David Parker of Frontier (Europe) spoke today at the GCR Live Competition Litigation conference as part of a “hot tub about hot-tubbing”. This panel session discussed the recent proposals that all economic expert witness evidence in a cartel follow-on damages case should be heard jointly in a so-called “hot tub”, rather than through the conventional approach of cross-examination. These proposals were made in ‘National Grid vs. ABB & Others’, the cartel follow-on damages case between National Grid and producers of gas-insulated switchgear, a key piece of equipment used in electricity networks.
David outlined that there are two key advantages of hot-tubbing in identifying the key issues in these cases. First, all the views on a particular issue would be heard at the same time, instead of being heard episodically over several days. Second, experts would be able to respond to others’ queries directly. Against this, the success of a hot tub would depend on the extent to which the judge could get fully acquainted with the economic material early in the process, and then be prepared to act as informed inquisitor during the hot tub.
Frontier economists regularly act as expert witnesses on many types of commercial dispute, including cartel follow-on damages cases. Frontier (Europe) advised ABB in the National Grid vs ABB & Others case.
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