Highlighted for its 'very cooperative attitude' and 'deep knowledge of the local regulations', Clifford Chance has cemented its position in the top echelons of the market for competition law in Spain through its regular involvement in high-profile investigations and merger control proceedings before the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) and European Commission. Miguel Odriozola has particular experience in the IT, aviation and telecoms sectors and has a good reputation in the market; he leads the team, with key support from experienced counsel Begoña Barrantes and senior associates Belén Irissarry, Ana Latorre and Diego Doménech.
EU and competition in Spain
Other key lawyers:
Begoña Barrantes; Belén Irissarry; Ana Latorre; Diego Doménech
‘Great Team, very fast, deep knowledge of the local regulations, reasonable approach of raising the risks along with a plan for removal of the risks, very cooperative attitude, easy access to team members, availability of the team members day and night.’
‘Very fast and real experts in their fields, good drafting, timely responses, close follow up.’
‘The Clifford Chance Competition team is unique in the following points: – knowledge of the subject, great experience – closeness with clients – they strive to understand the business, they do not remain superficial – clear and concise advice.’
‘Miguel Odriozola, Ana Torre and Diego Domenech: they are the perfect team. Experience, excellent treatment and workers. They get involved with the business.‘
‘Provided focused and practical advice when required. The team is easy to talk to and communicate well.’
‘They are happy to be proactive in dealing with regulators and drive the process.’
Cartonajes International, S.L. (International Paper)
Endesa / Enel
Aeproser (Grupo BC)
- Advising Telefónica on the competition law aspects of its joint venture with Liberty Global to which each party will contribute all of their assets in the UK.
- Advising Çimsa on II phase proceedings before Spain (CNMC) and Israel (ICA) on its acquisition of Cemex’s worldwide white cement business (excluding certain assets).
- Advising Oracle in Spain on its defence against HP’s abuse of dominance complaint. The CNMC adopted for the second time a decision dismissing such complaint.
Garrigues excels in merger control, including in multi-jurisdictional transactions, where it leverages its international expertise; in such matters, the firm utilises its Collaborate tool, which facilitates coordination between its different offices and departments. The firm also has a solid track record in competition and state aid disputes before the EU courts. Practice head Susana Cabrera Zaragoza draws on over 20 years of experience in complex merger control proceedings, as well as cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations. Highly regarded partners Oriol Armengol Gasull and Luis Ortiz Blanco are also key contacts. The team also expanded at the senior associate level with the hires of Madrid-based Fernando Las Navas and Virginia Romero in Brussels.
Susana Cabrera Zaragoza
Other key lawyers:
Oriol Armengol Gasull; Alfonso Lamadrid; Fernando Las Navas; Virginia Romero
- Advised IAG on the multi-jurisdictional merger control aspects related to the acquisition of Air Europa.
- Advising CORREOS in the standalone damage claim for abuse of dominant position filed by Unipost before a Spanish civil court.
- Advised Prosegur in the merger control aspects of the acquisition by Telefónica of a stake in Prosegur’s subsidiary active in the security market.
Leading Spanish and international companies seek Linklaters' advice and representation in complex anti-competitive conduct investigations and merger filings. EU law and state aid matters also feature in the team's workload. Cross-border work is a strength, where the team benefits from its 'magnificent international network that allows them to advise in multi-jurisdictional environments'. Practice head Jaime Pérez-Bustamante 'combines perfectly his legal expertise with the ability to understand business requirements'. Also of note in the team are highly experienced counsel Fredrik Löwhagen and senior associate Juan Passás.
Other key lawyers:
Fredrik Löwhagen; Juan Passás; Marcos Rambal; Jesús Alfaro; Laura Pinilla; Hugo Roldán; Bárbara Rivera; Miguel Andreu
‘A deep knowledge of the issues at stake: full confidence on their high level of specialisation in their field of competence. A personalised relationship with the client: immediate response to urgent requests. ’
‘Professional reliability with mastery of the specific matter of competition both at national and European level, knowledge of the latest national and European resolutions on competition matters and their availability would be their best qualities. Jaime Pérez de Bustamante and Juan Passas.’
‘Amazing knowledge of the subjects. Great Way to be more efficient in our busy professional lives.’
‘Jaime Perez de Bustamante, Juan Passas and Marcos Rambal. Great performance.’
‘Outstanding team both national and international with huge experience.’
‘Jaime Perez Bustamante combines perfectly his legal expertise with the ability to understand business requirements.’
‘The Linklaters team has for us 2 undoubted advantages over the teams of other firms: 1. Knowledge of the sector and the businesses in which we operate (there are not many firms that have extensive experience in these sectors) 2. One magnificent international network that allows them to advise in multi-jurisdictional environments.’
‘The partner who leads the practice is Jaime Pérez-Bustamante, who is the person we trust with whom we have been working for many years. The knowledge of the sector and the ability to provide multi-jurisdictional advice to a Group as international as ours are very important differential elements. To all this, Jaime adds his availability, rigor and, especially, his business-oriented approach.’
- Advised football club Real Madrid in relation to a state aid investigation launched by the European Commission in July 2016.
- Advising Banco Santander on the antitrust investigation launched by the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) into interest-rate derivatives (IRD) attached to syndicated loans.
