GCR 100 - 16th Edition

CMS

Professional notice

Belgium

CMS DEBACKER’s Belgian competition practice is headed by Annabelle Lepièce, who has been at the firm since 1997 and is now assisted by three associates. The group advises companies in cartel and abuse of dominance investigations and is also known for its state aid work. The firm is working on Belgian retailer Delhaize Group’s European damage claim against MasterCard relating to interchange fees, is assisting the defence of retailer Mestdagh in an alleged hub-and-spoke cartel and acts for the complainants against Electrabel and Bpost in competition authority investigations. It also advised Lampiris in an intervention at the College of the BNA in a case accusing Electrabel of dominance. Other clients include Link2biz and SOGEPA.

Poland

The practice at CMS CAMERON MCKENNA is led by the widely respected Małgorzata Urbańska, who is supported by a team of six full-time competition experts. This makes it one of the biggest competition teams in Poland. The practice benefits from being part of the extensive eastern European network of a 150-lawyer firm.

The firm represented Polish mobile operator P4 in a high-profile cartel case that involved three other operators (Orange, T-Mobile and Plus). The companies were accused of colluding in their refusal to buy mobile TV services that used DVB-H standard. Although not yet final, the original decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection was overturned by court judgment in June. The decision allowed CMS’ client to avoid a multimillion-zloty fine. The firm has also advised Canadian transport company Bombardier against accusations of anti-competitive conduct in its participation in the public tender process led by the Polish Rail Company. CMS continues to advise PGNIG, the country’s incumbent gas supplier, in a range of competition issued connected to its dominant position in the market. Nutricia, a member of the Danone Group, is another long-standing client that the firm advises on distribution activities and retail contracts including exclusivity clauses, pricing and shelf space arrangements.

Russia 

At CMS Russia, partner Maxim Boulba works in Moscow alongside five associates who focus on an equal split of merger control and behavioural work. The team benefits enormously from being part of the CMS global network – both in terms of case referrals and the support a broad geographic reach can bring. While the firm has some Russian clients, most of its work comes from international companies with local operations or subsidiaries. This year, the firm obtained Russian merger clearance for Swedish pharmaceutical company Meda on its acquisition of Italy’s Rottapharm and advised American mattress company Tempur-Pedic on its entry and distribution scheme in the Russian market. Alcatel-Lucent, Medtronic, Boehringer Ingelheim and Honeywell are also among the firm’s clients.

Spain 

Patricia Liñán took over as practice head of CMS Albiñana & Suárez De Lezo last year and works alongside former head Diego Crespo, who remains at the practice. The pair are supported by four associates.

The firm has been active in most of the authority’s largest cartel investigations, including acting for Lactalis – the leading milk processor in Spain – in a landmark cartel investigation, which included several appeals before different courts against the dawn raids carried out in 2012. The firm also assisted Arruti and Siecsa in a cartel case centred on the construction sector, and in the coordination of their respective appeals before the Audiencia Nacional where the companies managed to achieve significant reductions. It assisted office equipment company Adveo in its successful appeal in an export cartel cases, which led to the annulment of a €2 million fine. It is also adivsing the company – a successful leniency applicant in the case – in related damages claims as a result of the cartel.

The firm is advising Hera and Recirsa in their appeal of €98.6 million worth of fines for their alleged part in a waste management cartel. In mergers, the team currently advises Seguros Pelayo in proceedings concerning the creation of a joint venture with another agricultural insurance company.

Netherlands 

CMS DERKS STAR BUSMANN promoted Edmon Oude Elferink from local partner to full partner in December 2014. He joined the firm in 2011 after spending three years as a law clerk at the EU General Court. Both he and practice head Robert Bosman are based in Brussels but spend two days each week, on average, in Amsterdam and Utrecht. The firm is particularly strong in cartels and Elferink is involved in the ACM’s building materials investigation while Bosman is appealing against a 2012 decision against taxi company Bios. In Luxembourg, Elferink acted for Dutch construction company Ballast Nedam in its appeal against the bitumen cartel decision, successfully gaining a fine reduction before the European Court of Justice last March.

Germany

CMS Hasche Sigle has become increasingly visible on the market over the last few years, observers say. The large group includes 10 partners spread across offices in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, along with a further two German partners and one of counsel in Brussels. The practice grew with the promotion of Stuttgart-based counsel Agnes Wippich. Three counsel, 14 senior associates and six associates complete the team.

In CMS’s most high-profile engagement, Telefónica turned to partners Michael Bauer in Brussels and Jens Neitzel in Munich for merger control advice during its €8.5 billion acquisition of E-Plus. In a display of CMS experience across multiple areas, the advice involved representation before the FCO and European Commission, as well as Germany’s telecoms regulator to secure clearance of the four-to-three deal. The merger also required advice from the CMS team in the Netherlands. And the group handled Swedish pharmaceutical company Meda’s €2.3 acquisition of Italy’s Rottapharm Madaus, which involved merger filings across Germany, Austria, Spain and Russia. In Stuttgart, partnerHarald Kahlenberg represented the state of Baden-Württemberg in its defence of an FCO case related to its marketing of wood.

Austria 

At CMS REICH-ROHRWIG HAINZ, practice head Bernt Elsner takes on a mixture of competition and public procurement work. He is supported by counsel Dieter Zandler and three associates. The firm was lead counsel in Axpo International’s acquisition of Wolkswing, which saw the Vienna team work alongside colleagues in Stuttgart to assist with merger filings. Swedish pharmaceutical company Meda AB turned to Zandler, alongside colleagues in Hamburg, Spain, Russia and Lisbon, for guidance as it bought out Italian company Rottapharm. Zandler also represented Swissport in Austrian merger filings as it acquired control over plane fuelling services provider Aviation Fuel Services, and as the company established a joint venture with Lufthansa to become the fuelling company’s co-shareholder.

