GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Brussels

10 January 2017

Brussels

Home to many of the world’s leading antitrust practitioners, Brussels exists at the centre of Europe’s competition landscape, vying with Washington, DC as the world’s elite antitrust bar.

Elite

The team at CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON continues to lead the Brussels competition bar. Despite its status as an office of a large multinational firm, its partners frequently win and retain work from clients unconnected to the broader corporate and M&A practice; one rival describes the team as “a big antitrust boutique”. The hire of DG Comp deputy director-general for mergers Bernd Langeheine in 2015 added even more clout to the practice’s already enviable reputation for complex, high-stakes merger work. In recent years, the practice has also become one of the preeminent names in European abuse of dominance law, and frequently wins high-profile mandates during a time of great uncertainty surrounding article 102. The team strengthened even further this year with the promotion of Niklas Maydell to counsel. Partners Till Müller-Ibold and Stephan Barthelmess became senior counsel.

Google continues to keep several partners busy in each of DG Comp’s investigations: Thomas Graf, Robbert Snelders and Maurits Dolmans – who now works predominantly out of London – are advising on DG Comp’s online shopping search probe, which finally moved to the statement of objections phase in 2015 and added a supplementary charge sheet in July 2016, at the same time the enforcer issued a statement of objections regarding Google’s online advertising practices. Dolmans, Graf and Levy, meanwhile, represent the company in the Android probe, which progressed to statement of objections in April 2016. Aside from Google, the team is acting in several other telecoms, media and technology sector investigations: advising Walt Disney in the EU pay-TV probe, Sony in the digital music streaming investigation, and Hachette Livre and HarperCollins in the Amazon most-favoured-nation probe. Elsewhere on the complainant side, Dolmans handled a 2010 complaint by chipmaker Icera – now owned by Intel – which accused Qualcomm of various article 102 infringements; in 2015, DG Comp issued a pair of statements of objection against Qualcomm, alleging predatory pricing and illegal exclusivity payments. Dolmans and Barthelmess represented Huawei in the leading Huawei/ZTE case at the European Court of Justice, which clarified the European law on standard-essential patent holders’ ability to seek injunctive relief against alleged infringers. In another controversial intellectual property-linked case, Romano Subiotto QC led the appeal by Lundbeck against its DG Comp pay-for-delay fine.

In cartels, Francisco-Enrique González-Díaz and Snelders represented Citigroup, a regular client of the firm’s global antitrust practice, in DG Comp’s now-abandoned credit default swaps investigation. François-Charles Laprévote, meanwhile, acted for Lafarge during the DG Comp cement cartel investigation, which the enforcer also closed in 2015 with no charges. Snelders and Subiotto challenged the DG Comp fine imposed on ExxonMobil for its participation in the paraffin wax cartel, successfully reducing the company’s penalty from €84 million to €63 million. Sony and Sony Optiarc turned to Levy and Snelders during DG Comp’s optical disc drives investigation. The firm is also instructed by financial institutions including HSBC and Citibank in the Forex probe, LG Display in LCD panels and several companies in the automotive parts, rechargeable batteries and trucks cartel investigations and subsequent litigation.

It’s tough to choose highlights from the firm’s extensive merger docket. Big-ticket work included advising Dow Chemical on its US$130 billion merger with DuPont, and Abbott Laboratories on its US$25 billion acquisition of St Jude Medical. Subiotto, who is especially strong in pharmaceuticals, represented Allergan on the non-US competition aspects of its now-abandoned merger with Pfizer, as well as the separate sale of its global generics business to Teva, which closed in March 2016. Coca-Cola and its affiliates frequently turn to Levy for advice on transactions, including third-party representation on Ball/Rexam; he also advised the beverage giant on merging its bottling operations into a single UK-headquartered company. González-Díaz acted for Western Digital as it bought SanDisk for US$19 billion, securing unconditional European clearance despite the companies having high market shares. The team also secured approval for Airbus in its joint venture with rocket-motor manufacturer Safran, following a Phase II investigation and the agreement of behavioural commitments.

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER garners unanimous praise from its Brussels rivals. Alongside Cleary, Freshfields offers unrivalled quality and depth. While many firms highlight their work on matters across the table from Freshfields, few can claim to compete at its level. The experience and expertise across the firm’s competition roster was boosted further in 2015 following the election of Sascha Schubert to partner. Angélique de Brousse was promoted to counsel in January 2016. While other firms have market-leading practitioners, Freshfields has top-class expertise across the board and is well respected at the commission. Thomas Janssens heads Freshfields’ European practice and partner Frank Montag has won Who’s Who Legal: Competition’s “Global Competition Lawyer of the Year” award seven times in a row, most recently in April 2016.

The firm’s excellent deal practice had an especially strong year between July 2015 and July 2016. The Brussel’s team was instructed on a number of mega-mergers, acting as global coordinating counsel for Ab InBev in its €108 billion acquisition of SAB Miller and advising BG Group during its €65 billion tie-up with Shell, which was ultimately cleared without conditions in September 2015. The firm is advising Boehringer Ingelheim in the European Commission’s extended review of its €22 billion asset swap with Sanofi and acts as global coordinating counsel to Hapag-Lloyd on its €9 billion merger with United Arab Shipping. It acted for CK Hutchison on a pair of Phase II investigations, one into its planned £10.3 billion acquisition of O2 in the UK, which was blocked by the European Commission in May, and the other into its €21.8 billion Italian mobile telecoms joint venture with VimpelCom. Other telecoms work includes advising Liberty Global/Telenet on its acquisition of BASE, a deal that the European Commission has sent to Phase II. Freshfields previously steered Holcim’s tie-up with Lafarge through Phase I clearance with divestitures; represented Rexam in its €6.2 billion takeover of Ball, which was cleared with structural remedies; and guided Siemens’s three-to-two merger with Dresser-Rand, obtaining Phase II unconditional clearance.

That reputation for merger work slightly overshadows the firm’s strong behavioural practice. The Brussels team represents several third parties as DG Comp continues its abuse of dominance proceedings against Google. The firm also specialises in coordinating parallel investigations across multiple jurisdictions. It did just that in the transatlantic credit default swaps investigation for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where the EU commission dropped its investigation after issuing a formal statement of objections. The firm is also active in a number of other cartel investigations, including the freight train, capacitors, cement, optical disk drives and retail food packaging markets, helping clients NEC and Linpac respectively avoid fines in the two latter investigations.

The team is also involved in many follow-on damages claims. It successfully defended ThyssenKrupp in an action arising out of the EU commission’s elevator cartel decision. The team also continues to represent clients in similar damage claims relating to the chemicals, candle wax, car glass and hydrogen peroxide cartel investigations.

Outstanding

Growth has been on the cards for the team at LATHAM & WATKINS , which now counts 11 partners in its Brussels office. London-based partner John Kallaugher and Paris partner Hugues Vallette Viallard, spend considerable time there too, as do partners Michael Esser – who joined in May from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – and Marco Núñez Müller, both of whom are based in Germany. New counsel Elisabetta Righini joined in September 2015 after 15 years at DG Comp, most recently as a legal adviser to former commissioner Joaquín Almunia; she is especially strong in state aid. Rita Motta became a counsel in January 2017. Righini came on board shortly after the departure of partner Susanne Zuehlke, who left to become a sole practitioner and has since joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Rivals say the practice has become increasingly visible over the years due to its impressive workload. Latham’s team picked up multiple clients in its successful challenge to DG Comp’s air cargo cartel decision – a testament to its partners’ skill in appellate work. Sven Völcker represented Deutsche Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, and Swiss International Air Lines, while Brussels managing partner Jean Paul Poitras and partner Javier Ruiz Calzado, alongside London partner John Kallaugher, acted for Singapore Airlines. The team is involved in several other European and global cartel investigations, including high-voltage power cables, precious metals, financial services and optical disk drives. In the latter, the firm is advising Toshiba America Electronics Components in its appeal against a €41.3 million fine before the European General Court. Latham also represented Exide Technologies during DG Comp’s cartel investigation into the lead battery recycling market. The commission subsequently dropped the probe into Exide, but is continuing its investigation into other companies.

