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Thomas Isaacson
Thomas A. Isaacson
Of Counsel
Washington +1 202 662 5082 tisaacson@cov.com Download V-card

Thomas Isaacson has spent most of his 30-year legal career focusing on class action antitrust litigation. He has worked on approximately 50 antitrust class actions involving a broad range of industries, including pharmaceutical products, agricultural products, rail freight, banking, online hotel bookings, movies and music, high tech and animation employees, and many other products and services. Mr. Isaacson has a particularly strong understanding of the economic and statistical concepts that underlie current class certification work and other aspects of antitrust class actions and how to make them persuasive to a court.

  • Pharmaceutical antitrust class actions. Represents three branded pharmaceutical companies in class actions by direct and indirect purchasers alleging wrongful exclusion of generic competition for various pharmaceutical drugs in cases pending in Boston, Newark and Philadelphia. Has defeated class certification in one of those cases and has several victories on summary judgment.
  • Financial Benchmarks Litigation. Represents a major international bank in class and non-class actions before six different federal district court judges alleging manipulation of numerous financial benchmarks, including US Dollar LIBOR, Yen LIBOR, Euro LIBOR, Foreign Exchange and ISDA.
  • In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation. Represents a major class I railroad in class actions alleging a conspiracy to impose fuel surcharges. The indirect purchaser claims were dismissed. Direct purchaser claims are proceeding in the district court after a successful interlocutory appeal on class certification.
  • In re High Tech Employees Antitrust Litigation. Represents a major entertainment company in one class actions alleging agreements not to compete for employees among seven high technology companies and in another class action alleging collusion for employees among numerous animation studies.
  • In re Online Hotel Booking Antitrust Litigation. Represented an online travel company in class actions alleging vertical resale price maintenance agreements between major hotel chains and online travel companies. Defendants were successful on a motion to dismiss.
  • In re Digital Music Antitrust Litigation. Represents a major music publisher in an ongoing antitrust action brought by a putative class of consumer purchasers alleging that the major record labels conspired to fix the price of Internet music and prop up the market for compact disks. Client was the only defendant to obtain dismissal of the complaint.
  • Wheeler v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. Represented a meet processor in an antitrust action brought by a putative class of chicken growers who alleged that the two major chicken integrators conspired to depress the price paid to chicken growers. Relying on Tyson's arguments, made by Mr. Isaacson, the court denied class certification and the Fifth Circuit denied plaintiffs' appeal.
  • GTE New Media Services, Inc. v. Ameritech Corp., et al. Represented a major Internet company in a challenge to the RBOCs’ exclusion of competition from key websites. Mr. Isaacson argued the case in the D.C. Circuit—the first appellate decision involving personal jurisdiction over an Internet business in the antitrust context.
  • Rivendell Forest Products Ltd. v. Canadian Forest Products, Ltd. Represented Canadian lumber manufacturer defendants in an antitrust case in which a major class action was dismissed on grounds of international comity. The case is one of the principal decisions actually applying, rather than merely alluding to, principles of international comity.
  • Eagle et, al. v. Star-Kist Foods, Inc. Represented Star-Kist Foods, a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Co., in successfully defending against a class action antitrust case brought by employees of tuna boats alleging that Star-Kist and other tuna canners conspired to fix prices on tuna fish bought by the canners. The appeals court upheld dismissal of the complaint for lack of standing.
  • American Association of Cruise Passengers v. Cunard Line, Ltd. Represented Holland America in lengthy antitrust litigation, including two appeals to the D.C. Circuit, that ultimately gave Holland America a complete defense to jurisdiction based upon the intersection of the Federal Maritime Commission’s primary jurisdiction and the Sherman Act.
  • Gann v. Star-Kist Foods, Inc. Represented Star-Kist Foods in successfully defending against an antitrust case by a large group of tuna boat owners alleging that Star-Kist and other tuna canners conspired to fix prices on tuna sold by the boat owners.
  • Retail Clerks Union v. Shell Oil. Represented Shell Oil Co. in successfully defending against an antitrust class action brought by gasoline station owners alleging that Shell and other major oil companies conspired to fix the price of gasoline in the US.

Pro Bono

  • Joseph Palmour v. The Cathedral Avenue Cooperative Inc. Represented plaintiffs in a case that established, for the first time, that the reasonable accommodations provisions of the Fair Housing Act could require an owner to allow tenants to work in the building if their disability precluded them from working outside their home.
  • Honored by Washington Lawyers Committee, at its Wiley A. Branton Awards, for work on the Palmour case.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • City of Boulder Open Space, Trustee and former Chair
  • Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Publications Editor and Legal Committee Member (1985-1995)
  • Legal 500 US, Antitrust: Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts (2014)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Antitrust Litigation (2012, 2015) and Class Action/Mass Torts (2012-2015)