Germany > Antitrust
Index of tables
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Allen & Overy LLP
- Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- White & Case LLP
Other recommended firms
Albrecht Bach –
Rainer Bechtold –
- Helmut Bergmann – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Ellen Braun –
Allen & Overy LLP
- Martin Klusmann – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Romina Polley – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Dirk Schroeder – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Albrecht Bach –
‘A leading team with an outstanding Brussels practice and fantastic global connections’, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s highly regarded German lawyers work seamlessly with colleagues across the firm’s network as well as in other practice areas. This comprehensive approach is crucial to attracting and handling instructions such as advising Liberty Global on its €3.16bn acquisition of Kabel Baden-Württemberg, or BP Products North America on antidumping proceedings regarding biodiesel. ThyssenKrupp instructed the team during the investigation by the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) into rails and other railway material, one of the largest investigations to date. Practice head Martin Klusmann ‘renders excellent strategic merger control advice’, and clients also appreciate Uta Itzen, who has ‘an impressive track record’.
Gleiss Lutz’s lawyers ‘get straight to the point’ and clients say that ‘we don’t get blurry answers with long disclaimers to our requests’. The firm acts for many renowned clients and has significantly grown its international caseload, working on co-operation with an established network of foreign firms, and was recently involved in a leniency application in Pakistan. The team advised Südzucker on merger control matters regarding the takeover of ED&F Man Holdings, and represented ProSiebenSat.1 Media in appeal proceedings against the FCO’s prohibition of a joint venture to operate an online video platform. Practice head Ingo Brinker gives ‘sound and absolutely reliable advice’ and ‘guidance in difficult negotiations’, and Christian Steinle ranks ‘among the leading names in compliance matters’.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a truly international practice that has been involved in interesting cases such as representing Arjo-Wiggins in a preliminary ruling procedure regarding access to files by damaged parties. Other highlights were advising Haribo in a cartel investigation regarding information exchange between confectionery manufacturers, and acting for Google on a complaint by the German newspaper and magazine publisher’s association to the FCO. Silke Heinz ‘knows how to apply the law to commercial scenarios’ and ‘suggests practical solutions’, Romina Polley has ‘an amazing ability to quickly understand a client’s business’, and Dirk Schroeder is also recommended. The team ‘reacts quickly to difficult situations’.
Clients appreciate the ‘very lean staffing’ and ‘extremely high partner involvement’ at Hengeler Mueller, which has a steadily growing portfolio of cross-border instructions, and which has acted in highlight cases such as giving merger control advice to MAN regarding its takeover by Volkswagen. Other highlights included representing a client in the European Commission’s administrative fine proceedings regarding a truck manufacturing cartel and representing HRS in the FCO’s proceedings regarding the so-called ‘best price clause’. Jochen Burrichter is ‘a doyen in his field’, and Thorsten Mäger is also recommended.
Linklaters LLP is traditionally particularly strong in merger control matters and recently advised Volkswagen on its acquisition of a majority stake in MAN. Peugeot Citroën instructed the team to advise on its global strategic alliance with GM, and the practice advised two consortia, one including Macquarie and the other including Fluxys and GIP, on bids for Open Grid Europe. The team is advising Beiersdorf on multi-jurisdictional cartel matters. Wolfgang Deselaers, Carsten Grave and practice head Daniela Seeliger are recommended.
CMS is ‘excellent on all levels’ and ‘can lead a multinational team effort’. The practice has been busy with domestic and cross-border matters including cartel litigation and merger control proceedings. It is representing AkzoNobel as the buyer in phase 2 merger control proceedings; Unister as claimant in proceedings brought by the FCO against HRS; and Yusen Shenda in EC proceedings relating to freight forwarding. Markus Schöner heads the practice, which includes Harald Kahlenberg, who has ‘experience and depth of knowledge’.
Clifford Chance has broad expertise across various sectors. It is advising Volkswagen on the acquisition of outstanding shares in Porsche; STADA on the takeover of the assets and trade marks of Gruenenthal; Fluxys on its acquisition of the TENP and Transitgas pipelines in Germany and Switzerland; and Deutsche Telekom on forming a joint venture with France Télécom. Joachim Schütze and the ‘excellent’ Marc Besen are recommended.
Hogan Lovells International LLP is particularly strong in media and technology matters, including advising RIM on its acquisition of a portion of Nortel’s patent portfolio, and has been involved in several notable cross-border matters, among them representing Frießinger Mühle in investigation proceedings before the French cartel authorities. Christoph Wünschmann ‘knows how to deal with complex and sensitive issues’, Andreas Grünwald ‘prepares high-quality documents on short notice’ and ‘manages costs efficiently’, and Martin Sura is also recommended.
Jones Day is an excellent choice for merger control work and capitalises on the firm’s US practice to attract robust mandates, such as advising Goodrich on its $18.4bn merger with United Technologies. Other highlights were advising Deutsche Telekom on a tender for broadcasting rights, and acting for Lubrizol during its acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway, which necessitated notifications in ten jurisdictions. The firm also acted for Procter & Gamble on the $2.7bn divestiture of its Pringles business to The Kellogg Company. Practice head Carsten Gromotke is well regarded.
