Belgium > Competition
Index of tables
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
SJ Berwin LLP
- Jean-François Bellis – Van Bael & Bellis
John Boyce –
Slaughter and May
David Broomhall –
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Jacques Derenne –
Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Ian Forrester QC – White & Case LLP Avocats Advocaten
- Nicholas Levy – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Tony Reeves –
Michael Reynolds –
Allen & Overy LLP
Gerwin van Gerven –
James Venit –
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Thomas Vinje –
- Antoine Winckler – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘solution-oriented’ team has ‘excellent expertise in competition law’, and is appreciated for ‘considering business implications when providing legal advice. Nicholas Levy, who divides his time between London and Brussels, assisted Sony with obtaining phase one clearance for its acquisition of EMI’s music publishing division, and also handled the antitrust aspects of its joint venture with Honeywell. ‘Top-tier practitioner’ Francisco Enrique González-Díaz is ‘very smart’ and ‘well connected’. He recently advised Western Digital on its acquisition of Hitachi’s hard disk drive operation and, alongside Thomas Graf, assisted Google with obtaining unconditional clearance of its $12.5bn purchase of Motorola Mobility. In a busy year of behavioural work, Robbert Snelders and Maurits Dolmans defended IBM in an EC investigation into its activity in the computer mainframe maintenance market. Antoine Winckler and state aid expert Till Müller-Ibold advised Dexia on antitrust issues concerning its restructuring.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s ‘impressive’ and ‘very competent’ group has ‘in-depth knowledge throughout’, providing ‘top service’ on merger control matters, as well as ‘strong litigators, good negotiators and academic lawyers’. Alan Ryan acted for UPS on its €5.2bn bid to acquire TNT Express and Thomas Wessely advised Hutchison 3G on its planned acquisition of Orange Austria. Rafique Bachour acted for Xstrata on its successful acquisition of Glencore. In the cartels and behavioural practice, Frank Montag represented Schenker in the EC’s investigation into the freight forwarding sector, and advised Siemens on non-compete obligations concerning its former joint venture with Areva. Laurent Garzaniti is ‘probably one of the best competition lawyers in Brussels’. Overall practice head David Broomhall is ‘excellent’, and state aid specialist Andreas von Bonin is also recommended.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s primary strength is in merger control advice to large American or European corporates. James Venit recently advised Pfizer on its acquisition of Ferrosan Holding’s consumer health business, and, alongside Frederic Depoortere, advised Outokumpu on its acquisitions of Inoxum and Nirosta. Simon Baxter acted for Diversey Holdings on its sale to Sealed Air Corporation and advised Novell during its takeover by Attachmate. Ingrid Vandenborre has recently acted on several pharmaceuticals industry competition issues for clients including Watson Pharmaceuticals. The firm also has substantial experience in regulatory investigations.
Allen & Overy LLP’s Dirk Arts provides an ‘extremely satisfactory’ service. He gives cartel advice to European and US corporates and recently advised ABX on the EC’s freight forwarding investigation. Merger controls expert Martin Bechtold, who divides his time between Frankfurt and Brussels, recently acted for Cargill on its acquisition of Schwartauer Werke GmbH & Co. KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB) and advised General Electric (GE) on several acquisitions and joint ventures across Europe.
Marleen Van Kerckhove heads Arnold & Porter LLP’s ‘truly excellent’ practice, which assisted Cisco with obtaining unconditional phase one clearance of its acquisition of NDS. Luc Gyselen and Silvio Cappellari are acting for Fujikura in the power cables cartel investigation, while colleagues in the US handled parallel proceedings conducted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ). Elsewhere, the team advised GE on its joint venture with Inter RAO, and defended the Republic of Hungary against a state aid related complaint brought by Electrabel. Tim Frazer, who splits his time between London and Brussels, is ‘incredibly responsive’ and gives ‘pragmatic advice’ that clients can ‘easily understand and implement’.
