EU and competition in Sweden
BOKWALL RISLUND has a notably deep competition bench featuring practice head Olle Rislund, Emil Fahlén Godö and Amir Mohseni. Global corporate clients instruct the team on complex merger control procedures, antitrust litigation, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance matters and damages cases. The team also recently advised top insurance companies on dawn raids arising from anti-competitive behaviour allegations, and Rislund is the leading partner for matters pertaining to state aid work. New counsel recruit Omar El Khatib brings further expertise in handling merger filings before the European Commission to the team.
Other key lawyers:
Emil Fahlén Godö; Amir Mohseni; Omar El Khatib
‘Second to none in Sweden on competition law. Attentive, experienced and very easy to work with. Their experience with dealing with the competition authority is invaluable.’
‘Amir Mohseni is simply outstanding.’
‘Bokwall Rislund is a small but very competent firm, where the partners and associates show a genuine interest in your matter and deals with it swiftly and with updated and relevant knowledge, always delivered with professionalism and service-mindedness. They are also generous with their time and effort.’
‘Excellent performance from the team in a merger control filing project. The team was easily approachable in every step of the process and customer care was at an excellent level. The team was greatly involved in the strategic planning of the project.’
‘The team is the best competition team in Sweden. Apart from having an exceptional understanding of Swedish and European competition law they distinguish themselves by being very approachable and strong problem solvers ’
‘Olle Rislund: The true-go go guy in Sweden for anything competition related. With equal passion he tackles complex legal assessments and practical merger work.’
‘Olle Rislund – excellent business understanding, firm, solid and very business case oriented advice.’
‘Amir Mohseni provides analytical yet pragmatic advice with a useful commercial angle. His background from the competition authority is highly valuable.’
Procter & Gamble
- Represented Gasum before the Swedish Competition Authority in relation to the merger control notification of its acquisition of Linde AG’s liquefied natural gas and biogas business.
- Representing If Skadeförsäkring in a dawn raid and subsequent investigation regarding alleged anti-competitive behaviour between Swedish insurance companies.
- Represented Arla Foods in an appeal of the first ever merger block decision by the Swedish Competition Authority. The appeal was successful, and the decision was set aside by the court.
Advokatfirman Cederquist KB’s competition practice recently increased its capacity for contentious work with the promotion of litigation expert Elsa Arbrandt to the partnership. Recent highlights for Arbrandt and practice head Fredrik Lindblom include abuse of dominance and cartel investigations in the industrial sector; the team also obtained landmark leniency judgements arising from vertical restraint matters. State aid matters are also a strong point for the group, which is currently handling complaints before the European Commission for airport clients. The department also has notable expertise in complex, multijurisdictional merger control filings, particularly in the healthcare, real estate and FMCG sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Elsa Arbrandt; Angelo Skog
‘The team is responsive and efficient.’
‘Fredrik Lindblom was easy to work with and dealt with things in an efficient manner.’
‘The EU and competition team have shown strong skills and experience in competition law and regulations.’
‘Angelo Skog has great skills and experience in competition law as well as being an excellent communicator. Fredrik Lindblom has also proven himself to have great expertise in competition law.’
‘They have the small firm, personal approach combined with the big firm resources. Very business minded and focused on problem solving.’
Stockholm Skavsta Airport
- Represented Folksam Ömsesidig Sakförsäkring in an investigation by the Swedish Competition Authority regarding allegations of coordination of competitors in public tenders for insurance to public entities.
- Retained by Stockholm Skavsta Airport to formulate and submit state aid complaints to the European Commission concerning the government’s decision to give a significant volume of aid to publicly owned airport operators, a publicly owned air traffic control operator and the airline SAS.
- Retained by Haypp Group, an online retailer of smokeless tobacco and tobacco-free nicotine pouches, to provide competition law and EU law expertise to support its public relations efforts in relation to new tobacco legislation on both EU and national level.
Practice head Johan Carle and Stefan Perván Lindeborg in Mannheimer Swartling’s EU and competition practice handle complex merger control proceedings relating to headline transactions across the entire spectrum of sectors. Fredrik Sjövall acts in contentious matters; antitrust enforcement work is a particular field of strength, representing clients in proceedings before the Swedish and European courts. The practice is also currently involved in some of the foremost state aid cases in the aviation sector, and leverages its Brussels and New York office on multijurisdictional instructions.
Other key lawyers:
Stefan Perván Lindeborg; Fredrik Sjövall
‘Mannheimer Swartling has an exceptional team and is the foremost competition law team in Sweden, and has been for decades.’
