Competition 2018

The 19th edition of WWL: Competition is more comprehensive than ever before, covering a total of 1,069 lawyers, including 76 EU-based state aid experts. The lawyers selected advise and defend clients in internal, regulatory and criminal investigations as well as assisting with merger filings, civil and criminal litigation and cartel matters.

The USA is home to the most lawyers, followed by Belgium and the UK; together these three jurisdictions make up more than 40 per cent of the total listings worldwide. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer once again stands out as a dominant force in Europe, with 40 of its 50 listed lawyers worldwide based there, followed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton with 18. In the US, Latham & Watkins and Gibson Dunn both have 12 listings, while Anderson Mori & Tomotsune leads the way in the Asia-Pacific region with seven individuals listed.

The leading firms and lawyers in each region are profiled below.

Methodology

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research. We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.
 
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.

 

Brussels

Competition

Thought Leaders
1. Frank Montag Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
2. Antoine Winckler Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
3. Jean-François Bellis Van Bael & Bellis
4. John Davies Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
5. John Boyce Slaughter and May
6. Thomas Janssens Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
7. Gerwin Van Gerven Linklaters LLP
8. Sven B Völcker Latham & Watkins LLP

Competition - State Aid

Thought Leaders
1. Massimo Merola BonelliErede
2. Hans-Jörg Niemeyer Hengeler Mueller
3. Till Müller-Ibold Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
4. Andreas von Bonin Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Leading Firms

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 

The leading firm worldwide in our research this year, and particularly strong in Brussels, where it boasts the most listings with 11. Once again, three of its top practitioners are highlighted as Thought Leaders for their exceptional work in the area.
Frank Montag is “the star at Freshfields” and “continues to be by far the leading name” in Brussels, according to one peer, a view reflected in the results of this year’s research. He is a “perfect match for difficult cases”, says one client, who also notes his ability to manage a “highly motivated and very well-organised team”.
The highly experienced John Davies is an “excellent lawyer” who is “very well known in the market”. Sources identify his outstanding strategic abilities and note his current involvement in issues relating to Brexit. For the second year in a row, we highlight Davies as a Thought Leader in our research.
Thomas Janssens is a “premier lawyer” whom sources name as “one of the very best for the most complex mergers in front of the Commission”. Peers also praise his “insightful comments, which often lead to workable solutions for the parties”.
Alan Ryan is “another standout name” at the firm and an “eminent antitrust lawyer” according to commentators. He is particularly known as being “excellent in the transport sphere”.
Rafique Bachour is a “really highly regarded name in Brussels” with “impressive legal skills”. One peer comments: “Rafique knows how to anticipate client requirements and to go over and above their expectations.”
Laurent Garzaniti “excels in all types of cases, both in front of the Commission and the Belgian Competition Authority”, say sources. He is particularly well known for his standout telecoms work.
The “meticulous and hard-working” Andreas von Bonin is also recommended for his superb expertise, with sources calling him a “very perceptive and extremely broad-minded” approach. He excels in particular for his state aid work.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Another dominant name in the global antitrust arena with excellent breadth and depth in its Brussels office. We highlight six leading names in this year’s Competition chapter and two more in State Aid.
Thought Leader Antoine Winckler is a “very impressive lawyer”, according to attorneys, experts and other market sources globally. He has more than 30 years’ experience in competition, with a particular focus on cartel investigations and merger clearance.
The “excellent” Thomas Graf is “really, really good”, according to sources. He is noted for his wide-ranging sector expertise which covers energy, pharmaceuticals and IT, among others. Sources highlight him as a “superb technical lawyer, who is big in tech-related work”.
Christopher Cook is praised for the depth of his transactional expertise, with sources describing him as “an excellent merger practitioner who is clear, concise, practical and very effective!” He is also noted by peers as being “great to work with on matters; very professional and focused on what’s best for the case”.
Romano Subiotto QC is another of the firm’s standout names who is lauded for his deep expertise in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, telecoms and other technically complex areas.
Francisco Enrique González-Díaz is a “highly knowledgeable attorney with good institutional skills”, say peers, reflecting his wide-ranging experience at and understanding of the European Commission.
Robbert Snelders has more than 25 years’ experience in abuse of dominance, merger control and cartel matters and is widely endorsed by peers globally.
Thought Leader Till Müller-Ibold is an “outstanding” lawyer with “fantastic expertise in state aid”, according to sources. He has over 25 years’ experience in the area.
François‑Charles Laprévote is also recognised for his “fantastic knowledge of the state aid field”.

Latham & Watkins

The firm’s Brussels office is home to seven recommended lawyers in this year’s research.
The “simply outstanding” Sven Völcker is deserving of his status as a Thought Leader whom sources “warmly recommend for his work in merger control and antitrust cases”. One leading market commentator says: “Sven is very thorough and convincing in complex merger cases before the Commission.”
Lars Kjølbye is another of the firm’s standouts, with interviewees describing him as “a great lawyer and a very nice person to work with” as well as “someone who is certainly very active in this space”. He has wide-ranging experience across restrictive practices and abuse of dominance cases among others.

