GCR 100 - 8th Edition

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Professional notice

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's antitrust practice takes top honours in our inaugural guide to the world's leading competition groups, the GCR 100 – and it's obvious why. Freshfields boasts the world's third-biggest antitrust practice – over 250 specialists, including an unrivalled 26 Who's Who nominees. The majority of the firm's most highly nominated figures are in Brussels. Frank Montag is held in the highest esteem by fellow practitioners. “He's the number one guy. There's no one better,” says one source. “He's unrivalled for EC work,” says another.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
GCR 20

Global heads: David Aitman and Helmut Bergmann
Home jurisdiction: UK and Germany
Total size of firm: 2509
No. of competition lawyers: 254
% of firm specialised: 10
Who’s Who nominees: 26
Partners: 50
Non-equity partners:
Senior associates: 19
Associates: 137
Counsel: 6
Other: 42
No. of lateral partner hires: 2
No. of partner departures: 1
No. of internal promotions: 1

Two lawyers who practise in both London and Brussels are also highly rated. John Davies is described as having “a profound understanding of complex issues” and the ability to give “clear, concise and innovative” advice. Rachel Brandenburger is praised for her “technical brilliance” and experience of European merger regulation inquiries.

Today, Freshfields' antitrust, competition and trade practice is led by David Charles Aitman and Helmut Bergmann. Aitman, a partner in London, is praised for his work for supermarket Tesco in an investigation by the UK's Competition Commission.

Other highly rated individuals include Martin Klusmann and Gerhard Wiedemann in Berlin, Onno Brouwer and Winfred Knibbeler in Amsterdam, and Terry Calvani, Robert Schlossberg and Paul Yde in Washington, DC.

In addition, Freshfields received more votes from corporate counsel than any other firm and came second only to Cleary Gottlieb when we asked GCR 100 firms to name the global competition practice with the most enviable docket of cases. What's more, Freshfields' competition practice grew significantly at the partnership level this year. In London, Simon Priddis, a former senior director at the OFT, joined in January 2007; the firm made up Bea Tormey to its EU/competition law litigation team in London; and Alexander Schaub, the former director-general for competition at the European Commission between 1995 and 2002, joined the Brussels office as of counsel in February 2007.

Quite apart from that, Freshfields' docket speaks for itself. The firm handled a string of headline-making antitrust cases this year: it advised Alcan on the EU and international aspects of the US$27.7 billion bid by Alcoa and the US$38.1 billion bid by Rio Tinto to create the world's largest aluminium business. It also represented the London Stock Exchange on bids by NASDAQ and on the LSE's successful e1.63 billion bid for Borsa Italiana.

Freshfields was also instructed on the world's largest mining takeover – advising Xstrata on its successful US$11 billion acquisition of Falconbridge. It also advised Siemens on the US and European antitrust aspects of its e4.2 billion acquisition of Bayer's diagnostic health business, and ICI on its £8 billion acquisition by Akzo Nobel and the related on-sale of its adhesives and electronics material business to Henkel. In the US, meanwhile, Freshfields advised Monsanto on its acquisition of Delta and Pine Land.

On the litigation front, Freshfields enjoyed an equally high-profile docket this year. It acted for ABB in leniency proceedings in relation to the gas-insulated switchgear cartel, helping ABB to obtain full immunity from the European Commission. It represented Chiquita Brands in antitrust proceedings before the European Commission. And it advised France Telecom on its appeal before the European Court of Justice against a ruling of the court of first instance (in relation to DG Comp's Wanadoo decision, imposing fines for predatory pricing in the high-speed internet access sector).

Also in Europe, Freshfields represented the Irish government – the largest shareholder in Aer Lingus, the budget airline – as the principal opponent to Ryanair's hostile takeover bid for Aer Lingus, successfully persuading DG Comp to block the deal. And it advised leading cement manufacturer Holcim in the first German ‘class action'-type damage claim proceeding, and ThyssenKrupp on DG Comp's alleged elevator-cartel probe. It also successfully represented Mars in various European court proceedings regarding the ‘impulse' ice-cream market.

In the UK, Freshfields is advising Tesco on the Competition Commission's investigation of the grocery sector. It also represented Visa Europe on its intervention in MasterCard's appeal against the OFT's prohibition decision in the setting of interchange fees.

Besides the headline-making deals, Freshfields handled a string of matters ‘under the radar' this year: for example, it advised BAE Systems on the antitrust aspects of its joint venture with VT Group; the Dutch Bar Association on its intervention in a case brought by Akzo Nobel concerning legal privilege; Shell in the European Commission's investigation of the Dutch bitumen market; and Glaverbel in DG Comp's probe of the alleged flat-glass cartel.


Onno Brouwer
Winfred Knibbeler
T+31 20 485 7000
F+31 20 485 7001


Michael Han
Alex Potter
Jack Wang
T+8610 6505 3448
F+8610 6505 7783


Dr Helmut Bergmann
Dr Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann
Dr Thomas Lübbig
Dr Hans-Joachim Prieß
T+49 30 20 28 36 00
F+49 30 20 28 37 66


Dr Peter Oravec
T+421 2 5926 3111
F+421 2 5926 3602


Rachel Brandenburger
David Broomhall
Onno Brouwer
John Davies
Dr Michael Esser-Wellié
Laurent Garzaniti
Thomas Janssens
Dr Horst Günter Krenzler
Dr Frank Montag
Matthew O'Regan
Andrew Renshaw
Alan Ryan
Dr Alexander Schaub
Vanessa Turner
Dr Thomas Wessely
T+32 2 504 7000
F+32 2 504 7200


Dr Joachim Pfeffer
Andreas Röhling
Dr Ulrich Scholz
T+49 221 20 50 70
F+49 221 20 50 79 0


Dr Tobias Klose
Dr Martin Klusmann
Dr Peter Niggemann
Dr Burkhard Richter
Prof Dr Gerhard Wiedemann
T+49 211 49 79 0
F+49 211 49 79 10 3

Hong Kong

Connie Carnabuci
T+852 2846 3400
F+852 2810 6192


David Aitman
Margaret Bloom
Rachel Brandenburger
Rod Carlton
Jenny Connolly
John Davies
Nicholas French
Jon Lawrence
Paul Lomas
Simon Priddis
William Robinson
Nicholas Spearing
Bea Tormey
Deirdre Trapp
T+44 20 7936 4000
F+44 20 7832 7001


Francisco Cantos
T+34 91 700 3700
F+34 91 308 4636


Jacky Baudon
T+7 495 785 3000
F+7 495 785 3001


Thomas Janssens
Jérôme Philippe
T+33 1 44 56 44 56
F+33 1 44 56 44 00


Vincenzo Meli
Tommaso Salonico
Gian Luca Zampa
T+39 06 695 331
F+39 06 695 33800


Carl Cheng
Alan Wang
T+8621 5049 1118
F+8621 3878 0099


Akihito Katayama
Kazuki Okada
Akinori Uesugi
T+81 3 3584 8500
F+81 3 3584 8501


Dr Axel Reidlinger
T+43 1 515 15 0
F+43 1 512 63 94

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Terry Calvani
Tom Ensign
Bruce McCullough
MJ Moltenbrey
Robert Schlossberg
Paul Yde
T+1 202 777 4500
F +1 202 777 4555

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