‘Johan Carle is one of the best competition lawyers in Sweden. He has an exceptional track record when it comes to complex merger cases on a European level.’
‘Stefan Perván Lindeborg is a very approachable lawyer and has solved complicated competition investigations on both a Swedish and European level.’
‘Mannheimer Swartling is a stand-out firm in Sweden, and manages to maintain remarkable year-over-year consistency in its provision of high-quality legal work.’
‘Deep experience in both local Swedish and European competition law.’
‘Excellent skills and experience of handling different competition matters. Ability to provide constructive and practical legal advice. Good knowledge of our industry. Good availability and an excellent speaking partner when it comes to handling different legal matters of relevance for our business.’
‘Stefan Perván Lindeborg is one of the top Swedish lawyers within this legal field. Very experienced and able to find pragmatic business solutions while dealing with various difficult legal matters. Always striving to provide the best legal advice and solutions to the clients.’
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Söderberg & partners
Accent Equity Partners
- Advising Assa Abloy on a merger control filing before the European Commission in relation to its purchase of agta record, leading to a complex conditional Phase 1 clearance and related remedies divestment work.
- Lead antitrust counsel to Facebook in relation to the SCA’s sector inquiry into digital platforms.
- Lead antitrust counsel to Lantmännen during the investigation by the European Commission into suspected anti-competitive behaviour relating to ethanol pricing, as well as related proceedings before the European Courts on disclosure of settlement negotiation documents.
Advokatfirman Vinge is a top-flight name for EU, competition and regulatory issues. Stockholm-based co-head Johan Karlsson and Marcus Glader act for dominant names in the automotive, retail, energy and transport sectors on merger filings, abuse of dominance matters and litigation. Gothenburg-based Anna Palmérus and co-head Björn Nicolai have expertise at the cross section of competition and insolvency law, while co-head Pär Remnelid leads on merger control work and regulatory operations in Malmö. The firm is well placed to represent clients before the EU courts thanks to Martin Johansson’s Brussels-based practice.
Johan Karlsson; Björn Nicolai; Pär Remnelid; Martin Johansson
Other key lawyers:
Marcus Glader; Anna Palmérus; Trine Osen Bergqvist; Jakob Jeanrond; Sebastian Örndahl
‘Top-notch competition law advice and has also been able to keep this world-class competition law practice for decades. There is hence a strong history and willingness to focus on this area of law.’
‘The detailed knowledge of our industry is a huge reason for why we choose to work with Johan Karlsson, who also genuinely seems interested to understand our industry. Johan is also appreciated for not always “seeing the worst” in his legal interpretations but adapting a modern way of applying the legislation. Together with Trine Osen Bergqvist they have become an outstanding team on which advice you can firmly rely on.’
‘Vinge’s EU and competition practice provides services in a professional manner with high quality. They’re one of the best law firms in Nordics in this field.’
‘We’ve been very pleased with professional service and advice received from Marcus Glader and Sebastian Örndahl.’
‘Extremely skilled team in Competition and EU law. Feels safe to have them by your side in complicated matters.’
‘Johan Karlsson is a very skilled competition lawyer. Teaming up with Jakob Jeanrond, who complements him well, makes them a very sharp team.’
HMD Global Oy / Opera
Reichen Sport AB
- Represented SJ, the state-owned incumbent operator of railway passenger transport services in Sweden, before the European Commission in a case concerning a request for declaration of inapplicability of the Utilities Directive, whereby state-owned transport operators such as SJ are required to follow public procurement rules when purchasing goods and services.
- Assisted EQT with the merger control aspects of its high-profile €1.2bn listing on Nasdaq Stockholm and the prior internal reorganisation of EQT.
- Representing HMD Global (a Finnish original equipment manufacturer and exclusive licensee of Nokia phones) and Opera (a Norwegian web browser developer), respectively, in court proceedings relating to the European Commission’s fining of Google pursuant to EU antitrust regulations.
Advokatfirman Delphi’s competition and EU practice is particularly strong in competition litigation and investigations; team head Elisabeth Eklund defends domestic and international clients before the Swedish Competition Authority in cartel and abuse of dominance complaints, and acts in state aid mandates. The group also handles merger control cases including complex Phase II clearances. Senior associate Karin Roberts has notable expertise in the life sciences sector; other notable areas of sector strength for the group encompass the FMCG, transport, waste and energy industries.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent team, efficient and pragmatic advice with a good understanding of the business. Delphi is a top firm that involve modern technology as much as possible.’
