Setting the Stage
In the late 1980s, BMW released its limited edition M5. But, the automobile company allegedly produced more of the vehicles than it had stated, contradicting the “limited” nature of the edition. Plaintiffs sued, and as part of the settlement in 1993, owners were issued a $4,000 voucher towards their next BMW car purchase. But, many drivers weren’t about to go buy another new vehicle, rendering many of the vouchers useless.
That’s when Jim Tharin got a call, asking if he knew how to make a market for the BMW vouchers…
Certificate Clearing Corporation was born.
The Early Years
As the pioneer in making markets in coupon settlements, CCC quickly became the established leader. Over the next decade, CCC would catalyze more than a dozen coupon settlements in a diverse set of litigations. During this time, CCC continued to hone its coupon consulting, administration, and market making tools – today, they remain the sharpest available.
On the side, CCC submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight, the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee, and the White House Council of Economic Advisors. CCC’s comments regarding proposed amendments to Federal Rule 23 were published and presented at the National Institute on Class Actions held in Chicago on June 13, 1997. And, a profile on CCC was even shot for The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.
Five years into the new millennium, a lot was happening in the world. George W. Bush was beginning his second term as President of the United States, Angela Merkel was beginning her first as the first female Chancellor of Germany, North Korea announced it had nuclear weapons, and YouTube was in its infancy as a video-sharing website.
For CCC, a much smaller shift was nonetheless setting big changes in motion. The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of 2005 signaled to many the death of the class action coupon settlement. The law makes clear that if a class action settlement involves coupon reimbursements, the plaintiff’s attorney fees should be based on the value of coupons that are redeemed. Many attorneys, thinking they would not be paid if they settled with coupons, abandoned coupon settlements.
A bit premature, as CCC would soon prove. In the most notable post-CAFA coupon settlement, the Linen Antitrust Litigation, CCC played a major role negotiating with seven linen defendants to create the most valuable coupon possible. Despite the complexity that came with regulating redemption payments among seven defendants, CCC’s expertise in creating, facilitating and administrating secondary coupon markets resulted in an exceptionally high redemption rate of 93%.
Continuing the Story
Since 2005, CCC continues to demonstrate that coupon settlements, even under the CAFA regime, can have substantial benefits for everyone involved. Now, as a coupon consultant, coupon administrator, and coupon market maker, Certificate Clearing Corporation (CCC) is ready to efficiently and skillfully facilitate high coupon redemption rates in any settlement. CCC is currently acting as all three in the Korean Air settlement, and has the strongest coupon background in the business.
Want to learn more about the value of non-monetary settlements? Contact us today, and become part of our future.