Steven F. Benz represents corporations as plaintiffs in antitrust, unfair competition, class action, and complex commercial cases in federal and state courts in the United States and in matters relating to the abuse of dominance and cartels in the European Union. He has more than thirty years of litigation and counseling experience and has served as counsel of record in more than 150 litigated cases, trials, and appeals.
Mr. Benz has spearheaded pioneering cases that involve the convergence of competition law and intellectual property rights. These cases encompass monopolization, price fixing, federal and state class actions, as well as claims under state antitrust and unfair competition laws. His work extends to breach of contract, fraudulent transfer, and deceptive trade practices litigation.
Presently, Mr. Benz is representing Veeva Systems Inc. in antitrust claims against IQVIA Incorporated and IMS Software Services Ltd. in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. This dispute, titled IQVIA Inc., et al. v. Veeva Systems Inc. and Veeva Systems Inc. v. IQVIA Inc., et al., centers on allegations that IQVIA has leveraged monopoly power to prevent the utilization of Veeva's data products and software solutions by life sciences companies. Seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages exceeding $200 million, Veeva is resolutely pursuing justice.
Furthermore, Mr. Benz's notable achievements include his role as co-lead counsel in The Dial Corporation, et al. v. News Corporation, et al. This Sherman Act monopolization case revolved around third-party in-store promotions. Through his strategic guidance, a settlement of $250 million was secured on the first day of trial in 2016. The settlement also delivered significant injunctive relief to Mr. Benz's clients and the certified class of 699 CPG companies. Praised by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as among the "finest antitrust lawyers in the nation," Mr. Benz's work in this case earned recognition as an "outstanding litigation achievement in private law practice" by the American Antitrust Institute.
- Represented the trustee for Ritz Camera & Image, LLC, CPM Electronics Inc., and E.S.E Electronics, Inc. and the certified direct purchaser class in Alfred T. Guliano, et al. v. SanDisk Corporation, Case No. CV 10-02787-SBA (N.D. Cal.) (Judge Armstrong), in a Walker Process (fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office) Sherman Act monopolization case; and
- Represented a corporate client and the direct purchaser class in MDL No. 2420, In Re: Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 4:13-md-02420-YGR (N.D. Cal.) (Judge Rogers).
- In 2012, Mr. Benz achieved a significant ruling from the Federal Circuit in Ritz Camera & Image, LLC v. SanDisk Corporation, 700 F.3d 503 (Fed. Cir. 2012). The Federal Circuit held that direct purchasers have standing to pursue Walker Process (fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office) antitrust claims. Supporting amicus briefs were submitted by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, more than thirty state Attorneys General, and more than thirty law professors.
- Mr. Benz and his partners were retained by AT&T Inc. to serve as lead trial counsel in the Department of Justice lawsuit to enjoin the merger of AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA, Inc., United States of America v. AT&T Inc., T-Mobile USA, Inc., and Deutsche Telekom AG, Civil No. 11-01560 (ESH) (D.D.C.).
- Mr. Benz was one of the lead attorneys in Conwood Co. v. United States Tobacco Co., 290 F.3d 768 (6th Cir. 2002), in which the firm won the largest Sherman Act § 2 damages award in history for our client. A jury awarded a judgment (after trebling) of $1.05 billion. This verdict was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit in 2002. Id.
Mr. Benz was one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs in Coordination Proceedings Special Title (Rule 1550(b)) Microsoft I – V Cases, J.C.C.P. No. 4106 (Cal. Super. Ct., San Fran.). He investigated, drafted and filed the complaint in Lingo et al. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 301357 (Cal. Super. Ct., San Fran.), which became the lead case against Microsoft in California after consolidation, on February 18, 1999. On January 10, 2003, plaintiffs’ counsel and the class representatives reached an agreement with Microsoft on a settlement, which provided $1.1 billion in monetary benefits to California consumers and municipalities. This settlement is the largest recovery of a monopoly overcharge ever achieved in the United States and the largest recovery ever achieved under California’s Cartwright Act or California’s Unfair Competition Act.
Speaking Engagements & Conferences
- Panelist, “Digital Litigation Plaintiff Litigation and Trials,” Antitrust Litigation Forum (October 16, 2023)
- Panelist, "Digital Ecosystems: App Stores, Customers & the Supreme Court," GCR Live Antitrust in the Digital Economy (May 22, 2019)
- Speaker, “Monetizing Your Company’s Litigation Assets: Corporate Class Action, Opt-Out, and Private Litigation,” Chief Litigation Officer Summit 2017 (September 24-26, 2017)
- Panelist, “Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, & The Settlement of Complex Class Actions,” University of Miami School of Law Class Action & Complex Litigation Forum (December 8, 2017)
- Antitrust Litigation Forum, Scottsdale, Arizona (October 15-17, 2023)
- Antitrust Litigation Forum, Charleston, South Carolina (October 27-30, 2019)
- International Referral Global Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany (September 9-12, 2017)
- Antitrust Litigation Forum, Scottsdale, Arizona (October 21-23, 2018)
- Antitrust Litigation Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 22-24, 2017)
Stanford Law School, J.D., 1990
- President, Stanford Law Review, 1989-1990
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, M.A.L.D., 1985
Johns Hopkins University, B.A., general honors, departmental honors, 1983
- Phi Beta Kappa
Honors & Recognitions
Global Leader, Competition - Plaintiff - Who’s Who Legal (2021 – 2023)
Best Lawyers in America®: for Litigation – Antitrust by Best Lawyers (2023)
American Antitrust Institute, Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement (Private Enforcement) (2017)
Local Litigation Star, Competition / Antitrust - Benchmark Litigation
Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
AV Preeminent® - Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
Benchmark Litigation Star (2024)
Major, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 113th Fighter Wing, DC Air National Guard and US Air Force Reserve, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, 1991-1998