CRA International

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CRA International, Inc.
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryLitigation and management consulting
Founded1965; 58 years ago (1965)
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
21 offices internationally
Key people
Paul Maleh
(President and CEO)
ProductsProfessional services
Number of employees
900+ (2022)[1]

Charles River Associates (legally CRA International, Inc.) is a global consulting firm headquartered in Boston.[2] The firm provides expert testimony and litigation support, strategic advice, and analysis to law firms, corporations, accounting firms, and governments.[3]

Practice areas[edit]

Their practices include: antitrust & competition economics, auctions & competitive bidding, energy, finance, financial economics, forensic services, intellectual property, labor & employment, life sciences, Marakon (management consulting), risk investigations & analytics, and transfer pricing.[4]


CRA was founded in 1965 by Jerry Kraft, John Kaler, and Alan Willens.[5]

In 2005, CRA acquired economic consultancy firm Lexecon to expand its practice into Europe and the United Kingdom.[6][7]

Marakon, which CRA acquired in 2009, forms part of their management consulting practice.[8] Marakon Associates was founded in 1978 and pioneered value-based management (VBM) from the mid 1980s based on the academic work of Dr. Bill Alberts.[9][10][11] This management principle, also known as managing for value (MFV), states that management should first and foremost consider the interests of shareholders when making management decisions.[12][13] Under this principle, senior executives should set performance targets in terms of delivering shareholder returns (stock price and dividends payments) and managing to achieve them.[14][15]

In 2017, CRA acquired life sciences strategy firm C1 Consulting.[16] In 2022, CRA acquired life sciences firm bioStrategies Group[17] and labor-focused firm Welch Consulting.[18]

Economic forecasts used to oppose climate policymaking[edit]

Prior to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the 1997 Kyoto summit (that led to the Kyoto Protocol), the fossil fuel industry used reports authored by CRA and funded by the fossil fuel industry to argue that US compliance with climate policy would be economically disastrous.[19] CRA called the Clinton administration's projections for costs of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol wildly optimistic,[20][21] and argued that compliance would take a "healthy whack out of the economy".[22] CRA's work forecasting the impact on employment of the 2003 Climate Stewardship Act was criticized by the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2005 for using unrealistic economic assumptions and producing directionally incorrect estimates.[23] According to a 2021 study, flawed economic forecasting reports written by four economists at Charles River Associates between 1991 and 2009, and paid for by fossil fuel interests, overestimated predicted costs and ignored potential policy benefits. The study argues that the reports written by CRA "played a key role in weakening, delaying, or defeating a wide range of climate policies".[19][24]


