THE FIRM This firm is widely regarded as an important player for domestic Belgian matters, and is also well versed in EU and international competition work. The team is enjoying a period of growth and attracts clients from a wide range of industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals and energy. Recent mandates include several prominent merger clearance procedures, notably advising Novartis in relation to its USD40 billion acquisition of Alcon.
Sources say: "Excellent legal competence in all areas of competition and always available." "Very good international capabilities and a very cost-effective Brussels office."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Dirk Arts heads the firm's Belgian competition practice and specialises in both Belgian competition law and EU law. Hailed as a "fantastic adviser," he frequently represents clients before both the EC and the Belgian Competition Council. Michael Reynolds is described as "a famous name who brings in clients – a real institution at A&O." He splits his time between Brussels and London, and he recently advised Sun Microsystems on its USD7 billion merger with Oracle. Martin Bechtold focuses on merger control and is praised as "an excellent analyst, who is always in the know and gives very pragmatic advice." He is well known for conducting merger control matters before the EC, as well as before Germany's Bundeskartellamt.
THE FIRM The Brussels office of this US firm has four full-time competition partners, with two further partners splitting their time between London and Brussels. This makes it particularly adept at EU and international work. The team recently worked alongside the firm's Washington, DC team to advise Intel on its acquisition of McAfee.
Sources say: "Well organised and able to handle worldwide filings from the Brussels office."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe department head Marleen Van Kerckhove as "a good strategic thinker with good contacts, who is easy to work with." Luc Gyselen "is attentive, listens well and works very long hours, so is available to people around the world," say clients. He recently represented the Republic of Hungary in ICSID arbitration proceedings against AES relating to alleged breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty. Annette Luise Schild is lauded as "a bright, very responsive and available lawyer, who really understands business reality." Silvio Cappellari is a highly respected expert in both German and EU competition matters. His areas of focus include advising on the compliance of joint ventures under Article 81 EC and abuse cases under Article 82 EC.
THE FIRM This 20-lawyer team forms part of the firm's integrated European competition group, comprising 65 lawyers and a group of six economists throughout Europe. The team recently advised Millipore on its EUR5.2 billion acquisition by Merck, which required the preparation of notifications in several jurisdictions across Asia, CEE and the EU. Market observers also praise its expertise in purely Belgian competition matters.
Sources say: "A very strong and capable team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients appreciate Denis Waelbroeck for "his very broad knowledge. He always provides high-quality advice even under time pressure." Alexandre Vandencasteele frequently represents clients in proceedings before the ECJ and EC. According to clients he has "an unmistakable style – he is strong, capable and creative." Julian Ellison is an expert in EU and UK competition matters. He recently advised Candover Investment on the EUR1.2 billion sale by Candover Partners of Ontex.
THE FIRM This three-partner Brussels team frequently works alongside the firm's international offices to handle issues relating to multi-jurisdictional transactions. The team also handles a significant litigation workload, notably representing Zhejiang Xinshiji Foods and Hubei Xinshiji Foods in an appeal against the EU Council’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on the imports of canned citrus fruits from China.
Sources say: "Excellent worldwide capabilities - the firm typically has offices in all countries where filings are required, and the Brussels office co-ordinates this expertly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise Fiona Carlin for her "great combination of likeable personality and in-depth knowledge. She picks her time to make her point and comes up with great ideas." Bill Batchelor is noted for his contentious practice, but covers the whole spectrum of competition/EU law matters. Kurt Haegeman is a respected authority on both Belgian and EU competition law, with clients describing him as "a very effective, client-friendly adviser who is a pleasure to work with."
THE FIRM This three-partner competition team is fully integrated with the firm's pan-European EU and competition law groups. One recent highlight saw the team representing chemicals company FMC-Foret in only the second EU settlement procedure in a cartel case.
Sources say: "The team presents an excellent sounding board, which has a positive impact on our business strategy." "It's a very multi-jurisdictional team, so is well positioned to handle international cases."
KEY INDIVIDUALS José Rivas heads the firm's international EU competition group. He impresses clients with "his understanding of our business sector, his thorough approach and his ability to offer real solutions." Morten Nissen focuses on anti-competitive practices, abuse of dominance and state aid cases, and wins praise for his "down-to-earth and frank style."
THE FIRM Although this firm has only one partner permanently located in Brussels, the team works alongside its Paris counterparts as a single group. Together the group advises clients on French and Belgian competition law, as well as EU competition matters.
