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Ranking tables

Europe 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. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    1
    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 1 | 4 Years Ranked
    Cleary Gottlieb offers outstanding expertise across the full range of EU competition law issues. The law firm's work for leading global IT companies on EU abuse of dominance investigations and subsequent EGC appeal processes is often seen as a clear endorsement of its ability to handle the most sophisticated and high-impact behavioural work. The team has experience in appealing important cartel decisions, as well as representing clients in follow-on damages cases before national courts. Cleary also regularly wins instructions on complex merger control mandates that attract close scrutiny from the EC, including an impressive track record of assisting clients with phase II investigations. Its capacity to coordinate related US, UK and other international filings through its global network is an additional benefit to companies undertaking multi-jurisdictional transactions. The firm's more high-profile state aid work recently has centred around key clients challenging the introduction of various measures to support airlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    1
    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 1 | 4 Years Ranked
    Freshfields is held out as a market leader for advice on complex EU competition law issues. The law firm has the ability to bring together specific sector expertise and a deep understanding of the EC to advise on phase II merger investigations into planned transactions, including in the shipbuilding, telecommunications 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, merger control issues and follow-on damages claims filed in Brussels.
  3. Latham & Watkins
    1
    Latham & Watkins
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 1 | 4 Years Ranked
    Latham & Watkins maintains its spot in the top band based on ongoing recognition of its repertoire and performance. The law firm showcases recent experience in phase II EU merger investigations into transactions in the healthcare, financial services and heavy industry sectors, as well as impressive behavioural mandates. The team has handled standout matters that involve litigation against proposed remedy buyers. It additionally defends clients in investigations into abuse of dominance and has experience in the complainant side of similar investigations. Its lawyers also represent clients in appeals to the CJEU against EC decisions, particularly concerning cartel fines. The law firm complements its practice with expertise in state aid matters, including high-profile cases that relate to tax rulings for individual companies.
2
Band 2
  1. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
    2
    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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. The firm is particularly popular with clients from the technology sector. Skadden also acts on important EU behavioural mandates, including investigations into potential collusion between companies in the financial services sector.
  2. Van Bael & Bellis
    2
    Van Bael & Bellis
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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 law firm has notable experience in the appeal of EC decisions, having acted on significant cases for third-party interveners or addressees of EC decisions 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 acting on phase II EC merger investigations.
  3. White & Case
    2
    White & Case
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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 and technology sectors, often involving high-quantum fines. The law firm has experience acting 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. Allen & Overy LLP
    3
    Allen & Overy LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Allen & Overy benefits from a long-established domestic Belgian practice that targets sophisticated competition law mandates investigated by the Belgian Competition Authority. The firm advises on the notification of Belgian mergers or joint ventures, and it defends clients in BCA cartel investigations. Allen & Overy's lawyers have also acted for addressees of EU competition decisions, including multinational technology companies and trucks manufacturers, on appeals against significant fines. The Brussels team handles European or global transactions that trigger EU merger notifications, serving a broad client list that includes Middle Eastern oil and gas companies, as well as global financial services and investment firms.
  2. Arnold & Porter
    3
    Arnold & Porter
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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, abuse of dominance complaints and 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.
  3. Baker Botts L.L.P.
    3
    Baker Botts L.L.P.
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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 also a key component in the firm's global merger control practice and is well versed in assisting notifying parties as well as interveners.
  4. Baker McKenzie
    3
    Baker McKenzie
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Baker McKenzie is often selected to handle merger filings in support of high-value transactions that are notifiable both to the EU and to numerous competition authorities worldwide. It has handled standout transactions on behalf of clients from the TMT and life sciences sectors. The law firm advises on sector inquiries and issues around selective distribution networks. The team also has a notable state aid practice that includes compliance mandates for public bodies and CJEU appeals against EC findings of illegal state aid.
  5. Clifford Chance LLP
    3
    Clifford Chance LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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 EGC 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 has additional experience in high-profile merger control work, covering EC and other non-US filings of global mandates.
