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The Impact of Contingency Fees on Collective Antitrust Actions: Experiments from Lithuania and Poland

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image of Review of Central and East European Law
For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

Contingency-fee agreements are one—if not the only—tool that can be used to ensure that small-stakes collective antitrust actions are heard, yet they are subject to strong resistance from the European Union. There is a concern that contingency fees could lead to abuses of the system or conflicts of interest, as has been seen in the United States. Contrary to EU policy, two proactive member states—Lithuania and Poland—have introduced the possibility of using contingency fees in group litigation in order to facilitate group actions. Despite having a lot of potential, this paper will demonstrate that the introduction alone of contingency fees will not facilitate the compensation objective that is embedded in the Directive on damages actions. In addition, it will show that the safeguard policy against frivolous litigation is sufficient to limit the possibilities for litigation abuses, but it is ineffective for monitoring the individual behavior of group representatives.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden Law School, Institute of Public Law, Europa Institute, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, <>


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