Our History


There is no magic

to achievement.

It´s really about hard

work, choices and


There is no magic to achievement. It´s really about hard work, choices and persistence.

Our History

CDC Cartel Damage Claims was founded in 2002 by Dr Ulrich Classen, an experienced competition lawyer and a former official of the German Federal Cartel Office. He created CDC in direct response to the unsatisfactory situation whereby companies harmed by anticompetitive behaviour were unable to obtain redress despite the establishment of an infringement and the imposing of fines by competition authorities.

There were numerous reasons why these damaged companies could not obtain the compensation they were entitled to. Many of these hurdles remain relevant today:

  • The case-law regarding the right to compensation was uncertain
  • Individual companies did not have sufficient market data to demonstrate and prove their damages
  • Calling upon legal and economic experts in the field was costly and rare
  • Procedures were risky, complex, and time-consuming
  • Companies had to assume all risks and costs associated with the legal actions

These obstacles were not exclusively experienced by small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but also multinational corporations.

To overcome these challenges, Ulrich devised under one roof a multidisciplinary team with the legal, economic, data analysis, IT, negotiation and funding skills necessary to prevail. He also pioneered the method of aggregating claims from multiple damaged companies into one legal action, and then taking this action to court in CDC’s own name at its own cost and risk. This approach has been known ever since as the “CDC Bundling Model”. For the first time, European companies were offered the opportunity to outsource entirely their antitrust damages claims without having to support the costs and risks related to the action. CDC would only be remunerated if the action was successful.

This method allowed damaged companies to obtain redress in the absence of a class action system in Europe. It was a revolutionary way to offset the significant advantages enjoyed by cartelists vis-à-vis their damaged customers.

CDC continues to innovate and operate throughout Europe with offices in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany. To date, it has achieved ground-breaking judgments and settlements, relieving companies of the damages caused by competition law infringements. Through our unrivalled experience and know-how that has been strengthened since 2002, our unique multi-disciplinary and international team of experts, damaged companies can focus on their core businesses while CDC achieves optimum compensation for antitrust damages.