EU and competition in Czech Republic

HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., attorneys at law

HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., attorneys at law antitrust practice offers a 'unique combination of top knowledge of law with super-strong competition economics.' Practice head Robert Neruda is noted for his 'extremely valuable insight'. His team assists clients with a wide range of matters, including merger control, alleged abuses of dominant positions and day-to-day compliance issues. Petr Kadlec is recommended for his expertise in commercial contracts in the energy and infrastructure space. Lenka Gachová specialises in state aid work. The group frequently appears before the European Commission in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Robert Neruda

Other key lawyers:

Petr Kadlec; Lenka Gachová

Testimonials

‘Robert Neruda makes Havel & Partners’ competition law practice unique. His previous role in the Czech National Competition Authority gives him extremely valuable insight into the policy, priorities, practices and procedures that enable him to produce highly practical advice and compliance programmes. In particular, he is able to point out where a business is overly restricting itself in the mistaken belief that competition law prohibits certain activities, thereby helping businesses to realise more value. As a result, Robert is the competition lawyer that I find to be the best within our EU-wide panel of law firms, which include Magic Circle firms.’

The team of Havel & Partners is technically very well positioned. It aims to understand every representation of facts and particularities and to implement them for the benefit of the client. The in-house lawyer is seen as an equal partner. Comments, suggestions and ideas are included. The team is easily accessible at any time.’

The team is expert both as to Czech as well as European competition law. The strength is the knowledge of the Czech environment and thanks to the complexity and size of the office also possibility to get inputs from teams in other areas of law.’

Team has a combination of legal wisdom, competition economics and pro-business approach – not only meeting our company/legal needs but coming proactively with broader business consequences/opportunities. Simply a pleasure to work with them.

Key clients

T-Mobile Czech Republic

Albert Česká republika

UNIPETROL

Komerční banka (Société Générale) / Česká spořitelna (Erste Group) / ČSOB (KBC Group)

Johnson & Johnson / Janssen-Cilag

Nestlé

City of Ostrava

Stock Spirits Group

AV Media

Pro Diagnostic Group

Work highlights

  • Represented T-Mobile Czech Republic (Deutsche Telekom Group) in cooperation with Jones Day and NERA T-Mobile Czech Republic in proceedings before the European Commission concerning a network sharing agreement between the two largest telecom operators, TMobile and O2 / CETIN.
  • Represented Komerční banka, Česká spořitelna and ČSOB before the European Commission in the case of establishment of a full-function joint venture, which should provide a completely new electronic identification and authentication system in the Czech Republic.
  • Successfully represented Albert Česká republika in administrative proceedings before the Office for the Protection of Competition (“Office”) related to the alleged abuse of significant market power. Ongoing advisory services relating to the planned activities of Albert Česká republika in terms of compliance with the Competition Act and Significant Market Power Act.

Skils s.r.o. advokátní kancelář

Skils s.r.o. advokátní kancelář's market-leading competition practice undertakes work in regulated industries and is noted for its strong capabilities in abuse of dominance claims. The team has strong transactional expertise and provides clients such as Czech Railways and other government entities with advice on corporate and public procurement issues. Practice head Jiri Kindl, who frequently appears before the Czech competition council, works with Karel Muzikář. Martin Kramar is also a noted practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Jiri Kindl; Karel Muzikar

Other key lawyers:

Martin Kramar

Testimonials

‘Skils equals other best law offices in their knowledge. Skils are swift, experienced and diligent. The team is well balanced and work consistently on various matters while keeping the deep understanding of industry and our company’

‘My main contact is the partner Jiri Kindl. Mr. Jiri Kindl is clever, always ready to support and gives short and precise answers to the problems. We understand each other on all points. Mr Jiri Kindl gives his best for us all the time.’

Key clients

UBER

MONETA MONEY Bank

Fortuna Game

Plzensky Prazdroj/Pilsner Urquell

Ceske drahy (Czech Railways)

Severoceske doly

CHAPS

CETIN (formerly Ceska telekomunikacni infrastruktura)

Plzensky Prazdroj Slovakia

Ondrasovka

Asahi Breweries

Via FAOC

Work highlights

  • Advising CETIN of PPF Group, a Czech telecommunications network operator, on the proceedings before the European Commission regarding network sharing.
  • Advises Czech Railway in two investigations pending before the European Commission regarding alleged abuse of dominant position and an alleged restrictive agreement.
  • Advises Via FAOC (an operator of Fashion Arena Prague Outlet centre) in competition matters and disputes with its competitor.