Sources say: "The team is effective, realistic, speedy and knowledgeable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marc Pittie is lauded by clients as "a very strong and efficient lawyer." He recently represented a plaintiff before the EC in a case of abuse of dominant position.
THE FIRM Sources agree that this established firm has a broad, balanced practice. It handles all aspects of competition and European law and is particularly well known for its work on complex multinational mergers. In addition to its international strength, the firm is praised for its significant expertise in domestic competition law. The team advises clients such as ArcelorMittal, Coca-Cola and Google on antitrust matters.
Sources say: "Our go-to firm for competition in Europe." "The standard of expertise is exceptionally high."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in Brussels and London, Nicholas Levy has counselled Coca-Cola on US and EU antitrust issues and is recommended by peers and clients alike for his merger experience. The talented Antoine Winckler acts for clients on French and European competition matters, including merger, cartel and abuse of dominance cases. State aid and trade specialist Till Müller-Ibold is admired by market commentators for his "encyclopaedic knowledge of the workings of the Commission." Romano Subiotto QC is active in both the Brussels and London offices on cartel and abuse of dominance matters as well as other competition issues. A notable highlight was advising various pharmaceutical players regarding an EC investigation. Francisco Enrique González Díaz is known for his work at the Commission and is described as "bright and impressive." He counselled Hewlett-Packard on merger control issues related to its purchase of 3Com. Robbert Snelders wins praise for his business-oriented and practical approach. He has acted for a raft of clients, including ExxonMobil, on cartel matters. Dirk Vandermeersch is a popular choice for clients requiring advice on Belgian as well as European competition law. He is highlighted for his broad practice. Brussels and Frankfurt-based Stephan Barthelmess counsels companies on cartel investigations and licensing issues. Christopher Cook advised United Technologies on merger control matters relating to its purchase of GE Security, whilst James Modrall advised The Blackstone Group and TPG on their planned bid for Fidelity National Information Services.
THE FIRM Thanks to its tremendous international capabilities, Clifford Chance advises multinational clients such as Pfizer, Citi and Oracle on the full range of EU competition matters. It also co-ordinates merger filings in other countries and is particularly noted for its expertise in the technology sector.
Sources say: "It's our firm of choice because we get excellent commercial advice at a reasonable price." "Proactive, quick and supportive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Vinje chairs Clifford Chance's global antitrust group. He has garnered a reputation for expertise in the hi-tech area, with commentators noting his excellent industry and technical understanding. A key mandate was representing KONE in damages claim proceedings brought by the EC. Managing partner and head of the firm's European competition and regulation group, Tony Reeves advised GE Healthcare on multi-jurisdictional merger control issues linked to its joint venture with Intel. "He's business-focused and commercially savvy," enthuses one interviewee.
THE FIRM This relatively young firm has quickly made a name for itself in domestic Belgian competition work. Clients appreciate the team's commercial acumen and integrated approach, both in transactional and contentious matters. It also handles EU law and attracts a growing number of international clients.
Sources say: "In terms of technical and negotiation skills, I have never met anyone like them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market observers highlight Frank Wijckmans as the key figure here.
THE FIRM This firm has been present in Brussels for over 20 years, offering advice on government affairs, EU regulation, litigation and EU competition law. The team has been substantially strengthened by several additions from Howrey and enjoys an increased market presence. Notable mandates include serving as counsel to Ryanair in its appeal against the EC's decision to block its proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus.
Sources say: "A great firm and great people. The team from Howrey is an excellent addition."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients rave about David Hull, saying: "He has so many years of experience you never have to look anything up, it's all in his head. He understands what's important for our business, and has strong industry knowledge and excellent drafting skills." German-qualified Georg Berrisch is well known in EU competition law and international trade. He focuses primarily on litigation before the ECJ and Court of First Instance. Peter Camesasca has a broad EU and domestic competition practice, and advises major clients such as SAMSUNG. Former Howrey partner Lars Kjølbye is described as "a great addition to the Covington team: he is always available, quick to respond and provides excellent advice." Also formerly at Howrey, Damien Geradin is "well known by technology industry clients – he knows a lot about this field." Miranda Cole is lauded by commentators for her "solid legal skills and exceptional client dedication." She often works with clients from the technology sector.
Since publication, Peter Camesasca has left this practice.
THE FIRM This US firm mainly serves US and international clients seeking to protect interests in the EU. The six-partner team also offers significant expertise in UK, German and Belgian competition law.
