The stellar, eight-strong competition practice at Clifford Chance is headed by Miguel Odriozola, who has extensive experience in matters regarding restrictive practices and merger control operations in the aviation, telecoms, and distribution and information technology sectors. The department, which has a regular presence in high-profile cases related to Spain, as well as before both the European Commission and the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC), also fields other experts in competition, including counsel Begoña Barrantes and senior associates Ana Latorre, Belén Irissarry and Diego Doménech.
EU and competition in Spain
‘I’d highlight Miguel Odriozola.’
‘They are simply the best.’
‘Belén Irisarry is technically outstanding and a great person.’
‘We have worked with the CC Competition team in highly complex operations and before the most demanding authorities in Europe. The result has been excellent, because the work has been excellent from all points of view.’
‘I highlight its ability to empathize with the client and integrate into their teams.’
Çimsa (Sabanci Group)
Super League (Key Capitals)
Cartonajes International, S.L. (International Paper)
Cirrus (currently DTN)
- Advising and designing the Super League, a new European competition between the largest football clubs in Europe.
- Advised Telefónica before the European Commission and the CMA on its €31bn value joint venture with Liberty Global to create a leading broadband and mobile player.
- Successfully represented Telefónica in eight separate appeal proceedings against the acquisition by Telefónica of DTS (Digital Plus) subject to commitments.
Garrigues garners praise from clients for its ‘deep knowledge of Spanish and EU competition law’, and particularly for its ‘understanding of the competition authorities in Brussels’. With over 20 years of experience, department head Susana Cabrera Zaragoza has a proven track record in handling cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations, as well as complex merger control proceedings. She leads the sizeable team – renowned for its expertise in merger control – which includes key practitioners: Luis Ortiz Blanco; Oriol Armengol Gasull, a ‘go-to lawyer for competition law’; Brussels-based partner Alfonso Lamadrid; of counsel Konstantin Jörgens; and principal associate Fernando Las Navas.
Other key lawyers:
‘We chose Garrigues because of their know-how. The partners are very reliable and deliver what we need. Especially valuable are the language skills in German, English and Spanish as well as the knowledge of the competition authorities in Brussels’.
‘Konstantin Jörgens understands our business, focusses on the relevant issues and delivers exactly what we need. He is responsive and always available’.
‘Garrigues’ competition team stands out for its technical excellence, thoroughness and the accessibility of its partners, who accompany the client from start to finish, with hands-on involvement in the matter. They have a high level of dedication and technical expertise in complex and pioneering processes in Spain’.
‘Oriol Armengol is the go-to lawyer for competition law for digital platforms and related businesses’.
‘The team is very professional with deep understanding of Spanish and EU competition law’.
‘All lawyers were very competent and the team had a very good internal cooperation’.
Boston Scientific Corporation
Jaguar Land Rover
- Advised Telefónica on the merger control aspects of the acquisition by American Tower of Telxius Towers in Europe and Latin America valued at €7.7bn.
- Advised Bankia on the merger control aspects of the merger with Caixabank.
- Advising Correos in connection with a standalone action filed by UNIPOST for an alleged abuse of dominance in a number of postal markets in Spain that was funded with public funds.
The Spanish office of Linklaters enjoys an outstanding reputation in all areas of competition law, advising and representing domestic and international clients from a wide range of industries, including construction, energy, mining, sports, pharmaceuticals and automotive. The team remains active in matters ranging from merger control to cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, as well as damages litigation. Noted practitioners of the team include department head Jaime Pérez-Bustamante, ‘one of the best competition lawyers’; senior associate Juan Passás, ‘a tireless worker’ with a ‘tremendous technical quality and knowledge of the competition authorities’; and counsel Fredrik Löwhagen.
Other key lawyers:
Fredrik Löwhagen; Juan Passás.
‘It is a very specialised practice where lawyers who dedicate themselves exclusively (or almost) and who know in depth the matter and the stakeholders are valued. Linklaters is outstanding, the members of this specialty are all excellent professionals, recognised and valued by the sector.’
‘The domain of the matter and the latest jurisprudential trends, beyond the local market (national and international domain). They design strategies always thinking about the client’s needs. They are very practical and effective. I would highlight Jaime Pérez de Bustamante, for me one of the best competition lawyers with whom I have had the opportunity to work.’
‘I’d highlight its ability to work in multi-jurisdiction environments.’
‘Its business oriented approach. Jaime Pérez-Bustamanate is the undisputed leader of this magnificent team of lawyers.’
‘Jaime Perez-Bustamante and Juan Passás are two great heavyweights in the Antitrust area in Spain. Juan has tremendous technical quality and knowledge of the Competition authorities, he is a tireless worker like few can know, his availability and speed of response is extraordinary, as is his empathy with the client.’
Global Infrastructure Partners
Operating from Madrid and Brussels, Uría Menéndez is widely recognised as a leading practice in the field of competition. Excelling in cartel investigations and merger filings before the CNMC, the large practice headed by Antonio Guerra also shows great dexterity handling state aid, as well as damages claims, thanks to the firm’s renowned litigation capabilities. Other key members of the team include senior market expert Jaime Folguera Crespo; Alfonso Gutiérrez Hernández, who is highly experienced in the pharmaceutical sector; skilled litigator Patricia Vidal; Edurne Navarro, who heads the Brussels office; Tomás Arranz, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2021 and has experience leading the negotiation of complex remedies before the CNMC; and senior associates Cristina Areces and Jokin Beltrán.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent coordination between team members. High technical level. Very good level of dialogue with the competition authorities.’