Slaughter & May

An outstanding firm for competition work in Brussels, including three of the top names in the market. All three are profiled here.
The “brilliant” John Boyce is a “very clever” lawyer who emerges as one of the leading names in our research this year. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the Brussels market, and is a go-to name for some of the most complex merger and state aid cases around.
Anna Lyle-Smythe is a “superstar”, according to sources, who describe her as “highly capable and very pleasant to work with”. She acts for some of Europe’s biggest companies on investigations, merger cases and cartel matters.
Jordan Ellison is “strongly recommended” by sources who describe him as “incredibly hard-working” and note, “His clients love him, and for good reason.”

Linklaters

This Magic Circle powerhouse is well known for its competition law expertise, and four of its leading names are recommended.
Gerwin Van Gerven is a “towering figure” and “the star at Linklaters”, say commentators, who particularly praise his remarkable capabilities in connection with merger control issues. Sources say: “Gerwin continues to be one of the top names.”
The “dynamic” Jonas Koponen is a “safe pair of hands” as well as a “very hard-working and thorough” practitioner, according to various commentators. One economist goes so far as to name Koponen “the best lawyer in Brussels”.

Sidley Austin

A top US firm with an excellent global antitrust presence. In its Brussels office, five leading lawyers are highlighted.
Stephen Kinsella OBE is a “leading light of the competition bar”, according to sources who say that he is “always a pleasure to work with”. He has superb experience in UK and European competition issues, most notably in connection with pharmaceuticals, media and technology matters.
The “very impressive” Kristina Nordlander has a “great reputation for pharmaceutical-related issues”, according to interviewees. She also handles a range of matters in relation to financial services and e-commerce.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Three lawyers from the competition practice in Brussels are recommended.
Frederic Depoortere is a “really good” competition lawyer, say sources, who praise him for his ability to represent clients in highly complex EU merger cases. He secures nominations this year from as far afield as Argentina, South Africa and Australia.
The “amazing” Ingrid Vandenborre is “very much viewed as a leader in Brussels” according to one peer, while other sources praise her ability to “come up with the best legal solutions for her clients” and to “boil down a really complex idea into one very intelligent sentence”.
Giorgio Motta is a “definite inclusion” in the listings due to his reputation as a “highly skilled, client-oriented and pragmatic legal professional”.

Allen & Overy

This year, four practitioners from the practice group are noted in our research.
Vanessa Turner is an “excellent practitioner” who wins praise for the depth of her understanding of merger clearance and cartel issues.
Dirk Arts “stands out for his in-depth knowledge of competition law, delivering balanced and thoughtful advice”, says one client. He is described as “a superstar in cartel and information exchange matters”.

Other Leading Individuals

Jean-François Bellis of Van Bael & Bellis is a “headline name” who is a “dominant” force in the Brussels competition arena. One source says: “He is highly recommended and particularly experienced with regard to litigation before the EU courts in abuse of dominance and cartel cases.”

Edurne Navarro Varona at Uría Menéndez is a well-known competition expert who has notable experience in state aid matters. According to commentators, “She has been in the field a long time and is certainly very knowledgeable.”

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Kyriakos Fountoukakos is lauded for his “well-founded understanding of antitrust law and his ample experience in coordinating global cases”. He is renowned as being “great for merger control” and as someone who “knows the peculiarities of different markets”.

Luc Gyselen of Arnold & Porter is described a “very valuable to have on your side”, by one Brussels peer. Another commentator states: “Luc must be up there with the best of the best in Europe. His mind his sharp and his experience vast, so his input to any competition matter, especially in the area of abuse of dominance, is low-risk and high reward.”

Massimo Merola at BonelliErede is a “fantastic lawyer all-round”, according to one interviewee. He is noted as being “excellent on strategy with the Commission, which he knows inside out” as well as “very personable”.

Catriona Hatton of Baker Botts is a “true leader in EU competition law; an all-round strong and excellent lawyer” who is “very capable and easy to work with”. Her wide-ranging EU competition practice includes notable experience in merger filings.

Marc Reysen of Reysen Competition Advice and Advocacy is "an outstanding lawyer and is highly recommended for complex competition law matters" according to peers. He is also highlighted as a “forward-thinking leader in EU and German competition law” and for his "excellent multi-jurisdictional competition credentials.”

Hans-Jörg Niemeyer of Hengeler Mueller is “well established and very present in the Brussels market”. In addition to his core competition expertise, he is noted for his “long experience and thoughtful and considered advice” in the state aid arena.

Ulrich Soltész at Gleiss Lutz possesses a “broad and deep knowledge of EU law” and “provides pragmatic and hands-on advice” to clients. Peers note him as being “very experienced in cartel cases”.

Thomas Vinje is a “standout name at Clifford Chance”, say interviewees. He is particularly well known for his IT and communications expertise.

Susanne Zuehlke of Willkie Farr & Gallagher is “highly recommended” by sources who note her as experienced in merger-related issues and also describe her as “very tough and very smart”.

Baker McKenzie’s European competition practice head Fiona Carlin is an “excellent” lawyer who “always asks the right questions”, according to peers. She is particularly well known for her merger control expertise but also adeptly handles cartel and compliance issues.

David Wood at Gibson Dunn is a highly experienced competition practitioner with wide-ranging expertise across industries including transport and financial services.

Independent practitioner Annette Luise Schild’s boutique firm “is on a level playing field with all the big names”, say peers, who point to her “outstanding experience and hard work rarely seen” as key contributors to her success.

Counsel Valérie Landes of Bredin Prat is a well-known name with “great expertise” in state aid and merger control matters in particular.

