August 03, 2016

Alison Frankel's On The Case
Copyright © Thomson Reuters

It's no wonder that II elite plaintiffs'  firms wanted to be named lead counsel of consolidated antitrust litigation accusing more than two dozen global banks of conspiring to exclude investors from electronic trading platforms in the market for interest rate swaps. The allegations are broadly similar to those leveled against many of the same defendants in litigation over the credit default swaps market - and that case settled last year for nearly $2 billion. The fee award for lead counsel in the credit default swaps case was $253 million.

And it's no accident that one of the leads in the CDS case- Quinn Emanuel 0rquhart & Sullivan, filed the first complaint claiming antitrust violations in the interest rate swaps market, which is even bigger than the CDS market.  Working with co-counsel from Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Quinn Emanuel leveraged its knowledge of swaps trading to develop  a theory that global banks colluded to protect their  intermediary role, blocking swaps buyers from dealing directly with sellers. Quinn Emanuel invested six months of time and $1 million in the case before it teamed up with Cohen Milstein to file a complaint for the Public School Teachers Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago, a longtime client of Cohen Milstein partner Carol Gilden, in federal district court in Manhattan in 2015.

The full article can be read here