‘Very powerful competition team, with lawyers in Madrid and Brussels. Very knowledgeable in multi-industry topics and experts in competition procedures. Excellent file management.’
‘Very large team with several experts who complement each other. Excellent training and technical knowledge.’
‘High degree of response, experience and knowledge in the matter, as well as the deep knowledge of the way of acting of the national competition authorities.’
‘Proximity and immediate response to the client. I’d highlight Tomás Arranz and Antonio Guerra Fernández.’
‘Uria is the star player on the Spanish market. I would highly recommend them for complex competition matters, because they do not only know the law but also know how to navigate through all the complex issues which may arise. They are well-connected to the Spanish competition scene.’
‘Patricia Vidal is the person to go to with cases involving the competition agency CNMC. Edurne Navarro works from Brussels and is my first choice for EU merger control involving Spanish companies.’
‘Working with Uría Menéndez is synonymous with excellence and professionalism in each and every one of the aspects that we entrust to them. They are meticulous, take care of all the details, always provide solutions, advance and anticipate all scenarios and are involved until the end in all matters. It is a real privilege to have them in competition matters.’
- Representing DAF in a significant number of damages claims brought in Spain and many more announced and expected regarding the European trucks cartel case.
- Assisting CaixaBank in the negotiation and merger control aspects of its acquisition (by way of a merger) of Bankia, resulting in the creation of the largest Spanish bank.
- Assisting Cemex in the sale of its global white cement business, including the in-depth and protracted merger control investigations into the competitive effects of the transaction in Spain and Israel.
Reputed market expert Antonio Martínez heads the solid eight-strong competition and EU law department at Allen & Overy's Madrid office, which shows prowess handling a wide range of matters, including preventive work and merger control proceedings before the European Commission and the CNMC. The department also has considerable expertise in damages claims for competition law infringements. In addition, Martínez brings to the practice a deep knowledge of the enforcement of competition rules in the tobacco and life sciences industries. He is closely supported by counsel Jaime Rodríguez and senior associate Enrique Ferrer.
‘The combination of quality and efficiency of the service.’
‘In our experience, they have a very solid practice because their advice is always closely linked to the M&A team and therefore very focused on the needs of the client in their M&A process.’
‘Strong points are the availability of the entire team from partners to associates as well as the own knowledge in the matter. Of course, the Allen & Overy team can be proud of its capabilities.’
‘Our contacts have been Antonio Martínez and Jaime Rodríguez. Both have given outstanding attention to the issues that have arisen throughout our collaboration; I would highlight the ability to resolve important and urgent issues.’
‘Constant experience on practice and criteria of the CNMC and the Courts.’
Altadis (Imperial Brands)
American Tower Corporation
Hanson Hispania (HeidelbergCement)
Burger King Spain
Red Eléctrica de España
- Represented Altadis (the Spanish subsidiary of Imperial Brands Plc) in its appeal before the Audiencia Nacional regarding the inspections the CNMC carried out in Altadis’s premises related to the investigations into the cigarettes industry in Spain.
- Advised American Tower Corporation in relation to the merger control aspects of its acquisition of mobile tower infrastructure business of Telxius in several countries.
- Advised Santander UK on the notification to the European Commission of a joint venture with Volvo in the UK.
Cuatrecasas fields a 13-strong EU and competition practice, which is highlighted for its ‘wealth of international and national experience’, and for housing ‘reputable authorities in the field’. Jointly led by Andrew Ward and Irene Moreno-Tapia (based in Madrid and Barcelona respectively), the department regularly covers merger control, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance cases carried out by the CNMC, and damages claims. Compliance training also features in its workload. In addition, the team has notable litigation skills and proven experience before national and European courts. Senior associates María López Ridruejo and Cristina Vila (promoted in 2021) bring in key support to the practice, which advises clients from a wide range of industries, including telecoms, construction, transport, energy, media and technology.
‘The team continues to be at the top of the Spanish market. It provides advice and assistance in various areas of antitrust law’.
‘The team has a wealth of international and national experience and are reputable authorities in the field’.
‘Experts in the FMCG sector’.
‘They offer immediate availability and concrete answers’.
EL CORTE INGLÉS
THE BLACKSTONE GROUP
- Advising El Corte Inglés on the notification of the integration between El Corte Inglés’ travel agency and Logitravel, to create a new leading company in the travel industry.
- Representing Lanxess regarding the notification to the CNMC of its acquisition of Emerald Kalama Chemical.
- Advising Industrias Titán (Fábricas Folch) on the merger control of the sale of its liquid and powder paint divisions in Spain and Portugal.