Stephen Mavroghenis of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is highlighted by sources as a “bright, active practitioner with deep and impressive understanding of the clients’ businesses and needs”. He particularly excels in high-profile cross-border merger cases.

“Outstanding merger control lawyer” Anne Federle of Bird & Bird is a highly experienced EU competition law practitioner who also wins praise for her cartel-related work.

 

London

Competition

Thought Leaders
1. Claire Jeffs Slaughter and May
2. Philippe Chappatte Slaughter and May
3. Nicholas Levy Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
4. Robert O’Donoghue QC Brick Court Chambers
5. Daniel Beard QC Monckton Chambers
6. Simon Priddis Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
7. Deirdre Trapp Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
8. Nigel Parr Ashurst LLP

Competition - State Aid

Thought Leaders
1. Isabel Taylor Slaughter and May
2. George Peretz QC Monckton Chambers

Leading Firms

Slaughter and May 

An exceptional competition offering that emerges as the number-one team in our research for London this year. The firm welcomes three new entries this year, bringing its number of listings to 10, joint-most of any London office. The group can deploy for clients the two top UK-based competition lawyers in our listings, Claire Jeffs and Philippe Chappatte, both of whom are recognised as Thought Leaders.
“Star” practitioner Claire Jeffs is “a recognised leader in the field and one of the very top competition lawyers in London”, according to one source, a view echoed across our research. Other interviewees describe her as “an absolute joy to work with”, “one of the smartest in the market”, while a peer simply states: “If I had a job in the UK, I’d ask her to do it.”
Head of the firm’s competition group Philippe Chappatte is variously described as “excellent” and “a very bright and sound practitioner with good judgement” by commentators. His broad-based expertise covers the gamut of competition issues.
Isabel Taylor is a widely recommended partner who is regarded as “particularly good on state aid” by interviewees. Her deep experience includes major cases in industries including transport, energy and retail.
Bertrand Louveaux is a well-known and extremely highly regarded member of the Slaughter and May team who stands out for his work on major merger matters and cartel investigations. He is “great to work with”, say sources, while one interviewee describes him as “the best competition lawyer in existence in the UK”.
Lisa Wright is a “practical, diligent, flexible and proactive” competition partner who “always has the answer to the tough questions”, according to commentators.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Balancing the strength of its Brussels office with another 10 listed lawyers in London, this outstanding group demonstrates its outstanding capabilities in two of the world’s major hubs for competition law.
Simon Priddis is a “real talent”, according to one barrister, while peers note him as “superb and knowledgeable” in all facets of competition law. He is adept at acting for clients before both UK and EU regulatory authorities. He is a Thought Leader in this year’s research.
Fellow Thought Leader Deirdre Trapp wins accolades for the strength and depth of her advisory and contentious competition practice. She is well known for her work in an array of sectors and industries, including media, retail and financial services.
Rod Carlton is “certainly a go-to” name in the competition sector, according to interviewees. He is noted as a “technically excellent” lawyer who “puts forward the very best arguments for his clients, develops strong client relationships and has excellent knowledge of competition regulators”.
The ”excellent” David Aitman offers clients a broad range of sector expertise, including experience in transport, media and energy-related matters. He is noted for his strong understanding of the UK and EU regulatory agencies.
James Aitken is an “incredibly bright talent” in competition who is highlighted as “very sensible and very-client friendly”, by commentators. He handles the full range of contentious and transactional issues in both the UK and EU.
Alastair Chapman is a “very capable and pleasant guy who definitely merits inclusion”, say sources. He has acted for a number of blue-chip clients on global investigations and is also noted for his merger-related expertise.

Brick Court Chambers

A superlative group of competition barristers whose expertise covers the gamut of issues. In total, 11 QCs and two juniors are recommended.
Thought Leader Robert O’Donoghue QC is “a leader” in the field, despite only taking silk in 2017, and “really understands how judges think”. According to one impressed solicitor, “He is, without a doubt, one of the brightest lights in competition law”.
Also held in high regard is Mark Hoskins QC, who is “one of the top names in competition litigation and always in demand”. One leading peer comments: “He is one of the best – super-smart, a very good advocate and someone who has the judge’s complete trust.”
James Flynn QC is noted as “an excellent all-rounded with lots of stamina for demanding cases”. Sources also praise him for his “sharp insight” and “ability to develop a detailed argument while also knowing when to be brief”.

Monckton Chambers

Another powerhouse group at the Bar with 12 barristers highlighted for their expertise.
The “outstanding” Daniel Beard QC is an “incredibly popular” name for competition who is particularly well regarded for his telecoms expertise. He provides “sound, strategic advice” and is “an incredibly effective silk, particularly in the Competition Appeal Tribunal”, say sources.
“Excellent barrister” Josh Holmes QC is praised as a “very smart” practitioner who “sees the bigger picture”. “He is cool, equanimous and has astonishing knowledge,” comments a fellow barrister.
George Peretz QC is a “superb state aid lawyer” who is regularly seen on complex matters in the area before the General Court and European Court of Justice.

Linklaters

Five of the firm’s practitioners are listed this year.
“Superstar” Nicole Kar is a “standout name” in the market, say sources, who highlight her as “hard-working and extremely intelligent”. She is particularly well regarded for her merger control expertise.
Sir Christopher Bellamy QC is a legendary figure in the market, with enormous experience as a barrister, judge and as president of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. He has “a lot of insight on the workings of different competition authorities and provides a great deal of strategic insight and guidance”, say sources.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Three of the London office’s leading names are recognised in this edition.
Thought Leader Nicholas Levy is “outstanding in merger control; a true specialist”, say impressed peers. He is endorsed by practitioners the world over for his dealmaking prowess.
Maurits Dolmans is a “very wise” lawyer who is well known for his competition expertise in areas including intellectual property, TMT and IT.
Paul Gilbert is also well regarded by market sources as an “up-and coming practitioner” in the area.

