NERA Economic Consulting Announces Senior-Level Promotions

23 February 2021

New York—NERA Economic Consulting, a leading global provider of economic advice and analysis in business, legal, and regulatory matters, is pleased to announce that Kurt G. Strunk has been promoted to Managing Director, and Dr. Stephanie Plancich, Dr. Chris Stomberg, Dr. Nicola Tosini, Dr. Paul Wong, and Jennifer Bennett to Director. In addition, the following experts have been promoted to Associate Director: Dr. Alexandre Carbonnel, Kevin Counsell, Dr. Kate Foreman, Dr. Hector Lopez, Katie Orlandi, and Marco Schönborn.

Managing Director

Kurt G. Strunk is a seasoned energy and finance expert with 25 years of experience working in energy disputes and as an advisor to energy companies, governments, and regulators. He has provided expert testimony and reports on over 100 occasions in international and domestic arbitration, litigated court disputes, and adversarial regulatory proceedings. Mr. Strunk has addressed the quantum of damages in construction disputes, breach-of-contract cases, and alleged expropriations. He has also testified on asset and contract valuation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory reform, cost of capital, pipeline access, and the design of competitive energy markets. Mr. Strunk has deep expertise in the energy sector, including oil and gas production, midstream pipelines and electric transmission, power plants, wholesale and retail markets for power and gas, upstream and downstream oil markets, and distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar.

Director

Dr. Stephanie Plancich is a member of NERA’s Securities and Finance, Product Liability and Mass Torts, and Labor and Employment Practices. In the area of securities, she has analyzed materiality, loss causation, and damages. She has also analyzed issues of class certification, market efficiency, and damages under ERISA. In mass torts, Dr. Plancich has prepared forecasts of asbestos and other tort liabilities, which have been used for reserve reporting and in the context of acquisitions and bankruptcies, and she has developed models to allocate claims to insurance coverage. For consumer product litigation, she has studied issues related to claims of false advertising and product defects at both the class certification and damages stage. In the area of employment, she has developed analyses related to discrimination, wrongful termination or injury, and wage and hour violations. Her analyses frequently are used in expert testimony.

Dr. Chris Stomberg specializes in health care and life sciences. He has served as an expert witness in several matters and has led numerous litigation and consulting engagements. He has also provided expert testimony in domestic and international arbitration, including before the ICC and ICA. Dr. Stomberg has focused on a range of issues affecting these industries, including pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement at all levels of the market-PBMs, insurers, wholesalers/distributors, and manufacturers. Dr. Stomberg’s work has also included providing advice on reimbursement issues, such as retail and specialty pharmacies, hospitals, dialysis facilities, laboratory service companies, intellectual property, antitrust, fraud/false claims, anti-kickback, and contract disputes, product promotion and quality issues, damages, and modeling.

Dr. Nicola Tosini specializes in the economic analysis of competition cases and supports firms and their legal advisers in merger reviews, cartel and antitrust investigations, the litigation of damages, international arbitration, and public policy issues. Dr. Tosini’s work has included submitting economic evidence before the European Commission and national competition authorities. His experience spans a variety of industries, including automotive parts, building materials, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, digital music services, electronics, fluid power systems, freight transport and forwarding, medical equipment, passenger air travel, pharmaceuticals, retail, and telecommunications. Dr. Tosini regularly speaks at conferences and writes in journals on matters related to the economics of competition.

Dr. Paul Wong specializes in health care, life sciences, and antitrust. Dr. Wong’s advisory work has involved consulting on a variety of health care mergers, including the Advocate-NorthShore hospital merger challenged by the Federal Trade Commission, the Aetna-Humana and Centene-Health Net health insurance mergers, as well as mergers involving major hospital systems in more than 20 states. He has also consulted on antitrust litigations in health care industries, including those involving hospitals, multispecialty physician groups, health insurers, medical devices, medical supply distribution, and hospital equipment supply and rental.

Jennifer Bennett oversees NERA’s Global Information Resources department. Based out of the firm’s New York headquarters, Ms. Bennett manages a global team of information professionals that provide NERA’s consultants with value-added research and services. She holds a masters in library and information science from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, and a BA, with honors, from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Associate Director

Dr. Alexandre Carbonnel specializes in a wide range of areas in competition law, including cartels and exchanges of information, abuse of dominance, and merger control. Along with providing expert testimony in courts on damage claims evaluation, he has significant experience in key industries, including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, agro-alimentary products, energy, and logistics.

Kevin Counsell specializes in environment, infrastructure, competition, and regulatory economics. Mr. Counsell’s advisory work has involved the economic analysis of environmental policies and commercial infrastructure decisions affecting the environment and he has served as an expert witness before the New Zealand Environment Court and independent hearings panels. He has also provided economic advice on competition and regulation issues to law firms, government authorities, and businesses across a host of industries.

Dr. Kate Foreman specializes in antitrust, intellectual property, and life sciences economics. In the field of antitrust economics, Dr. Foreman has consulted on a number of lawsuits, assessing potential liability and damages in cases involving alleged price-fixing, exclusionary contracts, and other anticompetitive behavior. In intellectual property, she analyzes the value of patents and licenses arising from alleged patent infringement. Dr. Foreman’s work spans a number of industries, including electronics and telecommunications devices, online marketplaces, dental products, pharmaceuticals, and shipping. Dr. Foreman also has experience evaluating market definition, bidding, and pricing pressure as part of proposed mergers and acquisitions.

Dr. Hector Lopez is an economist specialized in market design. His primary focus is bid-strategy, design, and implementation of high-stake auctions. Dr. Lopez uses game theory, optimization, simulations, econometrics, and economic experiments to devise optimal strategies for the most common auction formats (SMRA, Clock, CCA, Combinatorial Sealed-Bid) and non-standard market mechanisms.

Katie Orlandi works with utilities, governments, regulatory agencies, ISOs, and corporations on matters related to power, capacity, and renewable energy markets and auctions in NERA’s Energy and Auctions Practices. She is an expert in the design and implementation of auctions and competitive bidding processes for products including wholesale power and capacity. She also uses this expertise to meet wide-ranging renewable energy procurement goals and policy objectives for her clients. Her work has had a direct impact on the development and expansion of renewable energy markets and opportunities.

Marco Schönborn is an expert in energy markets, regulation, and infrastructure. He believes that the application of economic first principles is the best guide in identifying solutions to the complex problems of today’s energy sector. Mr. Schönborn provides expert testimony and helps clients navigate complex commercial arbitration and litigation involving contractual disputes and antitrust matters. He provides advice to industry players, utilities, and investors pertaining to regulation and how markets work. 

About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting (www.nera.com) is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For over half a century, NERA's economists have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world's leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real world industry experience to bear on issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation.

NERA's clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world's largest economic consultancies. With its main office in New York City, NERA serves clients from more than 25 offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.