Clifford Chance’s practice, which is ‘outstanding in all areas’, experienced an uptick in Article 102 TFEU cases, with many concerning the interface between IP and competition law. Thomas Vinje guided Samsung through an EC investigation into an alleged abuse of standard essential patent rights, and acted for Oracle in an abuse of dominance complaint brought by Hewlett-Packard. Practice head Tony Reeves is ‘a superb partner’ for clients. He recently advised Pfizer on selling its nutritional products division to Nestlé and acted for Citigroup on the acquisition of EMI, and the subsequent divestment of its recorded music and music publishing arms. The ‘experienced’ and ‘extremely talented’ of counsel Michel Petite advised Dutch National Bank on supporting ING in a state aid case against the EC.
Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘high-quality’ group is particularly active in the telecoms and energy sectors, and has also recently acted in various IP-heavy competition cases in the pharmaceuticals industry. Miranda Cole and the ‘well-connected’ Lars Kjølbye acted for Microsoft on its $8.5bn acquisition of Skype as well as in abuse of dominance complaints to the EC. The team also successfully represented AstraZeneca during an EC investigation into alleged anti-competitive conduct. CEZ, EDF and bpost are also clients. Damien Geradin ‘knows the law like no-one else’, and the ‘intellectually top-class’ Georg Berrisch ‘always has a well-thought-through solution to any problem’. Peter Camesasca left the firm in May 2012 to set up an independent practice.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘prudent and multi-faceted’ advice to multinationals involved in global cartel proceedings, recently including three such investigations in the automotive sector. Michael Egge’s relocation from the Washington DC office in summer 2012 has bolstered the practice’s capability in transatlantic antitrust cases involving parallel US DoJ proceedings. Jean Paul Poitras shows ‘sound’ judgement and his ‘recommendations are carefully thought through’. He is representing Neptune Orient Lines and American President Lines in the EC’s investigation into the shipping liner sector, and Javier Ruiz Calzado is acting for Telefónica in a European Court of Justice (ECJ) appeal concerning a complex admissibility question pertaining to an earlier state aid appeal. Howard Rosenblatt advised Eaton Corporation on its unconditionally approved takeover of Cooper Industries.
Linklaters has lost a number of senior partners in recent years, as the firm’s EU competition focus moved towards its London office. However, the Brussels team remains active in merger control cases and has been reinforced by a number of new associates as well as partner Gerwin van Gerven, who is ‘one of the best in Brussels’, and has returned to full-time practice after stepping down as head of antitrust. Jonas Koponen and van Gerven advised Johnson & Johnson on its high-profile acquisition of Synthes. Bernd Meyring advised Volkswagen on the purchase of a majority stake in MAN SE, which gained phase one clearance without remedies. The practice also defended Goldman Sachs Group in the EC’s power cables cartel investigation, and Wolfgang Deselaers acted for Hypo Real Estate in a state aid case.
Slaughter and May is praised for its ‘short response times’, ‘cost efficiency’ and the ‘high level of advice one expects from a full-service international firm’. Backed by colleagues in London, the group advises on a broad spread of behavioural proceedings, joint ventures and M&A. The ‘very committed’ John Boyce has ‘a great network’ of contacts. He and Claire Jeffs represented Google in an abuse of dominance investigation, and this ‘proactive’ team also advised Unilever on a settlement relating to the EC’s consumer detergents investigation.
Van Bael & Bellis’ ‘experienced’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team is ‘a safe home for a complex competition problem’. Highly regarded practice head Jean-François Bellis and Porter Elliott advised Skype on merger control issues concerning its $8.5bn acquisition by Microsoft. Timothy Kasten led the team’s representation of Microsoft in its appeal against a €899m fine imposed by the EC, and assisted ACT in supporting Intel’s appeal against a €1.06bn fine for an alleged abuse of dominance. Markus Wellinger is ‘very good’ for domestic aspects of multi-jurisdictional merger control proceedings, and Andrzej Kmiecik provides ‘timely’ and ‘helpful’ advice.
