GCR 100 - 17th Edition

CMS

10 January 2017

The Netherlands

CMS practice head Edmon Oude Elferink took over the role from Robert Bosman last year. Both are based in Brussels, but average two days each week in Amsterdam and Utrecht. The firm continues to defend All Nippon Airlines against follow-on damages claims arising out DG Comp’s air cargo decision and also advised Dyckerhoff in a ready-mix concrete cartel investigation by the Dutch competition authority, securing termination of the probe without sanctions after offering commitments. Merger work is steady and the firm represented BMW on its proposed buyout of Parkmobile Group, a provider of electronic and digital parking solutions, which was cleared in Phase I by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. Elsewhere the firm advised energy company DONG on offshore wind farm tenders and the Port of Rotterdam on state aid issues.

Germany

CMS HASCHE SIGLE has become increasingly visible on the market over the last few years, observers say. The large group includes 12 partners and five counsel spread across offices in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, and a Brussels contingent of German lawyers that includes two partners, one of counsel and one counsel. In January 2016, Roland Wiring became a partner and Christof Soltau and Nantje Johnston became counsel.

In CMS’s highest-profile engagement, Telefónica turned to partners Michael Bauer in Brussels and Jens Neitzel in Munich for merger control advice during its €8.5 billion acquisition of E-Plus. Displaying the firm’s experience across multiple areas, the advice involved representation before the FCO and European Commission, as well as Germany’s telecoms regulator, to secure clearance of the four-to-three deal. The team continues to act for Telefónica during various proceedings. Partner Tim Reher represents Jägermeister and confectionery makers August Storck and Goldeck, in pursuing follow-on damages against members of the German sugar cartel; he also defends Electrolux against such claims for its role in the refrigeration compressors cartel. Harald Kahlenberg acts for LBBW, Helaba and Deutscher Sparkassenverbrand in FCO merger proceedings regarding their participation in Paydirekt, a new online payment system.

Russia

At CMS RUSSIA, partner Maxim Boulba works in Moscow alongside five associates who focus on an equal split of merger control and behavioural work. However, the competition team, like many in Russia, also has a thriving public procurement practice. The team benefits enormously from being part of the CMS global network – both in terms of case referrals and the support and strength that such geographic reach can bring. This year, CMS Russia worked on the Alcatel/Lucent deal, as well as successfully represented aluminum roof seller Kalzip before the St Petersburg unit of the FAS in its complaint against a Russian competitor for breaching the country’s competition laws.

Austria

Bernt Elsner leads the competition team at CMS REICH-ROHRWIG HAINZ and works alongside counsel Dieter Zandler and three associates on a broad range of competition work. Although Elsner is perhaps equally or better known for his public procurement practice, the firm’s competition work has picked up in the past few years. He says his team is organised so as to be able to advise clients on a Europe-wide basis. They act on a suite of cases concerning international merger control, cartels and state aid, and also have an ongoing abuse of dominance investigation. The team advised Axpo International in its acquisition of Wolkswing, and worked with colleagues in Hamburg, Spain, Russia and Lisbon to advise Meda AB in its buy-up of Italian company Rottapharm. They also recently provided antitrust advice to an internet company and an electronic consumer goods company, as well as Swissport, Johnson & Johnson, Atlas Copco and Scholz Group, among others.

Switzerland

CMS SWITZERLAND boasts a strong competition team across offices in Zurich and Geneva with real depth at partner level. Practice leader Patrick Sommer and specialist competition partners Alain Raemy and Pascal Favre are widely respected antitrust practitioners, while the firm’s global corporate head Stefan Brunnschweiler also brings competition expertise.

Sommer and his team work on several important behavioural matters and the firm is one of the few advising two separate banks in COMCO’s finance sector investigations: Rabobank on Libor, Tibor and Euribor; and Julius Bär on Forex and precious metals. Sommer is also leading Bayer Switzerland’s appeal against a COMCO decision that found the pharmaceutical company liable for resale price maintenance, while Stefan Brunnschweiler continues to advise Paul Koch AG on the window and glass door fittings cartel investigation. The Federal Administrative Court overturned sanctions imposed by COMCO, and the case is now on appeal before the Swiss Federal Court of Justice. The firm also represents a company in an investigation into alleged bid-rigging in the construction sector.

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