Antitrust Business Litigation, Class Action Defense

Gunster attorneys advise and represent clients in complex, high-profile antitrust issues. The stakes can be high—often with treble damages, or significant leverage in business-critical negotiations—on the line. Antitrust concerns are often a byproduct of a company’s success and corresponding growth, whether by acquisitions or simply an increase in market share. Our experienced legal counsel can help businesses minimize the risk of antitrust issues and manage them well if they do arise.

The subject matter of antitrust proceedings can be extraordinarily intricate and theoretical, involving highly complex legal concepts. In addition, to be effective, counsel must understand a client’s business, market, competitive and commercial strategy in detail. Even the procedures are intricate and demanding. And in an enforcement-minded regulatory environment, experienced, strategic and if necessary, aggressive counsel is a must.

The best way, of course, is to avoid antitrust legal issues in the first place. Whenever possible,  we prefer to be an ounce of advisory protection rather than a pound of courtroom cure. Our clients depend on us to evaluate, and keep abreast of, an ever-evolving matrix of state and federal antitrust and trade regulation statutes and regulatory actions, including the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, the Robinson-Patman Act, the FTC Act and Florida’s antitrust statutes.

We provide analysis, and actionable solutions that help our clients proactively avoid enforcement violations, ranging from implementation of compliance programs to tailored antirust counseling. Our clients are both public and private companies, including their officers and directors. We help them devise and implement strategies that help minimalize and ideally, avoid, antitrust liability.

Should a dispute be unavoidable, however, Gunster attorneys are experienced at mounting vigorous defenses of antitrust claims lodged under both federal and Florida law. We defend clients against claims founded on, among other things, allegations of price fixing, bid rigging, steering, distribution restrictions, group boycotts, market allocation,  monopolization, tying, concerted refusal to deal, price discrimination, and conspiracy.

An antitrust defense is fact-intensive.  We work hand in hand with our clients to make ourselves experts in their businesses, their industries, and their markets so we can understand the procompetitive reasons for their conduct and prepare the strongest possible defense.

From the outset, we litigate each case as if it will ultimately go to a jury, and our opponents understand we are not afraid to defend our clients at trial. Our focus on the courtroom not only affords us leverage in resolving our clients’ cases but also makes us more efficient. All our pretrial work – our motion practice and discovery –– is done with a view to educating the court and introducing, developing and testing the facts and themes that will be the foundation of our client’s defense at trial. Further, this courtroom-focused approach allows us to efficiently identify themes that will resonate quickly and early.

Throughout the course of a matter, we also prioritize ongoing, in-depth communication with our clients. Antitrust cases, particularly negotiations, can be fast-moving, and based on circumstances, can change rapidly. A fundamental Gunster principle is to ensure that our clients are never surprised, and are always aware of the situation, their alternatives, our recommendations, and the reasons behind them. Communication, to us, is paramount.

In antitrust matters, the essential dynamic is the full power of government regulatory agencies applied to companies doing business in a market. It’s a strategic and legal situation that requires representation that is experienced, knowledgeable and has the judgment needed to help clients both manage risk and recognize opportunity. As Gunster, this is what we do. This is how we succeed. And this is what our clients rely on.


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