Völcker, Héctor Armengod and Lars Kjølbye worked alongside Freshfields to bag European clearance for Siemens’s merger with Dresser-Rand; after a Phase II probe, DG Comp ultimately cleared the deal without conditions. Kjølbye also leads the team advising Microsoft on its US$26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn – the technology company’s largest-ever acquisition, and the first major deal to involve big data issues since Facebook/WhatsApp in 2014. Avago/Broadcom was another highlight: Völcker and Luca Crocco, alongside US colleagues, steered Avago through the US$37 billion deal. While DG Comp found potential issues with downstream users of Broadcom’s technology, Avago’s pledge to allow other manufacturers access to the combined company’s licences persuaded the enforcer that the merger would cause no harm. The team also advised Nissan Motors in its buyout of Mitsubishi Motors, in a deal that required clearance in the EU as well as several other jurisdictions; and Sirona Dental Systems in its US$13.3 billion merger with Dentsply International, which was cleared by DG Comp with remedies in February 2016.

LINKLATERS continues to be involved in many of Europe’s biggest deals and some of its more complex behavioural matters. Brussels practice head Gerwin Van Gerven leads a team of five partners, including the firm’s global head of competition, Jonas Koponen, who says there is no need for the Brussels team to shout about its many successes. Instead the practice continues to work discreetly on some of Brussels’ most impressive matters.

The list of instructions is indeed formidable. Acting as global coordinating counsel outside the US, Van Gerven’s team is managing SAB Miller’s EU filings in its US$108 billion merger with AB InBev. Partner Bernd Meyring, meanwhile, is coordinating merger control for United Technologies in its acquisition of a majority shareholding in the Riello Group. The firm acted for Takeda in the US$578 million sale of its respiratory business to AstraZeneca, while partner Annamaria Mangiaracina advised Novartis on the European aspects of its asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline. Meyring continues to lead the European leg of Delhaize’s €26 billion cross-border merger with Koninklijke Ahold. The team represented Intel before DG Comp as it acquired Altera, receiving unconditional clearance at Phase I.

Linklaters’ behavioural work is also impressive – although much remains confidential. The team has been active in a significant number of abuse and cartel investigations over the past year, alongside related follow-on claims. The firm represented Goldman Sachs in the credit default swaps investigation; one of the parties in the EU commission’s auto parts cartel investigation; and personal care company Beiersdorf in various cartel proceedings. The team is also advising clients who face potential damages actions arising out of the power cables and car glass cartel decisions, and defending Nestlé against claims arising out of the sugar cartel. Partner Wolfgang Deselaers and counsel Erik Venot represented Deutsche Bahn as it appealed against DG Comp dawn raids carried out in 2011. The challenge against the raids was partly successful: the ECJ ultimately struck down two of the three dawn raid decisions in June 2015, overruling the General Court. The firm represents several multinationals in their appeal to the General Court against a DG Comp decision that ordered Belgium to recover €700 million in illegal state aid.

If there’s a large, bet-the-company, international deal on the cards, there’s a good chance SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM will be involved. To some extent that’s thanks to the Skadden’s top M&A practice – last year, the firm became the first ever to top the US$1 trillion mark in deal value handled in a single year. The Brussels competition team alone worked on merger control matters that surpassed US$500 billion in value. But while some rivals snipe that the undeniable success of the Skadden’s Brussels outfit stems from its New York corporate folk, that doesn’t give proper credit to the quality of its work. Practice head Simon Baxter describes Skadden’s lawyers as “relentlessly busy” – they’ve certainly had a lot on their plates over the past couple of years.

Partner Frederic Depoortere steered General Electric’s €12.5 billion acquisition of Alstom’s energy business through European merger review, securing clearance conditioned on complex divestments after hard-fought Phase II proceedings for a tie-up that won “European deal of the year” at GCR’s Awards in 2016. That was a stand-alone instruction, with other firms acting on the corporate side – proof that Skadden’s Brussels team has a stellar name as a hired gun. In the EU, Depoortere also represents DuPont in its US$130 billion merger with Dow Chemical; EMC on its US$67 billion acquisition by Dell; Nokia on its US$45 billion buyout of Alcatel-Lucent; and Merck on its US$17 billion takeover of Sigma-Aldrich. Ingrid Vandenborre meanwhile represented SanDisk in its US$19 billion acquisition by Western Digital; Broadcom in its US$37 billion buyout by Avago Technologies; and drug maker Pfizer during its planned US$160 billion merger with Allergan – which would have been the single largest pharmaceutical deal in history, but subsequently collapsed. Depoortere counselled Hospira as it was acquired by Pfizer for US$17 billion after bagging conditional clearance.

Skadden’s merger prowess means that the behavioural side of its practice tends – unfairly – to get overlooked. Vandenborre secured full immunity for ABB during DG Comp’s power cable cartel proceedings; the company has, aside from a US$637,000 settlement in Brazil, paid no fines following its involvement in the cartel. Vandenborre also acted for GUK, a Mylan affiliate, in a General Court appeal against DG Comp’s Lundbeck pay-for-delay decision, which focused on a patent settlement with the company. Simon Baxter represented JPMorgan in the commission’s credit default swaps investigation, a probe that was dropped at the end of 2015. Stéphane Dionnet, who was promoted to counsel in May 2016, is assisting several companies in numerous cartel investigations, many of whom are leniency applicants. Elsewhere the firm is active in the car battery recycling cartel investigation and in the hotel online bookings probes.

SLAUGHTER AND MAY occupies a unique position in Brussels, operating alongside its “best friend” firms Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, Bredin Prat, De Brauw Westbroek, Hengeler Mueller and Uría Menéndez. It is an unconventional arrangement, but practice leader John Boyce says it works well, allowing the firms to benefit from one of the largest shared competition teams in Brussels. The best-friend firms have impressive firepower, but Slaughter and May has the strongest antitrust reputation. Boyce is assisted by fellow partners Jordan Ellison and Anna Lyle-Smythe, with high-level assistance also provided by global competition head Philippe Chappatte. Partner Claire Jeffs moved back to London last year, but continues to split her time between there and Brussels – as does Bertrand Louveaux.

Complex mergers are Slaughter and May’s bread and butter and the firm’s Brussels competition practice is no exception. Boyce and Ellison advised Ball on the EU competition aspects of its acquisition of Rexam – a tie-up which brought together two of the world’s largest beverage can suppliers – and received clearance in January 2016 following a Phase II investigation. Shell, meanwhile, instructed the firm on its acquisition of BG Group, with the team handling DG Comp’s merger filing and coordinating local filings with external counsel around the world. Boyce and Lyle-Smythe also advised IAG on its acquisition of Aer Lingus, which was finally cleared in July 2015. The team remains involved in several other notable deals, including Starwood Hotels in its sale to Marriott, a deal that saw the team coordinate and advise on merger control in North America, EU, China and Japan. It also advised Cable & Wireless Communications in its sale to Liberty Global; and ARM Holdings on a £24.3 billion offer by SoftBank Group.

