GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Sweden

10 January 2017

Sweden

Sweden’s major firms were hard at work last year tackling mergers and anticompetitive behaviour issues, but some lawyers’ competition time went largely to compliance and public procurement.

Elite

MANNHEIMER SWARTLING continues to sit among the top firms in Sweden, with Tommy Pettersson and Johan Carle leading the practice. The hire of a single lawyer in the past year fell short of the goal Carle had discussed in the 2016 edition of GCR 100: growing by 50% and adding two partners. Stefan Perván Lindeborg is back at the helm of the Brussels office, and the firm maintains offices in Frankfurt and Berlin as well.

The team continues to represent several big-name clients, including Nasdaq OMX, Novamedia and HeidelbergCement. The firm helped Nordic Capital close its acquisition of a controlling shareholder in Greenfood Group, a healthy food supplier in the Nordic region, and continued to represent Swedish Match against claims of an abuse of dominance in the domestic moist snuff market.

Mannheimer remains active in Logstor’s acquisition of Powerpipe, which the firm says will be one of few merger cases that makes it through the full Swedish legal process; the Sweden’s Competition Authority has appealed a district court’s decision not to block the merger. The Patent and Market Appeal appeal court will rule by November 2017.

Alongside a busy competition litigation practice, VINGE maintains its traditional role as the country’s go-to firm for merger control. Practice head Johan Karlsson is a non-governmental adviser for the national authority in the International Competition Network and has recently acted as an expert in an ongoing legislative reform process. Karlsson is joined by fellow partner Marcus Glader.

Boasting Sweden’s largest practice, Vinge’s antitrust team acts as merger control counsel for EQT, helping the private equity firm obtain clearances around the world in a number of large deals this year. The firm also represented Tele2 before the European Commission in connection with Tele2’s acquisition of TDC Sweden. The team acted as lead counsel to Norwegian conglomerate Orkla in its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Cederroth International, including an in-depth investigation by Sweden’s Competition Authority and proceedings in the Stockholm District Court.

Away from mergers, the firm represented Tele2 against the incumbent TeliaSonera in Sweden’s largest antitrust damage claim case ever. Vinge also represents clients in various ongoing authority investigations and arbitration proceedings on alleged abuse of dominance and other restrictive practices.

Fredrik Lindblom continues to lead the one-office CEDERQUIST in Stockholm as the only partner in the firm’s competition practice. Senior associate Mikael Engström assists Lindblom as the head of public procurement on the six-lawyer team. The firm continues to serve as counsel to Samsung Electronics and also represents others like DHL, Fidelio Capital, Sweco AB and Spendrups.

On the merger front, the team counselled Moderna Försäkringar in its acquisition of an insurance portfolio from competitor Skandia; the deal demonstrated that the transfer of an insurance portfolio between competitors did not negatively affect competition in the Swedish market. Cederquist also secured merger approval – including resolving key issues of market definitions – for several publishing companies despite ongoing consolidation in the sector.

During the last year, BOKWALL RISLUND has consolidated and strengthened its position as a leader in the Swedish market for competition work. Just over a year old, the firm continues to grow: partner Per-Owe Arfwedson joined the firm 1 January from Vinge, and senior associate Sofia Hertz joined from Cederquist in February 2016. Newly promoted Amir Mohseni joins Arfwedson and practice heads Olle Rislund and Carl Bokwall as partners.

Among other matters, the firm represents Arla Foods on a pending dominance investigation by Sweden’s Competition Authority and Aleris Diagnostik in a bid-rigging investigation where the authority has asked for a €30 million fine. Bokwall Rislund also acted for Com Hem in winning approval after a Phase II review for the Swedish TV distributor’s acquisition of Boxer TV-Access, the pay-TV operator in the digital terrestrial television network in Sweden, from the government-owned company Teracom Boxer.