MLAB Abogados, SLP
Drawing on its ‘deep knowledge of competition law’ as well as its particular expertise in regulated sectors, the eight-strong department at specialist boutique MLAB Abogados, SLP is a popular choice among companies from industries such as transport, energy, post and telecoms. Co-managing partners Rafael Allendesalazar and the ‘experienced, practical and creative’ Helmut Brokelmann head the department, which is well versed in handling cartels, abuse of dominance, mergers and damages claims. 2021 saw the departure of partner Paloma Martinez Lage from the firm. Mariarosaria Ganino and Alfonso Rincón are other names to note in the department.
‘A small but perfectly formed firm with considerable experience and pedigree in EU competition law as well as in Spanish competition law, proficient both in litigation and transactional work’.
‘Helmut Brokelmann – experienced, practical, creative, at home in various different jurisdictions which gives him considerable insight’.
‘We work very well with the MLAB Competition and EU law team. They take a keen interest in knowing the market and how it works in order to give effective advice.’
‘They have a deep knowledge of competition law. Mariarosaria Ganino and Alfonso Rincón are the partners who handle our matters’.
- Provided advice and co-representation of UEFA in a civil competition claim brought by the European Superleague against UEFA and FIFA before a Commercial Court of Madrid, including preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the EU.
- Representing telecoms operator ALTICE in its appeal against the decision of the European Commission of 24.4.2018 that imposed a €124.5m fine for “gun-jumping”.
- Representing Disney in an investigation on sector release performance information shared by exhibitors and distributors through a third party.
Spanish full-service firm Pérez-Llorca further reinforced its already impressive Madrid-based EU law practice in 2021 with the arrival of partner Pablo Figueroa, former practice head at Garrido Abogados. With over 20 years of experience in the field, covering anti-competitive agreements, merger control and antitrust litigation, he joins the department currently co-headed by EU litigation expert Juan Rodríguez Cárcamo and Juan Jiménez-Laiglesia, whose practice encompasses merger control cases, cartel investigations and acquisitions. Key support comes from Jaime de Blas (promoted to partner in January 2021) and associate Ana María Rodríguez. Additionally, the firm hired Sonsoles Centeno, a state lawyer on leave of absence, as partner to head the new Brussels office, scheduled to open in 2022.
Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL)
Bauer Media Group
- Advising Banco Santander on the preliminary reference that is being analysed by the ECJ under case number C-410/20.
- Advising Repsol, Suez and Enerkem regarding all the merger control aspects related to the acquisition of joint control of Ecoplanta Molecular Recycling Solutions.
- Advised Domtar on the Spanish antitrust aspects of the transaction consisting of the divestiture of its personal care business to American Industrial Partners.
Working closely with the firm´s offices in London and Brussels and under the leadership of Rafael Baena, who is praised by clients for his ‘extraordinary knowledge and outstanding experience’, the five-strong practice at Ashurst LLP has a regular presence in cartel cases, merger control proceedings and antitrust investigations. Recently, the department has also developed a good level of experience in antitrust damages claims, advising both claimants and defendants, an area where senior associate Javier Torrecilla offers key support.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strengths: availability, dedication and almost immediate attention, technical quality.’
‘Rafael Baena – knowledge of the client’s specific sector.’
‘Rafael is always responsive and available for any and all queries from his clients. Due to extraordinary knowledge and outstanding experience, he and his team are also in position to provide advice based on past proceedings and case law immediately.’
‘We mostly work with Rafael. His responsiveness is at the top level. He is also able to provide professional answers to both day-to-day and more complicated issues. He possesses the ability to predict potential risks and can advise how to avoid these.’
Santa Lucía, S.A., Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros
Hyundai Motor Company
Altadis (Imperial Tobacco)
IFA Retail, S.A
- Assisting Santa Lucía, one of the main insurance companies in Spain, regarding the merger of its subsidiary Albia with its closest competitors in the funeral sector in Spain, Funespaña, owned by insurance company Mapfre.
- Representing Hyundai in an appeal before the Constitutional Court against the ruling of the Supreme Court upholding a previous decision of the CNMC, finding that the company participated in an exchange of information cartel in the Spanish automobile sector.
- Representing Developers Alliance before the General Court in its application to intervene in Case T-604/18, which is an application for annulment brought by Google and its parent company Alphabet against the decision of the European Commission in the Android case.
Hailed by clients as one of the market's ‘competition law stars’, Barcelona-based partner Iñigo Igartua heads the EU and competition practice at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, closely supported by Miguel Troncoso in Brussels, and of counsel Eduardo Gómez De La Cruz in Madrid. They front the sizeable department, which is particularly renowned for its capabilities handling antitrust damages litigation, and its growing expertise with litigation funders on potential investments in competition damages claims. Comprised of ‘excellent professionals‘, the team is also well versed in merger control, cartel investigations, state aid and compliance programmes, and has a focus on sectors such as automotive, pharmaceuticals, food and retail.
‘Capable both in Antitrust litigation and merger control.’
‘Inigo Iguartua Arregui is indisputably one of the Competition law stars in the market. Very clear and always pragmatic.’
‘The team boasts many well-known names, it has presence in both Spain and Portugal, and they are part of a very good full-service business firm.’
‘I have worked specifically with Miguel Troncoso. Great guy, down to earth, quick, well-versed in both competition law and state aid.’
‘The Gómez-Acebo & Pombo team strives to know the details of each sector and the specific interests of its clients, in order to provide advice that is very tailored to needs. The recommendations are always practical and correct.’
