GCR 100 - 19th Edition

Homburger

22 January 2019

Switzerland

Marcel Dietrich took over HOMBURGER’s competition practice from partner Franz Hoffet in 2018. Both partners lead a team that includes counsels Andreas Burger and Martin Thomann, and four associates. Together, they are active in some of Switzerland’s most high-profile matters. The firm has played a key role in the country’s antitrust market since it was established in the 1960s. Since then, it has advised on Switzerland’s first leniency application, its first dawn raid, and first-ever sanctioning procedure.

Much of the competition team’s time is devoted to merger control work. It represented ChemChina in its €38 billion acquisition of Syngenta, which closed in January 2018. The deal was the largest-ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese company, and one of the three largest all-cash transactions worldwide. The team also advised Clariant on its €17 billion proposed merger with Huntsman Corporation. When that deal was abandoned in October 2017, Dietrich coordinated notifications in over a dozen jurisdictions worldwide regarding Saudi Basic Industries’ acquisition of 24.99% of Clariant instead.

Notable behavioural work includes representing Booking.com in the Competition Commission’s most-favoured-nation clause investigation, which the authority eventually declined to prohibit. Dietrich also represented UBS in the competition enforcer’s Libor, Tibor and Forex probes – which the firm says are the biggest cartel investigations ever handled by the enforcer. Hoffet leads the team representing Eli Lilly before the Swiss courts challenging a resale price maintenance fine imposed by the competition watchdog. In January 2018, Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court quashed the fine, and the case is now pending before the Federal Supreme Court.

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