Other Leading Individuals

Nigel Parr at Ashurst is a “go-to person” in the competition arena, according to interviewees, who flag him as a “heavyweight name” and “erudite and impressive”. He has outstanding experience in handling Phase 2 merger filings.

Bruce Kilpatrick of Addleshaw Goddard is “a very thoughtful lawyer” who “consistently provides quality advice” to clients and is “regularly involved in big cases”, including high-profile cartel matters.

Marc Israel at White & Case is a leading name in the UK market who consistently wins praise for the depth of his practice. He covers the full range of cartel, litigation and M&A matters before EU and UK regulators.

The “outstanding” Suyong Kim of Hogan Lovells is a “top” practitioner in the area, according to sources”. She co-heads the firm’s global competition practice.

Kim Dietzel at Herbert Smith Freehills is highlighted as “one of the top antitrust litigators” and an “excellent tactician”, by sources. One peer adds: “She is a very pragmatic competition lawyer who is solution-oriented and a pleasure to work with.”

Allen & Overy’s Antonio Bavasso is a “high-profile figure in the media world” who frequently advises on massive deals and regulatory issues in the sector.

 

Rest of EMEA

Competition

Thought Leaders
1. Gönenç Gürkaynak ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, Istanbul
2. Alf Henrik-Bischke Hengeler Mueller
3. Christoph Stadler Hengeler Mueller
4. Ingo Brinker Gleiss Lutz
5. Martijn Snoep De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek NV
6. Claudio Tesauro BonelliEredi
7. Thorsten Mäger Hengeler Mueller

Competition - State Aid

Thought Leaders
1. Jaime Folguera Uría Menéndez, Madrid
2. Joaquim Caimoto Duarte Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho, Lisbon
3. Olivier Billard Bredin Prat, Paris

Leading Firms

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Continuing the firm’s exceptional European offering, 18 practitioners are recommended, including 10 in the firm’s German office.
Onno Brouwer is a “top player” and “the benchmark in the Netherlands”, say sources, who are quick to comment on his state aid prowess as well. He has 35 years’ experience in the area.
Martin Klusmann is “outstanding in EC cartel cases”, comment interviewees, who note him as “one of the big guys” in the competition field at the firm. He is frequently seen by sources on major matters domestically and at EU level.

Uría Menéndez

This top Spanish firm is home to eight outstanding practitioners in this year’s research, five of whom are based in Spain and two in Portugal.
“Professional and excellent” lawyer Patricia Vidal is recognised for her “standout expertise” in both state aid and other complex competition matters. She handles abuse of dominance and merger mandates as part of her wide-ranging practice.
Alfonso Gutiérrez has nearly 20 years of experience in competition matters and proficiently handles merger-related matters and litigation across an array of industries including telecoms and banking. Sources praise his “strong technical skills”.
Jaime Folguera is another “excellent” name at the firm who stands out for his state aid prowess in addition to his wider competition practice.
Antonio Guerra is a “great overall antitrust lawyer” who sources note as being “very reasonable and easy to work with”. He has excellent regulatory experience thanks to several years working at the Spanish Competition Tribunal.
Joaquim Caimoto Duarte is highlighted in the firm’s Lisbon office for the strength of his expertise in state aid and broader competition issues. Sources call him “part of the new generation; someone who is very pragmatic”.
Daniel Sarmiento Ramírez-Escudero is also recommended for his work in the area.

Gleiss Lutz

A top-tier German firm with outstanding breadth and depth of expertise in the competition field. Six practitioners from its German offices are highlighted.
Ingo Brinker is a “very important” name in the German competition market and a “leading” practitioner in competition. He is praised as “one of the most respected” lawyers working in the area.
Petra Linsmeier has “broad international experience” and is “very strong on litigation matters” in the competition arena, according to peers. “She is probably our first choice”, comments one interviewee.
Sources have “a great impression” of Christian Steinle, noting him as “absolutely” deserving of inclusion in the guide. He has broad experience of the gamut of competition issues, including internal investigations and compliance work.

Bredin Prat

A leading French firm described as “the best in the market” in competition. Five of its practitioners are listed.
Marie-Cécile Rameau is a “really strong” competition lawyer whom sources regard as a “very safe pair of hands”. She is frequently instructed to assist on complex litigation in the area as well as cross-border transactional matters.
Hugues Calvet is another practitioner at the firm noted for his depth of capability in the competition litigation, including abuse of dominance and cartel matters. Sources call him “one of the star practitioners in the market”.
Olivier Billard is “a clear leader in the field”, according to commentators who praise his “impressive profile in the market”. One interviewee states: “He is a strategically and technically excellent lawyer.”
Robert Saint-Esteben is a “senior and experienced antitrust litigator” who is “one of the founding fathers of competition law in France”. He is well known for his state aid expertise as well as his wider competition work.
Pierre Honoré is described as an “excellent lawyer, much appreciated by his clients”. Sources laud him for his “hands-on approach to all matters” and his skill in both abuse of dominance and merger-related mandates.