In addition to its strong reputation for merger control work, the firm maintains an active behavioural practice. The Brussels team is advising a bank in the foreign exchange investigation, Platts in the oil price probe and Motorola on a DG Comp investigation into its standard-essential patent licensing practices. The Slaughters team is also representing British Airways in its appeal to the ECJ against a decision by the General Court not to annul the European Commission’s air cargo ruling in full, and defending the airline in multi-jurisdictional air cargo follow-on damages litigation in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, alongside its best-friend firms. It acts in two other confidential patent-related matters, and continues to advise Google in relation to a number of different matters, including the commission’s ongoing investigation into search and advertising.

VAN BAEL & BELLIS is determined to go its own way as the only firm in this survey to have all of its antitrust practitioners in just one office. Even its location is unusual; unlike the bulk of internationally-focused Brussels firms, which have clustered around the centre of town, a late 2015 move has seen Van Bael & Bellis move to smart new offices in a leafy suburb. Nonetheless, its competition practice – boosted by the arrival of counsel Andreas Reindl from Baker Botts in 2016 – is one of the largest in Brussels. Its client base is global. Veteran partner Jean-François Bellis, the firm’s co-founder and managing partner, continues to be the stand-out name. But while he continues to have a hand in many of the firm’s cases and has a well-deserved reputation as one of competition law’s elder statesmen, he doesn’t dominate the practice as a whole.

The firm’s lawyers excel in European court appeals stemming from DG Comp decisions. Richard Burton, Kris van Hove and Bellis represented Japan Airlines in the successful air cargo cartel appeal and the firm is coordinating counsel in eight subsequent follow-on damages claims in several European jurisdictions. Van Hove and Burton acted for Renesas Electronics during DG Comp’s smart-card chips cartel investigation, securing full immunity for a company that otherwise would have faced a €51 million fine. David Hull, who is especially strong in life sciences, and counsel Michael Clancy act for Xellia and Zoetis in the Lundbeck pay-for-delay case, which was decided by the General Court in September 2016. Bellis and Tim Kasten act for the Association for Competitive Technology, an information technology trade group, as an intervenor during Intel’s ECJ challenge against the landmark DG Comp €1.06 billion abuse of dominance decision.

A solid track record in merger control is reflected in the team’s roles on big deals. Porter Elliott and Johan Van Acker were brought on to assist Halliburton during its mammoth merger with Baker Hughes, one of the largest deals of 2015, which collapsed in 2016 due to US and EU opposition. Elliott and Van Acker also acted as global coordinating counsel for Hebei Iron & Steel as the Chinese company acquired a controlling stake in Duferco’s steel distribution business. In April 2015, DG Comp cleared the deal, which went on to bag approval worldwide. Van Acker and Burton also acted for the Dalmia Bharat Group, an Indian industrial conglomerate, in its bid to buy assets during the Holcim/Lafarge divestment process. Bellis and Elliott represented a confidential third party during the Telefónica/E-Plus and Hutchison/Telefónica Ireland deals. Markus Wellinger meanwhile represented Hon Hai on its acquisition of Sharp, which secured unconditional clearance from DG Comp in June 2016.

Last year, WHITE & CASE lost Brussels veteran Ian Forrester to a judgeship at the European General Court, but practice head Mark Powell and fellow partner Jacquelyn MacLennan are confident that the firm will continue to excel. The practice has long cultivated the reputation of a fighter, with its team of 25 lawyers prepared to take on the commission in tough cases. Together, they speak nearly 20 different languages and remain one of Brussels’ go-to groups for Eastern European matters. The firm announced the hire of Sir Nicholas Forwood QC, formerly a judge at the European General Court, who joined as counsel in March 2016.

The practice maintains a healthy mix of merger and behavioural work. MacLennan was instructed by Toshiba on appeals in the cathode ray tube, gas insulated switchgear and transformers cases. In September 2015, the General Court annulled the €28 million fine imposed on Toshiba for its alleged role in the colour picture tubes cartel, but at the start of 2016 the same court confirmed a €57 million fine against Toshiba for its participation in the gas insulated switchgear cartel. A day later, the Court of Justice upheld a fine against Toshiba for colluding in the power transformers market. Meanwhile, Powell and partner Jérémie Jourdan represent Crédit Agricole in DG Comp’s Libor investigation and the wider team counselled SAS during the air cargo investigation and subsequent litigation. It was one of many airlines to successfully convince the European General Court to annul the commission’s decision in its entirety. Powell also acted for Bulgarian Energy Holding in a probe by the European Commission into the energy company’s alleged abuse of dominance – an investigation that was subsequently closed without an infringement decision.

On the merger front, Powell and Assimakis Komninos guided TeliaSonera on its four-to-three merger with Telenor – although the companies abandoned the deal after failing to agree remedies with the EU commission. Other telecoms work included advising Liberty Global’s Virgin Media business as an interested third party during the European Commission’s investigation into Hutchison’s acquisition of Telefónica’s UK O2 business, a deal that was subsequently blocked. The firm counselled SOCAR on its acquisition of DESFA, the Greek gas transmission system. Pontus Lindfelt, a Brussels partner who spends some of his time in Stockholm, handles multiple projects for Nordic Capital, a Swedish private equity firm.

ARNOLD & PORTER ’s Brussels partners are highly regarded by rivals – one lawyer described practice head Luc Gyselen as “excellent” and “very technical”. Indeed, clients often turn to the firm to help on unusual and complex advisory matters. Arnold & Porter was heavily involved in steering General Electric through its high-profile acquisition of Alstom’s energy business and continues to handle several other merger matters for GE. The team is also advising seed and agrichemical company Monsanto on its acquisition by Bayer and semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research on its purchase of KLA Tencor.

Visa is a regular client, and although much of the firm’s work for the payments company is confidential, GCR has previously reported that Gyselen and Axel Gutermuth acted for Visa during its €21 billion buy-out of former subsidiary Visa Europe. Elsewhere, Gutermuth steered international merger control filings in over a dozen jurisdictions for Komatsu’s US$2.9 billion acquisition of Joy Global. Marleen Van Kerckhove handled Cytec’s acquisition by Solvay, bagging Phase I conditional clearance. In cartels, Ersbøll and Gyselen acted for Hitachi-LG Data Storage in DG Comp’s optical disk drive proceedings, halving the company’s fine with a successful leniency application by helping the enforcer to prove a longer duration of the cartel. The two partners continue to act for Hitachi-LG in an appeal against the optical disk drive decision.

BAKER & MCKENZIE’s practice has improved in the last few years, having nearly doubled the size of its team: the 2014 hire of Werner Berg from Crowell & Moring brought several associates on board, and the team snapped up Paul Johnson from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s competition investigations group. Berg, practice head Fiona Carlin and rising star Gavin Bushell particularly excelled during their work advising FedEx on its €4.4 billion TNT deal. Despite stiff opposition from UPS, Carlin and Bushell persuaded DG Comp to unconditionally wave the deal through after a Phase I investigation. Given that they had previously helped FedEx thwart UPS’s bid for TNT, the team has much of which to be proud. Other deal work includes counselling Abbott Laboratories on its US$5.8 billion acquisition of Alere, the latest mega-deal in the pharma sector.

