30 Jul 2019 Articles

Q&A: The Effective Use of Expert Witnesses in Competition Disputes

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Compass Lexecon experts Miguel de la Mano, Thilo Klein, David Sevy, and Frédéric Palomino participated in a Q&A on the “Effective Use of Expert Witnesses in Competition Disputes” in the August 2019 edition of Financier Worldwide.

David Sevy commented: “The expert can help to articulate the ‘theory of harm’ – or deconstruct it – as well as assess the potential or actual effects of the disputed practices.” When asked about the benefits an expert witness brings to a dispute, Thilo Klein discussed the importance of the expert’s “deep understanding of how markets work and of empirical methods that allow [them] to forecast the counterfactual outcome from data on actual market behavior.” Miguel de la Mano added that “The economic expert can disentangle, or identify, the factors that directly or indirectly caused the observed outcomes, and dismiss those factors that had no or limited influence.”

The experts highlighted the advantage of involving an expert witness early, with Miguel de la Mano commenting: “Expert economists deployed early on can focus the investigation on what really matters and help avoid rabbit holes.” Frédéric Palomino said: “Involving an economic expert in a case at an early stage avoids the necessity of addressing statements that would not be confirmed by quantitative analysis.”

When asked how to address the challenges in engaging an expert, Thilo Klein highlighted the need to know the full picture from all the available evidence, adding that “It would be counterproductive to try to push arguments that are not supported by the evidence and sound analysis. This undermines the credibility of the expert and, ultimately, of the party’s case.”

The complete Q&A feature is available on the Financier Worldwide website.

A new version of Compass Lexecon is available.