 400 of their betting shops to obtain merger clearance – the largest divestiture package the CMA has ever suggested publicly. The consultancy is also working on the Three/O2 in the UK, which the European Commission blocked in May. The telecommunications companies are appealing against the decision to the General Court of the European Union.


Lear continues to focus on abuse of dominance and cartel cases, and was involved in six proceedings before competition authorities.

  • Counts several major Italian companies as regular clients
  • Assisted a major Italian broadcaster involved in an investigation by Italy’s Antitrust Authority for an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the market for football TV rights
  • Helping a major fruit packager in assessing damages from alleged participation in a cartel, investigated by the Spanish competition authority
Global headsPaolo Buccirossi
Home jurisdictionItaly
Total size of firm9
Competition economists9
% of firm specialised100%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees1
Group one1
Group two1
Group three3
Group four4
Lateral hires0
Internal promotions0

Italian economics boutique Lear is led by Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominee Paolo Buccirossi. The small group has remained busy this past year, advising several leading Italian companies on behavioural competition issues. For example, it helped telecoms company Wind to quantify the damages suffered in two abuse of dominance cases against incumbent Telecom Italia. Both follow-on actions from an investigation by Italy’s Antitrust Authority ended in 2015 with out-of-court settlements. The consultancy is also helping to defend Procter & Gamble against allegations that the company fixed the price of health and beauty products.

In other work, Lear has performed a detailed quantitative assessment for the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets regarding the effects of three sequential merger decisions involving competing supermarkets chains. Lear’s team identified and collected all the relevant data on the affected markets, as well as developed a methodology to assess the effect of the mergers on prices, product variety and ancillary services. Additionally, the European Commission’s directorate-general for competition retained Lear, along with DIW Berlin and Analysys Mason, to study the economic impact of competition policy enforcement in the EU telecoms markets.

NERA Economic Consulting

It has been an active year for NERA Economic Consulting, which worked on many high-profile matters in several jurisdictions.

  • Handled 72 merger investigations between July 2015 and July 2016, 21 of which received a second request or went into Phase II
  • Also advised on 47 antitrust litigations across the globe
  • Was involved in 18 government antitrust or competition law investigations
Global headsLauren Stiroh
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm500
Competition economists102
% of firm specialised20%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees15
Group one14
Group two16
Group three28
Group four44
Lateral hires0
Internal promotions4

This past year, Lauren Stiroh was named chair of NERA’s global antitrust and competition practice. The consultancy maintains a busy docket, handling antitrust litigation cases across a number of different jurisdictions. In Europe, where Frank Maier-Rigaud is head of competition economics, it worked on nine damage quantification and five other litigation cases, as well two Phase II merger cases, four market investigations and two state aid cases.

NERA was also very active in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, it provided an expert report regarding the tie-up between Z Energy and Chevron New Zealand. New Zealand’s Commerce Commission cleared the deal in April 2016, requiring the companies to sell 19 service stations and one truck stop in locations where the authority had concerns that the merger would harm competition.

In the US, the firm is helping to defend the National Collegiate Athletic Association against allegations that it is reducing opportunities for student‐athletes by artificially decreasing the supply of scholarships. Stiroh, along with senior vice president Kent Van Liere, was retained by the NCAA to evaluate certain economic issues related to class certification. In March 2016, an Indiana federal judge denied the plaintiffs’ bid for class certification, citing results from both Van Liere’s research and Stiroh’s analysis.

Near the end of 2015, Mattress Firm retained NERA experts Timothy Watts and Ramsey Shehadeh to evaluate the likely competitive effects of its tie-up with rival mattress retailer Sleepy’s. NERA also assisted Mattress Firm’s counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright, with economic engagement with Federal Trade Commission staff during the competition authority’s investigation of the merger. NERA presented its research to the commission in December 2015, and the FTC closed its probe in early 2016 without placing conditions on the deal.

Oslo Economics

Oslo Economics is the leading competition economics practice in Norway, with a strong portfolio of merger work and other antitrust matters.

  • Advised on four mergers that went into Phase II
  • Involved in five competition law litigations
  • Hired 11 economists in the past year
Global headsRolf Sverre Asp, Ove Skaug Halsos
Home jurisdictionNorway
Total size of firm35
Competition economists15
% of firm specialised49%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees1
Lateral hires4
Internal promotions5

Oslo Economics has been growing its practice since the start of 2009 and is now the leading Norwegian consultancy specialising in competition economics. The firm hired 11 prominent economists this year, several of whom have strengthened the firm’s analytical ability in competition cases. These include Alexander Bråthen, who joined from the Norwegian Central Bank, and Arne Rogde Gramstad, whose doctorate is in competition economics and who specialises in network effects and digital markets.

