Partner and Who’s Who Legal nominee Ingo Brinker leads the competition team at Gleiss Lutz. Brinker says that amendments to Germany’s merger control thresholds have seen the number of merger applications referred to the Federal Cartel Office drop by as much as five or six hundred per year.
Nevertheless, the number of Phase II investigations or complicated Phase I reviews has been stable, he says. Gleiss Lutz advised on one of the most complicated merger cases of late – a ProSieben/RTL joint venture, which started life before the European Commission but was referred to the German Cartel Office at the agency’s request. The cartel office objected to the companies’ plans to form a joint online television platform. The case is now before the courts. Gleiss Lutz is representing both parties.
On the behavioural side, the firm is involved in just about every active cartel case in Germany. The cartel office has worked doggedly to unearth cartels, dedicating three of its 12 internal units to the cause. It has launched investigations in various food markets – including chocolate, sausages and coffee – and it has also focused on anti-competitive practices in the retail industry. Many cases are closed using the office’s settlement process, but a significant number are still fought out in the courts. Brinker advised on the carbonless paper case, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, and his team counselled HeidelbergCement, which spent almost 40 days in court defending cartel charges.
International Firm of the Year 2011
Legal Business Awards
Law Firm of the Year for Competition/Antitrust
JUVE Awards 2010
Gleiss Lutz is one of Germany’s leading full service international law firms. With more than 280 lawyers, of whom 89 are partners, Gleiss Lutz advises major national and international companies in all areas of commercial law.
Gleiss Lutz has been involved in shaping antitrust law since day one, having played an active role in all major international developments and cases for more than 60 years. The combination of experience, top quality advice and a practice-oriented approach makes Gleiss Lutz one of the leading competition practices in Europe.
- Cartel investigations: With experience gained from participating in more or less all cartel investigations before the European Commission over the last years, Gleiss Lutz is the law firm of choice for high-profile cases. Especially in the area of the Commission’s settlement proceedings the firm is a pioneer, having participated in all settlement proceedings of the European Commission to date.
- Actions for damages: Gleiss Lutz has been involved in the development of “private enforcement” from the outset. Its leading position is illustrated by the representation of a client in the first follow-on case at the German Supreme Court. In actions covering various jurisdictions Gleiss Lutz plays a coordinating role, working together with best-friend law firms across the globe.
- Merger control: Gleiss Lutz is regularly involved in complex cases, such as advising Syngenta on the acquisition of Monsanto’s seeds business and Südzucker on the acquisition of ED&F. In cross-border proceedings Gleiss Lutz provides strategic advice in the run-up to the acquisition, and coordinates the filing of the required notifications worldwide.
- Gleiss Lutz’ antitrust practice also has highly regarded experts for state aid, in particular in the finance sector, and for compliance matters.
Dr. Ingo Brinker
T +49 (0) 89 21667-212