White & Case LLP Avocats Advocaten’s ‘deeply knowledgeable’ team is ‘perfectly familiar with all the institutions and relevant persons in Brussels and Luxembourg’, and is ‘excellent’ for complex merger control mandates. Practice head Jacquelyn MacLennan represented Toshiba in its appeal against a €90.9m fine issued by the EC following the gas-insulated switchgear cartel investigation. James Killick handled global merger control filings for DuPont following its $6.6bn tender offer for Danisco’s issued share capital. Ian Forrester QC is ‘outstanding’, Kai Struckmann shows ‘a strong focus’ on key legal issues, Sweden-focused Pontus Lindfelt adopts ‘a global vision of problems beyond the legal’ and is ‘always helpful’ in negotiations, and Axel Schulz was promoted to the partnership in January 2012.
WilmerHale has attracted an increased number of Article 102 TFEU and cartel instructions, and also continued to act on transactional matters such as advising Thermo Fischer Scientific on its €2.5bn acquisition of Phadia. The team represented Lufthansa in a General Court appeal regarding the EC’s findings in the airfreight cartel investigation. Christian Duvernoy played a lead role in advising Lufthansa and Bmi on the latter’s acquisition by IAG. Sven Völcker acted for Columbia Sportswear in bringing a complaint against Gore-Tex before the EC, and advised Apple Inc in its high-profile patent dispute with Samsung and Motorola. John Ratliff is recommended.
Ashurst LLP has a strong transactional and public sector practice, and its ‘service is exemplary’. The eight-partner team shows ‘strength in depth’ with senior figures including Denis Waelbroeck, who has ‘an excellent knowledge and understanding of court procedures’. He handled six large state aid cases for clients including Elefsis Shipyards. Julian Ellison is ‘easy to contact’ and maintains the right balance between technicalities and practicalities. Newly promoted partner Donald Slater grasps issues ‘very quickly’ and his written arguments are ‘persuasive, extremely well constructed, and powerfully expressed’. Alexandre Vandencasteele’s clients include Colgate-Palmolive.
Fiona Carlin heads Baker & McKenzie’s practice, which has played a key role in several of Europe’s key Article 101 TFEU cases. Carlin recently advised a major US client during a phase two investigation into the acquisition of a competitor. Bill Batchelor defended Trade Stomil in the synthetic rubber cartel case, helping it to annul an EU finding of liability and subsequent fines. Kurt Haegeman overturned a €118m fine imposed against Mitsubishi for alleged involvement in the gas-insulated switchgear cartel. Merger control expert Gavin Bushell joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Gibson Dunn’s lawyers are responsive, have ‘great presentation skills’ and industry knowledge is ‘second to none’. The team has seen an increase in abuse of dominance litigation instructions and also has a busy cartels practice, having recently acted in nine Article 101 TFEU cases. E-commerce specialist Andrés Font Galarza advises multinational companies on vertical restraint matters and handles multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. David Wood acted for technology organisation ICOMP in several antitrust investigations into Google’s practises, and ‘excellent lawyer’ Peter Alexiadis is ‘pragmatic’ and shows ‘extraordinary competence’.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ’s Brussels group works closely alongside colleagues in other offices internationally, and has established a strong reputation for contentious competition matters. Craig Pouncey represents a number of Asian clients in antitrust investigations across the automotive, cable and financial services sectors. Kyriakos Fountoukakos is well versed in complex merger control matters, having spent several years in DG Comp’s merger taskforce. Of counsel Adrian Brown acts for various UK-based public sector entities on procurement issues and respected consultant Bo Vesterdorf advises the firm’s technology clients on behavioural issues.
Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘very responsive’ team has ‘thorough industry knowledge’, including an excellent state aid practice headed by Jacques Derenne. He recently represented Alstom in complex litigation arising from the gas-insulated switchgear cartel investigation and Paris Anestis is advising the Hellenic Republic on state aid issues concerning the restructure of Greek Railways. ‘Service-minded’ Matthew Levitt is ‘never afraid of giving a practical piece of advice’, and Christopher Thomas and public procurement specialist Ciara Kennedy-Loest make ‘an amazingly effective duo’. Catriona Hatton joined Baker Botts L.L.P. in September 2012.