Charles River Associates was ranked as the 5th best firm for economic consulting, and 30th overall in Vault's 2023 survey.[25] The 2023 edition of Global Competition Review's GCR 100 placed CRA's antitrust & competition practice in highest tier of economic consultancies.[26] In 2018, 44 CRA experts across five practice areas were recognized by Who's Who Legal.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Charles River Associates Number of Employees 2010-2023". Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  2. ^ "NASDAQ - SEC Filing". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  3. ^ "About CRA". Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Practices". Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  5. ^ "History & Culture". Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  6. ^ "CRA International Completes Acquisition of the Former Lexecon Ltd Business; Acquisition of U.K.-Based Economic Consulting Firm Expands CRA's Global Reach And Strengthens Competition Practice". 2005-06-16. Archived from the original on 2022-07-09. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  7. ^ "CRA International Announces Anticipated Acquisition of Lexecon Ltd; Expected Acquisition of U.K.-Based Firm To Strengthen CRA's Global Competition Practice; Expand European Footprint | CRA International Inc". Retrieved 2022-07-09.
  8. ^ "CRA International Acquires Marakon Associates, A Leading Value Management Consultancy". 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  9. ^ Kilroy, Denis; Schneider, Marvin (2017). Customer Value, Shareholder Wealth, Community Wellbeing: A Roadmap for Companies and Investors. Springer. pp. 5, 12–16, 24–25. ISBN 9783319547749. The shift towards this approach gained momentum with the publication of The Value Imperative by McTaggart, Kontes and Mankins in 1994. ... Peter Kontes (a co-founder of Marakon Associates and one of the originators of MFV) pointed out … the central problem with EPS growth as standalone financial performance measure is that it can be purchased at any price. … the same telling point that Marakon partners first made with their clients in the mid-1980s. ... Marakon Associates, the firm that first developed the plan-based approach.
  10. ^ Chandra, Prasanna (2007). Financial Management. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 817. ISBN 9780070656659. Marakon Associates, an international management consulting firm founded in 1978, has done pioneering work in the area of value based management.
  11. ^ Arnold, Glen; Davies, Matt (2000). Value-based Management: Context and Application. Wiley. pp. 39, 186. ISBN 9780471899860. In terms of differences in application, McTaggart et al. (1994) particularly emphasise both the process and content of strategic planning under their version of VBM. ... There was a further development in 1992 when [Lloyds Bank] hired the services of the strategy consultants Marakon Associates (McTaggart et al., 1994) and started a more serious and disciplined approach to VBM. It was at this time that the concept of economic profit was introduced to Lloyds managers.
  12. ^ Ehrhardt, Michael; Brigham, Eugene (2008). Corporate Finance: A Focused Approach. Cengage Learning. p. 448. ISBN 9780324655681. Marakon Associates, a leading advocate of value-based management prides itself on having a single-minded view that a company should have one, and only one, goal – to increase shareholder wealth.
  13. ^ Keuleneer, Luc; Verhoog, Willem (2005). Recent Trends in Valuation: From Strategy to Value. John Wiley & Sons. p. 136. ISBN 9780470862315. The partners of Marakon Associates … [are] convinced that top management needs to take responsibility for continuous reinforcement of VBM ideas through their communication and decisions.
  14. ^ Fernandez, Pablo (2002). Valuation Methods and Shareholder Value Creation. Elsevier. p. 265. ISBN 9780080520377. Measuring a firm's "value creation" for its shareholders … EP (economic profit), which is the book profit less the equity's book value multiplied by the required return to equity … Also called residual income. See McTaggart, Kontes, and Makins (1994, page 317), a book published by the Marakon Associates.
  15. ^ Gillis, Scott; McTaggart, James (1998). "Setting targets to maximize shareholders value". Strategy & Leadership. 26 (2): 18–21. doi:10.1108/eb054614. ISSN 1087-8572.
  16. ^ "Charles River Associates (CRA) Acquires C1 Consulting". Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Charles River Associates (CRA) Acquires bioStrategies Group, Inc". Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Charles River Associates (CRA) Acquires Welch Consulting". Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  19. ^ a b Franta, Benjamin (2021). "Weaponizing economics: Big Oil, economic consultants, and climate policy delay". Environmental Politics. 31 (4): 555–575. doi:10.1080/09644016.2021.1947636. ISSN 0964-4016.
  20. ^ Warrick, Joby (March 4, 1998). "Scientists See Weather Trend as Powerful Proof of Global Warming". Washington Post. Retrieved 2021-10-30.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Cushman, John H. Jr. (1997-07-16). "White House Begins Push for New Global Warming Pact". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
  22. ^ Pine, Art; Fiore, Fay (1997-12-11). "Pact Casts Cloud of Uncertainty on U.S. Economy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-10-30.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "Jobs and the Climate Stewardship Act: How Curbing Global Warming Can Increase Employment" (PDF). Natural Resources Defense Council. February 2005. p. 21.
  24. ^ "How economists helped Big Oil obstruct climate action for decades". Grist. 2021-10-08. Retrieved 2022-01-08.
  25. ^ "Charles River Associates - Ranking". Retrieved 2023-06-03.
  26. ^ "GCR 100 23rd Edition". Retrieved 2023-06-03. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)
  27. ^ "whoswholegal - Analysis - Charles River Associates". Retrieved 2023-06-03.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • Business data for CRA International, Inc.:
  • CRA International at OpenCorporates