- Advised Correos Express on the dawn raids and the infringement proceedings of the CNMC against Correos Express and eight other companies (including GLS, UPS, FedEx, among others) regarding anti-competitive agreements in the parcel delivery services market in Spain
Uría Menéndez is praised for its 'high degree of technical competence combined with the ability and willingness to understand the business and the client's issue'. The team has a large market share in both merger filings and cartel investigations before the CNMC, where it regularly acts for leading players in the telecoms, transport, consumer goods and financial services sectors, among others. Combining its traditional strengths in litigation with its competition law expertise, the firm also has a strong damages litigation practice. Jaime Folguera, who previously led the firm's Brussels office, and Antonio Guerra, who has previous experience working at the CNMC, jointly lead the practice. Patricia Vidal, Edurne Navarro and senior associate Tomás Arranz also receive praise.
Jaime Folguera; Antonio Guerra
Other key lawyers:
Patricia Vidal; Edurne Navarro; Alfonso Gutiérrez; Tomás Arranz
‘It is a team with a great capacity for work. It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful teams in terms of Competition. The diversity of issues and sectors in which they intervene make it a benchmark.’
‘I would especially highlight Tomás Arranz Fernández-Bravo for his extraordinary proactivity, predisposition and availability, in addition to his excellent technical knowledge. Tomás manages to convey his message clearly and simply to clients. He cares about understanding customer needs and offering efficient solutions.’
‘Their sectoral knowledge is unique and the vigilance of new trends in competition policy allows them to recommend anticipated strategies to clients. This anticipation helps to minimize possible conflict situations. Availability, depth and attention to detail are characteristics of the team. They are clearly above other firms in this matter.’
‘In the field of competition and EU law, three partners are especially prominent. Jaime Folguera, exceptional lawyer with a global vision of problems and solutions that makes him unique. Patricia Vidal, a conscientious lawyer to the last detail. Edurne Navarro, a lawyer with a deep understanding of community dynamics. ‘
‘All the members of the team led by Jaime Folguera stand out for a high degree of technical competence which, together with the capacity for learning and attention they pay to understand the client’s business, allows them to accurately capture the issue and the client’s need. The answers provided and the way of working are effective and efficient. ‘
‘High degree of technical competence combined with the ability and willingness to understand the business and the client’s issue. Jaime Folguera and Tomás Arranz make an extraordinary combination of excellence.’
- Representing DAF in damages claim proceedings in Spain regarding the European trucks cartel.
- Advised on: (i) the notification to the European Commission of the creation of a joint venture with Prosegur; and (ii) administrative proceedings for the recalculation of a fine imposed by the European Commission.
- Advising Cemex on the merger control aspects of the divestiture of its global white cement business.
Cuatrecasas is noted for its ability to advise on a 'wide variety of antitrust matters, including both EU and national matters'; the specialised team is led by Irene Moreno-Tapia in Barcelona and Madrid-based Andrew Ward and has recently defended clients in a number of complex investigations before the CNMC. In private damages litigation, the competition team collaborates with the firm's private enforcement group to represent companies in damages claims following cartel decisions by the CNMC and European Commission. Senior associate and 'excellent lawyer' María López Ridruejo is another name to note. Former partner Cani Fernández is now the president of the CNMC.
Andrew Ward; Irene Moreno-Tapia
Other key lawyers:
María López Ridruejo; Cristina Vila; Marta Simón
‘Great law firm in Spain.’
‘Maria Lopez is a very knowledgeable competition lawyer with great dedication. She will dig into each matter. She is quick and pragmatic. She has true passion for the competition law topic and is very updated on latest developments!’
‘Very good professional team. Punctual and accurate information. Joint strategies. Good proposals. View of the issues from the Customer’s point of view.’
‘High level in the entire team, especially Andrew Ward, Maria López Ridruejo and Marta Simón.’
‘Maximum availability and close to 100% during 365 days a year. Experience excellent.’
‘The lawyer Irene Moreno is a great expert of the Spanish and European market in competition matters with experience and a gift of people to know how to explain in plain words the details and ins and outs of this complicated legislation to company managers. Speaks clearly and directly. Works efficiently, without long reports, straight to the point.’
‘Wide variety of antitrust matters, both EU and national matters.’
‘Senior-associate Maria Lopez Ridruejo is an excellent lawyer, analytical with a lot of creative ideas on how to litigate complex matters.’
JD SPORTS FASHION
TORO Y BETOLAZA
- Defended the company and its directors in the appeal against the CNMC’s decision in the Railway Electrification investigation, which is one of the largest cartel investigations in recent years.
- Advising TUSGSAL, Cinesi and SGMT in investigations before the Catalan Competition Authority (ACCO).
- Advising on the notification to the European Commission of the acquisition of EDP Comercializadora, which includes a portfolio of 2.5m B2C customers and two gas-fired combined cycle power plants in Castejón (Navarra).
MLAB Abogados, SLP
Competition boutique MLAB Abogados, SLP fields a 'strong team with an international reputation'. Its specialist knowledge in regulated sectors makes it a popular choice for companies in the energy, transport, post and telecoms industries, many of which occupy leading positions in the Spanish market. The team specialises in anti-competitive conduct matters, often representing clients before the CNMC or at the appeals stage. 2020 saw the retirement of founding partner Santiago Martínez Lage to dedicate himself to arbitration; the team continues to be led by co-managing partners Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann.
Rafael Allendesalazar; Helmut Brokelmann
Other key lawyers:
Paloma Martínez-Lage; Mariarosaria Ganino; Alfonso Rincón
‘Competition law focused practice, strong team with international reputations and huge experience in Spanish and European matters.’
‘Helmut Brokelmann: experienced, practical with a deep knowledge of and liking for the law; robust in client’s interest but good team player.’