‘Iñigo Igartua is always available and gives “tailor-made” advice. He fully understands the client’s needs and adjusts his advice to them.’
‘Excellent professionals. They stand out for their quality in advice as well as in the search for solutions taking into account the needs of the client.’
‘The availability, knowledge and willingness to seek solutions that meet the customer’s needs.’
- Advised IVECO on a complex defence strategy to claims being brought forward and the conflict of applicable laws and of potentially different jurisdictions.
- Advised on the preparation and filing of a multimillion claim for Unipost against the incumbent postal operator, Correos, for a complex case of abuse of dominant position including predatory pricing and the use of illegal state subsidies.
- Advised insurance company DKV in various competition law matters.
Renowned for his longstanding activity in the market, José-Maria Jiménez-Laiglesia heads the Spanish competition department at Latham & Watkins LLP. He is widely recognised for his expertise handling global merger clearances and conduct investigations, as well as for his litigation prowess, frequently representing clients in appeals regarding CNMC decisions. The team's presence in Brussels (where it already had four Spanish associates) was further reinforced in June 2021 with the arrival of partner Carles Esteva Mosso, who joined from the European Commission. Associate Carlos Betoret is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Carlos Betoret; Carles Esteva Mosso
- Obtained for AbbVie the closing of a two-year investigation by the CNMC following a complaint in connection with alleged exclusionary rebates.
- Obtained on behalf of Repsol an annulment of a decision imposing a fine of €22.5m.
- Assisting Platinum Equity in obtaining antitrust and FDI clearances for the acquisition of sole control over Urbaser.
A ‘reference in competition matters’, Ramón y Cajal Abogados keeps strengthening its position as a relevant player in the sector, regularly undertaking ‘matters of great complexity’ for clients from the financial services, real estate, retail and telecoms sectors. Headed by Pedro Suarez, the practice has built up a solid track record handling damages litigation - particularly on the claimant side - and in representing clients in both administrative infringement proceedings before the CNMC and the judicial review of its decisions. Merger control is another key strength. Additional expertise is brought to the team by senior associates Javier Salinas and Pablo González De Zárate.
‘They are a reference in competition matters. They take on topics of great complexity.’
‘Soundness in competition matters and in bidding processes for listed companies. Extensive knowledge of the role and internal functioning of the CNMV. Absolute availability.’
‘Ramon y Cajal has a deep knowledge of the area of Competition and EU Law. In addition, it is a proactive firm, which anticipates the needs of the client and offers different practical solutions to each question that arises. It adapts to customer needs and is flexible.’
‘I highlight Pedro Suarez and Javier Perez Fernandez. They are very empathetic, and they respond very quickly to any question that is made to them. They demonstrate a very deep knowledge of the area of competition and EU law, a matter that they explain to the client very clearly.’
‘Apart from the high technical qualification, the lawyers who have worked with us have always shown great availability and a quick response, as well as a friendly attitude and active listening. It is not a team that tries to impose its criteria, but rather that accompanies the client in making decisions. Javier Salinas and Pedro Suarez’.
‘In our experience, the work and follow-up of files by the Ramon y Cajal team have been excellent and with a very positive or magnificent final result. We are very satisfied with the results obtained.’
‘The team of Pedro Suárez and with Pablo González de Zárate and collaborators have advised us and managed a file on Competition Law with success and we must highlight the perfect and constant information that they have provided us at all times in the treatment and follow-up of this file. In other aspects, all the partners and collaborators of this Ramon y Cajal firm are close people and professionals who are very knowledgeable about their specialties.’
‘Pablo González de Zaráte had a very thorough analysis of our case, fully grasping the economics of the business model and translating it perfectly into legal framework. Also very responsive and cleverly challenging our own assumptions. Bespoke advice and careful when needed.’
- Assisting ATRESMEDIA in several appeals related to the infringement proceedings carried out by the CNMC.
- Advised LIBERBANK on the competition law aspects of its merger with UNICAJA.
- Representing CEPSA in all the follow-on damages claims arising from several infringement decisions of the CNMC.
Boutique firm Callol, Coca & Asociados has established itself as a relevant player in the sector, and is well regarded for its ‘in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of Spanish and EU competition Law’. Praised for its ability to ‘think outside the box in search of a feasible solution’, the team is particularly well known for its work in investigations, and also regularly handles merger control, and antitrust litigation-related mandates. ‘A true authority in the field’, according to a client, Pedro Callol heads the practice, which includes key practitioners Manuel Cañadas and Jorge Manzarbeitia.
Other key lawyers:
Jorge Manzarbeitia; Manuel Cañadas
‘Pedro Callol is a leading practitioner, who is energetic, entrepreneurial, experienced, internationally minded, well organised and very impressive. We regularly instruct him for advice on Spanish competition issues and value his insights, knowledge and guidance.’
‘The firm is well-known and praised for its in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of Spanish and EU Competition Law. They are great in watching market developments and to anticipate on that. Clients will always get what they asked for. The team has a clear hands-on mentality, is very communicative, to the point and able to think outside the box in search of a feasible solution.’