White & Case, s.r.o., advokátní kancelář

White & Case, s.r.o., advokátní kancelář has an excellent competition practice and handles high-stakes corporate transactions and complex merger filings. Led by Ivo Janda, the team is noted for its ability to conduct large cross-border mandates across the CEE region and advise on all aspects of EU law.

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy's competition practice is experienced in handling merger control matters, cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, and judicial reviews. Led by Warsaw-based regional head Marta Sendrowicz in Warsaw, and associate Ivana Halamova Dobiskova in Prague, the group is able to leverage its international reach to cover a wide range of issues. The team has handled the competition aspects of a number of transactions in the energy and telecoms sectors, and also appeared in proceedings before the Czech Competition Authority.

Practice head(s):

Marta Sendrowicz; Ivana Halamová Dobíšková

Testimonials

‘For antitrust matters, we have worked primarily with Ivana Halamová-Dobíšková on rather complex multi-analysis regarding joint control transaction. The AO team was as always delivering on tough deadlines and in exceptional quality. It is always a pleasure to work with them as they have a very pro client approach, are able and take time to understand our business and objectives and thanks to this tend to deliver stand out legal services.’

I appreciate the team monitoring the development in the retail food legislation across CE and actively sharing the news/ideas with us.’

Key clients

Velvet Care Sp. z o.o.

SCANIA CV AB

EnBW and its subsidiary Pražská energetika

Work highlights

  • Advised Pražská energetika as a bidder for acquisition of the retail gas and electricity business of innogy in the Czech Republic. Our involvement in the transaction consisted of assisting with participation in the tender process, legal due diligence, negotiation of the share purchase agreement, and antitrust and merger control related issues.
  • Advised management of Memsource on the competition aspects of the sale of its majority stake to the global investment firm Carlyle Group.
  • Advised Velvet Care Sp. z o.o. on the competition aspects of its acquisition of MORACELL s.r.o., a Czech Republic-based manufacturer of paper hygiene products.

Baker & McKenzie s.r.o., advokátní kancelář

The competition team at Baker & McKenzie s.r.o., advokátní kancelář is skilled in handling Czech and Slovak law matters such as complex merger filings and other transactional advisory work. Jointly led by Alexandr César and experienced senior associate Kateřina Schenková in Vienna, the practice also advises clients on internal investigations and litigation, and has notable expertise in the pharmaceutical space. A key feature of the firm's service is its 24-hour global dawn raid app, which allows clients to access a response team across the EMEA region. Milena Hoffmanová is recommended for compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Alexandr César; Kateřina Schenková; Milena Hoffmanová

Testimonials

‘B&M provides complex legal services with high focus on quality, client’s interests and relevant environment. Our experience is always very positive and we can gladly recommend B&M services. We have been using the legal services of the law firm BakerMcKenzie for a long time and we are happy, especially thanks to our exceptionally good experience in working with a team of experts in pharmaceutical law and compliance, led by partner Milena Hoffmanov’

Key clients

Adient

Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry

Astra Zeneca

CITIC Group

Daimler

Eli Lilly

Essity

GI International

Grundfos

LKQ Corporation

Moulins de Kleinbettingen S.A.

Novo Nordisk

REWE

Schreiber International

SIKA

Worldline S.A.

Zumtobel

Work highlights

  • Representing a major construction company HOCHTIEF CZ a. s. in connection with cartel proceedings – bid rigging before the Czech competition office. This case in the construction sector is the largest cartel investigation carried out by the Czech Competition Office in last 9 years.
  • Advising and representing Exim Tours and its owner, REWE in relation to merger control proceedings concerning acquisition of Czech travel agency FISCHER a.s., from a Czech financial group KKCG.
  • Advising LKQ Corporation, a globally active US-based automotive parts distributor (the market leader in Europe), on the Czech merger clearance proceedings relating to the envisaged €1.5bn acquisition of the German car parts specialist Stahlgruber.