Hengeler Mueller

Three of the firm’s partners from its German offices are recommended this year.
Alf Henrik-Bischke is a “top player” and an “active figure” in the market, sources comment. He is particularly highly regarded for his expertise on transactional competition issues.
Christoph Stadler is a “senior figure” in the German competition arena who is renowned for his expertise in corporate antitrust issues, with deep experience in a number of major merger control cases.
Thorsten Mäger is a “leading name at Hengeler” who wins plaudits for his “pragmatic and fast advice” across a vast array of complex competition issues, including follow-on damages claims and cartel investigations.

Other Leading Individuals

Austria

Axel Reidlinger at Reidlinger Schatzmann is a “top-notch, go-to antitrust lawyer” who is an “outstanding figure in the Austrian market”. He handles the full range of competition matters in Austria and at the European level.

Hanno Wollmann at Schoenherr Attorneys at Law is “one of the most respected competition lawyers in Austria”, according to sources. He is “fantastic in state aid work but definitely a great competition in all areas”, says one peer.

Germany

Noerr’s Alexander Birnstiel is “a great lawyer and very impressive”, says one peer while others note his “outstanding competition practice”. He is one of the top German lawyers in this year’s research.

The “excellent” Alexander Rinne at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is a highly experienced figure who is frequently seen by market sources in both merger-related competition work as well as cartel cases.

Sources call Dominique Wagener of Commeo a “commercially driven and smart lawyer” who is “a leader at the firm” and in German competition matters. She has notable expertise in compliance and investigations mandates.
Stephanie Pautke is praised as “one of the best go-to lawyers” in Germany for competition issues thanks to her “hands-on, business-minded, top-quality advice”.

Finland

Roschier’s Niko Hukkinen is “really good”, according to commentators, who note him as “extremely responsive”. “He’s been involved in some of the most complex cases in Finland and comes with a wealth of knowledge on how to get mergers cleared there,” says one European peer.
Christian Wik is a senior figure in the Finnish market whom one interviewee calls the “number one in Finland” for competition issues. He has outstanding expertise in merger filings and abuse of dominance cases, among other matters.

Ireland

Vincent Power of A&L Goodbody is a “market leader” in Ireland, according to sources, a view reflected in our research this year. He handles the gamut of competition issues and has vast experience in Irish and EU merger filings.

Italy

Claudio Tesauro at BonelliErede is one of Italy’s top competition lawyers, handling the full array of domestic and EU issues, with notable expertise in the life sciences and healthcare sectors.
Francesco Anglani is regarded as “a leading lawyer” in Italy by peers in the market, with notable compliance and advisory experience at both Italian and European levels.

Mario Siragusa of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is “one of the most highly reputed lawyers in Italy”, according to one commentator, while another calls him “the top lawyer in the field”. He has an incredible depth of expertise, gained over 45 years in the field.

Netherlands

“Exceptionally good lawyer” Martijn Snoep at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has “vast experience” in competition and offers “excellent quality work” to clients. He has 25 years’ experience in complex multi-jurisdictional matters.
Jolling de Pree is a lawyer “at the top of the list”, says one expert. He is particularly well known for his transactional expertise but also handles cartel investigations and follow-on damages cases.

The “impressive” Erik Pijnacker Hordijk of Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn is a “leading name” in the Dutch market and is “absolutely an expert in state aid” as well as broader competition issues, according to sources.

Christof Swaak of Stibbe is a “top-notch” lawyer who is “absolutely excellent” in a broad array of competition issues. One US peer says: “Christof is one of our go-to lawyers in Europe – I highly recommend him.”

Poland

Aleksander Stawicki at WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr emerges in our research as the top competition lawyer in Poland. He is a “practical lawyer” who is “great to work with and very efficient”, say interviewees.

Spain

Cani Fernández at Cuatrecasas is “a legend” in the Spanish competition market and the “first choice” for many peers seeking counsel in the country. “She is one of the best, if not the best in Spain right now,” says one source.
Andrew Ward is an “excellent senior figure” who stands out for his state aid experience and his broad European expertise in competition matters. One commentator calls him “the best lawyer in Spain”.

Russia

Vassily Rudomino at ALRUD Law Firm is a “well-known expert in the area”. He has deep experience in merger clearance and is also regarded as a leading name for cartel investigations.

Switzerland

The “highly recommended” Marcel Dietrich at Homburger offers a “gold standard” practice to clients in the competition arena. He is an “absolutely reliable, very responsive and well-connected” lawyer, according to interviewees.

Lenz & Staehelin’s Marcel Meinhardt has an "excellent ability to deal with complex competition law cases in Switzerland". His practice is highly thought of, offering "great commercial understanding" and a "pragmatic, efficient, assertive approach".

Günter Bauer at Wolf Theiss is a “very knowledgeable” practitioner who heads the firm’s competition practice worldwide. Sources are quick to praise him for his “very good communication skills and sound advice”.

Turkey

Gönenç Gürkaynak of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law is "simply the best" in Turkey who "undoubtedly delivers great results in complex and challenging cases". Sources are quick to applaud him for his "tailor-made strategies which perfectly fit clients' needs".

Ukraine

Vladimir Sayenko of Sayenko Kharenko is a “great lawyer in this area” and “one of the main names” who is praised for his strong connections in the competition field. He is “experienced in merger control” and “a real authority when it comes to competition law in Ukraine”, comment other sources.

