Exchange Chambers has announced its competition law specialist David Went was part of the legal team that has secured a High Court judgment that will result in a multi-billionaire Brazilian orange juice magnate and his son facing trial over their participation in an illegal cartel.
Exchange Chambers said José Luis Cutrale and his son, José Luis Cutrale Jr, were party to a purchase cartel in Brazil with other major orange juice producers which had a significant adverse impact on Brazilian orange growers.
The growers are seeking damages which could run into the billions of pounds as the cartel suppressed the prices growers could sell oranges at forcing thousands out of business and thousands more into financial ruin.
Instructed by PGMBM, the law firm acting for the orange growers, Went (along with James Ramsden QC, James Flynn QC, Russell Hopkins, and Anirudg Mathur) successfully argued that the case against the Cutrales should proceed in England because of José Luis Cutrale Snr’s “extensive connections” to the UK, including an exclusive London residence, and there being no realistic chance of litigation in England interfering with cases in the Brazilian courts which have been delayed for years.
Pedro Martins, partner at PGMBM said: “We represent clients who have been suicidal, depressed and who have taken drastic steps to escape this cartel and we simply cannot ignore that.
“We are determined to help the victims of the Cutrales and whilst the Cutrales attempted to persuade the High Court in London not to hear the case, they have failed. We will hold them accountable for the financial losses they have caused and for the social impact of the illegal cartel they operated.”
PGMBM managing partner Tom Goodhead added: “José Luis Cutrale Sr should not be protected from consequences by borders, and this decision is a great step towards justice and redress for the claimants.
“We believe that this is the first ever private enforcement of Brazilian competition law in the English courts and is testament to London being the world’s leading dispute resolution centre. The cartel had a devastating impact upon our clients and the communities they live in.”