Gleiss Lutz is proud to house one of Brussels’ oldest competition practices, which was established in 1962. The team, which is led by Ingo Brinker and includes the well-regarded Ulrich Soltész, has a large portfolio of clients based in Germany. The firm’s traditional focus is the automotive industry, with the Brussels team representing Daimler in DG Comp’s truck cartel investigation and continuing to coordinate the vehicle maker’s defence against a raft of follow-on claims in 15 countries. The team has also represented clients in 15 separate auto parts cases. The firm runs a well-respected state aid practice, and is working on several merger control files, including a confidential gun-jumping probe against a major electronics company.
The 49-strong competition team at Gleiss Lutz is led by Ingo Brinker, who works with seven other partners and seven counsel, three of whom were newly promoted at the start of 2018. The rest of team is made up of six associated partners and 28 associates.
Brinker currently represents 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 by the Düsseldorf court was pending at the time of writing. A team led by partner Martin Raible advised sustainable-construction company Caverion Corporation in a cartel case before the Federal Cartel Office, with the company reaching a €40 million settlement agreement. The firm also advised German conglomerate Siemens in a landmark investigation by Greece’s Competition Commission, which saw the enforcer issue €80 million in fines to 15 companies in 2017 for rigging tenders on public construction works.
High-calibre merger control and litigation work also compliments Gleiss Lutz’s impressive behavioural record. It represented Schwenk Zement in its proposed acquisition of a cement plant from Opterra. The Federal Cartel Office took the deal to Phase II in 2017 and Schwenk Zement ultimately abandoned the deal. Ulrich Denzel successfully led the team defending Heidelberg Cement against two damages actions brought by Cartel Damage Claims. CDC was unsuccessful in its first attempt to obtain damages before the Düsseldorf Regional and Higher Regional Courts, while the Mannheim Regional Court dismissed CDC’s second action. Munich-based partner Petra Linsmeier is defending Deutsche Telekom against two actions brought by cable operators Vodafone and Unitymedia, where the plaintiffs allege that it abused its dominant position by charging excessive fees for cable ducts. The Federal Court of Justice decided on Vodafone’s claim in 2017 and referred the case back to the Regional Court of Frankfurt. Unity’s claim was heard before the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court in 2018. Both cases were still pending at the time of writing.
- German Law Firm of the Year (The Lawyer European Awards, Chambers Europe Awards and IFLR European Awards, 2017)
- "Exceptional practice that consistently handles the most complex and high-profile competition matters” (Chambers Europe, 2017)
- Law Firm of the Year for Competition/Antitrust (Best Lawyers, 2018)
Gleiss Lutz is one of Germany’s leading full service international law firms. With more than 300 lawyers, of whom 85 are partners, Gleiss Lutz advises major national and international companies in all areas of commercial law.
The Gleiss Lutz antitrust practice enjoys a stellar reputation and 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 and many cartel investigations all over the globe 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.
- 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 strategic and coordinating role, working together with law firms across the globe.
- Merger control: Gleiss Lutz is regularly involved in complex cases, such as advising Syngenta on the takeover by ChemChina. 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.
- Antitrust: Gleiss Lutz’s antitrust practice also has highly regarded experts for compliance matters and for state aid. Because of the significant experience and partner-driven approach to matters, clients regularly retain the services of Gleiss Lutz for international internal investigations, most recently in Brazil, Pakistan, Korea, Turkey and China.
Dr. Ingo Brinker
T: +49 (0) 89 21667-212