Earlier this week Global Competition Review held its annual awards ceremony, with 25 awards going to firms, cases and individuals that in the past year delivered best practice performance. Two advisors of economic consultancy firm Oxera managed to scoop an award in the ‘Litigation of the Year – Cartel Prosecution’ category.
Every year Global Competition Review (GCR) organises its annual awards ceremony, a competition which recognises the achievements of teams and individuals from economic consultancies, private practice firms, corporate legal departments, academic organisations and competition authorities. In total 25 awards are handed out, across four main categories: Case Awards, Firm Awards, Enforcement Awards and Individual Awards. Nominees for the 2015 GCR Awards were submitted by GCR readers, and complemented by input from GCR journalists.
Oxera, a European-based economics consultancy with offices in London, Oxford, Berlin and Brussels, received four nominations for the final. Two of the firm’s experts, Helen Jenkins and Robin Noble, were shortlisted in the categories of ‘Litigation of the Year – Cartel Prosecution’ and ‘Matter of the Year’, for their role in helping National Grid to achieve a settlement from the gas-insulated switchgear cartel.
Jenkins and Noble acted as expert economists for National Grid, which sought damages against four defendants – Alstom, ABB, Siemens and Areva – following a European Commission finding of a breach of Article 101 TFEU. Oxera calculated how much had been spent on switchgear during the cartel period (1988 to 2004), the size of the overcharge, the extent to which the overcharge had been passed on to electricity consumers in the form of higher charges, and interest payable. The case, according to analysts one of the largest and most complex cartel litigations ever seen in Europe, was settled before going to trial.
Gunnar Niels, a partner at Oxera, was shortlisted for the ‘Economist of the Year’ category, in recognition of his contribution to numerous high-profile cases in 2014. During this period Niels advised Liberty Global on the European Commission inquiry into its acquisition of Ziggo; provided economic advice to a bank in the European Commission Article 101 investigation into the credit default swaps market; acted as the court-appointed expert in an abuse of dominance case involving gas contracts and was the economic adviser to Skyscanner during its successful appeal of the OFT’s commitments Decision in the online hotel bookings market.
Lastly, Sir John Vickers, Economics Council member at Oxera, was nominated in the ‘Academic Excellence Award’ category in recognition of his role as a leading authority on competition in financial services, and his ability to step between the worlds of academia, government and commerce.
The Annual Awards Ceremony of the 5th edition of the GCR Awards took place last Tuesday (14th April) in Washington, D.C., with Jenkins and Noble managing to scoop the award in the ‘Ligation of the Year – Cartel Prosecution’ category. “Oxera is extremely proud of the award, as it reflects more than three decades of successfully advising companies, policymakers, regulators and lawyers on economic issues connected with competition, finance or regulation”, comments the firm in a press release.