In what are often complex cartel damages claims, Rick helps clients determine the right strategy. This frequently involves a combination of cross-border claims. He uses his legal and practical skills and expertise to create an overview for the client by fulfilling a coordinating role at the required central or pan-European level.
Rick also has extensive experience in advising on, negotiating and litigating many aspects relating to commercial contracts, particularly with regard to distribution, franchise, agency and e-commerce (with a focus on automotive and other high-end consumer goods).
Rick teaches at the Grotius Academy (competition and liability) and is a member of the Dutch Association for European Law, the Dutch Competition Law Association, the Dutch Distribution, Franchise and Agency Association and the Lex Mundi Antitrust Competition and Trade Practice Group. He regularly publishes on competition litigation and distribution law. In recent years, Rick has also been part of the working group responsible for the Dutch contribution to the FIDE report on competition litigation.
Qualifications & Experience
- EU Law, Public Economic Law and Economic Business Law (with merit) (Utrecht University)
- Postgraduate programme on EU Competition Law (with merit) (King's College London)
Houthoff is representing an air cargo carrier in several proceedings in its defence against an accumulated number of cartel damages claims submitted by claim vehicles Equilib, EWD, and Stichting Cartel Compensation (SCC) as follow-on to the alleged air cargo cartel. In 2010 and 2017, the European Commission issued fines totalling almost EUR 800 million to 11 airlines for participating in an air cargo cartel with regard to surcharges for over a six year period.
Houthoff is advising a foreign bank on its defence against announced class actions for damages as a follow-on to several alleged cartels regarding InterBank Offering Rates.
Houthoff is representing a South Korean listed electronics manufacturer in its defence against several cartel damages claims submitted by major CRT purchasers regarding the manufacture of television screens and computer monitors.
Houthoff is representing a European oil company in its defence against third party cartel damages claims submitted by a bitumen purchaser claiming damages allegedly suffered as a result of the bitumen cartel.
Houthoff is representing a major European truck manufacturer in its defence against a number of announced cartel damages mass claims to be submitted by associations of haulier companies.
Defending a motor vehicle importer against several claims of independent garage businesses for access to its official repairer network and damages for alleged infringements of competition law.
Representing an alleged cartelist before the Dutch civil court in the defense of a billion Euro damages claim as a follow-on to the alleged cathode ray tubes cartels.
Representing a European oil company in its defence against cartel damages claims submitted by a purchaser claiming damages allegedly cause by the bitumen cartel.