‘Pedro Callol is a true authority in the field of Spanish and EU Competition law, including private enforcement. Apart from his excellent knowledge and experience in all relevant legal aspects, he has thorough knowledge of a wide range of market sectors so that he is able to determine the right strategy and to switch quickly when needed.’
‘Pedro Callol is one of the leading antitrust lawyers in Spain. Very responsive, creative, clear in his advice, giving actionable recommendations.’
‘I’d highlight the unity of the team and joint follow-up of matters.’
‘Availability and Knowledge, mainly of Pedro Callol.’
‘This is a leading competition law boutique, which is highly responsive and well regarded.’
Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)
Mooring Port Services
Cemesa Amarres Barcelona
Oxford University Press Spain
GME (García Munté Energía)
- Advising port mooring services provider Cemesa Amarres Barcelona on the merger control proceedings concerning its two-to-one merger.
- Advising the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in connection with an investigation initiated by the Spanish Competition Authority.
- Acting for GME before the Spanish Competition Authority and subsequent litigation before the High Court in relation to a cartel investigation into the solid fuels market.
Under the leadership of the ’technically brilliant’ Joaquín Hervada, DLA Piper‘s competition department, which receives praise for showing ‘great knowledge‘, houses a particularly high level of expertise in the telecoms, healthcare and automotive sectors. The department can regularly be found advising relevant clients in matters ranging from infringement proceedings, merger control and competition litigation to day-to-day advice and compliance mandates. Associate Rafael Maldonado is another key practitioner in the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘It is a team that works like the mechanics of a watch, technically brilliant and always providing business-oriented solutions guaranteeing legal certainty.’
‘Joaquín Hervada is technically brilliant, and anticipates the needs of the business, gives realistic solutions guaranteeing the position of his client.’
‘Joaquín Hervada is a great Antitrust lawyer, great technical knowledge of his area, great ability to understand business, availability and very fast response, and with a very good team behind him.’
‘The DLA team we work with are very professional and experts in Competition Law. They have shown great knowledge in the matter at all times.’
‘We highly value their accessibility and proximity. Also the interest in knowing the business.’
‘Extensive knowledge of our industry.’
‘Ability to adapt situations from other sectors to ours. They greatly help the didactic work towards the authorities.’
‘An extraordinary partner: Joaquín Hervada. The best I’ve ever seen.’
Dentsu Aegis Network
Colegio de Registradores de la Propiedad, Mercantiles y Bienes Muebles de España
Asociación Nacional de Establecimientos Financieros de Crédito (ASNEF)
Polski Bank Komorek Macierzystych (PBKM)
- Representing MKS Instruments in the $5.1bn cash and stock acquisition of Atotech.
- Advising Société Générale and ALD on the merger control aspects of the acquisition of the leasing business of Banco de Sabadell.
- Advising AOC/PBKM on the competition aspects of the acquisition of Vita34.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Senior partner Henar González Durántez heads the three-strong practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in Spain, which regularly represents a mix of international and domestic clients before the competition authorities and courts, with a special focus on cartels, dawn raids and investigations related to unfair practices. The department, which also stands out for its solid merger control practice and its capabilities handling damages litigation, is a popular choice for players from the energy, retail, consumer products, telecoms and transport sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Herbert attorneys I deal with are experts in the matters in which they work. I’d highlight Henar González and Pilar Carrasco.’
‘Henar is an excellent professional; fighter and tenacious; available at all times. Pilar is a good support for Henar. Always willing to meet the needs of the client and very willing and sensitive.’
‘The strengths are the knowledge of the subject, the sector, similar cases and the agility to make proposals.’
‘Technical credibility, and HSF has it in this competition. They provide security and confidence, and are guarantees of good results. Very high knowledge of the subject, great availability, and good balance in the advice.’
‘I’d highlight the Henar González and Pilar Carrasco. Their great experience, and knowledge of the Client, their good spirit and firmness in defending the Client’s interests.’
‘Solid knowledge, top-notch professionals, excellent internal coordination.’
‘Agility, quick response, expertise and accessibility. Excellent service.’
‘Henar Gonzalez: Deep expertise; fluent and simple communication despite the complexity of the matter.’
GRUPO GALLARDO BALBOA
- Advised Universal Pictures on the investigation initiated by the CNMC against the local distribution branches of several Hollywood studios for engaging in potential anti-competitive practices in the film distribution market in Spain.
- Advised Grupo Gallardo Balboa in the investigation initiated by the CNMC regarding possible anti-competitive activity in relation to scrap purchasing prices and price fixing of other steel products.
- Advise Pai Partners regarding merger control filings in Spain, Germany, Austria and Italia in relation with the acquisition of Angulas Aguinaga.
Lauded by clients for its ‘prudent and reliable advice’, the three-strong Madrid-based department at Hogan Lovells International LLP, is the firm of choice for several major players from the automotive, insurance and financial services sectors, who seek representation in litigation against resolutions from the CNMC; cartel investigations; behavioural cases; and the implementation of antitrust compliance programmes. Practice head Casto González-Páramo and senior associate Alfredo Gómez are names to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘Casto Gonzalez Paramo and Alfredo Gómez are always available and offer precise, strategic and fast advice to respond to the needs of our activity.’