Sources say: "We chose the firm because of its excellent international reach." "The lawyers offer consistent advice and provide updates on any changes in the law."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Werner Berg covers all aspects of German and EU competition law. Clients describe him as "highly knowledgeable and responsive." Thomas De Meese frequently represents clients before the Belgian Competition Authority, and clients appreciate how he not only offers excellent legal expertise but also has "a very open approach, which means we feel comfortable approaching him."
THE FIRM Salans enters the rankings for the first time thanks to enthusiastic client feedback. It fields a team of three permanent Brussels-based lawyers, with two further partners splitting their time between Brussels and Berlin or London. The firm attracts particular praise for its knowledge of Eastern European markets.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Edward Borovikov has "a very deep and broad knowledge in all spheres of European law. His advice is always directed at solving problems," say sources. Of counsel Bogdan Evtimov is praised for "always taking a proactive approach to complex requests."
THE FIRM This four-partner practice forms a central part of one of the biggest competition groups in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. In a recent highlight the team represented Cathay Pacific Airways in an appeal against the Commission's decision in the air cargo cartel case.
Sources say: "The lawyers know the legal landscape, our company and our industry well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bertold Bär-Bouyssière gains market recognition for his German and EU competition expertise. According to observers, "he always seeks to understand his clients and shapes his advice to their needs."
THE FIRM Belgium's largest independent law firm fields a ten-partner team of competition experts dealing with all aspects of national and EU competition law. The firm is one of the market leaders for Belgian competition law issues and acts for an impressive stable of domestic clients, such as Belgacom, SNCB/NMBS and the Belgian federal government.
Sources say: "The quality is impeccable and client relations are excellent. We have started using them in other practice areas too and the seamless transition from one specialist to another within the firm has been great."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Hans Gilliams is a highly respected expert in the fields of competition law and state aid. According to sources, "his involvement is very sincere. He thinks along with the client, rather than thinking of the bill he can charge them later."
THE FIRM The Brussels office of this magic circle firm handles a wide range of competition-related work, and stands out for its impressive depth of experience and cross-border expertise. Commentators also acknowledge the team's busy domestic competition workload. Clients include EMI, Deutsche Bahn and Rolls-Royce.
Sources say: "We chose them because we felt they understood our business and could offer a high standard of work and service in a cost-effective manner." "Unparalleled quality and depth."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in London and Brussels, John Davies co-heads the firm's global antitrust, competition and trade group. He advised Comcast and Sony Pictures Entertainment on various competition matters. Well-known practitioner Frank Montag maintains a strong market presence and recently counselled UPM-Kymmene regarding EU and global merger control questions linked to its proposed purchase of Rhein Papier and Myllykoski. Onno Brouwer divides his time between Brussels and Amsterdam, and handles competition-related mandates for clients from a variety of sectors. Thomas Janssens is valued by sources for his technical brilliance and client relationship skills. He counselled the Brussels Airport Company on competition matters related to its airport tariffs. Andreas von Bonin is best known for his work in state aid matters linked to the restructuring of various German state-owned banks, including BayernLB, HSH Nordbank and WestLB. Michael Esser specialises in EU and German competition law and has acted for Chiquita Brands International on leniency proceedings before the EC. Laurent Garzaniti is recommended for his cartel work, and successfully represented AGC in a series of leniency applications in the flat glass, car glass and processed glass sectors. Commentators particularly value his commercial acumen, strategic approach and excellent communication skills. Andrew Renshaw wins praise for his clear thinking, logical approach and strong communication skills. He represented Visa Europe in various EC and national competition proceedings linked to interchange fees for the 2012 Olympic Games. Commentators value Alan Ryan's airline industry knowledge and pragmatism, saying: "He can apply his skills to our business and gives very credible, practical advice." Office managing partner David Broomhall has particular expertise in the energy sector, and is admired by peers for being very good to work with.
THE FIRM This American powerhouse has three partners permanently based in Brussels, with a fourth splitting time their between London and Brussels. Drawing on the strength of its excellent US competition/antitrust practice, the team frequently acts on multi-jurisdictional matters for global clients.