Merger control matters and representations in FCO investigations are cornerstones of Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice. The team represented Schoeller Arca Systems in merger control proceedings before the FCO, and acted for key client Nestlé in the food retail investigation. It advised Tognum during its recent €3.15bn acquisition by Daimler and Rolls-Royce. Ulrich Börger is recommended along with Georg Weidenbach, who is ‘able to efficiently explain complex antitrust issues’.
Noerr remains busy advising on antitrust damages claims, and is representing HUK-Coburg and other German insurers in pursuing claims for damages arising from the car glass cartel. The team advised Fresenius on its voluntary public takeover offer for Rhön-Klinikum and assisted Daimler with merger control proceedings regarding the sale of a 65% stake in MBtech to AKKA Technologies. Practice co-heads Alexander Birnstiel and Karsten Metzlaff give ‘advice that is focused on business-oriented solutions’, and Metzlaff displays ‘commitment and efficiency’.
Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte is an excellent choice for contentious matters, including cartel damages claims. The team represented Deutsche Bahn in making a claim for damages against ThyssenKrupp, and both Evonik and Metro instructed the team on joint venture matters. Longstanding client Kabel Deutschland recently sought advice regarding the acquisition of TeleColumbus. Albrecht Bach is highly regarded.
WilmerHale’s ‘excellent’ team focuses on representing clients in regulated industries, and acted for Deutsche Bahn in making claims for damages in the rail track cartel and advised Deutsche Telekom on damages claims for alleged abuse of dominance. The firm advised new client GDF Suez on its bid to acquire Open Grid Europe. Ulrich Quack is ‘extremely thorough’ and Jan Heithecker gives excellent support to clients.
Allen & Overy LLP is recommended for its ‘quick responses and high levels of motivation and knowledge’. Investigations and compliance mandates kept the team busy in 2012. The team advised a client on the FCO’s investigation into the food retail sector, and acted for Biomet in a damages case regarding excessive pricing. Ellen Braun is ‘particularly good’.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP advised Sumitomo Mitsui in a high-value, cross-border matter regarding the acquisition of RBS’ aircraft leasing business, including global merger notifications, and defended Brugg Kabel in an EC investigation into the power cable market. Alexander Rinne is ‘an excellent lawyer with a clear view on economically reasonable solutions’, and one who gives ‘precise recommendations’.
Shearman & Sterling LLP ‘always obtains a thorough understanding of clients’ requirements’ and produces ‘spectacular results’. It excels at international merger control matters and also recently represented Marburger before the FCO regarding its alleged participation in a price-fixing cartel. The team also acted for EQT in a case by its portfolio company Munksjö against Pfleiderer before the European Court of Justice regarding its request for information in the course of proceedings. Hans Jürgen Meyer-Lindemann is recommended.
Bird & Bird is highly regarded for IP-related matters, acting for clients such as Nokia. The team also advised DAK and KKH Allianz on FCO proceedings regarding the joint announcement of a supplementary insurance premium by public health funds. Jörg Witting has ‘excellent knowledge’ and ‘knows how to illustrate ideas to judges’.
Boutique firm Commeo LLP has knowledge in the automotive sector, among several other industries. It is advising Magna on merger control issues, and has been advising new client Vaillant Group on antitrust compliance. Stephanie Pautke and Jörg-Martin Schultze are recommended.
Glade Michel Wirtz – Corporate & Competition ‘does a superb job’. It has been involved in several significant matters recently, including advising HDI-Gerling on the insurance cartel investigation; Deutsche Telekom in the appeal proceedings against the clearance of the merger between Liberty Global and Kabel BW; and Total regarding the allocation of the right to supply service stations. Markus Wirtz is recommended.
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek provides a comprehensive service but has a particular expertise in distribution-related antitrust law. The team is advising Aachen Münchner in insurance-related antitrust proceedings, and acting for Audi in preliminary injunction proceedings against service partners. Rainer Velte heads the practice, which provides ‘great value for money’.
Schulte Riesenkampff has particular expertise in the building materials and financial services sectors. It has been advising Basalt-Actien-Gesellschaft on a sector inquiry regarding the asphalt business, and provides ongoing, comprehensive advice to Deutsche Bank. Hansen & Rosenthal instructed the team in regard to the alleged paraffin wax cartel. Christoph Peter is the key contact.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s team is part of a strong international practice with robust EU and US expertise. It is advising General Electric on a joint venture with Safran and Nippon Carbon Company, and acting for CJSC SIBUR on the auction sale of its mineral fertiliser business to CJSC Holding Company Siberian Business Union. Counsel Horst Henschen is well regarded.
In an interesting cross-border case, Taylor Wessing advised REWE in FCO proceedings in the food retail sector in Germany and similar proceedings in Austria, and represented TM-TV in an appeal relating to antitrust damages claims against ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL. Marco Hartmann-Rüppel finds ‘creative business solutions’ and is ‘very impressive in court’.
White & Case LLP’s German team is well integrated into the firm’s global practice, and advised Clariant on merger control aspects of its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of a majority stake in Süd-Chemie. Another highlight was advising ECE in EC merger control proceedings regarding a joint venture with a Metro Group subsidiary. Börries Ahrens has ‘a pragmatic and business-driven approach’ and produces ‘excellent writs’.