Dentons

At Dentons, the competition practice retains its strength in the energy and infrastructure sector, with key mandates spanning large merger control matters for multinational energy companies including Sev.en Energy. Petr Zákoucký manages the team and handles complex investigations before Czech, Slovak, and EU competition authorities for clients as well as litigation work. Newly promoted senior associate Adam Přerovský advises clients on the transactional elements of matters and supports competition proceedings. The practice frequently works cross-border with its office in Brussels.

Practice head(s):

Petr Zákoucký

Other key lawyers:

Adam Přerovský

Key clients

Sev.en Energy

L´Oréal

Mars and Royal Canin

Veolia

MND/KKCG

BPD Partners

GeoPost

ROUND HILL CAPITAL and Blackstone

APS Holding

E.ON

Work highlights

  • Advising MND/KKCG on its bid to acquire Innogy Ceska republika a.s., the largest incumbent gas retail retailer in the Czech Republic, in a tender process, including competition aspects.
  • Advising ROUND HILL CAPITAL and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities on the merger control aspects of the sale of RESIDOMO, the biggest private owner of residential apartments in the Czech Republic, to Heimstaden Bostad AB, the Swedish real estate company, with the estimated sale value of €1.3bn.
  • Advising GeoPost/DPD group on the acquisition of the Czech and Slovak parcel delivery operations of the German logistics group Geis, including complex merger control approval in the Czech Republic.

Kocián Šolc Balaštík

Kocián Šolc Balaštík has an excellent reputation in the competition space and acts for large multinational clients in merger control proceedings. The team has considerable experience appearing before the Czech Competition Authority and the European Commission on litigation and other antitrust matters. The practice has a strong dispute resolution offering, with co-chair Sylvie Sobolová being noted for her arbitration expertise. She co-heads the group with Pavel Dejl. Associate Martin Vráb is strong in administrative proceedings. The team counts leading players in the automotive sector as clients.

Practice head(s):

Pavel Dejl; Sylvie Sobolová

Other key lawyers:

Martin Vráb 

Key clients

Asiana, spol. s r.o.

Mattoni 1873, a.s.

AGROFERT, a.s.

Skanska, a.s.

SIAD Czech spol. s r.o.

LEO Global Express, a.s.

Penam, a.s.

Work highlights

  • Advised Mattoni 1873 (formerly Karlovarské minerální vody, a.s.) on acquisition clearance proceedings with the Czech Competition Authority.
  • Represented Czech Media Invest a.s. in merger clearance proceedings before the European Commission.
  • Represented Penam, a.s. before the European Court of Human Rights regarding a complaint against an unlawful dawn raid.

Kinstellar

At Kinstellar, the 'strong' competition practice is skilled in advising leading energy and infrastructure sector clients on merger control and state aid matters. The team is led by Tomáš Čihula, who previously worked at the European Commission‘s Directorate-General for Competition in Brussels.  It covers all areas of competition, including cross-border mergers spanning the CEE region. Associates Michal Forýtek and Adam Němec are noted for their public procurement experience.

Practice head(s):

Tomáš Čihula

Other key lawyers:

Michal Forýtek; Adam Němec

Testimonials

‘Kinstellar has a strong competition practice. They work on high profile competition matters across CEE and have in-depth expertise, but crucially also a business-centric approach rooted in an understanding of the client’s business. This pro-business approach means that they strive to provide clear and concise targeted advice focusing on problematic areas and producing added value.’

‘The team, led by Tomáš Čihula, is committed to delivering excellent service on every level, being able to adjust to our needs flexibly and provide in each case timely and polished input. Being able to draw on a skilled team in multiple CEE jurisdictions means that they are ideally suited to efficiently deal also with complex multijurisdictional matters.’