Kurt Haegeman plays a key role in the Brussels team’s cartel defence practice. Along with colleagues in Tokyo and London, he acted for Mitsubishi Electric in DG Comp’s starters and alternators cartel proceedings, which led to fines in early 2016; Haegeman negotiated a settlement with the commission and bagged Mitsubishi a 40% fine reduction. The team is currently running defence in two other separate auto parts investigations before the commission. Haegeman also represents another Asian company in the commission’s capacitors cartel probe and the wider team is advising a company in the gas insulated switchgear case. Carlin and Bill Batchelor, meanwhile, are especially strong in life sciences and pharmaceuticals. Batchelor represents Unichem and Niche Generics in their appeal against the 2014 DG Comp decision that fined them in a pay-for-delay case. Carlin has acted for the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations as an intervener in the General Court challenges to DG Comp’s Lundbeck and Servier pay-for-delay cases. The team is also advising a major studio in the Hollywood pay-TV investigation, and several companies in the EU e-commerce sector inquiry.

CADWALADER WICKERSHAM & TAFT has grown rapidly since Brussels managing partner Alec Burnside set up the firm’s practice in 2011. Burnside himself is a heavy hitter and has a sterling reputation among his rivals. The model for the Brussels office is simple, he says: quality, not quantity. That dedication to quality can be seen in Burnside’s involvement in the nine-year Aer Lingus saga – which saw him fight off a takeover attempt from Ryanair, culminating in a series of favourable rulings and decisions in 2015. That case included three favourable rulings from the UK’s Supreme Court; Burnside has their cover pages pinned up on his office wall. Vincent Brophy, who is also well regarded, joined from Jones Day last year and brought several associates with him; he worked with Burnside while they were both at Linklaters and is particularly strong in financial services.

Burnside and special counsel Anne MacGregor are regular outside attorneys for Deutsche Post. Recently, they acted for the company as a third party during DG Comp’s Phase II FedEx/TNT investigation. Brophy advised Deutsche Bank during the European credit default swap investigation, which was closed in late 2015 after the statement of objections had been released; he also acts for the bank in several other matters, including its acquisition of a 50% stake in Akiem Holding. MasterCard is another regular client of Brophy’s; much of that work is confidential, but he is advising the company in the ongoing interchange fee follow-on claims making their way through the UK courts. MacGregor coordinated merger filings for Mercuria Energy’s takeover of JPMorgan’s physical commodities business. Burnside and MacGregor continue to have a leading role in the ongoing DG Comp Google investigations; they represent a number of clients as complainants, including Getty Images, Yelp and Microsoft – both in its own right and as a member of the FairSearch coalition.

Tony Reeves leads a team of three Brussels-based partners at CLIFFORD CHANCE, assisted by three more who split their time among Düsseldorf, Madrid, Rome and Brussels. Reeves says few other firms in Brussels are able to match the team’s capacity to work on a large number of key in-depth merger reviews simultaneously. Indeed, last year the Brussels practice was involved in four Phase II merger inquiries: representing Staples on the European aspects of its planned Office Depot tie-up, which subsequently collapsed after being blocked in the US; GE on its Alstom merger; packaging company Mondi on the acquisition of business assets from rival Walki; and DESFA – the Greek gas grid operator – in its share sale to Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil and gas company. The team also helped Pfizer secure Phase I clearance with divestments in its US$17 billion merger with Hospira.

Aside from its busy mergers practice, Clifford Chance advises FairSearch in the Google search probe and as a complainant in the Android investigation. It also advises Samsung on monitoring compliance regarding commitments that the technology company gave to the European Commission while seeking injunctive relief regarding standard-essential patents. Other standout behavioural work includes advising Zeria Pharmaceutical and Zoetis in separate pay-for-delay investigations. The team is instructed by Kone in the elevator cartel follow-on damages claim, and the firm also acts for two headline-grabbing companies implicated in the EU commission’s state aid tax investigations. Reeves says he is particularly proud that 90% of the practice’s work comes as stand-alone antitrust engagements.

Four partners now make up the senior COVINGTON & BURLING competition team in Brussels: European competition head Johan Ysewyn, a former partner at Linklaters and Clifford Chance, specialises in cartels and state aid; Miranda Cole, who mainly focuses on mergers and dominance work, is strong in life sciences; Peter Camesasca has an excellent reputation in technology work; and as of April 2016, Kevin Coates has joined from the European Commission, where he headed the cartels unit at DG Comp. Covington’s Brussels office has had a steady couple of years following a much-publicised partner exodus, and things appear to have settled down. Sophie Bertin, the former head of the state aid unit at DG Comp, joined in 2016 as a consultant.

Following Camesasca’s work acting for Samsung in its standards-essential patent settlement in 2014, the technology company continues to feed work to the firm. Ysewyn and Camesasca represented Samsung in its General Court appeal against DG Comp’s cathode ray tube fine. Ysewyn’s work in cartels is predominantly confidential, but he’s involved in a number of top European cases. The team advised Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping on the EU shipping liner price signalling investigation, which was finally settled without an infringement decision in July 2016. Cole has had a busy run. Aside from counselling Facebook in the high-profile Facebook/WhatsApp acquisition, she has also acted on a trio of AstraZeneca deals: its acquisition of Almirall’s respiratory business, the establishment of a joint venture with Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics, and its buy-out of Takeda’s respiratory assets. She also handled Microsoft’s complex, IP-rich acquisition of most of Nokia’s devices and services business, coordinating 16 non-US filings. The practice also advised Medialaan as an interested third party in Liberty Global/Base, which was subsequently cleared by DG Comp with divestments.

The well-respected and growing antitrust practice at GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER in Brussels continues to impress its rivals. Peter Alexiadis leads a team of four partners, including David Wood, who played a key role in securing leniency for UBS in the European Commission’s Libor/Euribor investigation, while defending the same bank against charges in the commission’s credit default swaps investigation. The firm is renowned for its cartel work and has been instructed in the power cables, car parts, liquid-crystal-display and liner shipping investigations. It also continues to go after bet-the-company vertical matters, and Wood says the firm is looking to grow its practice so that it can take on a greater amount of dominance and complex merger work.

In existing deals, Gibson Dunn advised Marriott on its tie-up with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and secured Phase I approval for Schlumberger in its US$14.8 billion acquisition of Cameron International, which Wood called an “unbelievable” result. The firm continues to counsel several companies being acquired in big-ticket mergers, including LinkedIn on its sale to Microsoft and St Jude on its US$25 billion sale to Abbott Laboratories. The team also advised HP Enterprise Systems on its merger with CSC and electronic component distributor Avnet on its acquisition of Premier Farnell. On the third-party side, it represents 1+1 in an appeal against the European Commission’s decision clearing Telefónica Deutschland/E-Plus.

Bernard E Amory remains the stand-out name at JONES DAY, where the competition practice is led by Alexandre Verheyden. The firm has hired aggressively and grown organically in Brussels in recent years, having promoted five lawyers to partner over the past decade. Associates Laurent De Muyter and Charles de Navacelle climbed the ranks in January – the same month that saw the arrival of Italian partner Mario Todino. Germany-focused partner Philipp Werner, meanwhile, came on board in spring 2015. Meanwhile, partner Vincent Brophy left for Cadwalader in 2015 and of counsel Filippo Amato headed to DG Comp in 2014. While many Brussels competition practices boast of their close integration with practices abroad, Jones Day in particular has a lot to be proud of, as the firm’s lawyers frequently tackling complex matters on a cross-jurisdictional basis. Deal work is a strong point, and the firm excels at putting together global teams to handle large transactions.

