Martin André Dittmer is managing partner at Gorrissen Federspiel and heads the firm’s EU and competition group. He advises clients on all competition law issues with particular focus on merger control in M&As, and he has been involved in some of the most complex Danish mergers dealt with by the European Commission, the Danish competition authorities, and foreign competition authorities over many years. He is a frequent speaker at conferences in Denmark and abroad.
What do you enjoy most about your work as a competition specialist?
The complexity in our daily work makes us stay awake and alert in order to provide the best possible advice to our clients.
What did you find most challenging about entering competition practice?
The legal field is challenging. We basically only have a couple of provisions in the Treaty and in national laws, and then a load of case law and decisions that are evolving and sometimes contradictory. In addition, competition law is also an economic discipline so you need to know your economics.
How do you prepare for a high-profile merger control case?
We follow a very thought-through procedure, from the very first approach by a client to the very end. We know that conducting the process by setting up the right team, including our in-house economists, and staying consistently ahead of the agencies are key to a “smooth” merger control procedure.
How has the European Commission’s focus on more detailed documents in merger control investigations impacted on competition practice?
We are advising our clients that before they even think about a possible transaction, they need to know that all internal documents produced – even in a completely different setting and with a different ambition – may end up being part of the file.
In what ways has your role as chairman of the Danish Association of Competition Law improved your practice?
It has been a great privilege to chair the Danish Association of Competition Lawyers, encouraging the development and exchange of knowledge between our Danish competition lawyers. The role has now been passed on to a colleague, as it should.
How do you see your practice developing over the next five years?
My focus is still on complex merger control work, and the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority has been very much inspired by the European Commission. In a recent case it requested 85,000 internal documents. We also see an increase in abuse cases that go all the way to the Supreme Court.
What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to be in your position one day?
Learn by doing. This is an area where experience is really key. There are no textbook answers most of the time, so do as many cases you can and be engaged in all aspects so you understand it in depth.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
I am every day struggling to become even better at what I do. I have a pending case that I would like to win in the Supreme Court in Denmark, possibly after a reference to the European Courts. There are always interesting challenges in this field.