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American litigation coming to the EU?

Ethisphere, an original and amusing US site and magazine on corporate ethics, has an interesting story picked up from the UK’s Times and Guardian.

Its about US lawyers heading over to Europe to bring class action US style suits on big companies doing things like anti-trust law violations:

http://ethisphereblog.com/hey-you-eu-class-action-attorneys-respond-to-eu’s-plea-to-sue-companies-“american-style”-–-european-business-leaders-upset/

Let’s be totally honest, a US litigation culture is the last thing anyone wants, particularly when:

A) UK corporate governance is the best in the world
B) Its making inroads into Europe (see FT’s recent survey on governance/compliance)
C) US litigation will send us from a principles based system to a rules based system if we are not careful (and look what THAT has done to the US!)

If ever there was an incentive for EU firms to beef up their compliance programmes and stop colluding in cartels, surely this – and Neelie Kroe’s fines – is it?

Toby Webb, Editor

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