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The top law firms across European Commission Competition legal matters

The Chambers Europe team analyse the practice area of Competition law and provide details of the top law firms ranked and working in the field.

Published on 5 April 2022
Written by Karl Read
Karl Read

Who are the best firms working on European Commission Competition law?

The Belgium Competition: EU rankings in the Chambers Europe guide aim to present the best options of law firms and lawyers able to handle a competition law matter that is investigated by the EC. All of the leading law firms and lawyers ranked and appearing on this list have consistently received recommendations from law firm clients for their handling of relevant EU competition law legal matters.

Lawyers appearing towards the top of the legal rankings typically receive praise for their capacity to handle the most complex, challenging and trend-setting mandates across the range of relevant competition law issues (at an EU/EC level).

Though there are some individuals who tend to attract attention for their focus on one area of competition law, most lawyers in the list have demonstrable skill in handling merger control investigations, behavioural investigations (into potential cartel activities or abuse of dominance), and CJEU appeals of EC decisions on any of the above.

Analysing the Competition practice area rankings in Chambers Europe 2022

Law firms appearing at the top of the rankings in the Chambers Europe 2022 guide do so because they have the largest teams of highly regarded competition law experts and regularly win roles on top-end mandates.

These firms often attract client feedback that identifies them as a safe choice to handle complex legal matters, whether those be investigations into alleged abuse of dominance in digital markets or potential mergers that are envisioned to give rise to significant competition law concerns.

A notable development in our 2022 rankings of the European legal market was the move of Latham & Watkins up into the top tier of the list; interview feedback suggests that the firm has managed to establish itself as one of the top choices for complex legal work, alongside the longstanding market-leading teams of Freshfields and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

Not all work will be top-end, and not all clients are major multinationals with vast budgets. In-house counsel looking at this table should consider inviting fee proposals from firms appearing in any of the bands 1-5.

They should also consider those lawyers who are ranked on an individual basis, but whose firms are judged to lack the team size to appear in the firm rankings.

A savvy in-house counsel might be able to find strong competition law expertise at a better price point by looking to some of our firms ranked in lower bands. Note that a firm’s state aid capabilities are also factored into the Competition: EU rankings. Though the table does place more weight on merger control or behavioural work, some firms achieve a ranking (typically in the lower bands) predominantly on the strength of their proven state aid expertise.

A list of individuals who are recommended for their state aid work can be found here.  

Market leading insights into the top lawyers for competition legal work

If you are looking to instruct a lawyer for a competition law matter that will involve interaction with the Belgian Competition Authority (or will be litigated in Belgian courts), please see our Competition: Domestic legal rankings here.

If you are looking for a Brussels-based lawyer to handle a matter that is investigated by national competition authorities (outside Belgium), if you envisage potential national private enforcement actions, or if you are simply looking to find a quick list of Belgium-based competition lawyers with relevant language skills, we would point you in the direction of our ‘Competition: EU (Foreign Expertise) in Belgium’ rankings here.

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Chambers Europe

View the Chambers Europe guide for market leading insights, topics, reviews and rankings of the top law firms and lawyers across the continent.