Jones Day’s ‘responsive’ and ‘committed’ group includes ‘hard workers’ Vincent Brophy and Bernard Amory, both of whom ‘have very good contact with the relevant competition authorities at EU and national level’. The team is advising Deutsche Bank on the EC investigation into the credit default swaps (CDS) market, and recently guided Goodrich during its takeover by United Technologies. Eric Barbier de La Serre and of counsel Filippo Amato and have ‘inside experience at the courts in Luxembourg’. Renato Antonini, who joined from Van Bael & Bellis in March 2012, represented Taihan in the power cable cartels investigation.
Mayer Brown’s ‘dedicated’ and ‘very experienced’ team has a reputable merger control and cartel investigations practice, with particular strengths in German antitrust law. The team is appreciated for its ‘hands-on approach’ and ‘tough negotiation’ skills, and provides clients with ‘a great overall experience’. Kiran Desai, who has ‘excellent knowledge of European competition law’, recently acted for Solvay on notifying the EC about its joint venture with Air Liquide. The ‘thorough’ and ‘pragmatic’ Jens Peter Schmidt helped Caterpillar to obtain unconditional clearance of its acquisition of MVM following a phase two investigation. Robert Klotz, who joined from Hunton & Williams LLP in April 2012, boosted the team’s expertise in network industries.
O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s three-partner team received a steady flow of merger control and cartel instructions. It is lead antitrust adviser to Honeywell International and recently advised on its acquisition of King Safetywear as well as the $950m sale of Honeywell’s consumer products division to Rank Group. Christian Riis-Madsen advised ICAP on opposing Deutsche Börse’s merger with the NYSE Euronext. Riccardo Celli is representing an Asian client in an international cartel investigation being jointly conducted by the EC and the US DoJ. Marc Reysen’s clients include Nestlé Deutschland.
Shearman & Sterling LLP handles merger, cartel and behavioural competition cases. Trevor Soames acted for Qualcomm regarding an abuse of dominance complaint concerning the 3G mobile broadband sector, and Hans Jürgen Meyer-Lindemann represented NASDAQ OMX in its opposition to the proposed merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext. In other work, Stephen Mavroghenis advised Caterpillar on its $8.6bn acquisition of Bucyrus and aviation specialist Geert Goeteyn focuses on Article 102 TFEU questions. Of counsel Julian Joshua is a cartels expert and former Howrey LLP lawyer, who joined the firm in March 2012, helping to reconfigure the team following Götz Drauz move to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s new Brussels office in 2011.
Sidley Austin LLP’s team has ‘good knowledge’, ‘great experience’ and provides ‘a value-for-money service’. Practice head and abuse of dominance expert Stephen Kinsella recently advised Microsoft on the EC’s investigations into its competitors. ‘Specialist in European law’ Ken Daly provides ‘very fast answers’ to clients’ questions. He recently advised Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Football ASBL on an application to intervene before the General Court in a complex competition case concerning free movement. Kristina Nordlander advised eBay on antitrust issues concerning a joint venture in the mobile payments sector, while Maarten Meulenbelt acted for IVBN in several state aid matters.
Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s service is both ‘excellent’ and ‘very fast’, and the team has comprehensive and ‘deep knowledge’ of EU competition law. David Anderson is recommended for advice in high-risk areas, and for his ability to assess the chances of success in complex cases. He recently advised an accountancy firm involved in the global investigations into the auditing sector, and advised on the sale of Seajacks International to Marubeni. The team also acted in the Article 102 TFEU investigation into The MathWorks.