‘They know how to listen and anticipate the needs of the company. They show great interest in knowing in depth the activity of the company, which is key to obtaining high-impact answers in the field of Competition and EU Law. ‘
‘Mariarosaria Ganino: Very honest and professional.‘
‘They are direct, they know in depth the issues they are in charge of, they offer alternatives, take care of details, listen to the customer’s opinion and evaluate the suggestions. Compared with other offices, the quasi-family treatment and closeness is remarkable.’
‘The availability and quick response in all the questions that arise, as well as the flexibility and arguments in the approaches of the matters to be treated. The role of Paloma Martínez-Lage in this regard should be highlighted. ’
‘It appears as a very cohesive team, being aware of each other’s strengths. There are no delays or dysfunctions in the face of the client when the collaboration of another professional in the firm is required. It compares very favorably with the way of working of other firms, even the largest and most prestigious.’
‘They have lawyers with a high degree of specialization, but very open and aware of the peculiarities of the case and the sector in which the client operates. Helmut Brokelmann is a great lawyer, very accessible to the client, despite his great responsibility at the firm. Mariarosaria Ganino is a very competent professional, very patient and considerate of the client.’
- Representing telecoms operator ALTICE in its appeal against the decision of the European Commission that imposed a €124.5m fine for gun-jumping.
- Representing PRINTEOS in 14 follow-on damages claims brought by customers after the Spanish competition authority’s 2013 envelopes cartel decision. Eight cases are currently pending before the Supreme Court.
- Representing Musical and Authors Collecting Society SGAE in various proceedings before the CNMC and the administrative courts.
Pérez-Llorca distinguishes itself in the market thanks to its specialised Madrid-based EU law practice; led by Juan Rodríguez Cárcamo, the EU law group is well versed in complex litigation before the European Court of Justice involving financial services, agriculture and energy companies, among others. The firm’s competition practice also continues to thrive under the leadership of Juan Jiménez-Laiglesia, who regularly advises blue chip clients on strategic, contractual matters, as well as investigations and merger filings. Other names to note in the department include experienced senior associate Ana María Rodríguez and recently promoted partner Jaime de Blas. The department was further strengthened with the arrival of Pablo Figueroa in September 2021.
Juan Jiménez-Laiglesia; Juan Rodríguez Cárcamo
Other key lawyers:
Jaime de Blas; Ana María Rodríguez; Patricia López; Inmaculada Vigón; Pablo Figueroa
Central Bank of Portugal and the Portuguese Resolution Fund
- Advising the Central Bank of Portugal and the Portuguese Resolution Fund on various proceedings currently pending in Spain where the resolution of Banco Espírito Santo by Portuguese resolution authorities is being challenged.
- Advised CVC on CVC Fund VII’s investment in Universidad Privada de Madrid, S.A. (UPM) through its indirect subsidiary Guadarrama.
- Advised Naturgy on all merger control related aspects regarding the acquisition of 34.05% of Medgaz’s share capital.
Allen & Overy
The highly regarded competition and European law team at Allen & Overy acts for large companies with an international presence in anti-competitive conduct investigations and merger review proceedings before the CNMC, and in appeals against fines by the authority. The firm invested further in its competition law practice with the promotion of Jaime Rodríguez to counsel in May 2020. Antonio Martínez leads the experienced team, which also includes senior associate Enrique Ferrer.
Other key lawyers:
Jaime Rodríguez; Enrique Ferrer
‘Jaime Rodriguez has always shown to have absolute availability and to give practical answers to complex questions.’
‘In my experience, the A&O team can be said to be superior indeed.‘
‘Both Antonio Martínez (partner) and Jaime Rodriguez (Counsel) in their work have excelled in comparison with other front-line firms. Their availability, attention, collaboration and of course their knowledge have been fundamental when it comes to working.’
Altadis (Imperial Brands)
Banco de Sabadell
Burger King Spain
Red Eléctrica de España
- Advised Santander Consumer in the merger control aspects of its acquisition of Ford’s motor financing business in the Nordics, which led to notification of the transaction in Denmark and Norway.
- Successfully advised Sage in the investigations carried out by the CNMC following a complaint for an alleged abuse of a dominant position.
- Advised Mubadala on the competition aspects of the disposal of its stake in the shareholding in Medgaz (gas pipeline linking Algeria and Spain) to Naturgy and Sonatrach.
Covering the gamut of competition law matters, Ashurst LLP's experienced team had a busy year despite the challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic. Its recent work spans appeals against decisions of the CNMC, abuse of dominance investigations, and domestic and multi-jurisdictional merger filings (including phase II mergers). Practice head Rafael Baena is an 'outstanding lawyer, with a solid knowledge of the business in which his clients operate'. He and the team benefit from a close collaboration with the firm's offices in Brussels and London, as well as the Madrid office's public law group.
Other key lawyers:
Pablo Garcia Manzano; Javier Torrecilla Perez; Pablo Velasco Sanzo
‘I consider the Ashurst competition team to be excellent. In my opinion, it perfectly combines technical-legal and business knowledge, with an ability to work efficiently and flexibility when adjusting a budget to the needs of clients. They are very up to date with what is happening in the markets and sectors in which their clients work, especially in digital matters, where they demonstrate a very deep knowledge. The personal relationship is very easy with the team and they show sincere concern for the client’s needs.’
‘Rafael is an outstanding lawyer, with a solid knowledge of the business in which his clients operate, creative to seek alternative solutions in complex situations, and with great ability to make the complicated simple. He has very good strategic vision when it comes to analyzing the issues, and he always shows a total commitment to the client, which gives a much-needed feeling of security especially in complicated situations.’
Hyundai Motor Company
Altadis (Imperial Tobacco)
Santa Lucía, S.A., Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros
Editorial Vicens Vives
- Advising a consortium of some of the main banks in Europe on a legal feasibility study regarding the creation of an alternative payment system in the Eurozone (Project EPI).
