Antitrust & Intellectual Property

De Beers Diamonds

Sullivan v. DB Investments, No. 04-02819 (D. N.J.).

Lieff Cabraser served as Class Counsel for consumers who purchased diamonds from 1994 through March 31, 2006, in a class action lawsuit against the De Beers group of companies.

Plaintiffs charged that De Beers conspired to monopolize the sale of rough diamonds in the U.S. In May 2008, the District Court approved a $295 million settlement for purchasers of diamonds and diamond jewelry, including $130 million to consumers. The settlement also barred De Beers from continuing its illegal business practices and required De Beers to submit to the jurisdiction of the Court to enforce the settlement.

In December 2011, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s order approving the settlement. 667 F.3d 273 (3rd Cir. 2011). The hard-fought litigation spanned several years and nations. Despite the tremendous resources available to the U.S. Department of Justice and state attorney generals, it was only through the determination of plaintiffs’ counsel that De Beers was finally brought to justice and the rights of consumers were vindicated. Lieff Cabraser attorneys played key roles in negotiating the settlement and defending it on appeal.

Discussing the DeBeers case, The National Law Journal noted that Lieff Cabraser was “among the plaintiffs’ firms that weren’t afraid to take on one of the business world’s great white whales.”