Bird & Bird’s firmwide capabilities in technology and IP are an asset for clients involved in cross-border competition litigation. José Rivas and Morten Nissen recently represented PRS in its opposition to the EC’s decision in the CISAC case. The practice also acted for a large software company in an abuse of dominance case involving a US-based computer company. Among various automotive sector matters, Anne Federle is assisting Johnson Controls with obtaining phase one clearance of its acquisitions of C. Rob. Hammerstein Group and Keiper Recaro’s vehicle parts operation.
Crowell & Moring advised AT&T on distribution agreements and joint ventures, as well as the creation of a platform for application developers. Werner Berg is highly recommended for German and EU merger control advice. Gambling and TMT specialist Thomas De Meese handles IP-related competition cases, antitrust investigations and compliance, and Sean-Paul Brankin is the team’s go-to adviser for EU competition cases with a UK element.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. represents numerous French corporates on merger control reviews and EC cartel investigations. It has seen a recent increase in instructions from European clients including TPSA. Stéphane Hautbourg helped Areva during an EC investigation into non-compete obligations following a joint venture with Siemens. Benoît Le Bret recently acted for a large utility company on state aid rules concerning an application for ERDF funding. Laurent Godfroid was promoted to the partnership in January 2013.
Gleiss Lutz’s team is ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘experienced’ and ‘good value’. The ‘well-connected’ Ulrich Soltész is a state aid specialist and ‘a strategic thinker’. He recently acted for Bank of Ireland on the state aid aspects of its second restructuring, and is advising dapd before the EC in a complaint regarding state aid allegedly given to Agence France-Presse.
Working closely with its Düsseldorf office, Hengeler Mueller’s Brussels team provides advice of ‘excellent quality’ to its mainly German client base on cartel and state aid matters. Hans-Jörg Niemeyer recently assisted Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines with intervening in a state aid case at the General Court, while Markus Röhrig advised Talanx AG on merger control proceedings.
McDermott Will & Emery Belgium LLP’s Martina Maier recently advised Eaton Corporation on global merger control proceedings and assisted Ford Motor Company with state aid matters concerning investments in France, Poland and Romania. Wilko Van Weert provides ‘very satisfactory’ advice to Japanese clients and recently represented Nippon Express in the freight forwarding cartel case. Philipp Werner has acted for several German airports in state aid proceedings. Cartel defence specialist Clive Stanbrook QC and Philip Bentley QC are highly regarded, and recently promoted partner Andrea Hamilton is also recommended.
Norton Rose LLP provides ‘top-quality’ merger control advice and ‘excellent value for money’. Mark Tricker is ‘a world class competition partner’ with experience on merger clearance in large international transactions. He recently advised BMW on the €700m acquisition of ING Car Lease and acted for G4S on its £5.2bn purchase of ISS. Christian Filippitsch advised Stena Line Scandinavia on its purchase of five shipping routes, and Michael Jüergen Werner assisted Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund with public procurement and state aid issues pertaining to the privatisation of Greek airports.
Squire Sanders LLP’s ‘excellent’, ‘responsive’ team gives ‘to-the-point’ advice. ‘Seasoned antitrust lawyer’ Brian Hartnett is ‘practical’, and ‘extremely good’ for complex state aid cases. He and Oliver Geiss recently acted for Frucona in an ECJ state aid case and advised LAN Airlines and LAN Cargo on an application to annul fines imposed in the airfreight cartel investigation. This ‘well connected’ and ‘entrepreneurial’ group also acted for Optronics regarding the liquid crystal displays (LCD) cartel decision, and advised Cytec Industries on its acquisition of Umeco plc.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s ‘truly organised’ team shows ‘quick understanding’ of financial and corporate issues pertaining to transatlantic competition cases. Its ‘excellent knowledge of the EC’ is appreciated by its large Asian client base, as is Robert Fleishman’s experience with US regulators in Washington DC. Yves Botteman is ‘a very passionate young partner’ with brilliant knowledge of antitrust law and cases. He recently represented RÉEL Group SAS in an abuse of dominance complaint against Rio Tinto Alcan and advised Japan Airlines on Article TFEU 101 questions relating to its arrangement with British Airways for Europe.