‘They have a very practical approach to the issues, and are clear and expeditious when it comes to interacting directly with the internal client without legal knowledge.’
‘Casto González-Páramo has solid knowledge and experience in various markets. Their advice is prudent and reliable.’
‘They are a great international firm, with excellent quality and close approach to the client, to resolve issues.’
‘Casto González-Páramo stands out for his kindness and ease of understanding client needs. Also, his ability to synthesize in high quality memorandums the different legal problems raised. Alfredo Gómez stands out for being proactive, taking an interest in the sector in which the client operates and understanding their needs.’
‘Alfredo Gómez is one of the best lawyers I have been able to work with in my entire professional career.’
‘Excellent knowledge and monitoring of competition issues, particularly in its relationship and monitoring with the competition authorities and monitoring of issues.’
‘Alfredo Gomez and Casto Gonzalez Paramo stand out. In particular, the follow-up, coordination and communication with Alfredo Gomez is outstanding.’
- Representing Alstom in sanctioning proceedings initiated by the Spanish Competition Authority for alleged collusion in public tenders for the construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure.
- Representing Caixabank in a contentious-administrative appeal against the sanction imposed by the Spanish Competition Authority for the alleged price fixing of hedging derivatives in syndicated loan products.
- Advised AXA on antitrust matters in relation to its acquisition of 99% of Grupo Igualatorio Cantabria (GIC).
Operating from Madrid, Barcelona and Brussels, Marimón Abogados fields a trio of competition law experts, comprising department co-heads Diego Crespo and Stefan Rating and senior associate Yolanda Martínez. The department stands out for its expertise in a wide range of competition mandates, including merger control and infringement procedures before EU and Spanish enforcement authorities, as well as appeals against fines from the CNMC, dawn raids and state aid matters. The firm's client roster includes large multinationals from the food, beverages, cosmetics and cleaning sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have been very impressed by the Marimón team. They are reactive and practical. They are navigating a very complex case for us and they have my confidence.’
‘Diego Crespo is a star. He is a calm and considered person, well-connected and likeable. I find his advice to be well grounded and forward thinking. An excellent lawyer at the top of his game.’
‘Excellent technical quality and a lot of flexibility and personalised attention. The service is accessible, the results of quality.’
‘Diego Crespo is my reference contact. Experience, practical approach and reactivity.’
Andorra’s Real Estate Agents Association (AGIA)
Barcelona Bar Association
Campofrío Food Group
Suntory Schweppes España
Fenil (Federación de Industrias Lácteas)
- Advising Spanish producer of pharmaceuticals and dermocosmetics ISDIN in relation to an investigation started by the CNMC.
- Representing LaLiga in the lawsuit between the Super League (plaintiff) and UEFA/FIFA (defendants) relating to the latter’s alleged pressure on football clubs prepared to participate in a new European competition.
- Advising Primafrio in a damages claim against the truck manufacturers that were sanctioned by the European Commission.
The ‘exceptional and business-oriented’ competition law practice at Baker McKenzie regularly acts for a number of high-profile multinational companies, as well as notable domestic players, in infringement proceedings before the CNMC and appeals before courts. The team also boasts good skills in merger control and competition litigation. Following the departure of former department co-head Alberto Escudero, the team has strengthened its presence in the Spanish capital with the hire of Paloma Martínez-Lage from MLAB Abogados, SLP, who co-leads the practice with Barcelona-based competition expert Valeria Enrich. Javier Menor and associate Isaque Leite are other names to note.
‘The Baker Competition Law team is very efficient and able to deliver high quality advice on short notice. Advice is always based on the most updated case law, and tailored to our business.’
‘Javier Menor, Valeria Enrich and Isaque Leite are exceptional, business-oriented and provided highly pragmatic advice on both mergers and vertical agreements.
‘Valeria Enrich: Very professional person, clear, close and expert in the matter. She is always ready to collaborate with the client in everything they need.’
‘The firm’s lawyers have the experience and training we need to be well prepared for the circumstances in which we may find ourselves in our day-to-day lives. I highlight the lawyer Paloma Martínez-Lage.’
‘This team stands out for its high level of knowledge and experience in the matter and for its availability and flexibility.’
‘Paloma Martinez-Lage is a professional with more than 20 years of experience in the sector, this experience shows when you work with her. She is a very flexible and proactive professional.’
‘The BAKER competition team has in-depth knowledge of the subject. The fact that they have good professionals of their own throughout the EU facilitates that the advice always takes into account the best expertise of each country, so that companies with international activity can obtain excellent advice by going centrally to a single team, which is then internally coordinated and the result is added and filtered by that same team so as not to diversify channels and interlocutors. Thus, a global vision is ensured, which allows offering results adapted to the company.’
ACCO (Autoritat Catalana de la Competència)
Bar Association of Barcelona
Bar Association of Lleida
Bar Association of Figueres
Correos y Telégrafos (Spanish public postal operator)
HONDA MOTOR EUROPE LIMITED SUCURSAL EN ESPAÑA
Siemens Digital Industries Software
- Assisted AkzoNobel in conducting a multi-jurisdictional merger control analysis on its acquisition of Titan and reported the transaction to the Spanish Competition Authority.