Amory and Thomas Jestaedt guided Monster Beverage during its complex partnering with the Coca-Cola Company, working alongside their colleagues in Washington, DC and London to get the deal done. Amory led Newell Rubbermaid’s US$15.4 billion acquisition of Jarden, which closed in April 2016. Procter & Gamble is a frequent client, feeding the Jones Day team a number of significant sales: its beauty brands to Coty, its hair care brands to Henkel KGaA, two fragrance brands to Shiseido and Elizabeth Arden respectively, the Duracell business to Berkshire Hathaway, Camay and Zest to Unilever, its pet care business to Spectrum Brands, and most of its global pet care business to Mars. Alexandre Verheyden, meanwhile, is advising Wabtec on its US$1.8 billion acquisition of Faiveley Transport, a deal that the European Commission sent to Phase II in May 2016, but approved with conditions in October 2016. Aside from deals, Amory – along with counsel Francesca Marchini Camia and Paris partner Eric Barbier de La Serre – represents Parker-Hannifin in its appeal against the DG Comp marine hose cartel decision.

SHEARMAN & STERLING is a destination competition practice for clients who require solutions to particularly complex problems. Stephen Mavroghenis leads the team, which prides itself on its expertise in high-tech, IP, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and transportation work that carries big stakes. The firm recently enhanced its roster with the promotion of Elvira Aliende Rodriguez to counsel and there are reportedly further expansion plans in the pipeline. Prominent partner Trevor Soames left to set up a boutique in October 2016; while he has accepted a job offer as a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, as of when the GCR 100 went to press this was held up by a client conflict.

The team is perhaps best known as Qualcomm’s European counsel, advising the tech company in four non-confidential matters, including EU commission investigations into alleged predatory pricing and exclusivity arrangements. Behavioural work – particularly abuse of dominance – is the firm’s forte, but the competition practice covers the entire spread of antitrust and merger control work. The Brussels team was recently instructed by GlaxoSmithKline as a third-party complainant in the Pfizer/Allergan and Teva/Allergan deals, and represented international chemicals company ICIG as the divestment purchaser in the Ineos/Solvay deal. The firm is instructed by more than one international bank in the foreign exchange, precious metals and sovereign, supranational and agency bond cartel investigations. It represented Cargolux Airlines in the European Commission’s air cargo investigation, in which the decision was annulled by the European General Court last year. Shearman advised Hanjin Shipping on the EU commission’s investigation into pricing announcements in the global shipping market as well as a company in the capacitors cartel investigation. The team also acted for Paramount and Viacom in the EU pay-TV investigation and secured an early resolution with the European Commission that avoided fines.

Partners Christian Duvernoy, Frédéric Louis, John Ratliff and Hans-Georg Kamann make up WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR’s senior team, alongside senior counsel Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, Cormac O’Daly and counsel Roberto Grasso. The practice lost counsel Jacques Bourgeois to Sidley Austin last year, but it remains steady and particularly strong in behavioural and appellate work. The firm considers Louis to be one of its rising stars – he led Guardian Industries’ successful appeal against a DG Comp fine for its involvement in the flat glass cartel, which saw the ECJ slash the company’s penalty by €44 million. Louis and Duvernoy handled Credit Suisse’s defence during the credit default swaps investigation, which ended for their client in late 2015. Louis is also Johnson Controls’ global coordinating counsel in the lead purchasing cartel investigation, and is advising capacitors manufacturer ELNA in another cartel probe, having helped the company secure a 60% reduction based on its cooperation and inability to pay. Duvernoy, Louis and Ratliff acted for Schaeffler during DG Comp’s bearings probe, and continue to advise the company on compliance issues.

In the firm’s highest-profile merger job, Ratliff was part of the team that advised Baker Hughes during Halliburton’s failed buyout; the firm as a whole helped handle US, Chinese and European aspects of the tie-up and coordinated further filings worldwide. Technology and intellectual property has become an increasingly large part of the practice, especially for Duvernoy. He has advised Broadcom on a SEP/FRAND-related matter, and is working with Intel for the company’s response to DG Comp’s patents and standards consultation. With Louis, Duvernoy has also represented Apple as a complainant in DG Comp’s investigation of Samsung and Motorola.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati opened in Brussels in 2011. “We’re extremely proud of our achievements over the past four years,” says practice head Michael Rosenthal. “Our workload, and its quality and visibility, are through the roof.” Rosenthal and partner Paul McGeown – along with senior competition counsel Götz Drauz, a previous deputy director-general for competition at DG Comp, and of counsel Mathieu Guillaumond – have indeed grown the lean-but-expert team’s practice considerably. Predictably for a firm with a history on the US West Coast, tech is a big part of Rosenthal’s and McGeown’s workload, as they advise Google, YouTube and Spotify on various complaints and investigations. But there’s more to Wilson Sonsini in Brussels than tech: Rosenthal, for example, is longtime counsel to energy company Chevron, and the practice also advises Deutsche Bank, BMW and biofuel producer Alcogroup, among others.

McGeown and Drauz acted for Mylan on merger control matters as the drugmaker successfully rebuffed a takeover attempt by Teva. Freight company ÖBB and subsidiary Rail Cargo Austria turned to Rosenthal during the DG Comp rail cargo investigation, and subsequently received the best possible result through the leniency process – a 55% fine reduction. Hitachi Chemical has tapped Rosenthal and of counsel Mathieu Guillaumond for the European capacitors cartel investigation, and McGeown and Rosenthal are acting for Deutsche Bank in the ongoing DG Comp foreign exchange probe. On the merger side, McGeown represented chipmaker Altera during its US$16.7 billion acquisition by Intel, and Rosenthal secured clearance for Dell in its merger with EMC. Representing third parties during mergers is also keeping the team busy: highlights include working for Chevron in Halliburton/Baker Hughes and Shell/BG, and Dell in Western Digital/SanDisk. The group also successfully advised and coordinated K+S Aktiengesellschaft’s global merger control defence against Potash Corp’s US$9 billion hostile takeover attempt.

Dirk Arts leads the team at Allen & Overy alongside partners Juergen Schindler and Vanessa Turner, a former DG Comp official and in-house counsel at Visa Europe. Michael Reynolds, former practice head and recent president of the International Bar Association, remains a Brussels partner and supports the office on high-level, complex matters. The Brussels office is viewed as the quiet centre of Allen & Overy’s antitrust practice, which benefits from the firm’s wider global network. Turner says the team was instructed by clients on a large number of the commission’s Phase II merger reviews last year. Non-confidential work includes advising Ahold on its €25 billion merger with Delhaize and Dutch telecom incumbent KPB on the €1.33 billion sale of Base to Telenet. The team also guided Activision Blizzard’s acquisition of King Digital Entertainment and handled the non-US aspects of Huntsman’s acquisition of Rockwood Holdings’ performance additives and titanium dioxide businesses – obtaining conditional clearance after a Phase II DG Comp probe. The team also worked for Cargill in its buyout of Archer Daniels Midland’s North American and European industrial chocolate business, and for Saudi Aramco in its €1.2 billion acquisition of a 50% share in Lanxess. On the behavioural side, the team is lead counsel for Google in DG Comp’s high-profile Android investigation. Turner and Arts are both active in separate financial services sector investigations as well as other confidential cartel probes.

Ashurst’s team in Brussels frequently helps lawyers in national matters across EU member state offices, and London partners Euan Burrows and Ross MacKenzie, and Paris-based counsel Simon Naudin, spend a significant chunk of their time in town. While rivals say the Ashurst team has lost some visibility in recent years, it quietly handles interesting cases for significant regular clients, as when Denis Waelbroeck helped to persuade DG Comp to reject complaints against UEFA’s financial fair play rules. Along with London colleagues, Ashurst represents Intel in its appeal against the landmark €1 billion DG Comp abuse of dominance fine – the largest abuse fine ever imposed by the commission, with an opinion from the advocate general expected in late 2016. The team is also involved in the Libor and foreign exchange investigations, and advises the Luxembourg government on its appeal against the commission’s state aid tax ruling regarding Fiat. The team also advised INEOS on its acquisition of n-butyl acetate assets from Celanese, in a four-to-three deal, successfully filing a competence request to the European Commission, which subsequently cleared the deal unconditionally. Practice head Denis Fosselard and counsel Gil Even-Shoshan frequently work for private equity house Apax Partners; they have guided its recent acquisition of Gruppo Engineering and Becton Dickinson, and its sale of Rhiag.