Bredin Prat is ‘a strong option if you seek very good value for money’. This ‘fully dedicated’ and ‘extremely professional’ group mainly represents French corporates in antitrust issues concerning M&A, and recently defended Electrabel (now known as Electrabel GDF Suez) in the General Court against merger sanctions imposed by the EC. The ‘highly skilled’ Marc Pittie has ‘technical experience’ and ‘sound judgement’.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP receives a steady flow of transactional work from its US offices. Practice head Alec Burnside and special counsel Anne MacGregor acted as antitrust adviser to Deutsche Börse on the planned merger with NYSE Euronext.
contrast has seen an increase in distribution cases in the pharmaceuticals, automotive and retail sectors. Frank Wijckmans, who has ‘a fantastic reputation’ for cartel work, represented Electrolux and Whirlpool Europe in a state aid appeal at the General Court. Filip Tuytschaever acted for the EC in appeals brought by ThyssenKrupp concerning the elevators cartel.
Bertold Bar-Bouyssiere heads DLA Piper’s practice, which handles domestic and EU cases across the energy, aviation, and financial services sectors. He recently advised Etihad Airways on an EC Statement of Objections concerning alleged anticompetitive conduct and reverse patent settlements. Yoichi Shibasaki represents Japanese clients in global cartel investigations and derivative actions.
Dechert LLP’s ‘commercially savvy’ team provides ‘reliable advice’ on transaction-related competition issues, notably in the life sciences and aviation sectors. Practice head Isabelle Rahman ‘explains very complicated matters in a simple manner’. The team worked with colleagues in Washington DC to advise Peabody Energy on its acquisition of Macarthur Coal.
Eubelius’ ten-strong team provides ‘very good service’ and ‘value for money’. It handles domestic and EU competition cases, and counts TUI Travel and Bank of New York Mellon among its clients. Practice head Hans Gilliams ‘combines legal and economic knowledge’.
Garrigues mainly acts for Spanish clients and has ‘knowledge and expertise in the competition arena’. Practice head José Luis Buendía has ‘a wide net of contacts at the EC’. The team recently acted for Bank of Spain on restructuring Spain’s financial sector. Luis Ortiz Blanco is recommended.
Morgan Lewis advises clients on EU rules surrounding joint ventures, merger control and other agreements. Izzet Sinan heads the practice, which also includes of counsel Jonathan Uphoff, who specialises in cross- border M&A.
Dirk Van Liedekerke heads Olswang’s nine-lawyer practice, which has a busy contentious element at domestic level, but has also handled merger control matters before the Belgium Competition Authority for large clients including Belgacom. Koen Platteau represented Ferrero in an investigation into alleged price fixing.
Stibbe has picked up state aid instructions and is acting for several energy sector clients, including Czech Coal, in behavioural proceedings. Practice head Peter Wytinck defended Schindler in a private damages case brought by the EC before Belgian courts, following the elevator cartel investigation. Hendrik Viaene is recommended.
Uría Menéndez’s ‘experienced’ and ‘proactive’ team provides antitrust advice, and is ‘particularly valuable in procedures where the level of uncertainty is high’. Edurne Navarro advised Philips on its takeover of Indal, and is currently representing Roca in a General Court appeal concerning an alleged cartel.
Claudio Mereu heads Field Fisher Waterhouse’s practice, which provides behavioural and transactional advice to chemicals companies. Clients include THOR, Dow AgroSciences and United Phosphorus.
NautaDutilh mainly advises Dutch clients on behavioural matters before the EC. Practice head Charles van Sasse van Ysselt divides his time between Amsterdam and Brussels.
SJ Berwin LLP’s ‘well-balanced team’ is ‘adept at advising on complex and novel issues’ across merger control, cartels and antitrust litigation. Ramón García Gallardo and Riccardo Croce are the practice co-heads.