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Ranking tables

Global Belgium Competition: EU

This section encompasses contentious and non-contentious matters arising under EU, domestic and international competition law, including cartels, abuse of a dominant market position and merger control. Unless a more specific subsection exists, areas such as antitrust, state aid and public procurement are also considered here.

Rankings overview for Departments

All Departments profiles

1
Band 1
  1. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    1
    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 1 | 4 Years Ranked
    Freshfields is held out as a market leader for advice on complex EU competition law issues. Interviewees highlight the law firm's ability to bring together specific sector expertise and a deep understanding of the EC to advise on phase II merger investigations into planned transactions in the insurance brokerage, shipbuilding and financial services sectors. The firm has acted on appeals and subsequent damages claims against merger prohibition decisions made by the EC. It represents defendants in abuse of dominance or cartel investigations initiated by the EU authorities. Key partners have a strong reputation for their handling of contentious state aid mandates, including important cases that relate to the provision of tax breaks to defendant companies. Freshfields also has an important domestic Belgian competition law practice that handles BCA cartel investigations and follow-on damages claims filed in Brussels.
  2. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 1
  3. Latham & Watkins
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 1
2
Band 2
  1. Linklaters
    2
    Linklaters
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 2 | 4 Years Ranked
    The firm has handled standout chemical, life sciences and IT sector transactions that are subject to merger control investigations in the EU, and which often leverage the firm's wider network of competition teams for the co-ordination of global filings. It acts for institutional investors on transactions that raise significant merger control issues. The firm has demonstrable experience in deals that raise significant foreign direct investment (FDI) issues in multiple jurisdictions. The Linklaters team has further experience representing companies in EU cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, and it attracts particular attention for its work on behalf of third-party interveners in key CJEU proceedings.
  2. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
    2
    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 2 | 4 Years Ranked
    The firm benefits from a strong pipeline of major M&A transactions, including US strategic investments into Europe and vice versa. The strength of its Brussels-based practice earns the firm roles on transactions that are subject to detailed investigation by the EC and that often necessitate the negotiation and implementation of complex remedy packages. Skadden also acts on important EU behavioural mandates, including investigations into excessive pricing in the pharmaceutical sector or potential collusion between companies in the financial services sector. The firm assists with the negotiation of behavioural commitments that ensure the speedy closure of Commission investigations. Key individuals also handle advisory matters relating to the set-up of distribution networks or the drafting of collaboration agreements.
  3. Van Bael & Bellis
    2
    Van Bael & Bellis
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 2 | 4 Years Ranked
    Van Bael & Bellis has a strong EU and domestic Belgian competition law offering, with a deep bench of partners based in Brussels. It earns praise for its handling of behavioural and merger control matters that necessitate interaction with the EC or the BCA. The firm has notable experience in the appeal of EC decisions, having acted on significant cases for addressees of EC decisions or third-party interveners operating in the IT, aviation and sports sectors. It assists an impressive list of life sciences or consumer goods companies with questions surrounding pricing of goods or the negotiation of distribution agreements for the sale of products across Europe. Van Bael & Bellis has also secured roles advising notifying parties on phase II EC investigations into planned aviation or shipbuilding sector mergers.
  4. White & Case
    2
    White & Case
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 2 | 4 Years Ranked
    White & Case stands out for its work on various significant CJEU appeals against EC decisions, having acted both for addressees and intervening third parties on significant abuse of dominance cases in the pharmaceutical, technology or energy sectors, often involving high quantum fines. The law firm has experience on the sell-side of notable transactions that are subject to phase II EU merger investigations. White & Case has additional expertise in sensitive cases that deal with the alleged provision of misleading information as part of merger control notifications.
3
Band 3
  1. Arnold & Porter
    3
    Arnold & Porter
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Some of Arnold & Porter's most impressive work stems from its strong reputation among major life sciences sector companies, which instruct the firm on mergers, on abuse of dominance complaints and on broader advisory matters relating to the roll-out of new drugs or vaccines. The firm has also acted on phase II EU merger investigations of planned IT sector transactions, working together with lawyers in Washington, DC to coordinate US antitrust filings.
  2. Baker Botts LLP
    3
    Baker Botts LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Baker Botts acts for a number of clients from the TMT, energy and transport industries. It represents clients in EC cartel or abuse of dominance investigations. The law firm defends companies in private enforcement actions and has experience acting on the claimant side of follow-on claims. The Brussels team is a key component in the firm's global merger control practice.
  3. 3
    Clifford Chance LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Clifford Chance stands out for its work on the complainant side of significant EC investigations into alleged abuse of dominance in the IT sector. It has represented clients in subsequent GCEU appeals that seek to overturn considerable fines. The firm also represents defendants in behavioural investigations, including acting for clients on cases dealing with issues around the licensing of standard-essential patents. Clifford Chance also has a notable state aid practice, with experience in cases arising from tax rulings made by member states in favour of specific companies.
  4. 3
    Covington & Burling LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Covington & Burling has an established reputation for its work on high-profile state aid cases in the financial services and energy sectors, and it has been notably active in the notification or defence of state aid measures introduced to support the aviation sector. It has proven experience in the defence of BCA investigations and advises on domestic civil litigation that seeks to rely on competition law principles. The firm acts both for merging parties and for third-party interveners on transactions that are notified either to the EU or to Belgian competition authorities.
  5. Hogan Lovells International LLP
    3
    Hogan Lovells International LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Some of Hogan Lovells' most high-profile work highlights include instructions on important GCEU appeal proceedings in which the firm either seeks the annulment of high-value EC competition fines or, in cases where the firm acts for complainants, defends decisions made against third parties. Hogan Lovells has notable experience in abuse of dominance mandates and also handles significant merger control matters, often involving FDI concerns.
  6. Jones Day
    3
    Jones Day