- Representing Honda Motor Europe in Spain in the so-called Spanish car manufacturer cartel.
- Assisting BEST to analyse the legality of certain provisions of a collective bargaining agreement for stevedoring services under EU/Spanish competition law.
Carlos Vérgez heads the three-strong competition and EU department at CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo, which has a solid track record acting for clients in cartel investigations and merger control, and in the implementation and improvement of competition law compliance programmes. Senior associate Aida Oviedo, who has particular experience in matters related to abuse of dominant position, merger control and unfair competition, is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘Great technical knowledge on competition law matters.’
‘Great professionals with client and business orientation. Highlighting Carlos Vergez.’
Coca-Cola European Partners
- Assisted in the notification to the European Commission of the acquisition by Macquarie and Aberdeen of a majority stake in the fibre optic network owned by MásMóvil.
- Advising a Japanese multinational in an appeal before the High Court of Valencia against an infringement decision of the Valencian Competition Authority.
- Advising Campillo before the Spanish Supreme Court in the State Attorney’s appeal against the National Court’s judgment in the refrigerated transport cartel case.
DelaCalle Abogados SLP
Founding partners Sanna Orkan and José Antonio De La Calle head the EU and competition practice at boutique firm DelaCalle Abogados SLP, which has a good track record in challenging resolutions from the CNMC, handling cartel investigations, as well as designing and implementing compliance programmes for clients.
DMK BABY Gmb
FINTONIC SERVICIOS FINANCIEROS
NORDIC WATER PRODUCTS
PLUKON FOOD GROUPS
NAP-ON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
- Advised Edenred in connection with the acquisition of Mobius Automotive.
- Designing, implementing and delivering compliance programmes to for Snap-on Business Solutions, Plukon Food/VMR Group and Cableworld.
- Representing Solidal in an antitrust appeal before the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional).
Patricia Liñan and Pedro Ayllón head the EU and antitrust practice at ECIJA. Liñan joined the firm in February 2021 from Bird & Bird, strengthening the department's competition capabilities, particularly in procedures before the CNMC and the European Commission, compliance training and damages claims. The department's client roster includes notable players from the telecoms, health and banking sectors, among others.
‘I’d highlight their subject knowledge and experience in similar cases.’
‘Patricia Liñan stands out for her delivery and speed in resolution.’
SPANISH BANK CONSORTIUM
BALEARIC TRANSPORT FEDERATION
- Representing Nokia in an investigation carried out by the Spanish Competition Authority in the railway safety and communications sector.
- Assisting Sociedad de Bancos Españoles para la Colaboración en Pagos, in all competition related matters in connection with its participation in the European Payments Initiative (EPI).
- Representing Lactalis in an appeal against a CNMC sanction for alleged price information exchanges.
Eversheds Sutherland houses a small but solid EU and competition practice in Madrid, which covers all areas of competition law, with a particular strength in damages claims and cartel-related mandates. The highly regarded Crisanto Pérez-Abad heads the department, which has a particular focus on the transport and pharmaceutical industries.
‘Very strong knowledge of the laws but most importantly of the way these laws are interpreted by the courts, and how to best present the arguments considering that. Very knowledgeable and up to date with courts decisions.’
‘Crisanto Perez-Abad combines strong knowledge with a very practical perspective. Very “straight-to-the-point” risk assessment when comparing alternative courses of action, and recommendations around such risks.’
‘Crisanto Perez-Abad is a very experienced lawyer able to quickly identify the risks your business is exposed to.’
‘I’d highlight its flexibility and availability to serve the client. They are really prepared and are very fast in responding to the queries made.’
‘Dynamic team with solid knowledge and experience of competition law. Business-oriented solutions.’
‘Crisanto Pérez-Abad: Always accessible and attentive to customer needs. Great experience in competition law and good knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector. He always provides business-oriented solutions. Good strategist and excellent negotiator.’
‘This office stands out with great professionalism and flexibility in different matters. In particular, in the area of competition, Crisanto Perez-Abad and his team are the best partners for any client, due to their commitment and flexibility.’
‘Crisanto Perez-Abad is a great professional, with a lot of experience and knowledge in the matter.’
- Supporting the AEFP before the Audiencia Nacional in the appeals filed by RENFE and DB against the CNMC fines.
- Defending CABELTE in standalone civil claims for damages filed by certain customers relying on the CNMC decision.
- Advised Sinclair Pharma on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of Cocoon Medical.
Boasting over 20 years of experience each across a wide range of areas of EU and national competition law, Marta Delgado Echevarría and Raimundo Ortega steer the ‘extremely well-coordinated and business oriented’ practice at Jones Day's Madrid office. Backed by the firm's global network, the team regularly handles complex domestic and cross-border antitrust mandates, and is particularly well known for its work in highly regulated sectors such as energy and healthcare.
‘In highly sensitive matters such as competition, it is necessary to involve the most experienced and senior lawyers. Jones Day more than meets this requirement’.
‘It is a well-established team, very close to the client and offering tailor-made advice.’
‘Knowledge of national and European regulations in both regulatory and sectorial areas’.
‘Raimundo Ortega has proximity, knowledge of the client’s needs and ease in resolving difficult situations’.