  6. Covington & Burling LLP
    3
    Covington & Burling LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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. The team also has proven experience in defending clients in BCA investigations and advises on domestic civil litigation that seeks to rely on competition law principles. The law firm acts both for merging parties and for third-party interveners on transactions that are notified either to the EU or to Belgian competition authority. Together with its London colleagues, the Brussels team regularly advises on large-scale global merger control mandates. It has additional experience in handling EC cartel probes.
  7. Jones Day
    3
    Jones Day
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Jones Day is highly regarded for its work notifying M&A transactions to the EU. The Brussels team regularly works with colleagues across the USA and other jurisdictions to handle merger mandates for companies in the transportation and manufacturing industries as well as the energy and life sciences sectors. Brussels-based individuals qualified in different EU member states often also assist with merger control or behavioural investigations carried out by national competition regulators in Italy, France or Germany. The law firm attracts particular attention for its long-standing telecoms sector expertise, having advised on various mandates including EU investigations into the functioning of network sharing agreements.
  8. Linklaters
    3
    Linklaters
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Linklaters 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 coordination of global filings. The law firm has demonstrable experience in deals that raise significant foreign direct investment 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.
  9. Slaughter and May
    3
    Slaughter and May
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 3 | 4 Years Ranked
    Slaughter and May's competition teams in Brussels and London often work closely together on high-value mergers that are likely to attract considerable scrutiny from the CMA or the EC. The law firm has also acted on antitrust investigations, often involving alleged breaches of article 102. Slaughter and May's lawyers additionally assist third-party interveners with EGC cases seeking to overturn merger clearance decisions or appeals of EC abuse of dominance decisions taken against IT sector clients.
  10. Herbert Smith Freehills
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 3
4
Band 4
  1. contrast
    4
    contrast
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    The firm has a superb reputation for its handling of top-end domestic Belgian competition law matters. It acts for complainants, defendants and third-party interveners on BCA behavioural investigations and assists with appeals against BCA decisions. The team frequently advises clients on merger clearance proceedings before the BCA and the EC. The firm also handles mandates that raise complex issues regarding vertical agreements between manufacturers and distributors and defends civil claims filed in Belgium that raise competition law arguments in relation to the termination of distribution agreements. The law firm also offers experience in behavioural investigations before the EC.
  2. Dechert LLP
    4
    Dechert LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Dechert is especially strong on the coordination of global merger filings. The team is also experienced in EC cartel investigations and in EGC appeals against adverse decisions. It additionally 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.
  3. Garrigues
    4
    Garrigues
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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 has assisted 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 CJEU cases through which IT companies seek to overturn significant behavioural fines.
  4. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    4
    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher 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. The law firm also acts on cartel cases and assists a number of clients with merger clearance mandates. The team additionally handles notifications of state aid schemes or EGC cases through which companies seek to overturn rulings on compatible state aid.
  5. Gleiss Lutz
    4
    Gleiss Lutz
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Gleiss Lutz predominantly attracts attention for its state aid expertise. It defends private companies against state aid complaints and assists public entities with proceedings opposing the recovery of unlawful state aid. The firm is also notably active in appeals against EC merger decisions, having acted on cases seeking either to challenge merger prohibitions or seeking the annulment of fines imposed for alleged gun-jumping in notifiable transactions. The team has additional experience in abuse of dominance investigations and cartel cases.
  6. Hogan Lovells International LLP
    4
    Hogan Lovells International LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Some of Hogan Lovells' most high-profile work highlights include instructions on important EGC 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.
  7. Sidley Austin LLP
    4
    Sidley Austin LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4 | 4 Years Ranked
    Sidley Austin couches its competition law capabilities within a wider EU law practice that handles EC-level regulatory and 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 law firm also assists clients with obtaining merger clearance and FDI approval for transactions, often working alongside colleagues in the US or UK. Sidley Austin also advises key telecoms clients on their responses to EC investigations.