- Assisting Santa Lucía, Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros, 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.
- Advising HP in its appeal against the CNMC’s decision (dated 20 February 2019) closing an abuse of dominance investigation against Oracle in Spain.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo
The highly experienced EU and competition team at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo is based across the firm's Barcelona, Madrid and Brussels offices and manages a balanced workload of merger filings, anti-competitive conduct investigations, state aid matters and compliance. The firm's impressive track record in private damages litigation is also of note; in particular, the firm stands out for its ability to advise litigation funders on potential investments in competition damages claims. Well-regarded competition law expert Íñigo Igartua leads the team, which includes of counsel Eduardo Gómez de la Cruz and associate Andrea Díez de Uré Loinaz.
Other key lawyers:
Miguel Troncoso; Eduardo Gómez de la Cruz; Ricardo Alonso Soto; Andrea Díez de Uré Loinaz; Clara García Fernández
‘High level of knowledge of applicable law and knowledge of the client’s business.’
‘Knowledge of the market and coordination with your team in Portugal.’
‘GA_P always provides seamless service and the lawyers are easy to work with.’
‘We gladly work with Inigo Igartua and Andrea Diez as well as daniel marin and Jesus munoz Delgado. ’
‘They have experience in handling international issues. In-depth knowledge of dealing with issues with the European Commission, including Mergers and Acquisitions. Very adequate price quality. In addition to being oriented to find solutions. They understand the client’s needs well.’
‘Very customer oriented and looking for practical solutions. Another important point is the value for money.’
‘Lots of experience and value added.’
‘Iñigo Igartua: very experienced and practical.’
Alpargatas SA (Havaianas)
Towa Pharmaceutical Co
- Advising IVECO on a complex defence strategy to the claims being brought forward and the conflict of applicable laws and of potentially different jurisdictions.
- Advised on the preparation and filing of a multi-million claim for UNIPOST against the incumbent postal operator, CORREOS, for a complex case concerning abuse of dominant position.
- Managed the merger filing process before the CNMC of the acquisition of USPCC, the second largest manufacturer of playing cards.
Specialised competition boutique Callol, Coca & Asociados is praised for its 'great knowledge of the regulations as well as both local and European jurisprudence'. The team stands out in cartel investigations, where it has an active practice, and at the appeal stage, where it represents clients in litigation challenging fines imposed by the CNMC. The department has also seen an uptick in merger control work. Pedro Callol leads the practice and is well regarded.
Other key lawyers:
Jorge Manzarbeitia; Manuel Cañadas; Manuel Herrero; Laura Moya
‘The team of lawyers led by Pedro Callol has been providing services in the media and entertainment sector for many years. They provide a pragmatic and business approach when tackling any legal problem. Finally, they have the ability to respond in an agile way to the Customer’s requests.’
‘Pedro Callol. Being a reference firm and with a great prestige in the market.’
‘This is a specialist competition boutique, with a high quality practice.’
‘Pedro Callol is calm, sensible, thoughtful and responsive. He has an impressive knowledge of Spanish competition law and practice.’
‘The great knowledge of the regulations as well as both local (Spain) and European jurisprudence, adds a high value to its work of help and support in these matters. Its extensive knowledge allows companies to carry out a detailed and truthful self-diagnosis of their level of Compliance and the controls / changes that can or should be applied. Its extensive experience is a great value for companies, as well as its ability to analyze all activities from different perspectives, which allows the development of effective defenses.’
‘I think their rapid learning capacity on the operation of complex sectors makes them better than their direct competitors. The people in this office are strict in their work but friendly in their dealings. Its extensive experience in complex sectors and processes are equally of great value to all client entities. ‘
‘Very good expertise in Competition Law, pragmatic advice.’
‘We worked with Pedro Callol and his team, who was very responsive, engaged and professional.’
Oxford University Press Spain
GME (García Munté Energía).
20th Century Fox.
Allied Cigar Corporation
- Acting for GME (García Munté Energía) before the Spanish Competition Authority in relation to a cartel investigation into the solid fuels market.
- Advised Allied Cigar Corporation on merger control aspects related to its acquisition of the cigar business of Altadis (Imperial Brands).
- Acting as foreign experts in the context of the cartel damages litigation against the company before the courts of the Netherlands.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP balances a busy workload of merger control proceedings and investigations before the CNMC. Its client base includes a mix of domestic and international companies operating in a wide range of sectors. The team has also been active in private damages litigation, in line with the general trend in Spain; Manuel Contreras has strong knowledge in this field. Senior partner Henar González Durántez has particular strength in dawn raids, cartels and investigations into unfair practices.
Henar González Durántez
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly qualified technicians.‘
‘Henar Gonzalez: High qualification, efficiency, availability.’
- Advised Lyntia on the merger control proceedings before the CNMC related to the acquisition by Lyntia of Iberdrola’s “dark fibre” business, through an assignment to Lyntia of the rights to use Iberdrola’s network.
- Advised Abengoa, and its affiliate, Inabensa, on a cartel investigation initiated by the CNMC regarding bid rigging in public contracts for the construction, installation and maintenance of electro-mechanical systems in conventional and high-speed railway lines.
- Advised Eroski on the merger control proceedings before the CNMC in relation to the acquisition of 10 supermarkets owned by the French retailer Auchan Retail that are located in the Basque Country.
