Monckton leads as Nokia prepares for price-fixing showdown

Mobile phone giant Nokia has been given permission to take a damages claim to trial, with a team from Monckton Chambers preparing to argue that its client has been the victim of an alleged price-fixing cartel.

Monckton’s Christopher Vajda QC, Paul Harris QC and Ben Raymond were instructed by Bird & Bird partner Gerry Kamstra for Nokia.

In a case marked as one of The Lawyer’s top 20 of 2012, the team will argue that the world’s largest handset maker has been overcharged for LCD display screens and now wants to claw some of its money back.

Some of the defendants had attempted to strike out the claims and stop the action, but Mr Justice Sales dismissed the applications.

Nokia launched the action in 2009 following an announcement that the European Commission was investigating a possible cartel of LCD screen makers. The company has requested further disclosure from the EC on its ongoing probe.

The company is seeking unspecified damages for alleged  price-fixing that Nokia claims was carried by the defendants over a 10-year period between 1996 and 2006.

Philips, which was represented by Slaughter and May and Monckton’s Paul Lasok QC, has already settled the claim.

Nokia uses LCD technology in its mobile phones and they are used to make cathode ray tube displays.

The defendants legal teams are: Brick Court’s Aidan Robertson QC, instructed by Osborne Clarke partner Adrian Lifely, for AU Optronics; Brick Court’s James Flynn QC leading Robert O’Donoghue, instructed by Covington & Burling, of counsel Richard Mattick for Samsung; Brick Court’s Danny Jowell QC, instructed by Simmons & Simmons partner Tony Woodgate, for Sharp; Brick Court’s Nicholas Green QC leading Tony Singla of the same set, instructed by Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Philip Mansfield, for Hitachi; Brick Court’s Kelyn Bacon, instructed by Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) partner Alan Owens, for Seiko Epson; Monckton’s Paul Lasok QC leading Alistair Lindsay, instructed by A&O partner Neville Cordell, for Samsung SDI; and Blackstone’s Tom de la Mare, instructed by White & Case partner John Reynolds, for Toshiba.