  8. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 4
5
Band 5
  1. Bird & Bird
    5
    Bird & Bird
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Bird & Bird regularly advises clients on assessing requirements for merger filings and submitting notifications. It also acts on competition issues relating to the distribution of fashion, manufacturing and insurance products and assists technology companies with appeals of EC cartel decisions. One of the standout aspects of the practice is its activity in the sports sector; it advises several sports governing bodies either on specific competition law-based complaints or on more general matters relating to the exercise of their regulatory functions.
  2. BonelliErede
    5
    BonelliErede
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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, transportation and financial services sectors. The law firm is also well placed to assist both notifying parties and interveners with EU merger clearance mandates. The team is especially well-versed in matters that have a significant Italian law component, often working alongside colleagues in Rome, as well as representing Italian clients before EU institutions.
  3. Dentons
    5
    Dentons
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 2 Years Ranked
    Dentons has a strong focus on strategic advice, competition law compliance and advising clients on European Commission reviews. It also often assists manufacturers or distributors with the competition-focused analysis of vertical and horizontal agreements. The team additionally advises industry associations on competition law risks arising from their activities. The law firm complements its practice with expertise in EC abuse of dominance cases, with a particular focus on the energy market, and also offers support to clients in cartel investigations by national authorities across European jurisdictions.
  4. Gide Loyrette Nouel
    5
    Gide Loyrette Nouel
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Gide Loyrette Nouel regularly advises on merger control issues arising from planned M&A and joint venture transactions. It has further experience in EC abuse of dominance investigations, with a focus on advising complainants and interveners. It is particularly active for TMT, transport, energy and utilities companies and stands out for its focus on French and Polish clients, whom it represents before both national and EU authorities.
  5. Hengeler Mueller
    5
    Hengeler Mueller
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Partners in Hengeler Mueller's Brussels, Berlin and Düsseldorf offices work together to handle sophisticated EC and domestic German competition matters. The law firm earns considerable praise for its capacity to handle in-depth merger investigations, including those that necessitate FDI filings in Germany. It has notable experience defending Japanese-headquartered companies in EC cartel investigations, in EGC appeals of cartel decisions and in follow-on damages claims.
  6. Reed Smith
    5
    Reed Smith
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 2 Years Ranked
    Reed Smith has the proven capacity to handle significant mandates relating to EC behavioural investigations or merger notifications. It also provides ongoing advice to key clients on their interventions in third-party mergers or on the competition law implications of new commercial agreements. The law firm is active for US, European and Asian clients and has experience dealing with innovative mandates, such as those linking sustainability issues and competition law.
  7. Squire Patton Boggs
    5
    Squire Patton Boggs
    Competition: EU
    2023 | 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 follow-on damages litigation. It advises on the review of distribution agreements or new product or service offerings in order to identify competition risks.
  8. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    5
    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 3 Years Ranked
    Sullivan & Cromwell assists clients with EC merger filings made as part of multinational energy or luxury goods sector transactions, with particular experience in transactions connected to Germany, the US and South Korea. It also handles EU appeals against merger prohibitions and assists with the defence against EC investigations into anti-competitive conduct.
  9. Uría Menéndez
    5
    Uría Menéndez
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    Clients benefit from the ability of Uría Menéndez's Brussels team to work closely with the firm's Spanish and Portuguese offices. The law firm offers a strong practice at a Spanish and an EU level, acting for the transacting parties on EU and CNMC merger clearance matters. It also handles EU law advisory mandates, assisting key clients with their responses to planned legislative changes. The lawyers additionally handle contentious and advisory mandates relating to the distribution of goods across Europe, including via online sales platforms.
  10. WilmerHale
    5
    WilmerHale
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5 | 4 Years Ranked
    WilmerHale has experience in EU behavioural investigations, including those that are carried out within the context of parallel US investigations into defendants' conduct. The law firm advises on the notification of acquisitions or joint ventures. It also offers competition compliance support and representation in follow-on disputes to key clients.
  11. Ashurst
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5
  12. Norton Rose Fulbright
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5
  13. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
    Competition: EU
    2023 | Band 5