In competition law, Hogan Lovells International LLP stands out for its experience in behavioural cases; it is instructed by high-profile clients for representation in cartel investigations and in appeals against sanctions imposed by the CNMC. The sectors in which it has a particularly good track record include automotive, insurance and banking. Highly regarded partner Casto González-Páramo leads the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Raquel Fernández; Alfredo Gómez
‘The team is technically excellent and capable of understanding competition matters well also from an economic point of view. They speak a language that is easily understood by non-technical experts.’
‘A solid team in procedures before the CNMC, but which also has extensive experience in concentration operations and damages actions.’
‘Casto González-Páramo is a competent person, but very accessible and easy to deal with. He is easy to work with, whether you are a client, a competitor or a CNMC official.’
- Advising 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.
- Representing Alstom in sanctioning proceedings initiated by the Spanish Competition Authority.
The 'agile team' at Marimón Abogados is a popular choice for international companies from a range of sectors, particularly in appeals against fines imposed by the CNMC. Cartel and abuse of dominance investigations are also strengths of the team, and merger filings also feature in its workload. Madrid-based partner Diego Crespo and Stefan Rating in Barcelona jointly lead the team, which includes key senior associate Yolanda Martínez.
Diego Crespo; Stefan Rating
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a unique technical background and an outstanding ability to understand market needs. They have a vision of the exceptional consumer products sector and an in-depth analytical capacity that few firms have. They are at the forefront of everything that concerns competition law and complementary regulations, from a practical perspective and using resources in a very efficient way.’
‘Diego Crespo stands out for his extensive knowledge and empathy with the consumer products sector, anticipating customer needs before they even arise. I value his commitment, personal treatment, attention to detail, involvement in matters that exceed his practice area, putting the entire firm at the service of the client. Great innovator in linking other practice areas with competition law, which is very useful for the client.’
‘Agile team that combines in-depth knowledge of their specialization, with a detailed study of the issue to be advised and a practical sense when it comes to transferring solutions.’
‘Stephan Rating and Yolanda Martínez are recommended.’
‘Its full dedication, professionalism, knowledge of the matter and speed in the most appropriate legal solution.’
‘We use Marimon for corporate and competition law services. We have had a very good experience so far. In particular, we have obtained a very good result in a novel competition law project.’
‘Diego Crespo is our contact for competition law and I have very much appreciated his expertise and advice in this area. He has been brilliant at explaining the matter to the authorities.’
Suntory Schweppes España
Hércules de Alicante Club de Fútbol
Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Barcelona (ICAB)
Förde Reederei Seetouristik Iberia S.L.U. (FRS)
- Providing legal advice to the client in the context of administrative proceedings opened by the CNMC against the pharmaceutical company Merck and its parent company MSD.
- Represented Viasat before the Administrative Court of Appeals (Audiencia Nacional) in an appeal against the administrative award of exclusive rights of use of the radio spectrum to Inmarsat Ventures Limited for the purpose of deploying a system providing mobile satellite services in the EU.
- Represented the Barcelona Bar Association before the Administrative Court of Appeals (Audiencia Nacional) in an appeal against an antitrust fine for price recommendations.
Leading Spanish companies from the telecoms, financial services, real estate and retail sectors entrust Ramón y Cajal Abogados with complex and sensitive competition law matters, including infringement proceedings. The firm has also carved out a strong reputation for claimant-side follow-on damages litigation. Highly regarded partner Pedro Suárez established the firm's competition practice in 2011 and has seen it thrive under this leadership since then. Another active member of the team is senior associate Pablo González de Zárate, who is highlighted for his ability to make a 'careful analysis of the merit of the case in a transparent fashion'.
Other key lawyers:
Javier Salinas; Pablo González de Zárate; Javier Pérez; Joaquín García Bernaldo de Quirós
‘Ramón y Cajal’s team is solid in terms of knowledge on the subject and balanced. Punctual in terms of the delivery of documents and to carry out formalities. Very personal and close treatment. Always available to clarify any questions.’
‘The plus is having achieved a very high work rate and level of quality from the beginning. We can also highlight the ability to listen and understand the business, which has resulted in the possibility of making contributions on our part to what we could call the final product, once filtered, verified and refined by the Firm. The Associate in charge of coordination and dialogue has been Mr. Javier Salinas, supported by the Competition team.’
‘To highlight, Pedro Suárez, Javier Salinas, Pablo González de Zárate and Carlos Melón. The responsible partner is Pedro Suárez and stands out for his knowledge and experience, coordination of his teams, responsibility, capacity, direct work with the client and availability. The rest of the lawyers are also highly professionally qualified, client-oriented and highly available and flexible.’
‘The combination of the experience of the managing partner of the competition practice (Joaquín García Bernaldo de Quirós, former President of the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC)), with the professional capacity of the partner PEDRO SUÁREZ whose preparation, thoroughness and closeness and understanding of the client make it very easy to work with them. They build confidence in complex issues.’
‘Essentially the ease of personal contact with them, their affability, and also the high degree of preparation and experience of the team that has worked with us. As outstanding professionals, for having had a more direct relationship with them, we can mention Pedro Suarez and Javier Salinas (Competition).’
‘I believe that they have a highly professional team, supported by partners with great experience in the field and who really become members of the client’s team, working together. I would highlight Javier Salinas for his capacity for dialogue, understanding of client needs, experience and technical preparation.’
‘The RyC team in this matter is a benchmark in the sector and has extensive knowledge of the applicable regulations and the most relevant precedents in the matter, which allows the advice they provide to their clients to be always up-to-date, rigorous and anticipate your needs.’
‘They are rigorous professionals with a deep knowledge of the subject. The advice they have given to my company has always been accurate, prudent and very transparent, always warning of the risks in each decision to be taken. On the other hand, it is worth noting the availability of the entire RyC team when it comes to informing and clarifying any questions or clarifications that were asked of them on any matter.’