 

North America

Competition

Thought Leaders
1. Ilene Knable Gotts Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, New York
2. Kevin Arquit Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, New York
3. Paul Yde Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Washington, DC
4. Jason Gudofsky McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto
5. Mark Leddy Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Washington, DC
6. Christine Varney Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, New York
7. A Neil Campbell McMillan LLP, Toronto
8. Deborah Garza Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC
9. Ronan Harty Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, New York
10. Brian A Facey Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto
11. Charles F (Rick) Rule Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, Washington, DC
12. Richard G Parker Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington DC
13. John D Harkrider Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, New York
14. Thomas O Barnett Covington & Burling LLP, Washington DC
15. Daniel M Wall Latham & Watkins LLP, San Francisco
16. John Taladay Baker Botts LLP, Washington DC

Leading Firms

Gibson Dunn 

An outstanding antitrust firm with capability on both coasts and an extremely strong bench of 13 practitioners, including two new listings this year.
Former senior DOJ figure Scott Hammond utilises his exceptional agency expertise on an array of antitrust issues. According to one peer: “Scott is an excellent competition lawyer who has worked on a range of complex global competition matters.”
“Fantastic lawyer” Daniel Swanson is “highly recommended for his competition law credentials” by sources worldwide. “He has worked on several landmark cases and his knowledge on cartel investigations is extremely valuable,” says one commentator.
The "excellent" Richard Parker stands out as a formidable advocate and a go-to lawyer in major competition law disputes. He has more than 40 years’ experience handling some of the highest-profile litigation in the field.

Latham & Watkins

This firm has a superb offering in the US, with its 12 listed practitioners - the joint-most of any firm this year. Four new names are mentioned, including lawyers in California, New York and the District of Columbia.
Daniel Wall is the top-scoring Californian lawyer in this year’s research and someone who is “extremely well regarded for merger litigation”. He is deservedly identified as a Thought Leader for his expertise across the board in antitrust.
The “excellent” Margaret (Peggy) Zwisler is recognised for her depth of experience in litigation in the competition field and has numerous major trial wins over the course of her more than 40 years working in the area.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Boasting the top DC-based offering in this year’s guide, the firm has seven well-known and highly regarded practitioners listed in its office there.
Mark Leddy is “head of the class; a gold-standard guy”, says one prominent peer, highlighting the quality of expertise gained through nearly 50 years of antitrust practice. He has acted on an array of major global cartel investigations and mergers.
Leah Brannon is a “terrific” practitioner with “an amazing reputation and experience” in the antitrust arena. “She is an incredibly smart and capable lawyer who really knows her stuff,” comments one source.
The “super-well-regarded” George Cary remains one of the top transactional antitrust lawyers currently working in Washington, DC. He utilises his deep agency experience at the FTC to provide the best advice to clients on complex mattes.
David Gelfand is “one of the very best” competition lawyers around and “has to be on the list”, according to interviewees. “He is just a fantastic practitioner and very well respected”, according to peers.

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz

A leading New York firm with an array of top antitrust names. Six of them are listed here.
Ilene Knable Gotts is “a leading lawyer at the merger bar” who stands out as “a true leader in US antitrust law”. Her reputation as “the top litigator in the city; the number one” emphasises her position as the top US lawyer in our research this year.
Nelson O Fitts is "one of the best antitrust lawyers out there", according to sources, who consider him “terrific” on transaction-related competition law matters. “He is simply outstanding,” says one Washington, DC-based peer.
Damian G Didden is “super excellent” and “a terrific lawyer” according to sources who commend his work on related M&A matters.

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Seven practitioners from across the firm’s New York, DC and Menlo Park offices are highlighted.
Ronan Harty is a “great” lawyer and a “sure leader” in the field, say peers. He is particularly well known for his work on takeovers and merger-related antitrust, but also handles enforcement investigations and competition litigation.
“Great antitrust lawyer” Arthur Burke gains plaudits as a “top guy” and a “fantastic lawyer” from sources across the US and beyond. He splits his time between the firm’s Menlo Park and New York offices.
Christopher Hockett is a “superb litigator” who “deserves to be listed” for his depth of antitrust expertise. He frequently represents a range of blue-chip clients in class actions, investigations and other antitrust litigation.

Stikeman Elliott

The top Canadian firm in this year’s guide, with six practitioners listed in its Toronto office.
Katherine Kay is “a terrific lawyer” who is regarded as “excellent on the cartel side”, according to sources. One peer states: “She is one of Canada’s leading defence counsel” in competition matters.
Paul Collins is commended as “excellent” and “very knowledgeable” when it comes to transactional competition matters. He has excellent enforcement agency experience, having previously acted as head of the mergers branch at the Competition Bureau.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

A dynamic antitrust group with six practitioners listed in New York and Washington, DC.
Scott Sher is a “really good” and “consistently strong performer”, say sources, who praise his international expertise. One peer comments: “Some of his insights into European competition law are probably better than a lot of European lawyers.”
Jonathan Jacobson is a “definite inclusion” and an “absolutely excellent” choice for clients. He has handled a vast range of high-profile antitrust litigations in areas including life sciences, food and beverage and retail.
The “superb” Susan Creighton is a renowned antitrust practitioner with wide-ranging expertise across litigation, investigations and merger review. She is co-chair of the firm’s practice.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Five practitioners from the firm are recommended in North America.
Paul Yde is one of the US’s leading antitrust partners, described as “really great” in the area by market sources. He is identified as a Thought Leader thanks to his litigation experience in state and federal courts as well as before the FTC and DOJ.
Robert Schlossberg is lauded as a “great merger lawyer” in the antitrust space by prominent sources. He has deep experience in CFIUS matters and on transactions involving potential national security issues.