Established in September 2012, Baker Botts’ Brussels practice is led by Catriona Hatton, who works with Paul Lugard, former head of antitrust at Philips, and Georg Berrisch, an experienced litigator who joined from Covington & Burling in September 2013. Hatton says the practice takes on a combination of home-grown work and referrals from the firm’s successful US office, and is able to build on the firm’s rich client base in the energy sector. The Brussels team worked closely with the Washington, DC, practice advising Halliburton on its now-abandoned US$34.6 billion tie-up with Baker Hughes, working on the European Commission’s review while coordinating reviews in other jurisdictions. It was the firm’s second consecutive Phase II merger after representing Dresser-Rand in its €7.6 billion merger with Siemens. Other high-value deal work included securing merger clearance for MeadWestvaco in its US$16 billion merger with RockTenn; Olin in its US$8 billion acquisition of Dow Chlorine Products; and Barrick Gold in its sale of an interest in a Chilean copper mine. The total value of all deals recently handled by the Brussels team exceeds US$90 billion. The firm operates across the full antitrust spectrum, advising the International Air Transport Association in the recent DG Comp investigation of aircraft maintenance, repair operations and spare parts.

Gleiss Lutz boasts one of Brussels’ oldest competition practices, dating back to 1962, which includes a well-respected state aid practice. Ulrich Soltész is the only resident partner in Brussels, but EU practice head Ingo Brinker and three other partners split their time between Brussels and Germany – mirroring the spread of the firm’s antitrust work across both jurisdictions. Christian von Köckritz, who has was promoted to counsel in January 2015, will join the partnership in January 2017. Cartel investigations continue to keep the practice busy, with the Brussels team advising on 15 separate auto parts cases, as well as counselling Daimler in DG Comp’s truck cartel investigation. The team continues to advise Infineon in its appeal against a European Commission ruling that fined the smart card chips manufacturer €82 million for allegedly participating in a cartel, and Duravit in its appeal to the European Court of Justice regarding the enforcer’s bathroom fittings cartel decision. The firm played a prominent role acting for consultancy AC Treuhand before the ECJ, which ruled that consultancies and other professional bodies who facilitate the creation and organisation of cartels are liable to be punished. It also secured a landmark judgment for HeidelbergCement before the ECJ, which restricted the investigative powers of the European Commission in antitrust proceedings. On the merger side, Von Köckritz worked with Brinker on a three-way pan-European music licensing joint venture, with the pair acting for all three companies – GEMA, PRS for Music and STIM. DG Comp cleared the deal after Phase II proceedings. The team also advised HeidelbergCement on its Italcementi takeover.

Herbert Smith Freehills benefits from a good mix of people and has a close association with the firm’s Japanese practice, says Brussels head Craig Pouncey. Furukawa Electric is a disclosable Japan client: the Herbert Smith team steered it through the DG Comp power cables investigation, and is currently handling a General Court appeal against the proceedings. Cartels are a strength; Pouncey has been involved in the Libor/Euribor and Forex investigations for a major client. Kyriakos Fountoukakos is strong in deals – perhaps unsurprisingly, given that he is a previous DG Comp mergers official. He led a Brussels-London team advising Sky during its acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland and finance house Joseph Safra and the Cutrale family group of companies on their US£1.3 billion acquisition of banana producer Chiquita Brands. Along with London colleagues, the practice advised AbbVie on the antitrust end of its proposed acquisition of Shire, securing Phase I clearance. Fountoukakos meanwhile leads a cross-office team advising Pilkington on its appeal before the European Court of Justice, challenging a €370 million fine imposed by the commission for its alleged participation in the car glass cartel. The practice as a whole hugely benefits from the presence of former General Court president Bo Vesterdorf as a consultant, who frequently helps out on high-level strategic advice. While he ordinarily resides in Copenhagen, he frequently gets involved with European work; last year, he submitted a report as part of Google’s response to the DG Comp online search statement of objections.

Hogan Lovells is committed to retaining a strong Brussels antitrust team, which operates as a counterpart to its office in Washington, DC. The team’s leader Jacques Derenne left in October 2015 to set up Sheppard Mullin’s EU competition practice, and some associates also have departed. Practice head Christopher Thomas and go-to shipping lawyer Matthew Levitt say Derenne played a key role in the practice, but the team is larger than one individual lawyer. The group has since been reinforced following the arrival of Falk Schöning and there are further plans for expansion at a senior level. The team has the strength and ability to take on some of the world’s largest merger filings. Recent big-ticket work includes handling the EU filings – alongside Linklaters – for SABMiller in its US$106 billion tie-up with AB InBev. Hogan Lovells was also part of the group that represented Alstom in the sale of its energy businesses to General Electric, a deal that finally achieved Phase II clearance in September 2015. The firm advised Dell on the US$3 billion sale of its global information technology services division to NTT. It also represented container shipping company Maersk Line in the DG Comp investigation of price signalling in the container shipping sector, and continues to defend two leading maritime car shipping businesses in an ever-expanding international cartel probe. The firm does a significant amount of confidential standard-essential patent work for leading US, European and Chinese tech companies, including HTC.

New Brussels survey entrant McDermott Will & Emery’s competition practice has suffered from poor visibility in recent years, rivals say, but the firm’s lawyers quietly continue to take on some interesting and complex work. Martina Maier left to become Unilever’s general counsel for competition and Philipp Werner is now at Jones Day; Mélanie Bruneau came on board in September 2015 from K&L Gates. Brussels practice head Jacques Buhart, who splits his time between the European capital and Paris, acted for Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems as an interested third party during the GE/Alstom merger. He also acts for Alstom as it settles a UK follow-on claim brought by National Grid. Andrea Hamilton is strong in mergers: she acted as coordinating counsel to Mars as it acquired Procter & Gamble’s pet food business for almost US$3 billion and did the same job for Lockheed Martin as it bagged clearance for its US$9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. She also advised Olam International in its US$1.3 billion acquisition of Archer Daniels and Motorola Solutions on the US$3.45 billion sale of its enterprise business to Zebra Technologies. In cartels, Buhart acts for a Japanese company in the auto parts investigation.

All of Sidley Austin’s Brussels-based competition partners are nominated to Who’s Who Legal: Competition, a sign of the practice’s strength at senior level. Stephen Kinsella continues to lead the Brussels team, although he is now based in the UK, a sign of how the practice works effectively as one seamless team straddling the English Channel. The firm maintains a broad portfolio of work in the tech, life sciences, shipping, sports and sectors commodities, across the full antitrust spectrum. Recent standout merger work includes acting for Recall Holdings on its €2.3 billion sale to rival document management provider Iron Mountain; Heineken in swapping certain brewing assets with Diageo; and Sigma-Aldrich in its €15 billion share sale to Merck, a deal that involved between 250,000 and 700,000 product markets, and was cleared with commitments after a Phase I review. The team also acted for Archer Daniels Midland in the sale of its chocolate business to Cargill and its cocoa business to Odam. Both deals went to Phase II. On the behavioural side, Kinsella represents Foundem and Microsoft as complainants against Google’s alleged abuse of dominance in the online search sector. Daly is counselling Force India and Sauber Formula One teams on a complaint to the European Commission. The team also acts for eBay as well as its subsidiaries, Paypal and StubHub, on several matters including the e-commerce inquiry. The firm also advises Steam – an online game platform – in an informal investigation into geo-blocking concerns and cross-border restrictions. MasterCard and Booking.com are additional key clients.

