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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Dirk Arts

Dirk Arts

Allen & Overy (Belgium) LLPTervurenlaan 268A avenue de TervuerenBrusselsBelgium1150

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Competition 2021
WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

Competition 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Dirk Arts enjoys a reputation as “a really outstanding lawyer in the field” who is “highly regarded both as a practitioner and as a professor”. He is well versed in advising clients in the energy, media, chemical, retail and automotive sectors on cartel and merger control issues. 

Peers and clients say:

"Dirk provides focused advice on competition matters."

"He is a very strong competition specialist."

"Dirk Arts is one of the very best competition lawyers in Brussels, and a superstar in in cartel and information exchange matters."

"He is very hands-on and extremely knowledgeable, with excellent judgement and strategy."

"Dirk Arts stands out for his in-depth knowledge of competition law, delivering balanced and thoughtful advice which our company can rely on."


Dirk Arts is a partner in Allen & Overy LLP’s Brussels office and leads the EU and Belgian competition law practice. He represents clients in EU and Belgian cartel investigations; multi-jurisdictional, EU and Belgian merger control cases; state aid cases; and litigation, including the defence of follow-on damages claims. Dirk has particular experience in the energy, media, chemical, retail and automobile sectors.

Recent cases include advising Mediahuis on the sale of its 50 per cent stake in De Vijver Media; Belgian electronics retailer Krëfel in its sale to Boulanger; Electrabel in  litigation before the European Court of Justice relating to the nuclear industry in Belgium; Toyota on an autonomous vehicles joint venture with SoftBank; a number of undertakings in pending cartel investigations by  the European Commission (EC) and the Belgian competition authority; and  Scania in its appeal of the EC’s decision in the trucks cartel to the General Court.

Before joining the firm, Dirk worked as an assistant at the Institute for European Law at Leuven University. From 1994 to 1997, he was a law clerk at the General Court in Luxembourg. He teaches judicial protection in the EU at the Free University of Brussels, and occasionally teaches at the College of Europe.

Dirk is recognised by the major legal directories for his expertise in both EU and Belgian competition law. The Legal 500 (2019) calls him “one of the finest antitrust lawyers in Europe and a great partner to the business”, while Chambers Europe (2019) says: “He can come up with solutions and ideas that others haven't necessarily seen.”

Allen & Overy's global antitrust and competition practice comprises over 120 specialists operating across APAC, Europe and North America. The practice advises corporate clients and financial institutions on their global antitrust transactions, policies, litigation and regulatory strategies, and regularly acts on some of the highest-profile and most complex cases in the market.

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