GCR 100 - 18th Edition

Gleiss Lutz

11 January 2018

Brussels

GLEISS LUTZ boasts one of Brussels’ oldest competition practices, dating back to 1962, which includes a well-respected state aid practice. Christian von Köckritz, who was promoted to counsel in January 2015, joined the partnership in January 2017. Cartel probes 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 advised 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 ECJ regarding the enforcer’s bathroom fittings cartel decision. Von Köckritz and Christian Steinle represented Evonik in the landmark ECJ case that clarified the procedure for confidentiality covering leniency applicants.

Germany

The 44-strong competition practice at GLEISS LUTZ is one of two Germany-focused firms in our Elite band. Ingo Brinker leads the team of 10 partners, nine associated partners, four counsel, 21 associates and one of counsel. The firm promoted Ines Bodenstein and Carsten Klöppner to partner in January 2017.

Brinker currently leads for Booking.com in its appeal against the Federal Cartel Office’s hotel booking decision, about which the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court expressed misgivings in 2017. A ruling in that case is pending. At the EU level, partners Ulrich Denzel in Stuttgart and Wolfgang Bosch in Frankfurt represented Daimler in DG Comp’s trucks cartel investigation; the company ultimately paid €1 billion as part of a 2016 settlement. Brinker and Munich partner Petra Linsmeier, as well as Brussels partner Ulrich Soltész, represented Infineon as it demanded a reduction of its smart card chips cartel fine from the EU’s General Court. Partner Christian Steinle, along with Brussels partner Christian von Köckritz, acted for Evonik in the European Court of Justice, securing landmark clarification of the procedure for confidentiality for information supplied to DG Comp by leniency applicants.

Alongside its sterling behavioural record, the Gleiss Lutz team can pride itself in being pre-eminent in merger control and German follow-on litigation. It represented Syngenta during its €43 billion acquisition by ChemChina – one of the last year’s most closely watched global deals – and ultimately secured conditional DG Comp clearance. The team also coordinated merger control filings for the deal in more than 20 countries. In litigation, Denzel has represented voestalpine in defending against German follow-on claims; and Heidelberg Cement against Cartel Damages Claims in the Mannheim Regional Court, ultimately securing full dismissal. Linsmeier defended Deutsche Telekom against Kabel Deutschland and Unitymedia Kabel, after the cable companies alleged its fees for cable ducts were illegally inflated.

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