Slovakia 

Ružička Csekes’ three-person team, led by Nad’a Spustová, has been together since 2007 when the firm became a member of the CMS network. The firm has been retained to provide regular advisory work to Slovnaft, Slovakia’s largest oil company and Spustová is part of Slovnaft’s internal team. This expertise has been invaluable in dealing with many abuse of dominance cases in Slovakia. In the past, it has focused on former state-owned monopolies, but the work has shifted to multinational companies with local distribution networks. The firm has advised Slovak Telekom, Slovak telecoms providers Swan and ZSE Energia, a member of the E.ON group.

Switzerland 

Patrick Sommer leads a four-partner practice at CMS Switzerland, which includes himself, Alain Raemy, Stefan Brunnschweiler and Pascal G Favre, who joined in January from Tavernier Tschanz, along with associate Jérôme Levrat. Marion Wyler, a former competition commission official, also joined the firm’s roster this year. Big-ticket behavioural work includes representing Rabobank in the Libor, Tibor and Euribor investigations, as well as Bank Julius Bär in the ongoing Forex investigations. The team also advised Credit Suisse and Swisscard in ComCo’s credit card interchange fees investigation. Brunnschweiler is leading the team instructed by the Koch Group in two price-fixing investigations, one successfully settled last year, and the other currently being appealed by ComCo before the federal court of justice having had its original decision overturned by the federal administrative court. On the merger side, the team advised Lagardère Services on a concentration involving the sale of Naville to Valora.

Why choose CMS for competition law?

The CMS Competition Group is one of the largest competition teams in Europe and at the same time the most wide-spread in terms of countries covered. The CMS competition practice has more than 150 competition lawyers based in 23 European countries and in China. We offer a one-stop-shop solution to clients for all their competition law needs across Europe and beyond. With a track record of more than 40 years of experience CMS lawyers have been involved in a high number of competition cases, many leading to landmark decisions by the EU courts or a national level.

The CMS Competition Group acts for clients in all areas of competition law: merger control, cartels, abuse of dominance, horizontal and vertical restraints, private enforcement, investigations, and compliance.

Our global approach is reflected by our offering and track record. Next to our local advice we often coordinate work that involves other jurisdictions outside Europe. In this case, we work together with member firms of the World Law Group, an organisation which was co-founded by CMS member firms and combining 52 leading law firms worldwide.

Key statistics:

  • More than 150 competition lawyers
  • 31 offices in 24 jurisdictions in Europe and China
  • Worldwide network of competition experts via the World Law Group
  • In the last three years alone more than 250 merger control filings and more than 250 other competition law proceedings
  • Strong presence in Brussels through the CMS EU Law Office

www.cmslegal.com

Harald Kahlenberg
Head of CMS Competition Group
E [email protected]

Albania

Mirko Daidone
E [email protected]

Austria

Bernt Elsner
E [email protected]
Robert Keisler
E [email protected]
Dieter Zandler
E [email protected]

Belgium

Annabelle Lepiece
E [email protected]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nedzida Salihovic-Whalen
E [email protected]

Bulgaria

Gentscho Pavlov
E [email protected]
Dessislava Fessenko
E [email protected]

Croatia

Hrvoje Bardek
E [email protected]

Czech Republic

Barbora Dubanska
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Tomás Matejovský
E [email protected]

EU Law Office in Brussels

Michael Bauer
E [email protected]

Robert Bosman
E [email protected]

Kai Neuhaus
E [email protected]

Edmon Oude Elferink
E [email protected]

France

Nathalie Petrignet
E [email protected]
Denis Redon
E [email protected]

Germany

Duesseldorf
Dietmar Rahlmeyer
E [email protected]

Frankfurt am Main
Heinz-Joachim Freund
E [email protected]
Stefan Lehr
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Hamburg
Heidi Wrage-Molkenthin
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Markus Schöner
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Tim Reher
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Munich
Jens Neitzel
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Stuttgart
Harald Kahlenberg
E [email protected]
Christian Haellmigk
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Rolf Hempel
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Hungary

Dóra Petrányi
E [email protected]

Italy

Paolo Scarduelli
E [email protected]
 

Kosovo

Mirko Daidone
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Marco Lacaita
E [email protected]

Luxembourg

Annabelle Lepièce
E [email protected]

Macedonia

Marija Filipovska
E [email protected]
Raško Radovanović
E [email protected]

Montenegro

Milica Popovic
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Jovana Stevović
E [email protected]

The Netherlands

Robert Bosman
E [email protected]
Edmon Oude Elferink
E [email protected]

Poland

Malgorzata Urbanska
E [email protected]

Portugal

Luis Miguel Romao
E [email protected]
António Payan Martins
E [email protected]

Romania

Horea Popescu
E [email protected]

Russia

Maxim Boulba
E [email protected]

Serbia

Radivoje Petrikic
E [email protected]
Raško Radovanović
E [email protected]

Slovakia

Nada Spustová
E [email protected]

Slovenia

Luka Fabiani
E [email protected]
Uros Bogsa
E [email protected]

Spain

Patricia Linán
E [email protected]
Diego Crespo
E [email protected]

Switzerland

Alain Raemy
E [email protected]
Patrick Sommer
E [email protected]
Stefan Brunnschweiler
E [email protected]

United Kingdom

Sue Hankey
E [email protected]
Caroline Hobson
E [email protected]
Graeme Young
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Ukraine

Olexander Martinenko
[email protected]
Olga Belyakova
E [email protected]
Nataliya Nakonechna
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Maria Orlyk
E [email protected]
Evgenia Prudko
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