Sources say: "It easily copes with cross-border mandates. We often need clarification of how the process works across different jurisdictions and the team has never been found wanting."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Alexiadis is singled out for his in-depth expertise in the telecoms sector. He maintains a broad competition practice including merger clearances, abuse of dominance and vertical practices cases. Peers acknowledge that David Wood is "a very strong lawyer with interesting clients and valuable experience of major cases." Highly respected Andrés Font Galarza brings a wealth of experience to the team thanks to his time at the EC.
THE FIRM This firm has a long-standing presence in the Brussels market and advises French and international clients on all aspects of EU law. The 20-lawyer team focuses on three main areas: international trade, EU regulatory law and both French and EU competition law.
Sources say: "High-quality advice and a capacity to work very closely with the client's in-house team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stéphane Hautbourg is admitted to both the Brussels and Paris Bars, practising across a broad range of EU competition fields. He recently represented France Telecom, obtaining a landmark court ruling from the General Court that annulled the EC's decision in a state aid case.
THE FIRM This firm is able to handle a whole host of EU law matters. The firm's client base includes major German and international companies and financial institutions, such as Commerzbank, Infineon and GM.
Sources say: "The lawyers are reliable and experienced, and provide us with viable solutions. We are particularly impressed by the team's commitment and availability."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers regard Ulrich Soltész as "a major name for state aid cases. He knows every area of it and is always up to date in his knowledge of cases."
THE FIRM This prominent German firm is best known for its work for German clients on national, European and international merger control, as well as cartel and other antitrust investigations.
Sources say: "It excels in the fields of state aid and competition law, and represents our interests very well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to clients, Hans-Jörg Niemeyer offers "profound knowledge of this area, as well as political strength. He is very impressive in competition proceedings. His good communications and intelligence network go beyond just legal advice." Alf-Henrik Bischke is praised for his "technically sound and commercially astute advice." Clients also appreciate his contacts at local regulatory level.
THE FIRM This team advises clients alongside colleagues from London, Paris and Madrid as an integrated competition, regulation and trade practice.
Sources say: "The quality is excellent, with a real commitment at partner level. Often larger firms are very expensive even though the work is passed on to juniors. Herbert Smith just isn't like that."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Craig Pouncey is renowned for trade law matters and is hailed as a "tenacious negotiator," especially when dealing with the EU Commission. Kyriakos Fountoukakos earns client praise for being "always available and providing helpful and concise advice." Jennifer Coombes is a younger member of the team, whom clients describe as "very responsive and helpful." She deals with all aspects of UK and EU competition law.
Since publication, Jennifer Coombes has left this practice.
THE FIRM This firm's Brussels office has a six-partner team dedicated to competition matters, and with its global presence the team is well placed to act on major multi-jurisdictional matters. In a recent mandate the team advised Alstom on EU merger clearance for its multibillion-euro acquisition of AREVA T&D, which required merger filings in 15 jurisdictions as well as in the EU.
Sources say: "First-class advice. It has a strong international presence, produces very good results and doesn't overload us with minor details."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly respected Jacques Derenne provides competition advice across a broad range of industry sectors, particularly in regulated industries such as aviation, railways, telecoms and energy. Catriona Hatton is the managing partner of the Brussels office and is well known for her expertise in merger clearances and advice on competition compliance. Christopher Thomas is lauded as "an intellectually and strategically brilliant lawyer with strong litigation experience." Focusing on both EU and French competition law, Jean-Michel Coumes formed part of the team advising Martek Biosciences on its EUR829 million acquisition by Royal DSM, obtaining merger clearances in four EU member states and Brazil. Ciara Kennedy-Loest "has the ability to see things from a commercial and practical perspective. She is solution-oriented, and gives clear, unambiguous advice and well-reasoned accounts of what the clients' options are." UK and EU competition expert Matthew Levitt recently represented A.P. Moller – Maersk in prosecuting a complaint before the French competition authorities relating to anti-competitive market sharing through co-ordination of a joint venture with one of its parents.
Since publication, Catriona Hatton has joined Baker Botts LLP
THE FIRM This US firm has grown in the last year and now fields a team of seven partners in its Brussels office. The group frequently works alongside the firm's international offices to advise clients on global issues, ranging from multi-jurisdictional merger clearances to state aid and abuse of dominance cases. It acted for American Airlines in a revenue-sharing joint venture with British Airways and Iberia, advising the company on regulatory strategy before both the US Department of Transportation and the EC.
Sources say: "The quality of advice is consistently high."