Kinstellar’s team is very much business-oriented. They are known for excel quality of merger control work. They go the extra mile. They are more flexible than international chains (A&O). The fees are reasonable. They work at a great speed.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson / Janssen

Net4Gas

MasterCard

Nexen Tire Corporation

Stada Arzneimittel

NN Group

Genesis Capital Limited

Porsche Central and Eastern Europe

Work highlights

  • Advised STADA ARZNEIMITTEL on the acquisition of Walmark, a leading manufacturer of consumer health products in Central Europe with a unique portfolio of well-established consumer health brands across multiple categories, from Mid Europa Partners.
  • Advised on the acquisition of Aegon’s life insurance business and subsequent cross-border merger in the Czech Republic/Netherlands that involved two life insurance companies.
  • Advising MasterCard on an ongoing inquiry of the Czech Competition Authority regarding interchange fees and other issues.

Pokorný, Wagner & Partners

Pokorný, Wagner & Partners represents clients in competition matters before the administrative courts and the European Commission. Jozef Mikloško leads the group, which has expertise in all areas of EU and competition law. It acts for a mix of multinational corporates and domestic companies. Jaromír Pařil  is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jozef Mikloško

Other key lawyers:

Jaromír Paři

ROWAN LEGAL

ROWAN LEGAL has considerable expertise in regulated sectors and its team is active in areas such as energy and technology. The practice handles merger control proceedings, state aid work, competition litigation and behavioural investigations. Jan MěkotaMichal Nulíček and Vilém Podešva are key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Michal Nulíček; Jan Měkota

Other key lawyers:

Vilém Podešva

Testimonials

‘We appreciate the professional approach of Rowan Legal’

‘Very good knowledge of legal issues and flexibility’

‘flexibility, speed, quality of work’

‘High level of competition law knowledge.’

‘available, professional, responsive’

Key clients

O2 Czech Republic

EGEM

UP Česká republika

AVE CZ

PROFI EMG

Czech Republic – ministry of Industry and Trade

Nej.cz

Heureka Group a.s.

Statutární mesto Ústí nad Labem

E.ON Czech Republic

Prague Public Transit Company, joint-stock company (Dopravní podnik hl. m. Prahy, a.s.)

Lesy České republiky, a.s.

Screening Solutions s.r.o.

Elektrizace železnic Praha a.s.

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented EGEM in proceedings before the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition related to an alleged cartel regarding the supply of energy works to E.ON Czech Republic.
  • Representing Heureka Group, a major Czech provider of comparison shopping services before the court in civil litigation regarding the enforcement of a damages claim against Google LLC for abuse of dominance on the market for retail comparison shopping services.
  • As a part of state’s representation in negotiations with ČEZ, a.s., the firm provided an assessment of the state aid-related issues of the project for construction of new nuclear power plant.

Schoenherr Czech Republic

Schoenherr Czech Republic's competition practice has handled numerous national and European-wide merger control proceedings for big-name tech and insurance sector clients. Led by Claudia Bock, who also heads up the Bratislava practice, the team advises on corporate transactions, unfair trade practices and regulatory matters. The group works closely with its Brussels office on cross-border mandates. Vladimír Čížek is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Claudia Bock

Other key lawyers:

Vladimír Čížek

Testimonials

‘The team is led by Claudia Bock and we appreciate its diversity. The team is very practical and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

Flixbus

AkzoNobel

REWE Group (BILLA)

Mondi

BASF

Continental Group (ContiTech AG, Continental Barum, ContiTrade, Continental Matador Rubber)

Clarivate Analytics LLC

Facebook

Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall

Czech Association of Tyre Producers and Importers

Work highlights

  • Advised FlixBus CZ s.r.o. in relation to an unfair competition action brought by its largest competitor STUDENT AGENCY k.s. and RegioJet a.s..
  • Advised AkzoNobel with regard to general competition matters related to compliance programmes in the Czech Republic.
  • Advised Facebook, Inc. – and its VR platform Oculus Studios – on the competition law related aspects of the acquisition of a 100% share of Czech games studio, Beat Games s.r.o.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing Czech Republic handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work before the national competition authorities, the EU Commission and other courts. Jointly led by public procurement specialist Markéta Deimelová and Barbora Dubanská (who splits her time between Prague and Vienna), the group advises leading pharmaceutical and life sciences companies on compliance and regulatory issues, merger control and investigations. In addition to being active in the Slovak market, the firm also undertakes cross-border work across Europe.

Practice head(s):

Markéta Deimelová, Barbora Dubanská

Work highlights

  • Advise Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIFP) on distribution and competition matters.