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Jones Day is highly regarded for its work notifying M&A transactions to the EU and the Brussels team works with colleagues across the USA and other jurisdictions to handle merger mandates for companies in the pharmaceutical and transportation sectors. Brussels-based individuals qualified in different EU member states often assist with merger control or behavioural investigations carried out by national competition regulators in Italy or Germany. The firm attracts attention for its telecoms sector expertise, having advised on various mandates including EU investigations into the functioning of network sharing agreements. Jones Day also assists international companies with a review of potential compliance issues.
  7. Sidley Austin LLP
    3
    Sidley Austin LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Sidley Austin couches its competition law capabilities within a wider EU law practice that handles EC-level policy mandates and leads challenges to national laws that restrict fundamental rights afforded by EU treaties. It advises life sciences and financial services sector clients on specific EU competition cases and on compliance issues. The firm handles CJEU proceedings on behalf of European governments or complainant third parties arguing over the legitimacy of state aid measures. It assists clients with obtaining merger clearance and FDI approval for transactions in key sectors, including defence. Sidley Austin also advises key telecoms clients on their responses to EC investigations.
  8. Slaughter and May
    3
    Slaughter and May
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Slaughter and May's competition teams in Brussels and London are often instructed on high-value mergers that are likely to attract considerable scrutiny from the CMA or the EC. The law firm has acted on appeals of EC abuse of dominance decisions taken against IT sector clients. Slaughter and May's lawyers have also assisted third-party interveners with GCEU cases seeking to overturn merger clearance decisions.
  9. Allen & Overy LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3
  10. Baker McKenzie
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3
  11. Herbert Smith Freehills
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 3
4
Band 4
  1. Dechert LLP
    4
    Dechert LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Dechert moves up in the rankings this year as a result of consistent praise from clients for its work on diverse, often sophisticated, competition law matters. The firm has experience in EC cartel investigations and in GCEU appeals against adverse decisions. It advises on the filing of complaints with the EC seeking the investigation of anti-competitive practices and assists with third-party interventions in merger investigations. Dechert has also actively contributed to the push to enable competitors to engage in sustainability initiatives without fear of reprisal from competition regulators.
  2. Garrigues
    4
    Garrigues
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Garrigues is instructed on a considerable volume of major state aid cases brought predominantly by Spanish companies affected by EC decisions. It assists with cases that raise state aid or other EU law challenges to the introduction of new tax legislation in Spain. It also acts for non-Spanish entities on state aid complaints against the approval of new infrastructure projects. The firm's wider competition law capabilities are showcased through its work on EC cartel investigations or major GCEU cases through which IT companies seek to overturn significant behavioural fines.
  3. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    4
    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    The firm handles significant EC behavioural mandates on behalf of sophisticated US- or Europe-headquartered companies. It defends clients in EC abuse of dominance investigations and acts for major complainant companies seeking to gain traction with the EC for new cases. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher also acts for leniency applicants on cartel cases and assists a number of clients with merger clearance mandates. The team additionally handles notifications of state aid schemes or GCEU cases through which companies seek to overturn rulings on compatible state aid.
  4. contrast
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 4
  5. Gleiss Lutz
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 4
  6. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 4
5
Band 5
  1. BonelliErede
    5
    BonelliErede
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    BonelliErede has a particularly strong reputation in the field of state aid, having won roles in important state aid cases in the energy, shipping and financial services sectors. It is also well placed to assist with EU merger clearance mandates, including those that have a significant Italian law component.
  2. Gide Loyrette Nouel
    5
    Gide Loyrette Nouel
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Gide Loyrette Nouel advises telecommunications, oil and gas and utilities companies on merger control issues arising from planned corporate transactions. It advises on the need to notify for joint ventures in the defence sector. The firm also acts on state aid matters for clients in the energy sector and in other industries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is particularly active for French and Polish clients before both national and EU authorities.
  3. Norton Rose Fulbright
    5
    Norton Rose Fulbright
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Norton Rose Fulbright advises on EU and global merger control issues relating to joint ventures in the technology, aerospace and financial sectors. It offers additional experience in abuse of dominance investigations. The Brussels team works closely with the firm's offices across the globe to assist with multi-jurisdictional mandates.
  4. Squire Patton Boggs
    5
    Squire Patton Boggs
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Squire Patton Boggs wins instructions both on specific merger control or behavioural matters and as ongoing competition counsel. The law firm acts on appeals against EC cartel decisions and assists with complaints made to the EC seeking to highlight breaches of competition rules. It assists with the review of distribution agreements or new product or service offerings in order to identify competition risks. The firm also attracts praise for its state aid work.
  5. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    5
    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5 | 3 Years Ranked
    Interviewees highlight Sullivan & Cromwell's success in gaining entry to the Brussels competition market following the hires of several well-regarded individuals in recent years. The law firm assists clients with EC merger filings made as part of multinational energy or luxury goods sector transactions. It handles EU appeals against merger prohibitions and assists with the defence of EC investigations into anti-competitive conduct.
  6. Uría Menéndez
    5
    Uría Menéndez
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Clients benefit from the ability of Uría Menéndez's Brussels office to work closely with the firm's Spanish and Portuguese offices. It offers a strong practice at a Spanish and an EU level, acting for the transacting parties on EU and CNMC merger clearance matters. The firm handles state aid and other EU law advisory mandates, assisting key clients with their responses to planned legislative changes. It handles contentious and advisory mandates relating to the distribution of goods across Europe, including via online sales platforms.
  7. Ashurst
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5
  8. Bird & Bird
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5
  9. Dentons
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5
  10. Hengeler Mueller
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5
  11. Reed Smith
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5
  12. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5
  13. WilmerHale
    Competition: EU
    Global 2022 | Band 5