‘Pedro Suárez and his team have in-depth knowledge of how the Spanish competition authority works and thinks. Excellent go to team for Spain which has one of the most sophisticated and active antitrust enforcers. Pedro knows how to navigate in delicate matters and looks beyond the pure legal technicalities. ’
TELEFÓNICA (the leading Spanish communications and pay-TV services provider)
ATRESMEDIA (the leading Spanish free-to-air TV broadcasting group)
BANKIA (a leading financial group in Spain)
BBVA (a leading financial group in Spain)
MERCEDES-BENZ (one of the main car manufacturers at a worldwide level)
AMGEN (a leading pharmaceutical company at a worldwide level)
SISLEY (a French-based high-end cosmetics manufacturer)
IBERCAJA (a leading financial group in Spain)
REALIA (a leading real estate company in Spain)
YMAGIS (a leading European supplier of digital technologies for the cinema industry)
TENDAM (a Spain-based leading fashion group operating in the specialised chain store segment)
EDEBÉ (a publishing company specialized in text books)
MEISA (an important Spanish provider of industrial construction and maintenance services
APROMAR (the Spanish association of fish-farmers)
COPASA (an important Spanish construction company)
ALTIA (a listed Spanish company which provides consulta
- Advised ATRESMEDIA and TELEFÓNICA on the merger control aspects before the European Commission of the creation of the joint venture BUENDIA ESTUDIOS, which aims to become a reference studio in the production of audiovisual content in Spanish at a worldwide level.
- Assisting ATRESMEDIA in several appeals related to infringement proceedings carried out by the Competition Authority in relation to its practices in the TV advertising business.
- Secured 10 favourable second-instance judgments, which led to a total compensation of over €7m, for TENDAM and other claimants in the follow-on damages litigation against three manufacturers of paper envelopes sanctioned by the Competition Authority.
Baker McKenzie balances a broad competition law practice, covering infringement proceedings, merger control and compliance advice. In team changes, former co-practice head Alberto Escudero left the firm in 2020; associate Lina Méndez joined in 2019. Competition expert Valeria Enrich and litigator Carles Prat are names to note.
Carles Prat; Valeria Enrich
Other key lawyers:
Lina Méndez; Anna Zaragoza
‘They deliver the extra mile thinking with us towards solution preserving our interests.’
‘Anna Zaragoza and Lina Mendez are recommended.’
ACCO (Autoritat Catalana de la Competència)
Association of Catalan Bar Associations, Bar Association of Barcelona, Bar Association of Lleida, Bar Association of Figueres.
HONDA MOTOR EUROPE LIMITED SUCURSAL EN ESPAÑA
- Assisted Fluidra, a worldwide leader in the pool manufacturing industry, in a dawn raid that the Austrian and French Competition authorities carried out in their French premises.
- Assisted the Catalan Competition Authority to develop legal arguments to be able to draft allegations against the admission by the Supreme Court of an appeal filed by a company that had been fined by the authority for antitrust infringements.
- Representing Honda Motor Europe Limited in Spain (former Montesa Honda) in proceedings before the National Court and the Supreme Court.
Bird & Bird has 'in-depth knowledge and a breadth of expertise' that sees it advising on a range of merger control, sanctioning proceedings, damages claims and compliance matters. The group is supported by the firm's in-house Forensic Services team, which assists in fact-finding and document analysis in the context of investigations and litigation. Former practice head Patricia Liñan left the firm in February 2021; Brussels-based competition law specialist José Rivas now leads the Spanish competition team.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are agile, fast, and adapt to what the client needs. Very decisive.’
‘Their understanding of EU competition law is impressive. They have in-depth knowledge and a breadth of expertise.’
NOKIA SPAIN, S.A.
GRUPO LACTALIS IBERIA, S.A.U.
MEDTRONIC IBERICA, S.A.
IQVIA INFORMATION, S.A. (formerly, IMS)
EURO 6000 S.L.
KASPERSKY LAB S.L.
FEDERACIÓN EMPRESARIAL BALEAR DE TRANSPORTE (FEBT)
RECUPERACIONES RIOJANAS S.A. (RECIRSA)
- Representing NOKIA in sanctioning proceedings opened by the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) against eight operators in the railway signaling and communications market for alleged participation in bid rigging practices.
- Representing LACTALIS in sanctioning proceedings opened by the CNMC against nine operators and two associations in the dairy industry for alleged illegal exchanges of information in the market for the procurement of raw milk.
- Provides MEDTRONIC day-to-day assessment in competition law related issues.
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo has an active merger control filing practice, and is also active in behavioural cases - including cartel investigations - and compliance. Practice head Carlos Vérgez has been practicing competition law for over 20 years; with him in the team is key senior associate Aida Oviedo. Also of note is the firm's Dawn Raid App, which guides clients through essential steps in the event of a competition dawn raid, with guidance covering 27 countries.
Other key lawyers:
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP)
Macquarie / Aberdeen
Boluda Corporación Marítima
Barcelona Bar Association
- Advised Acciona on merger control and foreign investment issues relating to the increase of its shareholding in Nordex from 29.9% to over 50%, worth €912m.
- Advised global investment funds Macquarie and Aberdeen on the notification to the European Commission of the acquisition of joint control of a newly created venture owning fibre network assets in Spain’s major cities.
- Advising leading tugboat and maritime services operator Boluda on merger control issues relating to three large transactions.
