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July 11, 2007


(202) 994-0616;

Halimah Celestine; (202) 994-3087;



Funds Will be Used to Create a Competition Law Center


WASHINGTON -- The George Washington University Law School was granted a $5.1 million Cy Pres award to endow a Center for Competition Law. On July 10, 2007, a United States District Court judge granted a motion to award a portion of a class-action settlement in the case of Diamond Chemical Company, Inc. v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals B.V. and Atofina Chemicals, Inc, et al. to The George Washington University Law School.


The $5.1 million award resulted from a successful class-action antitrust lawsuit brought by attorney Michael D. Hausfeld, J.D. '69, alleging global price-fixing schemes. Hausfeld specializes in antitrust and international law at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. and is considered one of the country?s top civil litigators.


"GW Law's ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­world-class antitrust faculty and our long-standing expertise in a broad spectrum of international law issues make us the natural choice for this cy pres designation," said Frederick M. Lawrence, dean of the Law School. "We will strive to provide research and programs that advance knowledge in the field of competition law and to reach out to the realms of private practice and government policy to make a significant practical affect."


Class action attorneys must often address the probability that full restitution to all injured parties may be impossible or infeasible. Not all members of the class can be identified and contacted despite repeated efforts. Under such circumstances, trial courts typically order undistributed settlement funds to be used for a cy pres award -- from the Latin phrase ?next best use?-- to a recipient who would use the funds in a manner to indirectly benefit the class.  


Hausfeld emphasized in his argument for the cy pres award that the proposed Center will focus on the novel and special challenges to traditional antitrust enforcement due to the globalization of markets [and that the Center's] activities would also inure to the benefit of U.S. consumers by deterring the formation of international cartels that harm U.S. consumers.


The Center's mission would include sponsoring and conducting research into competition law and its private enforcement; organizing conferences for judges, executive officials, academics, and practicing lawyers; serving as a resource for those seeking to promote private enforcement in competition law in the United States and abroad; and enhancing the skills of current and future private practitioners of competition law.


GW Law's other centers include the Humphreys Complex Litigation Centers, the Institute for Constitutional Studies, the Creative and Innovative Economy Center, the Institute for International Corporate Governance and Accountability, and the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies.


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