GCR 100 2021

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

Professional notice

France

Partners Philippe Guibert and Emmanuel Durand lead the competition practice at highly respected French full-service law firm DE PARDIEU BROCAS MAFFEI, supported by three counsel and seven associates. The team says it has acted in many high-profile and innovative merger cases. It is especially known for its behavioural work, where it represents clients in a significant number of the French authority’s major antitrust investigations.

The firm represented Swiss groups Coop and Bell as second-in leniency applicants in the enforcer’s Ham Products cartel probe. In its July 2020 decision, the authority reduced the companies’ fines to €6 million under the “leniency-plus'' principle. The team is also defending French oil company Groupe Rubis against a rival’s request for interim measures based on alleged abuse of dominance. The competition enforcer dismissed the request in July 2019, and the case is now before the Paris Court of Appeal. Additionally, the firm represents Société Générale in appealing against the authority’s Multilateral Interchange Fees ruling and also assisted clients in connection with separate dawn raids related to alleged gun jumping in the duty-free sector and the wine and spirits market. In follow-on litigation, the team is advising MAN and Volkswagen in a damages action related to the Trucks cartel case.

On the merger control side, the firm is assisting insurer CNP Assurances in its tie-up with rivals CDC and La Banque Postale – the biggest deal in the French insurance sector in recent years. It also advised Casino on the sale of Vindémia to Groupe Bernard Hayot, which the French authority cleared in May 2020 subject to fix-it-first and behavioural remedies. Additionally, the team obtained conditional approval for Dr Oetker in its acquisition of Unilever’s French baking and dessert business Alsa, and for Global Blue and Premier Tax Free as they created a duty free and tax return joint venture in French airports.

Established in 1993 and acknowledged as a leading independent business law firm, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei numbers 150 lawyers, including 33 partners. Its practice covers banking, finance & capital markets, mergers & acquisitions/private equity, restructuring & insolvency, litigation, real estate & real estate finance, antitrust/competition law, tax law, intellectual property, public law and employment law.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is widely recognized for its strong international practice, founded on the skills of its teams and their expertise in cross-border transactions.

Regularly ranked among the best Competition departments of Paris, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei’s Competition / Merger Control team, with 2 partners, 3 counsels and 6 associates, regularly advises on competition matters before French and European competition authorities and courts, and regulatory bodies, in all types of cases concerning anti-competitive practices.

In particular, the department has a strong and well-known experience in antitrust litigation. It is involved in some of the largest and most important cases presently examined by the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) or the EU Commission.

The practice is also strongly focused on French and EU merger controls, with services ranging from feasibility studies to the preparation of notification files and assistance with negotiating the remedies to be offered to the competition authorities to obtain clearance of the transaction.

The team is also well versed in advising clients operating in industrial sectors where government authorities are involved, either directly or via a regulatory body, such as the energy, media, telecommunications, transport, postal services and health sectors.

In certain matters when necessary, the team relies on assistance from specialized economists and in cross-border transactions, the team works with its network of high-level local correspondents with expert knowledge of domestic competition law, allowing a perfect coordination of procedures before the various concerned authorities.

Drawing on their cross-disciplinary skills in distribution law, the Competition and Litigation teams work side by side to support clients in dealing with the many aspects of the product and services distribution process, including their relationships with commercial partners, with competitors, services of specific administrative agencies and consumers. Their skills combined cover a complete range of issues related to pricing practices, general sales terms, product regulations and commercial practices, as well as consumer protection and implementation of a distribution network.

Practice Areas:

EU Competition

  • Advice and dispute resolution concerning anti-competitive practices under French and EU law before national and European jurisdictions (Competition Authority, Paris Court of Appeal, European Commission, European Court of Justice, European General Court)
    • Cartels and abuses of dominant position
    • Interim measures
    • State aids
    • Leniency applications, etc

Investigations by competition authorities

  • Advice and assistance to clients in connection with investigations launched by the French or European competition authorities (dawn raids)
  • Assistance in legal proceedings arising from these investigations, implementation of compliance programs

Merger controls

  • Notification of mergers to the European Commission or French and other domestic competition authorities

Regulators

  • Advice to clients before regulatory authorities (CSA, CRE, AREP, ARAF, …)
  • Resolution before dispute settlement committees of these regulatory authorities
  • Advice & assistance to companies in preparing their industrial strategy and policy (pricing of transportation or distribution grids, investments in infrastructures, acquisitions, regulated tariffs, relations with the European Commission…)
  • Assistance in answering call for tenders and requests related to the renewal of concessions

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