Blake Cassels & Graydon

A leading Canadian outfit boasting four excellent practitioners.
Thought Leader Brian Facey is a “leading name” who is “top of the heap” in Canada, according to interviewees. He is particularly well regarded in merger-related matters, where sources say they are “impressed with his performance on transactions”.
Commentators call Robert Kwinter “one of the best competition litigators in Canada” and “a leading member of the bar”. He is particularly identified for his superb abilities in cartel and class action litigation.
Julie Soloway is a “very well-regarded” figure in the Canadian competition community who is noted in particular for her transactional expertise.
Navin Joneja is also recommended as an “expert in Canadian competition law with an excellent approach to clients”.

Covington & Burling

One of Washington, DC’s leading competition practices, with six practitioners included in this edition.
Deborah Garza is an “outstanding lawyer” who is deservedly recognised as a Thought Leader in this year’s guide. Impressed sources say: “She is so far beyond almost everybody; she has done almost everything you can do in antitrust.”
Thomas Barnett is a “big-name” lawyer who is “truly excellent” in the competition field. He has extensive agency experience as a former head of the antitrust division of the DOJ and has excellent cartel and transactional expertise.

Other Leading Individuals

Canada

Jason Gudofsky at McCarthy Tétrault is the top Canadian practitioner in this year’s research and is regarded as a “fantastic lawyer” who “stands out from other local counsel”, according to international peers. Other sources praise his superb responsiveness, commenting that “you can guarantee he’ll pick up his phone at 3am”.

Neil Campbell of McMillan is "a statesman of Canadian competition law" and a "clear leader both nationally and worldwide" according to sources this year. His "outstanding" practice offers a wealth of expertise on merger control and abuse of dominance matters.

Sources warmly "recommend" Subrata Bhattacharjee at Borden Ladner Gervais as a standout name in the market thanks to his "strong all-round competition law expertise".

Omar Wakil at Torys is “highly recommended” by market commentators for his “excellent work” handling merger reviews, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance cases.   

USA

The “really great” Kevin Arquit at Weil Gotshal & Manges is “definitely a leader” and a “top, top New York antitrust lawyer” in the field today. He remains a dominant force in merger-related matters and is also highly adept at appearing before the agencies.

Thought Leader Christine Varney of Cravath, Swaine & Moore is an “excellent lawyer” with “great connections” in the antitrust arena, thanks to her extensive agency experience.
Evan Chesler is a legendary commercial litigator with vast experience in the antitrust field. Among his major recent matters was acting for American Express before the US Supreme Court in relation to alleged antitrust violations resulting from the company’s anti-steering rules.

Former head of the Canadian Competition Bureau, Melanie Aitken of Bennett Jones is now based in Washington, DC, where she is described as a “fantastic” competition lawyer who leaves sources “impressed”.

John Taladay at Baker Botts is “highly recommended” for his antitrust expertise, which includes deep experience appearing before the DOJ and FTC and in class action litigation.

John Harkrider of Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider is an “absolute must” for inclusion, according to interviewees. His antitrust expertise runs the gamut, with vast transactional, agency and litigation experience.

The "excellent" Charles (Rick) Rule Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is a well-known name in the US competition law market and is considered a highly strategic adviser and a go-to lawyer among major multinationals companies.

Elai Katz of Cahill Gordon & Reindel receives international endorsements for his leading antitrust practice and boasts a fantastic reputation in the field. He is well known for his intellectual property expertise.

Roxann Henry at Morrison & Foerster is an experienced and very highly regarded litigator with extensive expertise in cartel matters, merger challenges and criminal trials across a wide range of industries.

Janet McDavid of Hogan Lovells remains a prominent figure in the DC antitrust market, known for her major representations in mergers and agency investigations.

 

Asia-Pacific

Competition

Thought Leaders
1. Luke Woodward Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney
2. Elizabeth Avery Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney
3. Janet Hui JunHe LLP, Beijing
4. Youngjin Jung Kim & Chang, Seoul
5. Yusuke Nakano Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Tokyo

Leading Firms 

Gilbert + Tobin

Performs exceptionally well in this year’s research, emerging as the leading firm in the region. Six of its practitioners are listed here.
“Excellent competition lawyer” Luke Woodward is “very smart, talented and well- connected” and has “a good head on his shoulders” according to peers and other sources worldwide. He stands out as the top lawyer in the Asia-Pacific region in our research this year.
Elizabeth Avery is deservedly named as a Thought Leader for her “excellent” competition practice. Sources say: “She is very diligent and focused on results for clients.”
The “terrific” Gina Cass-Gottlieb is “really well respected in the field” and is regarded as one of Australia’s leading names for competition, particularly in transactional matters.
Paula Gilardoni is highly recommended for her wide-ranging competition expertise, which covers transactions, investigations and advisory matters in an array of industries and sectors.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

