Ilkka Leppihalme was the lead counsel in defending two companies in the historic Asphalt Cartel cases.
Leppihalme defended the clients both in the cartel case itself – still the biggest competition case so far in Finland – throughout the whole process which ended in the Supreme Administrative Court, as well as in the precedent-setting follow-on damages cases until the end of the hearing in the Helsinki Court of Appeal.
In the cartel case, the Supreme Administrative Court imposed on seven companies the highest total fines so far in Finland. It was also the first time the Supreme Administrative Court held an oral hearing in a competition case. All of the damages claims against both clients of Leppihalme were dismissed by the Helsinki Court of Appeal. Some other defendants were ordered to pay over EUR 30 million in damages and costs in the Helsinki Court of Appeal. The asphalt cartel damages proceedings are the first time antitrust damages have been awarded by a court in Finland. Some of the damages cases are currently pending in the Supreme Court, which has made a request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leppihalme represented his clients in the asphalt cases from 2004 until 2015, prior to joining D&I in 2016.