‘Elisabeth Eklund always provides top-class advice in combination with an excellent knowledge of our industry. I have also heard her speak at several conferences and make board presentations and she has the skill to make complex legal issues easy to understand also for non-lawyers. They are extremely service minded and have exceptional knowledge within EU and competition.’
‘Elisabeth Eklund is exceptional! I work with a lot of lawyers and she is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. She knows her field like no other and she provides advice that is adopted to the situation in a perfect manner (i.e. if three-four sentences over the phone is what is necessary that is what she will give you, if a complex memorandum is necessary that is what she will bring to the table). They always act very professional in all contact that we have. They have very good response times when you are reaching out for questions and support.’
‘Excellent ability and capabilities to manage and offer valuable advice in a complicated deal structure with several parties involved, including the EU as well as national competition authorities.’
‘Delphi have one of the best lawyers in the market and a true expert in the field (Elisabeth Eklund).’
‘Delphi are very agile to work with and are truly customer centric – meeting our needs. They provide education, strategic advice, legal advice, digital solutions and great and smooth collaborations.’
‘Elisabeth Eklund is a very good practitioner who has very high knowledge and has been around in the market for a long time. She is particularly noted for her excellent work handling competition regulation in the pharma/life sciences sector.’
Svenska Förpacknings- och Tidningsinsamlingen AB
Momentum AB Group
Swed Motor AB
A Flygbränslehantering AB
GS1 Sweden AB
NIBE Industrier AB
- Represented Svenska Förpacknings- och Tidningsinsamlingen AB (FTI) against the Swedish Competition Authority in the Patent and Market Court of Appeal in abuse of dominance litigation.
- Represented EasyPark in a Phase I clearance followed by an in-depth Phase II investigation relating to its acquisition of Inteleon.
- Successfully acted for Swed Motor AB in an investigation carried out by the Swedish Competition Authority regarding an alleged breach of Article 101 TFEU.
Hammarskiöld’s EU and competition practice head Claes Langenius and key senior associate Sofia Falkner have a strong focus on investigations, acting for domestic and international corporates; recent examples included advising on cartel and abuse of dominance allegations and handling the subsequent appeals for clients in the construction, gaming and automotive sectors. The life sciences industry is a sector of expertise for Malin Albert, who is instructed on merger clearances, online competition concerns, joint ventures and distribution agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Sofia Falkner; Malin Albert
‘Experienced lawyers who have a good understanding of business needs besides being experts in their field of law.’
‘The are very competent in competition law and argue very good in court. They are brave enough to give clear advice on how to handle the day-to-day business, which makes it easier for us as a client to make our decisions.’
‘Claes Langenius – very competent, confidence-inspiring and at the same time very sympathetic. A legal advisor you could really rely on.’
‘Sofia Falkner is a rising star. Very competent, accurate and clever. Even though she is not yet a partner you can always be safe relying on her advice, even on complex matters.’
- Representing Scania in its appeal of the European Commission’s decision in the ‘Trucks Case’ before the EU General Court.
- Successfully represented Svenska Spel in the Swedish Competition Authority’s investigation of abuse of dominance in the partially deregulated gambling market.
- Successfully represented Länsförsäkringar Mäklarservice (the insurance broker of the Länsförsäkringar group) in the Swedish Competition Authority’s investigation into the insurance brokerage market.
Kastell Advokatbyrå AB
Key names at competition boutique Kastell Advokatbyrå AB include practice head Erik Söderlind, Pamela Hansson, Christina Mailund and Malin Persson. The team represents clients in high-profile competition litigation before the domestic and EU courts, and handles international merger filings and state aid matters.
Other key lawyers:
Pamela Hansson; Christina Mailund; Malin Persson
A diverse roster of blue-chip clients from the TMT, energy, life sciences, transport and retail sectors instruct Roschier’s EU and competition team on transactional and behavioural matters. Practice head Kristian Hugmark and senior associate Kristin Heilborn advise on merger control flings, Phase II merger investigations and investigations concerning abuse of dominance and cartel allegations. In the insurance sector, the team recently advised on dawn raids arising from alleged anti-competitive practices.
Other key lawyers:
Kristin Heilborn; Måns Gottfries
‘Excellent business and market understanding. Very good service. Knowledgeable.’
‘Kristian Hugmark – excellent discussion partner. Creative.’
‘Tactical, practical and fast.’
‘Måns Gottfries quickly got an excellent grasp of the case and did a first-rate job.’
IK Investment Partners
CVC Capital Partners
Anders Hedin Invest AB
- Advised Bonnier on the divestment of its broadcasting business to Telia, including a long-running European Commission Phase II investigation and a complex remedy package.