The top firm in Japan according to our research in this edition, with seven excellent names highlighted.
Yusuke Nakano is a “great lawyer” who stands out as a significant figure in the Japanese market. He handles complex merger control and cartel matters on both a domestic and international level.
Etsuko Hara is praised by sources as “an outstanding competition lawyer who has worked on numerous global deals and multi-jurisdictional cartel matters”. One peer adds: “She can easily jigsaw western client demands with local regulator requirements. She is clear and decisive and always gives thoughtful insights.”
Vassili Moussis is also recommended for his depth of experience in international competition matters, including EU competition law.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

Five lawyers from one of India’s top firms are included for their competition prowess.
Pallavi Shroff is “at the forefront of Indian legal thinking”, say sources, who note that “she is the fixer when things get messy”. She is an acclaimed litigator with enormous experience across a wide range of industries.
Naval Satarawala Chopra is described as “an absolute go-to lawyer” by peers in the field. They add: “He leads you through difficult matters with high-level advice, business thinking and excellent contacts.”
Shweta Shroff Chopra is another of the firm’s standout names and someone who “knows merger control in India inside out. Sources are quick to point out that she is “very helpful for global counsel”.

JunHe

An outstanding Chinese firm that is home to five lawyers in this year’s listings.
Janet Hui is a leading name for both merger control and investigations praised for her “in-depth knowledge of competition laws in mainland China” as well as her “pragmatic, reliable and clear advice”. Sources also note her “judgement in handling MOFCOM while being sensitive to an international client’s needs and concerns”.
Yingling Wei is able to “synthesise and clearly communicate complex processes to non-Chinese parties” and has “thoughtful insights into the changing landscapes of antitrust practice in China”, say sources, who also praise her “accurate advice” and “frank and candid demeanour”.
Audrey Chen is also widely recommended by sources in the market for her outstanding expertise in the arena, gained through more than 25 years' working on complex matters.

Other Leading Individuals

Australia

The “experienced and commercial” Peter Armitage of Ashurst is a “smart and very thorough” lawyer with extensive expertise in transactional competition law and complex investigations.

Michael Corrigan at Clayton Utz is a “definite inclusion” on the list and one of the leading names nationwide for trade and competition matters, both domestically and internationally.
Linda Evans is an “excellent” attorney praised by sources for her “international outlook”. She is particularly highly regarded for her merger-related expertise.

Paul Schoff of MinterEllison is a “creative and smart lawyer” with a “deep understanding of competition law”, according to interviewees.

China

Michael Han at Fangda Partners is “very famous” for his competition expertise, say sources who “absolutely endorse” his inclusion in the guide this year. He has extensive regulatory expertise following his time at MOFCOM.

Natalie Yeung at Slaughter and May draws praise for the “insightful and practical advice” she brings, which is combined with a “global perspective based on her extensive experience in handling complicated and challenging global merger control cases”.

Korea

Youngjin Jung at Kim & Chang is a “very creative and knowledgeable” lawyer who has “deep experience in antitrust issues”. Sources praise his “strong international focus” as a particular strength of his practice.
Sung Joo Yoon is a “major practitioner” at the firm and has “good knowledge and experience” in the competition space. He is particularly highlighted for his transactional expertise, with sources saying “he is very talented in merger filings.”

Japan

Kenji Ito at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is a pre-eminent name in the Japanese competition market whom sources highly in our research this year. He has a deep knowledge of merger control and abuse of dominance matters.
Tsuyoshi Ikeda is “at the forefront of Japanese legal thinking”, say impressed peers. Sources add that he is “passionate about the law” and note him as “a real expert in cartel and M&A matters and great for dawn raids – a very strong lawyer all-round.”

New Zealand

Andrew Matthews at Matthews Law emerges as the top name for competition in New Zealand this year, with sources calling him an “excellent lawyer” who “really knows his stuff” in the area.

Singapore

Daren Shiau of Allen & Gledhill is “one of the most prominent” lawyers in Singapore and a “definite inclusion” in the listings, according to interviewees. He is an excellent choice for the full array of international competition issues.

Kala Anandarajah of Rajah & Tann is a “very switched-on” lawyer who offers “excellent advice” and is “quick and business-oriented”, according to various commentators. She is known for her wide-ranging expertise which also covers corporate and environmental law, among other areas.

 

Latin America

Competition

Thought Leaders
1. Barbara Rosenberg, BMA Barbosa Müssnich Aragão, São Paulo
2. Miguel del Pino Marval O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

Leading Individuals

Argentina

“Brilliant hands-on practitioner” Miguel del Pino of Marval O'Farrell & Mairal is “a true expert in competition law in Argentina” who is “forward-looking and insightful”, say interviewees. He has 20 years’ experience in the area.

Julian Peña at Allende & Brea is “terrific; one of the leading lights in Argentina”, well known for his merger-related expertise. He has deep regulatory experience, having worked for the Argentinian Antitrust Commission and Ministry of Economy.

Brazil

Barbara Rosenberg at BMA - Barbosa Müssnich Aragão, São Paulo is a “clear leader in Brazilian competition law” with “unparalleled insight in the market”. Sources note that she is “very responsive and pragmatic and always has the right answer”.

Marcelo Calliari at TozziniFreire is variously described as “top-notch” and “excellent” by sources for his competition capability and also has superb expertise in trade and customs issues.

Ana Paula Martinez of Levy & Salomão Advogados "has a great reputation in the market" according to commentators who "consider her one of the best in the jurisdiction". She has an "excellent" practice covering issues relating to mergers and acquisitions.

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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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