During the last year, Oslo Economics has worked on a state aid and compensation case in the bus market, a case which required presentations at the European Free Trade Association in Brussels and preparations for the case at a Norwegian district court. It has also aided Norled, a client in the Norwegian ferry market, in a lawsuit against the government regarding compensation for mandatory discount rates for passenger transport. One partner appeared in a Norwegian court of appeals as an expert lay judge in a complicated compensation lawsuit regarding price discrimination in the telecoms market.

Oslo Economics is still prominent in the merger sphere, where it has been working on a large deal in the Nordic newspaper market. Merger cases in Norway have grown significantly in size and complexity, and the firm has tackled increasingly difficult topics: markets with peer effects and vertical relations, such as telecoms, and two-sided markets, such as newspapers.


Oxera is active on many big-ticket matters, including air cargo damages and the UK retail energy and retail banking investigations.

  • Handled 52 antitrust litigations in several jurisdictions
  • Advised on seven deals that received a second request or went to Phase II
  • Involved in 26 antitrust or competition law investigations
Global headsHelen Jenkins, Gunnar Niels
Home jurisdictionUK
Total size of firm93
Competition economists57
% of firm specialised61%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees6
Group one14
Group two4
Group three16
Group four23
Lateral hires0
Internal promotions1

The Oxera team experienced further growth in the past year, taking the total to 57 competition specialists across its four European offices in Oxford, London, Brussels and Berlin. Notable recent antitrust matters include the European Commission’s pay-TV investigation, in which Oxera advises Warner Bros; the commission’s investigation into MasterCard’s inter-regional interchange fees; and the UK CMA investigation into patent settlement agreements in the paroxetine market, where Oxera advised Generics UK. The team also advises parties on the European Commission’s preliminary inquiries into agreements between aircraft engine manufacturers and airlines. Oxera’s offices in Berlin and Brussels continue to expand. In addition to work on European Commission cases, the Brussels office, led by Pascale Déchamps, has been active in front of the French competition authority on article 101 cases in the parcel delivery sector and car rental sector. In Berlin, Enno Eilts and his team have worked on a number of follow-on antitrust damages cases in the automotive sector, as well as state aid and antitrust investigations in front of the European Commission.

Over the past year Oxera has worked on seven merger cases that were subject to a Phase 2 investigation; two in Brussels, four in the UK, and one in Ireland. In Brussels, it advised third parties on the H3G/O2 UK and Hutchison/Vimplecom mergers. In the UK it is advising the merging parties on the ICE/Trayport financial trading platforms deal and Arriva on its acquisition of the Northern rail franchise.

The Oxera team has also been involved in 52 competition litigation cases in the past year across a wide range of jurisdictions, including South Africa, Finland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the US, France and Belgium. The mix of cases includes follow-on claims and original actions. High-profile matters in front of the UK courts that the firm worked on included acting for MasterCard in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court, and the Unwired Planet v Huawei and Samsung High Court litigations.


PwC had a busy year across its major jurisdictions and beyond, helping clients on cases across Europe and Africa.

  • Advised major clients in South Africa and Mauritius
  • Worked on complex competition litigation matters
  • Conducted market analysis for mergers and other cases
Global headsN/A
Home jurisdictionUK, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany
Total size of firm200
Competition economists34
% of firm specialised17%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees1
Group one8
Group two12
Group three9
Group four5
Lateral hires1
Internal promotions 

PwC had another strong year applying economics in a number of competition cases, including market investigations, mergers, state aid matters and competition damages litigation. Of more than 200 economists in practices around the world, 34 spend the majority of their time on competition. The firm focuses its work in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, with Luisa Affuso leading the biggest team, in London. This year the team welcomed a new senior member, Pietro Crocioni, who joined the London practice in March 2016 as a senior manager. He was previously a principal economist in the chief economist team at Ofcom, the UK competition and regulatory authority in the communications sector.

On the merger front, the London team assisted Jersey Telecom on its planned three-to-two acquisition of mobile phone operator Airtel-Vodafone in Jersey and Guernsey. The team conducted a full economic analysis to demonstrate that the Channel Islands market would have been unlikely to sustain three operators given its scale and the operators’ investment requirements. Also in the UK, PwC gave confidential advice to the owners of a chain of retail stores that was being acquired by a larger retail chain. The merger was ultimately approved after a Phase II investigation by the CMA. In the Netherlands, PwC helped a pharmaceutical merger clear the competition authority’s regulatory standards, albeit with remedies.

PwC had a big year on the litigation and behavioural front, helping out on competition cases in the UK, Spain, South Africa, Mauritius and more. Notably in South Africa, PwC assisted South African Airways in a complex damages litigation following on from a finding by the competition tribunal of abuse of dominance. In Italy, PwC is currently assisting a client in a major investigation by the Antitrust Authority of alleged bid rigging of public procurement, which is based on the authority’s belief that bidding behaviour indicated an agreement to allocate the market among the major operators. The case is ongoing and will run until October 2017.