- Advised Trygg-Hansa on the Swedish Competition Authority’s long-running investigation into the insurance sector.
- Successfully represented ClassPass in an investigation which was subject to remedies directed at another market participant in the fitness aggregator market.
Cirio Advokatbyrå AB advises on the breath of competition law matters ranging from merger control filings and compliance reviews to abuse of dominance and cartel investigations and litigation. Practice head Ulrica Salomon, with assistance from senior associate Robin Heimdahl, is also strong on matters of state aid, specifically in the transport and aviator sectors. Eva-Maj Mühlenbock provides expertise in matters at the cross section of competition and public procurement law.
Other key lawyers:
Robin Heimdahl; Eva-Maj Mühlenbock
‘The team demonstrates excellent knowledge in the field and has the ability to give an answer adapted to the individual circumstances of the case.’
‘I must emphasise Ulrica Salomon’s client focus and willingness and ability to deliver. She asks the necessary and right questions to make sure that her advice answers the customer’s problems.’
Randstad Sweden Group AB
Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.
Nalka Invest AB
Kalmar Öland Airport AB
Strömma Turism och Sjöfart AB
- Advised Nalka Invest AB in relation to competition law and merger filing issues arising from its acquisition of Best Transport AB.
As joint heads of Hannes Snellman’s competition and procurement practice, Peter Forsberg and Joakim Lavér handle a high quantity of merger control instructions, including cross-border transactions and Phase II proceedings, and have recently seen notable activity in the broadcasting, mining equipment, transport and electronics sectors. The team devises regulatory compliance programmes and training sessions on a regular basis, and is also acting in sanctions appeals before the Administrative Court for online gaming clients.
Peter Forsberg; Joakim Lavér
Mellanskog ek. fören
- Advised Outotec as global merger control counsel on the combination of Outotec and Metso, two global mining equipment companies, involving merger notifications to the European Commission and an additional 19 jurisdictions worldwide.
- Acted for NEP Group as merger control counsel before the Swedish Competition Authority in relation to its acquisition of HDR, which was unconditionally cleared in Phase II proceedings despite creating an undisputed market leader in the Nordic market for outside TV-broadcasting.
- Represented Transdev, the global passenger transport group, before the Swedish Competition Authority in conjunction with the acquisition of rival Björks Buss.
Recent highlights for Setterwalls’ EU and competition practice head Ulf Djurberg include a string of cartel investigations and follow-on damages claims, strategic merger control filings and EU issues concerning the free movement of goods. Djurberg also advises on state aid issues for automotive and professional services clients, while Bo Berndtsson provides compliance advice on global distribution issues, information exchanges and regulatory investigations. Core areas of sector expertise for the group include the FMCG, energy, transport and heavy industries.
Other key lawyers:
‘Always available and keen to provide for our needs.’
‘Service minded and updated on our business.’
Advokatfirman Schjødt’s EU and competition team acts on behavioural matters, from cartel and abuse of dominance cases to complex issues pertaining to the EU import regime and customs laws; the group also advises on merger control procedures. The team's multinational client roster stems from highly regulated sectors including the pharmaceuticals and financing services industries. The department also saw an uptick in state aid matters, which is a field of expertise for practice head Mats Johnsson.
‘Very good understanding of our business, follows developments and news even when they have no case to work on.’
‘Comprehensive competence team focused on the subject matter of EU and competition practice. Easy to get the full picture of the problem area and what to think about.’
‘Has the ability to give high-quality advice with practical solutions to the issue at hand.’
‘Mats Johnsson is a highly reputable and knowledgeable lawyer who served for many years in the Brussels antitrust community in a large international firm. Thus, the practice is able to combine sophistication and top-notch quality of a large international top firm, while operating in a smaller national setting. We can only recommend the firm.’
‘It is a pleasure to work with Mats Johnsson. He makes you feel secure and confident and is capable of explaining the competition rules in a way we understand.’
‘I had the pleasure of working closely with Mr Mats Johnsson, who brought with him extensive experience in the competition law area. Mats brought a very pragmatic approach to our joint work and picked up on the business model very quickly. Giving clear feedback and advice. This is something I appreciated very much.’
- Handled the merger control aspects of Karo Pharma’s acquisition of a focused intimate care and dermatology product portfolio from the Danish pharmaceuticals company LEO Pharma.
- Handled the merger control aspects of Are Oy’s acquisition of Climat80 Gruppen, a service provider working within heating, ventilating and air conditioning, electric, automation, sanitation, energy and facility management.