ERIC ERICSSON, the one-man show, has been making waves in Swedish competition law since opening his practice in 2007. Despite not being able to take on large cases by himself, Ericsson has a strong reputation and acquires many clients and requests for second opinion, strategic counselling and litigation, particularly in the construction, information technology, telecoms and travel sectors.

Ericsson acts as lead counsel to GothNet in an alleged tender cartel case now pending before the Stockholm District Court, as well as in a follow-on damages case. He is co-counsel to Telesport in a damages case against TeliaSonera. Construction products distributor Ahlsell tapped Ericsson in the notification of its acquisition of plumbing manufacturer Prevex. He has also recently been appointed arbitrator in a competition law-related contract dispute in Sweden.

Six years old and maturing nicely, KASTELL – set up by former Linklaters partners Kent Calmels (formerly Karlsson) and Erik Söderlind – continues to impress as a competition boutique. The team includes Christina Mailund and Pamela Hansson, who together bring more than 35 years of experience. Through close collaboration with Kastell’s litigation specialists, they handle major deals and important contested matters. The practice’s smaller size helps it to get a significant number of referrals from law firms that do not have their own competition departments.

The team continued defending TeliaSonera in two follow-on damage claims from the margin-squeeze case, and in 2016, the Stockholm District Court handed down its judgments in both cases, awarding damages of only 17% and 35%, respectively, of the total amount claimed. Erik Söderlind represented NFB Transport Systems in connection with NFB selling its international moving services business to a competitor, Alfa Quality Moving, then acquiring ICM, which then sold its international business to Alfa. In May 2016, the Stockholm District Court dismissed Competition Authority’s claims and held that the non-compete clause was ancillary to the acquisition.

BAKER & MCKENZIE:’s Stockholm competition practice, led by Leif Gustafsson and Morvarid Nilsson, continues to handle the Swedish or Baltic aspects of global deals from the firm’s M&A group. The team worked on Atlas Copco in conducting a global merger filing assessment related to 98 jurisdictions; Fresenius Medical Care Sverige on general day-to-day matters; and SUEZ Recycling on filing for a Swedish deal, including a multi-jurisdictional merger filing assessment, in-depth market definition and dominance assessment as well as analysis on the anticipated consequences of the acquisition from Swedish and Polish merger control perspective.

Elisabeth Eklund heads the competition team at DELPHI, which includes fellow partners Anna Forssell and Peter Skoglund in Stockholm. The firm specialises in contentious matters and compliance work and has many clients in regulated sectors. It is currently involved in several investigations by Sweden’s Competition Authority, including defending against vertical restraint and abuse of a dominance claims. Delphi assisted OK Ek För in merger filings with the authority when OK sold its car sales business to Bilia and Hedin Bil. The team also represented state-owned rail company SJ in regulatory proceedings relating to EU public transport regulations.

HAMMARSKIÖLD & CO continued to work on some interesting cases last year. Practice head Claes Langenius and fellow partner Joakim Sundbom are still advising Jubii Europe on its damages claims against TeliaSonera for alleged margin squeeze in the broadband market. Hammarskiöld also represented the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and Fotografiska regarding their complaint filed to the SCA on the “Free Entry” reform.

HANNES SNELLMAN advises clients on the full spectrum of competition issues, but particularly focuses on life sciences and infrastructure. The team, headed by Peter Forsberg, led the merger control counsel to EQT in its acquisition of International Financial Systems. On the behavioural side, the firm successfully advised Stihl, a global chainsaw and outdoor power equipment manufacturer, after one of its distributors filed a complaint with the competition authority regarding the termination of its contract.

Ulrica Salomon heads the competition practice at LINDAHL; of the firm offers two partners based in Stockholm and a third in Uppsala. The firm successfully represented Swedavia, the state-owned airport operator, before the Stockholm District Court against Sweden’s Competition Authority over an abuse of dominance claim. The enforcer tried to impose a fine on Swedavia, but Lindahl’s representation scored a win when the court ruled that the company did not abuse its position, despite a prior ruling from the Swedish Market Court.

