The lawyers in the Brussels office at McKenna Long & Aldridge (MLA) have in-depth experience in counseling clients from various industry sectors in the full range of competition law issues, including merger control, cartel investigations, other restrictive agreements and abusive conduct. Our attorneys have successfully represented clients in some of the landmark merger proceedings and cartel investigations before the European Commission and in related litigation before the European Courts in Luxembourg.
The Brussels team handles more than just EC Competition law by providing a range of knowledge and skills across EU jurisdictions, so that clients’ European antitrust needs can be satisfied with a “one-stop shop” service in Brussels. Our lawyers have been involved in national proceedings in various EU Member States, whether defending companies faced with alleged antitrust infringements or acting for merger notifying parties or third-party complainants. In addition to preventive advice and representation, our services include company-specific compliance programs.
Our Brussels lawyers work closely with the other members of our antitrust and competition practice in our Washington, Atlanta and Los Angeles offices, and with a “friendly firm” local counsel network in various jurisdictions in Europe, the Americas and Asia, to provide clients with seamless antitrust and competition experience and representation around the globe.
Our Brussels competition lawyers also work as an integrated team with other firm attorneys who are leading practitioners in their respective fields, recognizing that interdisciplinary experience is critical for a proper competition assessment. For instance, by drawing on the strong regulatory experience of our environmental practice in Brussels and Washington, DC, in particular concerning the new EU REACH chemicals regulation, our EC Competition team is uniquely positioned in Europe to provide tailored-made antitrust advice to the chemical industry. Our attorneys are currently assisting clients in the setting-up and operation of several REACH consortia, as well as biocide and pesticide task forces, and ensure their compliance with EC and national competition laws.
More specifically, our Brussels lawyers’ experience focuses on:
Our lawyers have extensive experience in handling complex merger cases under the EC Merger Control Regulation, having been involved in many leading proceedings before the European Commission, such as Tetra Laval/Sidel, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Volvo/Scania, Exxon/Mobil, BP/E.ON, Unilever/Bestfoods and Outokumpu/Boliden. In a significant number of other challenging mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures not triggering the EC filing thresholds, our lawyers successfully secured merger clearance from EU national competition authorities. Our Brussels office has significant experience in coordinating non-U.S. multinational filings in most merger regimes existing in the world, through a local counsel network. Our lawyers are also well versed in acting on behalf of complainants to oppose anticompetitive deals, ensuring that competition agencies grant clearance only where sufficient protective measures are imposed.
Our lawyers are very experienced in assisting clients in EC and national cartel investigations, having successfully defended clients from allegations of collusion or obtained significant leniency reductions in a number of major proceedings. For instance, in the Industrial Tubes and Copper Plumbing Tubes EC investigations, our attorneys represented a Finnish producer obtaining 70 percent leniency reductions in the fines imposed; in the Fittings case, we represented an Italian producer obtaining the second highest leniency reduction granted by the European Commission; in the cigarette price-fixing investigation in Italy, the Italian competition authority concluded that there was no infringement by our client and imposed no fines. We also have experience in the proper handling of dawn raids.
We defend dominant companies from alleged dominance abuses and represent third parties complainants to challenge anticompetitive practices before the European Commission and national competition authorities.
Counseling and compliance
We regularly counsel multinational companies on a wide variety of competition matters and help clients design and implement effective antitrust compliance programs.
Our lawyers have significant experience in litigating competition cases before the European courts in Luxembourg and are currently handling several appeals against Commission decisions in cartels.