Antitrust and trade regulation
The lawyers at Ellis & Winters have extensive experience in helping our clients win antitrust lawsuits and avoid civil litigation and criminal prosecution. For example, partner Matt Sawchak has been recognized by his peers as the best antitrust lawyer in North Carolina so many times that he is no longer eligible for the award.
Our lawyers have handled civil cases involving alleged price fixing, customer allocations, monopolization, resale price maintenance, and other competition-related claims. We have defended complex matters, including class actions, with stakes in the hundreds of millions of dollars. We have also helped our corporate clients recover millions of dollars in damages they have suffered because of other companies' antitrust violations.
Ellis & Winters lawyers have handled sensitive matters in which the federal or state antitrust enforcers have alleged criminal conspiracies to fix prices or allocate customers. In these matters, we have helped our clients interact effectively with the government lawyers. We have also helped our clients protect their rights during grand jury investigations.
We regularly help clients solve antitrust problems that never come to litigation. These issues usually concern our clients' own business plans, but sometimes they involve the actions of our clients' suppliers and competitors. We also offer companies more general advice on how to avoid problems under the antitrust laws. We do so both in informal settings and in seminars that we offer to executives and sales organizations. Our advice covers pricing issues, joint ventures and other alliances, intellectual property licensing, distribution, franchising, and dealer terminations.
Our experience in antitrust matters includes:
Our expertise in trade regulation extends beyond the usual claims under federal antitrust law. In this era of forum shopping, it is increasingly common for plaintiffs to sue in state court, under state law alone. North Carolina has a wide-open "unfair trade practices" statute that is a critical factor in antitrust cases, as well as most other business litigation, here. Our experience with these issues under North Carolina law is second to none. As one mark of this experience, our partner Matt Sawchak is the editor of the North Carolina chapter in the American Bar Association's 50-state treatise on state antitrust law.