RBB Economics

RBB grew through promotion and lateral hires this past year, and the firm now has 82 competition-dedicated economists.

  • Provided economic analysis for many merging companies to help achieve unconditional or conditional clearances in the European Union and elsewhere
  • Involved in major multinational antitrust cases, including the investigation into Booking.com’s practices
  • Major presence across the globe, including Europe, Africa and Asia
Global headsN/A
Home jurisdictionUK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, France, South Africa, Australia
Total size of firm82
Competition economists82
% of firm specialised100%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees14
Group one15
Group two11
Group three24
Group four32
Lateral hires16
Internal promotions10

RBB Economics, whose 82 economists all focus on competition matters, is continuing to grow. This past year, the firm hired 16 people laterally and promoted 10 internally promotions; of the seven who left the firm, none were from groups one or two. The firm also boasts an impressive 14 Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees, and the expertise shines through with some of the major clients they represent.

On the merger front, RBB provided economic analysis for FedEx in its acquisition of TNT, a deal which was unconditionally approved in many jurisdictions, including the EU, Australia, China and Brazil. The firm also served as economists for Staples in its attempt to acquire Office Depot, attaining conditional clearance in the European Union for a deal that ultimately failed in the United States after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction. The firm also worked on many South African and Swedish mergers.

Regarding behavioural matters, RBB worked on behalf of some of the biggest companies in the world, including providing economic analysis for Google in its ongoing dominance case in front of the European Commission regarding its search feature and Android devices. The firm also helped Booking.com in investigations of its price-parity clauses by 12 national competition authorities; and provided economic analysis for JAL in the air cargo litigation, which has spanned much of the globe.

Tendências Consultoria Integrada

Tendências Consultoria Integrada has had another busy year with several top-level Brazilian matters, particularly in the petrol and chemical industries.

  • Handled several mergers in Brazil
  • Involved in several cartel cases in different sectors such as retail and civil construction
  • Hired two competition economists
Global headsFabiana Tito, Ernesto Guedes
Home jurisdictionBrazil
Total size of firm64
Competition economists18
% of firm specialised28%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees0
Group one3
Group two4
Group three4
Group four7
Part-time consultants15
Lateral hires2
Internal promotions4

The antitrust team at Brazil-based consultancy Tendências Consultoria Integrada is led by Fabiana Tito and Ernesto Guedes and includes highly regarded consultants such as Elizabeth Farina, formerly president of Brazil’s competition authority, who is currently seconded from Tendências to the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association.

Over the past year, Tendências Consultoria Integrada’s antitrust practice has advised companies on a number of deals, including the complex merger between Continental ContiTech and Veyance Technologies. The firm also advises various companies on compliance policies, as well as antitrust risk when negotiating deals under the pre-notification merger system.

Tendências has increased its work in cartel cases, working on the global cement industry, hermetic compressors, retail fuel dealers and others. The team has provided economic support to a number of private damages claimants, which in Brazil have begun to gain importance following an increase in the number of cartel fines. The consultancy also provided antitrust advice and data support in a range of behavioural cases and regulatory issues for companies in the telecoms, oil and petrol, online payment and financial sectors.

The Brattle Group

US-based Brattle Group continued to work on many mergers and other antitrust cases in jurisdictions around the world.

  • Involved in 26 antitrust litigation matters in the past year
  • Worked on two mergers in the Phase II or second request stage
  • Recently opened an office in Sydney, Australia, to expand its Asia-Pacific presence
Global headsCarlos Lapuerta, James Reitzes, Renée Duplantis
Home jurisdictionUS
Total size of firm230
Competition economists61
% of firm specialised27%
Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees3
Group one23
Group two7
Group three0
Group four7
Part-time consultants24
Lateral hires1
Internal promotions3

International consultancy the Brattle Group provides economic analysis and expert testimony on antitrust and competition matters in a wide range of industries throughout the world. Recent additions to the firm’s competition practice include principal Andy Harington, who is based in the Toronto office and has been recognised as an expert in the quantification of efficiencies. The firm recently opened a Sydney office, which will provide support to clients in the Asia-Pacific region on matters relating to competition.

In the past year, Brattle has worked on two deals that have proceeded on to a second request or Phase II investigation. These transactions have been reviewed, or are being reviewed, in North America and no clients have authorised the firm to discuss them.

While also not being able to discuss litigation efforts, Brattle has been involved in 26 competition law litigation matters in the past year, which have been heard in US federal and state courts, as well as Canadian and European tribunals. Lastly, Brattle has been involved in 20 government antitrust or competition law investigations over the past year, many relating to European, Canadian and US financial and energy markets. Additionally, the firm assisted several electricity suppliers in opposing a government investigation and fine, although that matter is also confidential.

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