Most Highly Regarded Firms: Competition 2013

Our listings reflect the ever-increasing importance of competition law in the marketplace. With experts featured from 56 countries, our international research process demonstrates the breadth of competition expertise worldwide.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Frank Montag Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels
Gerwin Van Gerven Linklaters, Brussels
Nicholas Levy Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Brussels
Stephen Kinsella OBE Sidley Austin, Brussels
Ian Forrester QC White & Case, Brussels
Marleen Van Kerckhove Arnold & Porter, Brussels
Antoine Winckler Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Brussels
Luc Gyselen Arnold & Porter, Brussels
Sven Völcker Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Brussels
Annette Luise Schild Arnold & Porter, Brussels
Trevor Soames Shearman & Sterling, Brussels
Jean-François Bellis Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels
Romano Subiotto QC Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Brussels
Deirdre Trapp Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London
James Venit Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom & Affiliates, Brussels
Michael Rowe Slaughter and May, London
Bernard Amory Jones Day, Brussels
Nigel Parr Ashurst, London
Deborah Feinstein Arnold & Porter, Washington, DC

Once again, global powerhouse Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP dominates our listings, with an outstanding 43 practitioners listed across 14 offices. High-flyers Frank Montag and Deirdre Trapp are among the most highly regarded lawyers in our research, with the former being praised by clients as “an expert through and through”. Alongside him in Brussels, nine others are selected as leaders in the field, including managing partner David Broomhall who boasts an illustrious client list including Mars and Kodak. Peers note Thomas Janssens as “a pragmatic and innovative lawyer” and he is highly sought after for his detailed knowledge of complex EU competition regulations. Alan Ryan focuses his practice on the aviation and high-tech industries and impresses clients with his “detailed, in-depth approach” to novel situations, including complex transatlantic cases. “Technical expert” Andrew Renshaw is highlighted for his experience in merger controls, abuse of dominance and cartel cases, and chemicals specialist Thomas Wessely is lauded for his “reactive, commercial approach”. Global co-head of the firm’s antitrust, competition and trade practice John Davies splits his time between Brussels and London, and is sought after for his ability to “combine technical knowledge with commercial awareness”, particularly in cross-border cases.Several lawyers are selected from global competition centres London and DC. Jon Lawrence leads the cartel skills group and competition litigation team in London and is recognised for being “at the forefront of competition litigation”, having advised and acted for a wide range of companies. Nicholas French and Alex Potter both previously co-headed the competition practice in China and bring an international awareness to the team in London. On the other side of the pond, Paul Yde and Robert Schlossberg are both lauded for their “impressive record” of representing clients in antitrust matters before the US courts, the latter focusing on review of transactions on a national and global scale. Terry Calvani serves as counsel in the Washington, DC, office and is able to rely on his previous experience as commissioner to the US Federal Trade Commission.Elsewhere in Europe, Helmut Bergmann is “incredibly well informed”. Based in Berlin, he is “trusted” on complex international matters. Amsterdam practice leader Onno Brouwer conducts a “pragmatic and strategic” practice and Francisco Cantos represents high-profile clients including L’Oréal and Hewlett-Packard in his capacity as head of the ACT practice in Spain. The firm’s Vienna office boasts the “incomparable” Axel Reidlinger, who has extensive experience at both Austrian and EU level. Further afield, Michael Han gains positive reviews from clients and peers for his “intelligence and market knowledge” and in Moscow, ACT practice group leader Alexander Viktorov is “superb”.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP achieves a solid 22 listings with the vast majority based in Brussels and Washington, DC. Transactional expert Nicholas Levy receives glowing praise from peers and clients alike for his “strong intellect and ability to get to the heart of an issue”. Colleagues Thomas Graf and Robbert Snelders are also highlighted, the former having represented clients in several landmark European competition cases. Romano Subiotto QC divides his time between the London and Brussels offices and is regarded as a “global leader”, having written and spoken extensively on competition law topics as well as advising clients from around the world. Stephan Barthelmess and Antoine Winckler are also highly rated, while senior consultant John Temple Lang is considered a “powerhouse of knowledge”. In DC, George Cary is noted for his work on “industry-transforming” cases, particularly on the M&A side. “Antitrust expert” Leah Brannon focuses on government investigations as well as mergers and litigation and is “extremely quick and responsive”. “Star litigator” David Gelfand is a “go-to lawyer” for clients within the computer, electronics and pharmaceuticals industries, who say he is “dedicated and committed to getting the best result”. Mark Leddy combines his role as managing partner with extensive work before the national courts and antitrust regulatory authorities and London-based Maurits Dolmans earns extensive praise from clients and peers.