‘The team’s performance was very strong. They were extremely well coordinated and business oriented’.
‘Strong technical capabilities. They knew the client’s business inside out.’
Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de España (CAE)
Boutique firm MVA ASOCIADOS 'offers the quality services of a large office with the advantages of proximity and accessibility of a small office'. Recently, the practice, which is led by the ‘technically perfect’ Eduardo Abril, has been particularly active in merger control proceedings, while also remaining focused on compliance matters, administrative appeals, and cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations. Abril is closely supported by seasoned of counsel Antonio Robles and associate Beatriz Villalba.
‘In-depth knowledge of the regulations, jurisprudence and precedents in the field of Competition Law in Spain.’
‘The MVA Asociados team is very professional, giving at the same time a close treatment. They offer the quality services of a large office with the advantages of proximity and accessibility of a small office, with more availability for consultations.’
‘Total availability. The team knows and has massive experience in the sectors in which it gives legal services. They are very proactive. They anticipate issues, always a step ahead of what is going to happen. In addition, the firm gives us quick answers and to the point, just what we need. The competition team is very coordinated to provide at any time quick replies and solutions to my concerns. The quality of the service is very high. It is a top firm in Spain within competition.’
‘Eduardo Abril: Huge experience and technically perfect. Always available. He identifies quickly what I need and then gives useful answers and proposals. When the issue is somehow difficult and complex, he explains it in a way that’s easy to understand and provides sophisticated solutions in a clear and understandable way. Antonio Robles: he and Eduardo are well coordinated. Antonio had an impressive theoretical and practical approach to the key issues of the case. The team also has other associated lawyers such as Beatriz Villalba who has good skills in the competition field.’
‘We have made the relationship with MVA ASOCIADOS through Eduardo Abril, of whom we must highlight his knowledge, experience in the field of Competition, his brilliant analysis of our problems and his willingness to contact him and / or meet at any time of the day.’
‘The experience with the firm and its team was very positive. The professionals who participated demonstrated their great knowledge of the subject and their ability to understand the problems posed and the idiosyncrasies of the business. I think the team responded more quickly and efficiently and showed great ability to clearly state the problem.’
‘From the team I can highlight the work done by Eduardo Abril and Antonio Robles. Both exhibited the qualities that, in my opinion, make them stand out.’
ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators)
ACER’s Board of Appeal
BP OIL ESPAÑA
PAVAPARK MOVILIDAD, S.L.
NATURGY Group (formerly, GAS NATURAL FENOSA)
SEDIGAS (ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DEL GAS)
SERVICIOS FUNERARIOS DE LEÓN, S.A. (SERFUNLE)
AREMA (ASOCIACIÓN DE LA RECUPERACIÓN Y EL RECICLADO DE MADRID)
CARPA CARTÓN Y PAPEL RECICLADO, S.L.
HNOS. INGLÉS-VIDAL, S.L.
HIJOS DE DEMETRIO FERNÁNDEZ, S.A. (DEFESA)
S. SOLÍS, S.A.
RECICLAJES ELDA, S.L.
GRUPO ARMANDO ÁLVAREZ
- Advised Mémora Servicios Funerarios on two different economic concentration control procedures and on two complex M&A transactions.
- Counselled BP OIL ESPAÑA in the filing of an appeal before the Spanish Supreme Court.
- Advised ACER’s Board of Appeal on impactful European-level cases and rulings.
The arrival of Francisco Cantos in October 2020 certainly put ONTIER's competition practice on the map. Cantos, who previously founded the antitrust department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Spanish office, has longstanding experience representing leading Spanish and multinational companies in cartels and abuse of dominance matters; damages claims and appeals against fines imposed by the competition authorities; as well as EU state aid matters.
‘The incorporation of Francisco Cantos has certainly been a plus, bringing that degree of specialisation that the firm was lacking.’
‘Experience and practicality.’
Japan Tobacco International (JTI)
Grupo Viamed Salud
- Advising Duro Felguera in relation to the EU state aid regime.
- Advising General Motors on the appeal before the Spanish Supreme Court against the €22.8m fine imposed by the CNMC.
- Advising FCC on cartel proceedings and bid-rigging launched by the CNMC in the Spanish motorway concessions market.
PwC Tax & Legal Services
The hire of Alberto Escudero, a ‘superb professional, with a high level of knowledge and experience in the field’, has undoubtedly boosted the competition offering at PwC Tax & Legal Services. The practice advises a high-profile roster of Spanish and international clients on the gamut of competition matters, including infringement proceedings and investigations, appeals before the courts, merger control and compliance programmes.
‘PwC’s Competition team stands out for its professionalism. In particular, we work a lot with Alberto Escudero who is a superb professional, with a high level of knowledge and experience in the field’.
‘Alberto Escudero is a great professional, with great organisational skills to handle very complex matters’.
‘High level of knowledge and experience in the field, and high level of organisation and involvement’.
Equitix and GCM
Procter & Gamble
- Advising Huawei on matters ranging from: cooperation agreements with competitors; vertical restraints; abuse of dominant position; and competition law training.
- Advising McDonald’s on several competition-related matters.
- Advised Iberdrola regarding the acquisition of sole control over certain assets previously owned by the district heating company REBI.