In 2002, Dr Ulrich Classen, an experienced competition attorney and a former official of the German Federal Cartel Office created CDC Cartel Damage Claims to gather under one roof all the legal, economic and IT skills needed to obtain redress for corporate companies.
He created CDC in direct response to the unsatisfactory situation whereby companies harmed by anticompetitive behaviour were unable to obtain redress even after competition authorities had established an infringement and imposed fines. The reasons why these damaged companies could not obtain the compensation they were entitled to were numerous and many are still relevant today:
- The case-law regarding the right to compensation was uncertain.
- Individual companies did not have sufficient market data to establish their damages.
- Calling upon legal and economic experts in the field was costly and rare.
- Procedures were risky, complex, and lengthy.
- Funding such actions was not a common practice.
All these obstacles were not only experienced by small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but also multinationals.
To overcome these obstacles, Ulrich had the idea to gather all the legal, economics, data analytics, IT, negotiation and funding skills necessary to prevail. In the cement case, the first case of its kind in Europe, CDC pioneered the method of aggregating claims from multiple damaged companies into one legal action taken in CDC’s own name and at its own cost and risk. This approach has been known ever since as the “CDC Bundling Model” and has resulted in competition law damage claims in Europe changing from pure theory to reality.
The innovativeness of CDC provided a real European solution for damaged companies in the absence of a class action system in Europe. It was a revolutionary perception of how current laws could be used to offset the significant advantages enjoyed by cartelists vis-à-vis their damaged customers.
Today, CDC operates throughout Europe with offices in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany while continuing to take on more cases and achieve more settlements as well as ground-breaking judgments. The unrivalled experience which CDC since 2002 in addition to its truly unique multi-disciplinary and pan-European team of experts enables damaged companies to focus on their core businesses while CDC achieves optimum compensation for antitrust damages.