Among the 20 Linklaters LLP lawyers featured in this chapter, global competition co-head Gerwin van Gerven stands out as “among the world’s leaders”. Clients and peers rate him as “exceptionally knowledgeable” and he leads an “incredibly strong team” in Brussels including Bernd Meyring and Wolfgang Deselaers, both of whom are “top notch” on merger control. Jonas Koponen is also a “trusted source of advice”, having extensive experience arguing competition and antitrust issues before national and European courts. In London, recent hire Simon Pritchard completes a “formidable” competition practice group headed by the “simply brilliant” Michael Cutting. Colleagues Christian Ahlborn and Paula Riedel are considered “incredibly attuned to commercial needs”. Nicole Kar is “one of the best” in the mining, energy and utility sectors. Having also worked in Australia, she is noted for her “international mindset”. “Leading light” Pierre Zelenko and the “pre-eminent” Anne Wachsmann lead the way in Paris, the latter having also written extensively on abuse of dominance. Alongside them, Olivier d'Ormesson is also very highly regarded in the market. In New York, Jeffrey Schmidt brings a “uniquely practical approach” to the firm’s antitrust practice, having previously served as the director of the bureau of competition at the US Federal Trade Commission.

At Jones Day, Bernard Amory is “in a league entirely of his own”. He is responsible for the firm’s European competition practice, and is one of the most highly nominated practitioners in our research. Having acted in numerous high-profile merger control cases, he “understands the intricacies of the area” and provides a “top-notch” service to clients. Alongside him in Brussels, Thomas Jestaedt has built up a “stellar practice” over the past 20 years, including acting in large European cartel cases. “Creative problem-solver” Vincent Brophy is also highly recommended. Jones Day’s antitrust practice in Washington, DC, earns an impressive five listings, with new practice head David Wales lauded as “phenomenal”. Wales is experienced in representing domestic and foreign clients across a huge range of sectors and is “a responsive and reassuring presence”. “Superb lawyer” Kathryn Fenton and energy expert Bruce McDonald are also highlighted. Previous practice head Phillip Proger is “simply superb” in the field and according to peers “there is no one better” for US and international merger control, cartel cases and antitrust litigation. The firm is well represented across the globe – Frankfurt-based Johannes Zöttl works extensively on cross-border M&A transactions both before the German Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission. In Shanghai, Peter Wang is selected as a “leading light”. He leads the competition practice in China and is “first class” for both Chinese and US matters. The Paris office boasts “guru” Eric Barbier de la Serre and Eric Morgan de Rivery, who is “completely at ease with complex multi-jurisdictional matters”.

Allen & Overy LLP fields an exceptionally strong team, with a total of 16 inclusions in this year’s competition listings. Key competition centres London and Brussels are the best represented, with three lawyers apiece. Mark W Friend heads the antitrust group in London and is “very well known” for his work on several groundbreaking cases in the field of merger control, including the UK mergers between Lloyds and HBOS, and Boots and Alliance UniChem. Dual-qualified Antonio Bavasso has an “excellent working knowledge of the competition authorities” in both the UK and Italy and is considered one of the top advisers on merger control and regulatory litigation. Splitting his time between London and Brussels, Philip Mansfield specialises in global cartel investigations; clients say he “knows his stuff inside out”. Head of the Belgian competition department Dirk Arts impresses sources with his “stellar track record” and “superb commercial awareness”, particularly within the energy, chemical, media, retail and automobile sectors. Alongside him, president of the International Bar Association Michael Reynolds is selected for his “extensive experience” spanning more than 30 years. Martin Bechtold’s merger control practice is augmented by his experience at the Federal Cartel Office in Berlin, meaning he is “very well connected”. Lawyers at the firm are selected from a further six European offices – Marta Sendrowicz is widely considered “a frontrunner in the market”. As the EU and competition practice leader in Warsaw, she “knows absolutely everything” about key European competition regulations, including merger control and abuse of dominance. In Hamburg, Ellen Braun leads the German antitrust practice and is “tactically and analytically brilliant”. Silvia D’Alberti, group head in Italy, is praised for her “impressive capacity for understanding clients’ concerns” and retains a particular specialism in the energy sector. Paul Glazener and Tom Ottervanger are highly recommended in Amsterdam, while Paris-based Florence Ninane is a “clever, practical and concise” lawyer. She is experienced in French and European competition law and forms an “invaluable” part of the Paris team alongside global competition co-head Olivier Fréget. Meanwhile, M Elaine Johnston enjoys a “distinguished position in the market” as global antitrust co-head as well as head of the US antitrust practice. She is “definitely among the top players” and receives nominations for a broad range of antitrust work. Acting as counsel in Beijing, Francois Renard leads the China antitrust practice and clients praise his ability to “make difficult concepts easy to understand and find the best solution in any situation”.