Kristian Hugmark replaced Lars Johansson as ROSCHIER’s head of competition, working with him and four other lawyers on a variety of issues for their Swedish clients. Among other deals, Roschier represented Marginalen, a privately owned bank and financial services company, in its acquisition of Sergel Group from Telia; and represented retailer Swedol in the acquisition of Björnkläder Intressenter, including the workwear brand Björnkläder and the Grolls stores.

Firm

Head(s) of competition

Size

Who’s Who Legal nominees

Clients

Elite

Mannheimer Swartling

Tommy Pettersson

Johan Carle

3 partners

7 senior associates

10 associates

Tommy Pettersson

Johan Carle

Nasdaq, ABB, Swedish Match, Lantmännen, Assa Abloy, Perstorp Electrolux, PostNord, Telenor, Ratos, Nordic Capital, SAS, Sandvik, Höganäs, Triton

Vinge

Johan Karlsson

N/A

Johan Karlsson

Marcus Glader

Altor, EQT, Boliden, Bilia, Fortum, Göteborgs Hamn, KF, Tele2, Swedbank, SPP Li

Highly recommended

Bokwall Rislund

Olle Rislund

Carl Bokwall

4 partners

3 senior associates

1 associate

Olle Rislund

Apoteket, Arla Foods, Bonnier, Com Hem, HBO Nordic, HKScan, Investor, If, IP-Only, Mailworld, Permobil, Procter & Gamble, Samsung Electronics

Cederquist

Fredrik Lindblom

1 partner

3 senior associates

2 associates

None

Sweco, Fidelio Capital, BillerudKorsnäs, Moderna Försäkringar filial till Tryg Forsikring, MittMedia, DHL, Cloetta, Samsung Electronics, Spendrups

Eric Ericsson

Eric Ericsson

1 partner

Eric Ericsson

Däckia, Moelven Industrier, Scandic Hotels, Nordic Choice Hotels, WyWallet, Humana Investment Holding, Electronic Recycling Association, Telesport

Kastell

Kent Karlsson

Erik Söderlind

2 partners

1 counsel

3 associates

Kent Karlsson

Erik Söderlind

TeliaSonera, Atlas Copco, ICA, Swedish Banker’s Association, FAC Airport Coaches, Pressretur, Schibsted Sverige, MTG, Nordea, APCOA

Recommended

Baker & McKenzie

Leif Gustafsson

Morvarid Nilsson

1 partner

1 counsel

2 associates

None

Atlas Copco, Fresenius Medical Care Sverige, SUEZ Recycling

Delphi

Elisabeth Eklund

3 partners

None

SJ, Lantmännen, GS1, A. Flygbränslehantering, OK Ek För, DLF

Hammarskiöld & Co

Claes Langenius

2 partners

7 associates

None

Scania, Systembolaget, Svenska Spel, Folksam, Jubii Europé, Munksjö, Schindler Group, Garmin Sweden, Mastercard, Hyundai Sweden, Neste Oil

Hannes Snellman

Peter Forsberg

2 partners

2 senior associates

4 associates

None

EQT, Oriola-KD, GlaxoSmithKline, Mekonomen, Nikon, Storstockholms Lokaltrafik Transitio, Infranord, Fazer Mellanskog

Lindahl

Ulrica Salomon

3 partners

7 associates

None

Swedavia, Clear Channel Sverige, Bristol Myers Squibb Sverige, Hewlett-Packard Sverige, Bankgirocentralen BGC AB, St1 Energy

Roschier

Kristian Hugmark

2 partners

4 associates

Kristian Hugmark

TV4, Bonnier, Bonnierförlagen, C More, Fortum, Triton, Fingerprint Cards, HK Scan, Swedol, ÅR Packaging AB, Blackstone, AP3, Marginalen AB

Previous Chapter:Spain

Next Chapter:Switzerland