KEY INDIVIDUALS European practice leader Bernard Amory earns enthusiastic client feedback: "He goes out of his way to maintain client relationships and knows the industry inside out." Sources admire Alexandre Verheyden for his domestic competition expertise, particularly in the telecommunications field. Thomas Jestaedt is head of the firm's German practice and splits his time between Frankfurt and Brussels. He advises clients on a range of German and EU competition, state aid and public procurement law. Vincent Brophy practises both EU and UK competition law and splits his time between London and Brussels.
THE FIRM This firm's Brussels office draws on the strength of its international network, particularly its growing Asian competition and antitrust capabilities. In a recent example of its cross-office co-operation, the firm's US and European lawyers worked together to advise Toshiba in respect of the EC’s DRAM cartel investigation.
Sources say: "They can deal with a client's idiosyncrasies and show a lot of forward thinking."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Howard Rosenblatt is recognised for his expertise in both US and EU antitrust law. He recently advised Live Nation on merger controls relating to its USD2.5 billion acquisition of Ticketmaster. Javier Ruiz Calzado co-chairs the global antitrust and competition practice group, advising on both EU and Spanish competition law. He wins notable praise for his expertise in the energy sector. Andreas Weitbrecht splits his time between Frankfurt and Brussels, and focuses primarily on advising multinational companies on EU and German competition law.
Since publication, Andreas Weitbrecht has joined Prof. Dr. Andreas Weitbrecht
THE FIRM This international heavyweight is known for its work on competition matters at both EU and Belgian national level. It counsels clients on merger control and cartels as well as other behavioural issues and state aid questions. The team is currently advising sanofi-aventis on its USD16.5 billion animal health joint venture with Merck. Interviewees are quick to highlight the team's excellently integrated service.
Sources say: "We choose Linklaters because we need a firm that can assist us throughout Europe as well as in Belgium." "The office is extremely efficient so the rate is very reasonable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gerwin Van Gerven is highly regarded in the Brussels market for his merger control expertise. "He's a big name in this field and certainly one of the best," say sources. Senior statesman Bernard van de Walle de Ghelcke is admired for his "reservoir of knowledge." He acted for CVC in state aid proceedings related to bpost, the Belgian postal operator. Wolfgang Deselaers divides his time between Brussels and Düsseldorf, acting on a range of competition matters for German and international clients. He has worked on an ongoing hub and spoke cartel case running in parallel in seven member states. Jonas Koponen advises clients from various sectors on cartel and merger control issues. He has counselled Microsoft on the Commission's investigation into Google, as well as a range of other questions. Bernd Meyring focuses on competition matters in the retail sector and clients say he is "a great team player."
THE FIRM This firm has doubled the size of its Brussels-based EU competition practice at partner level, adding three partners during the past year. It offers a strong international service thanks to the dual qualifications of many of the team plus the McDermott worldwide network.
Sources say: "Excellent advisers, they seem to know everyone at the Commission dealing with state aid matters and always find a solution."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "absolutely brilliant" Philip Bentley QC recently represented Hitachi in the EC’s first cartel settlement proceedings in the DRAM case. Clive Stanbrook OBE QC is lauded as "a very wily and tactically strong lawyer." Martina Maier recently joined from Howrey and now heads the firm's EU competition group. Focusing on both EU and German competition law, she is described as "extremely responsive, calm and sensitive." Fellow ex-Howrey lawyer Philipp Werner wins client praise for being "very quick and responsive - he doesn't keep us waiting."
THE FIRM O'Melveny & Myers focuses on national and EU competition law, forming part of a 70-strong global antitrust and competition team. Highlight mandates include representing Honeywell in several merger control matters, including the acquisition of Paul Hochköpper and Hochköpper Verwaltungs-GmbH.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Riccardo Celli chairs the firm's European antitrust and competition practice, and is widely recognised as "a savvy lawyer who really knows the ropes." Clients appreciate Christian Riis-Madsen's commercial acumen, saying: "He gives practical advice and turns work around quickly. He takes time to know our business, our products and competitors."
THE FIRM The Brussels office of this US giant works closely with competition lawyers in the firm's German, Italian, London and Paris offices, as well as the firm's US colleagues to handle multi-jurisdictional merger clearances, investigations and competition litigation.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources acclaim Trevor Soames as "a very astute lawyer, who fights for the best outcome for his clients." Competition and policy expert Stephen Mavroghenis handles matters for prominent global clients such as Nestlé and Schering-Plough.
