Bird & Bird secures landmark victory in Musaat case


International law firm Bird & Bird recently secured a landmark victory in the Musaat case. Three major Spanish insurance companies, Caser, Scor and Asefa, involved in the boycott and acts of retaliation against Musaat, have paid around four million euros to Musaat for damages.

On the 23 September 2020, the Spanish Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the appeals by Caser, Scor and Asefa against the judgment of the Provincial Court of Madrid that condemned the three companies for boycott and acts of retaliation against Musaat. The judgment of the Provincial Court of Madrid, which confirmed the antitrust infringement and granted damages to Musaat, is now final.

The Musaat case is notable for being one of the first antitrust private enforcement actions in Spain (prior to Spain's implementation of the antitrust damages Directive (Directive 2014/104/EU). The case also represents the largest award of antitrust damages to a victim in Spain. It stands out for its unusual evolution from a follow-on cartel damages action into a stand-alone damages claim, and for being the first case where the European Commission has intervened as amicus curiae in judicial proceedings in Spain.

The cross-border Bird & Bird team representing Musaat was led by partner Antonio Cueto (Madrid) and assisted by partner José Rivas (Brussels).

Antonio Cueto, partner in the Intellectual Property and Litigation practices at Bird & Bird, who represented Musaat in the case says: “This case sets a very important precedent in Spain in the field of claims for damages in connection to antitrust infringements"

The European Commission’s amicus curiae submissions will soon be available at the Commission website.

Read more about the background of this case here.