DelaCalle Abogados SLP
At specialised EU and competition law boutique DelaCalle Abogados SLP, the 'service is of extraordinary quality'. The team excels in behavioural cases, with experience in complex and high-profile cartel investigations as well as appeals before the National High Court to challenge decisions of the CNMC. Founding partners Sanna Orkan and José Antonio de la Calle receive strong praise from clients.
Sanna Orkan; Jose Antonio de la Calle
‘DelaCalle Abogados is an excellent boutique competition law firm, providing excellent and to the point advice, high attention and true interest in their client. We felt very well taken care of throughout the project.’
‘Jose Antonio and Sanna have an absolute dedication, care for detail and involvement out of the ordinary in the entrusted matters.’
‘It is an absolutely expert firm in Competition Law, both in Spain and in the rest of the EU. The relationship with Mr. De la Calle has been maintained for years and for this reason the firm knows perfectly the specific characteristics of our Company and its collaboration is always aimed at achieving the best possible results, assuming an extraordinary advantage its specialization in the different Competition markets and their practical application to our sector.’
‘Both José Antonio and Sanna are extraordinarily accessible. The exceptional treatment, knowledge, immediacy and efficiency in management, together with an excellent network of collaborators, makes DelaCalle Abogados SLP an absolute benchmark office both in Spain and in the rest of the EU and other territories that we unconditionally recommend for its proven professionalism and permanent improvement and adaptation to the complex legal environment in which they operate.’
‘The De la Calle Abogados service is of extraordinary quality. The work is done by people who have a lot of experience. They do not delegate the work to inexperienced lawyers. Quite the contrary, the involvement of the partners is full and this is greatly evident in the response capacity, in the quality of it and in their ability to give the reliable, solvent, creative and fast advice that we need. They are able to explain highly complex issues in a simple way. They have practical experience in many sectors. Great transparency in billing. They give honest budgets. In our opinion, De la Calle Abogados clearly stands out from other teams from other firms and they are our first option when hiring competition legal services.’
‘José Antoio de la Calle and Sanna Orkan stand out. What makes them stand out the most is that the two of them, as partners in the firm, are fully involved in the affairs. They have a lot of experience and both of these results in an extraordinary quality of service, far superior to that offered by large firms, in which most of the work is done by lawyers with little experience, with limited supervision from the partner. For us, José Antonio and Sanna are the equivalent of a Ferrari in the automotive world.’
FINTONIC SERVICIOS FINANCIEROS
PLUKON FOOD GROUP
SAREB (SOCIEDAD DE GESTIÓN DE ACTIVOS PROCEDENTES DE LA REESTRUCTURACIÓN BANCARIA, S.A.)
SNAP-ON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
- Representing Filos Consulting, an Adidas franchisee owning a network of retail shops throughout Spain, in a high-profile antitrust case against the brand.
- Provided merger control advice to SAREB in connection with the €338.9m deal regarding the sale of Témpore Properties to TPG.
- Representing the leading US motor company consultancy firm Snap-on Business Solutions in a landmark appeal before the Spanish Supreme Court.
Major international companies across the life sciences, telecoms and consumer goods sectors turn to DLA Piper for support in merger control, infringement proceedings and general competition law advice. Recently, the team - which is led by Joaquin Hervada - has represented several clients in appeals before the Spanish National Court against decisions of the CNMC. The firm's use of legaltech tools is also notable; in particular, its Beacon AI tool includes a module to identify possible cartel activity.
Other key lawyers:
Rafael Maldonado; Teresa López-Bachiller
Dentsu Aegis Network
Macmillan / Springer Nature
Colegio de Registradores de la Propiedad, Mercantiles y Bienes Muebles de España
Asociación Nacional de Establecimientos Financieros de Crédito (ASNEF)
- Advised Vodafone and Orange on the implementation of their cooperation agreement and plan on the future 5G deployment.
- Advising Quirónsalud 0n the implementation of the commitments adopted in the context of the phase-II merger control procedure arising from the acquisition of a hospital in Spain.
- Representing Renault in the truck cartel follow-on claims before Spanish courts.
With ‘outstanding knowledge of both EU and Spanish competition law‘, Garrido Abogados‘ team has quickly established a solid reputation in the market since it was created in 2019. Since publication, Pablo Figueroa left the firm, in September 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Manuel Álvarez; Rubén Gil Puente; Pedro García
‘Excellent team, with an outstanding knowledge of both EU and Spanish competition law. Very reliable and efficient.’
‘Garrido is a pertinent law firm in order to deal not only with national but with international antitrust legal issues, to comply with and become really close to the legal necessities of international clients of any nature having activities in Spain such as ours, and / or following the pace and demands of any top antitrust practices in the world which do not have offices in Spain. I would recommend Garrido’s competition team with no hesitation for any antitrust law legal issue and / or collaboration.’
‘Super fast and very efficient. Also very innovative with a view to seminars and client outreach.‘
‘Very good team. Dedicated and responsive. I felt that the team functions in an homogeneous manner with a real sense of understanding the clients’ needs.‘
Kaihopara Ski School
Las Rozas Reparaciones Integrales de Carrocerias
Asociación de Clubes de Fútbol Femenino
- Represented the Asociación de Clubes de Fútbol Femenino (ACFF) in its complaint before the CNMC in a case concerning exclusionary behaviour with regards to audiovisual rights.
- Successfully represented Transportes Tarragona before the Spanish High Court, which upheld the action for annulment against a decision of the CNMC.
- Represented Kaihopara Ski School in a complaint for breach of EU law before the European Commission.