THE FIRM The Brussels office of this US firm frequently works alongside colleagues from its UK, US and Asian offices to assist clients on international investigations and cross-border mandates. It has wide-ranging expertise in a variety of industries including pharma, TMT, sport and media.
Sources say: "The lawyers are up to date on recent developments and provide pragmatic advice, which is not just theoretical, but can be directly applied to a situation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Brussels managing partner Stephen Spinks focuses on EU competition law, as well as communications and trade law. He enjoys a strong reputation as "someone who really knows his stuff." Splitting his time between London and Brussels, the impressive Stephen Kinsella OBE is known for his competition and regulatory expertise. He has handled a number of important mandates for Microsoft over the past year. Clients praise Ken Daly as "an incredibly bright lawyer, who provides very polished work extremely quickly." Daly is widely respected for his sports law expertise, but EU competition and regulatory law also form a large part of his work. Peers acknowledge Kristina Nordlander as "an authority in competition law." According to clients she is "very approachable and hard-working. She gets results, communicates well and is like a business partner at your side."
THE FIRM With a leading profile in merger-related competition matters, this team caters to large multinationals needing EU and global support. The group is also developing its expertise in appeals against EC decisions concerning the European courts. Its impressive roster of clients include Merck, Pfizer and Chiquita Brands International.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Regarded as an authority in this field, James Venit represents multinational companies in behavioural proceedings and regulatory merger matters. He advised Stryker on its purchase of Boston Scientific's neurovascular branch. Simon Baxter has boosted the team with his broad experience in compliance and other competition cases. He co-heads the European antitrust and competition practice group, and counsels clients from a variety of sectors. Frederic Depoortere is well known for his international merger control work. He counselled Nokia Siemens Networks on the multi-jurisdictional competition aspects of its USD1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola. Up-and-comer Ingrid Vandenborre is active on merger-related issues and is admired for her "insightful and convincing ideas and arguments."
THE FIRM This small but skilled team focuses on EU competition law and also handles some national competition authority matters. It regularly advises large multinational clients such as Akzo Nobel, Bertelsmann and GE on merger and cartel issues. The firm is able to provide cross-border competition-related advice via its global network.
Sources say: "The quality of the team's merger filing work is outstanding."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Boyce heads the Brussels office and is admired for his people skills and creativity. As one client declared, "he's very quick to understand commercial implications, and is innovative in the way he deals with things." Boyce recently counselled British Airways on the implications of its merger with Iberia, and advised DuPont on an appeal against an EC decision. Claire Jeffs acted for Google in the EC's Article 102 investigation and advised Unilever on a USD3.7 billion cash acquisition. "She's always on the lookout for practical solutions," say commentators.
THE FIRM This team focuses on advising multinational companies on all aspects of EU law, in particular trade and competition law. Clients benefit from the firm's global network, which allows it to handle various multi-jurisdictional matters.
Sources say: "The team is responsive and extremely focused on delivering exceptional service with an eye towards keeping costs under control."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients recommend Brian Hartnett for his "commanding knowledge of the subject matter, dedication and credibility with the relevant administrative bodies."
THE FIRM This Dutch firm has a major full-service presence throughout the Benelux region, fielding over 100 lawyers in the Brussels office alone. The competition team is one of the pre-eminent advisers for Belgian competition law matters and also deals with all aspects of European law. In a recent mandate the team represented leading escalator manufacturer Schindler in a private damage claim before the Belgian courts brought by the Commission against various lift companies.
Sources say: "A leading firm in Belgium, which is well placed to deal with complicated international matters." "We've used different law firms in the past but Stibbe is definitely our top choice now."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe Peter Wytinck as "a highly reliable and responsive competition lawyer. He is at all times customer-oriented, proactive and business-minded." Wytinck is a leading expert for Belgian competition matters, but his workload also encompasses European law and EU competition matters. Similarly focused on both domestic and EU competition issues, Hendrik Viaene impresses clients with "his pragmatic approach, and the speed and quality of his work."
THE FIRM Although primarily known for its work for Spanish clients, this team also offers a full-service competition and EU law practice. It is well placed to assist multinational clients thanks to the firm's international offices, as well as being part of Slaughter and May's 'best friends' alliance.
Sources say: "The lawyers have a very straightforward approach. They don't try to complicate things, or show off how much they know. They find a solution and then find the simplest way to implement it."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Edurne Navarro Varona is recognised as a leading merger control expert for both Spanish and EU law. Clients enthuse about her "availability, punctuality and top-quality advice."