The EU, competition and trade group at Baker McKenzie recently represented clients before the Swedish Competition Authority regarding abuse of dominance allegations in the fintech sector. Practice head and associate Erik Brändt Öfverholm also handled numerous cartel proceedings in a range of diverse sectors including the musical instrument and household paint industries. The firm’s extensive list of private equity and blue-chip clients also engages the team on cross-border merger control procedures.
Erik Brändt Öfverholm
‘Baker McKenzie’s Swedish competition practice is compact but very efficient and highly skilled. Although smaller in the number of heads, it gave us exactly what we needed when we needed it.’
‘Erik Brändt Öfverholm is always available and delivers what we need when we need it. Erik has a very practical and hands-on approach.’
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Vossloh Nordic Switch Systems
BMW Northern Europe
Amazon Web Services, Inc.
Roland Europe Group Ltd
Glommen Mjosen Skog SA
- Defended Roland Corporation in a large-scale cartel investigation of the Swedish market for musical instruments, taken on by the Swedish Competition Authority.
- Handled the multijurisdictional merger control filing analysis and continuous Swedish filing of Nordic Capital’s acquisition of Max Matthiessen, leading advisor and broker within insurance, benefits, HR and savings in the Nordic region.
- Defended payments service provider Trustly from competitor Zimpler’s claim that Trustly had abused its dominant position.
With a sizeable footprint in Gothenburg, Front Advokater’s EU and competition practice is a go-to name for industrial-sector clients, utilities companies and public bodies in the south of Sweden. Practice head Robert Moldén recently acted in price cooperation disputes and cartel proceedings. The firm also has strength in handling issues at the cross section of competition and public procurement law.
‘I believe that the firm is at very top of law firm in this legal area in Gothenburg. Clients can probably get the same high level of quality as provided by the top firms in Stockholm, but at a lower cost.’
‘Robert Moldén has a strong academic basis and will always make sure that legal issues are thoroughly analysed so that no relevant precedent court decisions are missed.’
Göteborg Energi GothNet
- Representing Artilleriet Interiors in an investigation initiated by the Swedish Competition Authority concerning information exchange related to e-commerce.
- Defending Göteborg Energi GothNet in an abuse of dominance case in the telecoms sector filed by Net at Once.
- Representing Alfa Quality Moving, Sweden’s leading provider of international relocation services, in a competition case initiated by the Swedish Competition Authority, by way of dawn raid in early 2013.
At Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyrå, Rolf Larsson advises a diverse client roster comprising corporates from highly regulated sectors on competition issues, particularly merger control procedures and abuse of dominance complaints before the Swedish Competition Authority. The practice also handles cross-border EU matters regarding acquisitions in the investment management space.
‘Quick, very professional.’
Amadeus Scandinavia AB
AB Trav & Galopp
Almega Tjänsteförbunden Städföretagen
IM WITH BRUCE AB
NCC Industry AB
HDR Sweden AB
Petronord GmbH & Co. KG
Order Music Sweden AB
- Advising investment company Nordstjernan on competition issues in relation to its acquisition of sole control over Momentum Group.
- Representing AB Trav & Galopp in a matter before the Swedish Competition Authority involving a complaint alleging that the client had abused a dominant position by refusing competing companies access to its pool games.
- Represented NCC Industry AB in an investigation before the Swedish Competition Authority concerning a suspected cartel infringement, foremost in terms of the exchange of sensitive commercial information.
Recent contentious highlights for MAQS Advokatbyrå’s EU and competition practice saw practice head Mikael Åström representing clients before the Swedish Competition Authority against price maintenance and price coordination allegations; Astrom also recently brought abuse of dominance claims relating to digital parking solutions against the Municipality of Gothenburg. The team also handles merger filings including Phase II reviews for a diverse client portfolio including automotive, life sciences, forestry and technology companies.
‘The team was very professional however also very easy to cooperate with. The communication was very clear and easy to understand and translate to our business and the planned merger.’
‘High degree of availability, easy to talk to, very professional, expertise and experience.’
KGH Customs Services
Essity Hygiene and Health
Music Retail Group
ESAB / Colfax Corporation
Perrigo Company Plc
Inteleon Group (SMS Park)
- Providing competition advice to Essity Hygiene and Health including on merger control matters, dominance issues, pricing work, and commercial market strategies.
- Acting for Inteleon Group in a law suit at the Swedish Competition Authority against the Municipality of Gothenburg for abuse of dominant position.
- Advising Zenuity on a joint venture between a number of prominent global automotive companies.