Jacques-Philippe Gunther leads the Brussels antitrust practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, splitting his time between there and the Paris office. Fellow partners Susanne Zuehlke, who joined from Latham & Watkins in September 2015, and Adrien Giraud assist on a broad spectrum of antitrust work, with a focus on regulated industries such as energy, shipping, airline and telecommunications. High-profile telecoms work includes guiding the Orange/Jazztel deal through EU merger control following a Phase II review. The Brussels office also advised Teva on the notification of its acquisition of Allergan to DG Comp, and French container shipping company CMA CGM in the price signalling container shipping investigation. The company previously retained the Brussels practice on its Phase I merger with OPDR and the firm is now guiding CMA CGM’s €2.6 billion buyout of Singapore-based Nol. Other key clients include Steinhoff International; Air France on commission investigations into the air maintenance industry; and Arkema, a former division of Total, as a complainant to the Honeywell/DuPont joint venture. The team also advised Arkema on its divestment of Calgon Carbon, and represents several complainants in DG Comp’s Google abuse probes.

The Boutiques

Antitrust Law Schild remains a one-woman shop of Annette Luise Schild, though she cooperates with other firms and individual lawyers when necessary. She was the managing partner of Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels office and then a partner at Arnold & Porter until August 2014, when she set up her own firm. Since then, she has been involved in numerous merger and behavioural cases. Most recently, she advised both Technip and FMC Technologies on their €11.5 billion merger. She is also counselling BASF on several matters, including the sale of its industrial coatings business to Akzo, which required filings in several jurisdictions. Schild also advises a heavy industry company in a highly publicised cartel case and continues to advise energy company Areva on competition matters. Much of Schild’s work is confidential, but it covers compliance, merger control and litigation.

Damien Geradin set up shop as EDGE Legal in early 2015; he was previously a partner at Covington & Burling and Howrey, and has hired counsel Emilio Villano and trainee Katarzyna Sadrak. Geradin is well known for his academic work on abuse of dominance; fittingly, he has had an important role in some of the tricky cases making their way through Europe. He was part of the team acting for Huawei in its reference to the ECJ, leading to last year’s landmark Huawei/ZTE ruling. The firm is also assisting Huawei during its high-profile patent litigation in the High Court of England and Wales, assisting on competition-related aspects of the case; and Slovak Telecom, which is currently appealing a DG Comp abuse of dominance decision to the General Court. The team is also advising Bpost on alleged state aid given by the Belgian state.

Euclid Law, which formed in late 2014, has come a long way – no doubt helped by the excellent reputation of director Oliver Bretz, a former Clifford Chance competition co-head. He is joined by London-based Sarah Long, formerly of Allen & Overy and the OECD’s competition committee, who was promoted to partner in July 2016, and senior consultant Gavin Robert who decamped from the partnership at Linklaters in August 2016. Marie Leppard became a London partner in November 2016. Much of the firm’s work is currently confidential, but it is top-notch. Bretz, alongside Baker & McKenzie, acted for Barclays in the DG Comp credit default swap probe. Euclid continues to represent a confidential financial services institution on the Libor, foreign exchange and precious metals investigations across the EU, US, and Asia. Other recent highlights have included providing advice to a Dutch bank about competition issues in loan syndication; advising a confectionary multinational on a potential damages claim against the German sugar cartel; and a financial services institution on a potential information exchange in Switzerland. The team is also active on a steady stream of deal work, advising Circle K on the sale of Shell’s petrol station network in Denmark and Stolt Nielsen on its acquisition of a rival chemical tanker shipping company. RCAA is headed by Brussels-based Marc Reysen, a former O’Melveny & Myers partner, and Evelyn Niitväli, previously of Buntscheck in Munich, who remains based in Germany. This year they were joined by Weil Gotshal & Manges and Flick Glocke alumnus Stephan Wachs, who was appointed as counsel, primarily working out of the Frankfurt office – evidence that the firm is growing its practice “one step at a time”, Reysen says. So far, RCAA has bagged some impressive confidential work in the behavioural sphere that one would typically expect to be handled by a much larger shop. In mergers, the firm is acting for Airdata in a General Court appeal against the DG Comp clearance of Telefónica/E-Plus, and bagged Phase I German clearance for Fraport as it set up a cargo-handling joint venture with WTS. The team is also involved in the Ball/Rexam deal, and represented Nestlé during a Federal Cartel Office investigation of information-sharing arrangements.

Firm

Head(s) of competition

Size

Who’s Who Legal nominees

Clients

Elite

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

N/A

10 partners

3 senior counsel

3 consultants

2 senior attorneys

Approx 50 associates

Stephan Barthelmess

Christopher Cook

Francisco-Enrique González Díaz

Thomas Graf

Nicholas Levy

Robbert Snelders

Romano Subiotto QC

John Temple Lang

Antoine Winckler

21st Century Fox, Airbus, Allergan, Citigroup, DuPont, Gazprom, Google, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, Lafarge, NSK, Philip Morris, Ryanair, Sony

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Thomas Janssens

12 partners

2 counsel

40 senior associates and associates

Rafique Bachour

David Broomhall

John Davies

Laurent Garzaniti

Thomas Janssens

Frank Montag

Andrew Renshaw

Alan Ryan

Thomas Wessely

Andreas von Bonin

Airbus, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Boehringer Ingelheim, ChemChina, CK Hutchison, Deutsche Bahn Group, Hapag-Lloyd, LafargeHolcim, NEC, Telenet/Liberty Global

Outstanding

Latham & Watkins

Sven B Völcker

11 partners

1 counsel

17 associates

Matteo F Bay

Marc Hansen

Lars Kjølbye

Howard T Rosenblatt

Sven B Völcker

Siemens, Singapore Airlines, Toshiba, The Carlyle Group, Live Nation, Sumitomo Electric, Neptune Orient Lines, Clear Channel, Deutsche Bahn, Capgemini

Linklaters

Gerwin Van Gerven

5 partners

2 of counsel

3 counsel

28 associates

Wolfgang Deselaers

Jonas Koponen

Bernd Meyring

Gerwin Van Gerven

BayWa, CVC, De Beers, Delhaize, Deutsche Bahn, EQT Partners, Fresh Del Monte, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Lesaffre, Nestlé, Novartis, SABMiller, Saint-Gobain, Siemens

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Simon Baxter

4 partners

3 counsel

Approx 20 associates

Simon Baxter

Frederic Depoortere

Ingrid Vandenborre

James S Venit

General Electric, Pfizer, DuPont, EMC Corporation, Nokia, Broadcom, Actavis, Hospira, Merck, Cisco

Slaughter and May and Best Friends (Bonelli Erede, Bredin Prat, De Brauw Westbroek, Hengeler Mueller and Uría Menéndez)

John Boyce (Slaughter and May)

Massimo Merola (BonelliErede)

Marc Pittie (Bredin Prat)

Jaap de Keijzer (De Brauw Westbroek)

Hans-Joerg Niemeyer (Hengeler Mueller)

Edurne Navarro (Uría Menéndez)

11 partners

5 counsel

28 associates

John Boyce

Anna Lyle-Smythe

Massimo Merola (BonelliErede)

Marc Pittie (Bredin Prat)

Hans-Jörg Niemeyer (Hengeler Mueller)