THE FIRM This independent outfit is respected for its expertise in EU competition, trade and EU regulatory law. The firm is based in Brussels and offers a highly international service thanks to its Geneva office, which focuses on WTO matters. It is also regarded as a go-to firm for companies requiring Belgian competition law advice.
Sources say: "A pragmatic and business-oriented service." "Van Bael has the capability to handle cases by itself for most major EU member states. To a client, this is a great advantage in terms of both cost and time."
KEY INDIVIDUALS With more than 35 years of experience in the field of competition law, Jean-François Bellis is regarded as "an innovative, creative and persistent lawyer, who is dedicated to his client." Andrzej Kmiecik advises across all aspects of EU competition law, but is particularly sought after for his expertise relating to distribution. Kris Van Hove earns praise from clients as "an excellent lawyer who has great knowledge of the area and provides clear guidance."
THE FIRM This US firm is an established figure in the Brussels market, having been active for over 40 years. The team offers advice on all aspects of EU competition law, but is particularly well regarded for its litigation prowess. Recent mandates include representing Intel in appeal proceedings before the European General Court against a fine imposed for abuse of dominant position.
Sources say: "The team is very responsive and has a lot of antitrust expertise, having dealt with a lot of high-profile matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to clients, Ian Forrester QC "seeks novel answers to all our business problems. He thinks outside the box and is an authority in the life sciences sector." Executive partner of the Brussels office Jacquelyn MacLennan is seen as "a safe pair of hands and a very smart lawyer." Clients admire how James Killick is "able to manage large and complex transactions, pulling together a global team of about 30 people and getting results." Mark Powell has been active in the field for a long time and has a solid understanding of issues relating to the technology industry.
THE FIRM This US-based firm fields a five-partner team in Brussels, dealing with all aspects of national, EU and international competition law issues. Recent highlights include securing first-phase merger clearance for Cisco Systems' USD3.4 billion acquisition of Tandberg Systems in the EU and USA.
Sources say: "The firm provides us with a broad view of the global market." "A responsive, friendly, determined and communicative team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sven Völcker is a US and German-qualified lawyer who is adept at dealing with international clients on multi-jurisdictional matters. Clients describe him as "very articulate and analytical with extremely good client skills." John Ratliff "has a good feel for a client's business needs as well as the law. He provides pragmatic, well-structured advice and is willing to make judgement calls, rather than sit on the fence." Partner-in-charge of the Brussels office, Christian Duvernoy maintains a broad practice, encompassing regulatory and competition law, particularly in respect of hi-tech clients. Covering all aspects of EU competition law, Frédéric Louis is described by clients as "a very analytical lawyer with clear opinions." Senior counsel Claus-Dieter Ehlermann is less visible in the market than in previous years, but he is still regarded as "the eminent, wise man of EU competition law."
of Berwin Leighton Paisner is highly regarded by clients, who "value his ability to provide crisp, meaningful advice and strategy on all aspects of competition law." José Luis Buendía Sierra
of Garrigues is recognised for his in-depth knowledge of state aid law. Notable clients include the Bank of Spain and Santander. Alec Burnside
recently joined the newly opened Brussels office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Burnside offers more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of EU competition law. Damian Collins
is joint head of the firm's competition, regulated markets and EU law group at McCann FitzGerald. He represents clients before both the European and Irish competition authorities. Cani Fernández
of Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira splits her time between Brussels and Madrid and is valued by clients for "making an effort to understand company strategy and defend it to the end."
Clients are impressed with Simon Hirsbrunner
of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, saying he "gives high-quality advice and is always open to clients' ideas." Koen Platteau
of Olswang is noted for both his Belgian and EU competition law knowledge. Clients praise him for being "very pragmatic, both in the solutions he offers and in the structure of his arguments."
At Dechert LLP, Isabelle Rahman
is valued by clients for "making very complicated law seem very simple: she states rules in a clear manner and always gives concrete examples."
At Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's new Brussels office, Michael Rosenthal
advises an impressive stable of clients including Duravit and Chevron. He handles all aspects of German and EU competition law. At the same firm, Götz Drauz
draws praise for "really knowing his stuff from his 25 years at the European Commission."
Sole practitioner Michael Schütte
is highlighted for his extensive experience in state aid and international trade matters. Izzet Sinan
of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP does "a great job of managing people, especially on an international level. He shows good insight into different cultures and the laws of different countries."