With 30 years of civil litigation experience, Joe is one of the country’s top antitrust litigators, and has prosecuted and successfully resolved numerous class actions and other complex cases. He formed the Joseph Saveri Law Firm in 2012. Since inception, he and his firm’s attorneys have generated $4 billion in settlements and successful resolutions for their clients. The firm has received numerous accolades for its achievements.
What motivated you to specialise in antitrust law?
Antitrust law promotes economic liberty by ensuring free and unfettered competition. It has been essential in ensuring that businesses compete on merit and provide the best products and services. Given that the government has limited resources, private enforcement is key to achieving these goals. Through private litigation, we can help injured businesses and consumers receive redress for their injuries while advancing the important policies underlying antitrust law.
How has the antitrust market changed since you started practising?
There are fewer firms specialising in the field, with a small group of experienced lawyers prosecuting antitrust cases. There are fewer firms with experience in different substantive areas – eg, cartel cases, monopolisation, input markets, and distribution. Also, fewer cases are tried to juries.
Looking back over your career, what is the most interesting antitrust case you have been a part of?
The firm served as co-lead class counsel for a class of over 60,000 employees of leading technology companies against their employers, in a matter arising from agreements to restrict recruiting and to suppress compensation. At the time, there were very few cases, if any, involving input markets or agreements among competitors not to compete for labour. We broke substantial new ground. Also, the evidence was quite damning, involving top executives of some the largest and most important companies in the world. We also prevailed in the California Supreme Court in a landmark pharmaceutical case involving an unlawful agreement to keep a generic version of the drug Cipro off the market. Our class recovery set a record for this type of case.
What do clients look for in an effective competition lawyer?
Clients look for substantive experience and expertise in a highly technical area of the law. Clients need – and want – competition lawyers who can handle all aspects of litigation, including trial, if necessary. Most of all, clients look for lawyers who have a clear idea of goals and what success means. It is crucial that the interests of the clients and the lawyers are aligned. Also, many clients look for lawyers willing to handle cases on a contingency basis, with the resources to prosecute complex litigation.
What are some key trends in the pharmaceutical sector affecting your work?
There has been a substantial increase in the number and variety of devices used to facilitate the coordination, collusion and elimination of competition between pharmaceutical companies – in particular between companies holding patents and generic companies that may enter the market. One tactic is using the Food and Drug Administration citizen petition process, created to allow individuals and community groups to make requests for changes to health policy. Pharmaceutical companies use this well-intentioned process to inappropriately frustrate various statutes intended to lower prices through competition from generic drug manufacturers.
There is also substantial evidence that many generic drug manufacturers have undertaken efforts to collude and conspire among themselves, further undercutting the policy of promoting generic competition.
Why did you decide to set up your own firm?
I wanted to pursue the goal of enforcing competition law in cases throughout the world. After 20 years developing my expertise and helping to build a national class action law firm, I wanted to use my knowledge to build one of the best antitrust law firms in the United States. I wanted to create a firm that would attract excellent lawyers with the ability to handle challenging cases, advance the law and achieve excellent results for our clients. I have always viewed the opportunity to practise competition law as a privilege and a responsibility. I have also witnessed the challenges to private law firms, and wanted to have the opportunity to build one that would evolve in a rapidly changing environment.
What makes the Joseph Saveri Law Firm stand out from its competitors in the market?
Few firms combine our depth of experience and record of success. We are always focused on the goals of our clients and have been able to obtain record results in many types of litigation, including landmark, precedent-setting cases.
As the founder of the firm, what are your main priorities for its development over the next five years?
To continue to recruit and retain the best legal talent. To continue to lead significant competition cases throughout the world. To promote and advance antitrust law. And to achieve results that benefit our clients and promote the interests of competition law in the United States and throughout the world.