Latham & Watkins LLP stands out for its international coverage of competition law; it is regularly involved in complex mergers involving multiple jurisdictions, and is also notable for the strength of its Brussels-based practice, where several Spanish lawyers are based. Madrid-based competition expert José María Jiménez-Laiglesia is highlighted for his 'impeccable advice'.
José Maria Jimenez-Laiglesia; Javier Ruiz Calzado; Héctor Armengod
Other key lawyers:
Carlos Betoret Leuba
‘Great knowledge and mastery of all aspects of the practice. They are able to add value in all possible angles of the question posed. Their contributions and opinions really give the client a lot of peace of mind. José María Jiménez-Laiglesia Oñate.’
‘José María Jiménez Laiglesia: Expertise, in-depth knowledge of legislation and market practices. Impeccable advice. Availability, collaboration, pro-activity, continuous feedback. Excellent kindness and humane treatment.’
‘Deep knowledge of the evolution of the practice and authorities in the last 20 years.’
The Carlyle Group
Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME)
- Advising the Board of Directors of BME on the all-cash voluntary friendly tender offer launched by SIX Group AG for 100% of the share capital of BME.
- Advised The Carlyle Group on the antitrust aspects of its acquisition of a 37% stake in CEPSA from Mubadala.
- Advising Triton Partners on the acquisition of Fertiberia from Grupo Villar Mir.
The competition law experts at MVA ASOCIADOS 'anticipate next steps' and 'assume responsibility of the deal'. The team is well versed in cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations and has also been busy in merger control proceedings. 'Excellent strategist' Eduardo Abril 'is involved in the decision-making from the beginning'. Senior of counsel Antonio Robles and associate Beatriz Villalba also receive praise.
Other key lawyers:
Antonio Robles; Beatriz Villalba
‘The Firm is extremely good. They always respond to our needs of assistance (which vary depending on the particular deal) and make a great job. The team is very solid and responds fast and rigorously to our legal needs They follow very close every matter, anticipate next steps, and lead the deal. They assume responsibility of the deal.’
‘Eduardo Abril (partner) has deserved all our trust. He is very active, anticipates future problems giving the right solution, is involved in the decision-making from the beginning. In this sense, he has a great ability to see the deal from the business side and understand business problems. Apart from that, he is technically superb and makes easy to understand the legal issues. Antonio Robles (of counsel) and Beatriz Villalba (associate) are part of the team.’
‘Eduardo Abril directs the competition practice of MVA Abogados. He is an excellent strategist, capable of offering legal advice services of the “magic circle firm” level in a more personalized and close way to the client and their sector. In addition, it has the great advantage of being able to contrast its pragmatism with the more academic approach of Antonio Robles Martín-Laborda. Beatriz Villalba Aceña is a junior lawyer with potential.’
‘Eduardo Abril: Head of the department. Huge experience and technically perfect. Always available. He is very fast identifying what I need and then gives useful answers and proposals. Antonio Robles: Of Counsel. They (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 as Beatriz Villalba who seems to me to have good skills in the competition field.’
‘They have earned our total confidence in the conduct of the matters entrusted to them. Their experience, good work (with satisfactory results), proximity and availability, make us consider them the best option. Technically they are very solid, with great knowledge of competition law and they know how to see its implications in other areas of law (administrative or commercial law), which has been very useful to us.’
‘Eduardo Abril is our partner of reference in the firm. Impeccable from a technical point of view and with great knowledge of competition and community law. Very solid in technical terms. Antonio Robles is part of the team with great experience and brilliant technical precision.’
‘Eduardo Abril is an extraordinary lawyer, with outstanding legal training and highly developed communication skills, it could be said that he is a career diplomat in this regard. He is a young person who will soon become a benchmark in the field of competition law. Antonio Robles is also an excellent professional who is quickly appreciated for his vast knowledge derived from his teaching activity.’
‘Mainly we have worked directly with Eduardo Abril and Antonio Robles, our opinion about their abilities, qualities and professionalism are very positive, considering that they are great professionals and that the legal service provided is of high quality.’
ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) and ACER’s Board of Appeal
BP OIL ESPAÑA
HOLMEN GROUP through its subsidiary HOLMER PAPER MADRID, S.L.
NATURGY Group, (formerly, GAS NATURAL FENOSA)
SEDIGAS (ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DEL GAS)
HANWHA ENERGY CORPORATION
ALBA GROUP through its Spanish subsidiary ALBA SERVICIOS VERDES, S.A.
SERVICIOS FUNERARIOS DE LEÓN, S.A. (SERFUNLE)
AREMA (ASOCIACIÓN DE LA RECUPERACIÓN Y EL RECICLADO DE MADRID)
ENGIE Spain GROUP, and its Spanish subsidiaries, including CASTELNOU ENERGÍA, S.L. and GDF SUEZ CARTAGENA ENERGÍA, S.L.
Villar Mir Group (including its subsidiaries VILLAR MIR ENERGÍA and ENERGYA VM)
CARPA CARTÓN Y PAPEL RECICLADO, S.L. (a wastepaper recovery company of International Paper Group)
HNOS. INGLÉS-VIDAL, S.L.
HIJOS DE DEMETRIO FERNÁNDEZ, S.A. (DEFESA)
S. SOLÍS, S.A.
RECICLAJES ELDA, S.L.
- Acted as legal counsel to BP OIL ESPAÑA in relation to a monitoring procedure initiated by the CNMC.
- Successfully represented the client before the Spanish Supreme Court in an appeal, where the Supreme Court annulled an infringement resolution issued by the CNMC.
- Represented the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators before the General Court of the European Union with respect to the challenge, by the Polish TSO, of the decision issued by ACER’s Board of Appeal on the designation of a capacity booking platform operator on the German-Polish border.