Markus Röhrig (Hengeler Mueller)

Edurne Navarro Varona (Uría Menéndez)

ARM Holdings, Ball Corporation, Bertelsmann, British Airways/IAG, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Ericsson, Google, INEOS, Platts, Royal Dutch Shell, Thermo Fisher

Van Bael & Bellis

Jean-François Bellis

12 partners

6 counsel

20 associates

Jean-François Bellis

Porter Elliott

David W Hull

Andrzej Kmiecik

Kris van Hove

AstraZeneca, Boeing, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Duferco, GlaxoSmithKline, Halliburton, Hebei Iron & Steel, Japan Airlines, Motorola Solutions, Nike, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

White & Case

Mark Powell

9 partners

2 counsel

14 associates

James Killick

Assimakis Komninos

Jacquelyn MacLennan

Mark Powell

Bulgarian Energy Holding, Cimos, Cobepa, DuPont, European Investment Bank, GlaxoSmithKline, Haier, Intel, JM Huber, Liberty Global, Nespresso, Nestlé

Highly recommended

Arnold & Porter

Luc Gyselen

4 partners

7 associates

Axel Gutermuth

Luc Gyselen

Marleen Van Kerckhove

Mondelez International, Monsanto, Fujikura, Hitachi LG Data Storage, AT&T, CYTEC, General Electric, Visa, Cisco Systems, Lam Research, Boston Scientific

Baker & McKenzie

Fiona Carlin

5 partners

3 counsel

12 associates

Gavin Bushell

Fiona Carlin

Abbott Laboratories, FedEx, Unilever, Mitsubishi Electric, Ingersoll Rand

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft

Alec Burnside

2 partners

1 counsel

9 associates

Vincent P Brophy

Alec Burnside

Aer Lingus, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, MasterCard, Microsoft, Getty Images, News Corporation, Yelp, Cerrejon

Clifford Chance

Tony Reeves

3 partners (full-time)

3 partners (part-time)

3 counsel

13 associates

Tony Reeves

Thomas Vinje

FairSearch, GE, KONE, Mondi, Nokia, Oracle, Pfizer, Samsung, Staples, Zoetis

Covington & Burling

Johan Ysewyn

4 partners

1 consultant

1 of counsel

10 associates

Peter Camesasca

Miranda Cole

Johan Ysewyn

AstraZeneca, Facebook, Sanofi, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Qualcomm, Michelin, SDi, Luxembourg's government, Samsung Electronics, Medialaan

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Peter Alexiadis

4 partners

1 of counsel

11 associates

Peter Alexiadis

Andrés Font Galarza

David Wood

UBS, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Western Union, Scandlines, Microsoft, ICOMP, Facebook, Estée Lauder, E.ON, Intralot, Schlumberger, AT+T

Jones Day

Alexandre Verheyden

9 partners

3 of counsel

11 associates

Bernard E Amory

Thomas Jestaedt

Philipp Werner

Carlyle, Bouygues Telecom, CECED, AB Electrolux, EDF, EDF Luminus, General Electric, Hermes-Epitek, Imerys, MasterCard, Newell Rubbermaid

Shearman & Sterling

Stephen C Mavroghenis

4 partners

2 counsel

9 associates

Stephen C Mavroghenis

Miguel Rato

Aditya Birla, Cargolux, CooperVision, Credit Suisse, Eurobank, Finnair, Fujitsu, GE, GSK, Hanjin Shipping, Nokia, Piraeus Bank, Qualcomm, Scandinavian Airlines

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Christian Duvernoy

4 partners

1 special counsel

1 senior counsel

1 counsel

4 associates

Frédéric Louis

John Ratliff

FEBELCEM, Schaeffler, Statoil, Guardian Industries, Baker Hughes, Credit Suisse

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Michael Rosenthal

Götz Drauz

Paul McGeown

Mathieu Guillaumond

2 partner

1 senior competition counsel

1 of counsel

4 associates

Götz Drauz

Paul McGeown

Michael Rosenthal

AirFrance-KLM, BMW, Chevron, Glencore, Google, Hitachi, K+S Aktiengesellschaft, Live Nation, Mylan, ÖBB, Spotify

Recommended

Allen & Overy

Dirk Arts

6 partners

1 of counsel

2 senior associates

8 associates

Dirk Arts

Michael J Reynolds

Jürgen Schindler

Vanessa Turner

Activision Blizzard, Cargill, Google, Hitachi, Huntsman, HSBC, KPN, Procter & Gamble, Saudi Aramco, Scania

Ashurst

Denis Fosselard

4 partners

2 counsel

1 senior associate

7 associates

Denis Waelbroeck

CBR (Heidelbergcement), Spadel, Colgate Belgium, Compagnie Maritime Belge, Actis, Electrabel (GDF Suez), RTBF, Total Belgium, Apax Partners, Rhiag

Baker Botts

Catriona Hatton

3 partners

8 associates

Catriona Hatton

Paul Lugard

Amazon, Dresser-Rand, IATA, MeadWestvaco, Olin Corporation, Barrick Gold, Ryanair, Caterpillar, Colfax Corporation, Halliburton

Gleiss Lutz

Ulrich Soltész

1 partner

4 visiting partners

1 counsel

3 associates

Ulrich Soltész

AC Treuhand, Daimler, Federal Republic of Germany, Syngenta, Duravit, GEMA, HeidelbergCement, Infineon Technologies, Evonik Degussa, voestalpine

Herbert Smith Freehills

Craig Pouncey

3 partners

1 consultant

1 of counsel

6 associates

Kyriakos Fountoukakos

Craig Pouncey

Bo Vesterdorf

AbbVie, Sky, Google, Pilkington, Gazprom, British American Tobacco, EDF Energy, Furukawa Electric, Cutrale and Safra Groups, Sumitomo

Hogan Lovells

Christopher Thomas

4 partners

3 counsel

2 senior associates

7 associates

Matthew Levitt

Airbus, Air Canada, Alcoa, ALSTOM, BP, Brussels Airlines, Dell, DKNY, European Commission, HTC, IBM, Korean Air, Kuwait Petroleum, Lockheed Martin

McDermott Will & Emery

Jacques Buhart

5 partners

1 senior counsel

6 associates

None

Lockheed Martin, Olam International, Hitachi, FMC Technologies, Fedex, Motorola Solutions, Visa, Mitsubishi Electric, Kedrion, Alstom

Sidley Austin

Stephen Kinsella OBE

5 partners

8 associates

Jacques Bourgeois

Ken Daly

Stephen Kinsella OBE

Kristina Nordlander

Stephen O Spinks

eBay, ECT, Heineken, MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, Recall Holdings, Sauber Formula 1 and Force India, Sigma Aldrich

Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Jacques-Philippe Gunther

3 partners

3 associates

Jacques-Philippe Gunther

Susanne Zuehlke

Orange, CMA CGM, Steinhoff International, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Imerys, Hundson's Bay Company, Air France, Arkema

Boutiques

Antitrust Law Schild

Annette Luise Schild

1 partner

Annette Luise Schild

BASF, Technip, FMC Technologies, Areva

EDGE Legal

Damien Geradin

1 partner

1 counsel

1 trainee

Damien Geradin

Huawei, Slovak Telecom, Bpost

Euclid Law

Oliver Bretz

2 partners

1 senior consultant

None

Barclays, Circle K, Stolt Neilsen

RCAA

Marc Reysen

Evelyn Niitväli

2 partners

1 counsel

1 senior associate

1 trainee

Marc Reysen

Airdata, Fraport, Nestlé

Previous Chapter:Brazil

Next Chapter:Canada