Clifford Chance LLP maintains its top-tier reputation with an excellent showing in this year’s listings. As well as a robust European practice, the firm boasts names in DC, Moscow, Sydney and Beijing. London is the hub of Clifford Chance’s competition practice and is represented by four lawyers, including global practice head Elizabeth Morony, who is “absolutely at the top of her game”. Clients of Alastair Mordaunt benefit from his extensive experience as director of mergers at the Office of Fair Trading. Alex Nourry heads the London antitrust practice and enjoys a “significant reputation”. Alongside him, the “outstanding” Greg Olsen is renowned for his work within the financial services, technology and energy industries. Three lawyers are identified as “go-to attorneys” for competition law in Brussels. Managing partner Tony Reeves is a “tactical and analytical thinker”, having assisted clients in merger control, abuse of dominance, cartel and licensing cases. He is joined by Johan Ysewyn and Thomas Vinje, both “incredibly competent” where global competition issues are concerned. Marc Besen is lauded by clients as “a consummate expert” on both German and European competition law and practises alongside Joachim Schütze, managing partner of the firm’s Düsseldorf branch. Torsten Syrbe has extensive experience advising Russian, EU and international companies on the competition aspects of mergers and joint ventures.

International firm Hogan Lovells LLP prides itself on the excellence of its lawyers and this is certainly reflected in our competition findings where 14 practitioners are listed worldwide. Once again, the London and Washington, DC, offices boast the highest number of outstanding lawyers. Susan Bright in London is the co-head of the antitrust, competition and economic regulation practice. She is “very smart and experienced” and “a reassuring adviser”, having particular experience within the financial services sector. Suyong Kim and Lesley Ainsworth are also highlighted, the latter having extensive experience in dawn raids and competition compliance programmes. In DC, Joseph Krauss is “a favourite” with clients from a wide range of sectors, including the banking and automotive industries. Janet McDavid receives praise for her “solutions-oriented” approach and Robert Robertson is “phenomenal”. Jacques Derenne heads the antitrust, competition and economic regulation practice in Brussels and is “one of the best lawyers around”, having worked in all key areas of French and European competition law. Colleague Paris Anestis focuses his practice on anti-competitive agreements and investigations into abuse of dominance and monopoly. He is “highly sought after” by clients including the state of Greece, which he has previously represented in proceedings before the European Commission. Mergers expert Adrian Emch operates out of Beijing and is a “very prominent name”. He previously practised in Brussels. The firm is also represented in Latin America by Caracas-based lawyer Bruno Ciuffetelli, a “legend” in the area, noted for his focus on antitrust issues in the local oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

Arnold & Porter LLP shines in our competition chapter. The historically strong Brussels office boasts five leading names, including some of this year’s most highly nominated practitioners. Marleen Van Kerckhove heads the European competition practice and has acted in a full range of matters; clients appreciate her “no nonsense approach”, particularly in merger control cases before national and EU regulators. Annette Luise Schild impresses clients with her “practical and able” approach while Silvio Cappellari and Axel Gutermuth are both “extremely visible” in the German and EU competition markets. “Star lawyer” Luc Gyselen has a “phenomenal legal mind”, allowing him to “easily translate complex ideas”. DC-based Deborah Feinstein is a “seasoned expert” and is “highly respected” as head of the firm’s US antitrust practice. Alongside her, Robert Pitofsky and Jonathan Gleklen receive numerous recommendations from clients and peers; the latter is recommended as “a frontrunner” in the technology and network industries. Elsewhere in the US, Ronald Redcay in the Los Angeles office is noted as an “aggressive litigator” and Robert P Taylor receives praise for his focus on intellectual property matters, having represented clients before the International Trade Commission. The competition team in London retains its dominant position in the market; “competition dean” Tim Frazer excels across a full range of conduct, transactional and merger cases, including advising Kraft Foods on its purchase of Danone. “High-flying” partner Susan Hinchliffe has cultivated expertise in advising clients in the telecommunications, automobile and pharmaceuticals industries.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP fields leading name James Venit. Based in Brussels, he leads the firm’s European antitrust and competition practice and is “pre-eminent” in merger cases, benefiting from a wealth of international experience. Stephen Kinsella OBE at Sidley Austin is “in a league of his own” and is listed alongside five colleagues from the firm.London pedigree firm Slaughter and May maintains its top-class reputation with six names included in this year’s competition listings. Among them, Michael Rowe is “undeniably brilliant” and acts extensively in merger cases for large clients including Unilever. Also one of the most highly regarded practitioners in London, Nigel Parr leads the EU competition practice at Ashurst LLP. He is sought after for his “extensive knowledge of antitrust law and practice”.

Brussels, as the competition law hub of the European Union, fields a further four of our most highly nominated lawyers. Ian Forrester QC is a “standout” lawyer at White & Case LLP, having advised private parties from all sectors as well as states and government authorities. One of the founding partners of Van Bael & Bellis, Jean-François Bellis is “truly knowledgeable” and “a pleasure to deal with”. His wide experience in trade and competition law sees him highly nominated in our research. Shearman & Sterling LLP boasts a total of eight lawyers including the “unrivalled” Trevor Soames, who has been instrumental in numerous market-changing cases. At Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Sven Völcker brings an “invaluable international outlook” to the Brussels office. He is an experienced advisor on both EU and German competition law.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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