David Mamane
Office:
Löwenstrasse 19
PO Box 2201
8021
City:
Zurich
State:
Zurich
Country:
Switzerland

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Competition

David Mamane, LLM (Bruges), is the head of Schellenberg Wittmer’s competition group. His main areas of practice are competition/antitrust law, public law and distribution agreements. He regularly advises clients in proceedings before the Swiss ComCo and is experienced in all aspects of Swiss and European competition law, including national and multi-jurisdictional merger control procedures, cartel investigations, dawn raids, internal investigations, compliance and leniency procedures. He is a lecturer in competition law at the University of Lucerne.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

My interest in competition law began during my university studies, which coincided with the enactment of the current Swiss competition law act. In my first position as a lawyer, I worked on IP/IT and competition law matters. I focused my LLM at the College of Europe (Bruges) on competition law and then worked in that field for an international law firm in Brussels. After my return to Switzerland I continued to fully dedicate my career to competition law: I became a competition law lecturer in 2009, a partner in my firm in 2011 and the head of its competition team in 2018. 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY FOR A COMPETITION LAWYER TO HAVE?

Every competition lawyer needs to have a lot of curiosity to fully immerse themselves into the product and business world of their client. Only by fully understanding the business is it possible to assess the relevant competition law questions and to advise clients on potential competition law issues. It is also important to stay on top of the international legal developments in the field of competition law. Many new concepts develop on an international level, and are transposed by national competition authorities into their own practice. 

VERTICAL CONSOLIDATION IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY PREVALENT IN DISCUSSIONS AROUND COMPETITION. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE FEARS SURROUNDING THIS JUSTIFIED?

In my view there should not be any fears around vertical integration and consolidation. Ultimately, from a competition law point of view, a vertically integrated business can have more possibilities and better control when distributing its products. This can counterbalance certain competition law restrictions on the distribution of goods and services. 

HOW HAS THE FIELD OF COMPETITION LAW CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED PRACTISING?

I can see three main developments over the past years. First, economic considerations have at the same time become more important and are also controversial in particular with regard to so-called restrictions by object. The right balance seems to be hard to find. Second, decisions and judgements have become much longer and more complex, reflecting a heightened level of legal and economic scrutiny. Third, the competition law practice has become more international in regards to merger control, cartel investigations and the international review of distribution systems.

HOW DOES YOUR FIRM STAND OUT FROM COMPETITORS IN THE MARKET?

Our team is based in Zurich and Geneva and we can assist clients in German, French, and English from both offices. Our team members all have significant competition law experience and two of them are former case handlers of the Swiss competition authority and can contribute their practical experience from having experienced both sides. Also, we can draw on a large pool of highly experienced litigators from our firm’s large litigation team.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE FIELD OF COMPETITION LAW?

I enjoy the variety of work! We work across all types of fields of work from transactional advice and merger control procedures, to representations in investigations and internal investigations, as well as compliance work, in many different industries. Together with my teaching position, this is very rewarding. 

WHERE DOES THE FUTURE OF COMPETITION LAW LIE?

On the one hand, some of the work will become more global, in particular in regards to merger control work and international cartel investigations, which is also driven by increased cooperation amongst national competition authorities. On the other hand, we will also have more local work, as the Swiss competition authority continues to develop its own practice, which is in some instances different to the practice in the EU.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Switzerland

David Mamane, LLM (Bruges), is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s competition group. His main areas of practice are competition/antitrust law, public law and distribution agreements. He regularly advises clients in proceedings before the Swiss ComCo and is experienced in all aspects of Swiss and European competition law, including national and multi-jurisdictional merger control procedures, cartel investigations, dawn raids, internal investigations, compliance and leniency procedures. He is a lecturer in competition law at the University of Lucerne. 

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN COMPETITION LAW?

My passion for competition law began during my LLM studies when I saw that competition law could never be fully understood without having an interest in the fundamental economic concepts. To be able to learn about new markets and to get to know the mechanics of these markets is one of the key drivers that makes competition law so interesting to me. 

HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE SWISS COMPETITION COMMISSION (COMCO) IN PREVENTING ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOUR?

The ComCo has become more effective by increasing its activities in proactively detecting potential cartels. Due to public pressure there have also been many new procedures regarding distribution systems. In addition, the Swiss-EU cooperation agreement for competition matters has expanded the possibilities of the ComCo to cooperate with the European Commission and to receive information in potential parallel investigations. 

WHEN IT COMES TO COMPETITION LAW, ARE THERE ANY AREAS IN WHICH EUROPEAN REGULATION IS LACKING?

In some instances, there is a lack of procedural rules, which sufficiently protect the due process in competition law investigations. 

YOU HAVE EXPERTISE IN IT, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND ENERGY REGULATION. DO CERTAIN INDUSTRIES REQUIRE GREATER REGULATION THAN OTHERS, OR IS THE REQUIREMENT MORE UNIFORM?

Competition law is a very flexible field of law, which is generally sufficient to handle these cases. However, the application to new industries or more technological environments needs a robust understanding of the market and technologies to achieve the correct results. Access regulation for certain essential infrastructures can possibly be better handled by sector specific regulation, but the legislator must be careful not to stifle competition. 

HOW HAS THE INCREASINGLY STRINGENT APPROACH FROM REGULATORS AFFECTED THE TYPE OF CLIENT DEMANDS YOU HAVE BEEN SEEING RECENTLY?

There is an increased tendency to seek upfront advice and to conduct competition law compliance checks and education. We have significantly built up our service offerings for such exercises. In addition, once investigations have been initiated, there is a need to quickly have an overview of relevant (electronic) documents, which we accommodate with in-house document review capacities. This has helped clients to adjust their strategy. 

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU PASS ON TO ASPIRING COMPETITION LAWYERS?

First, enjoy what you are doing. You can only excel in a field in which you have a true interest and passion. Second, follow competition law developments across other countries. Concepts and problems outside your jurisdiction may be similar and can inspire your practice. Third, connect with other lawyers on an international level. Having an international relationship network is crucial to assist your client.

WHAT HAVE YOU NOT YET ACHIEVED IN YOUR CAREER THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO IN THE NEXT DECADE?

To bring a case to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the procedural aspects. The quasi-criminal nature of the competition law fines calls for a better protection of the rights of the incriminated parties. 

AS HEAD OF THE FIRM’S COMPETITION PRACTICE IN ZURICH, WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES FOR ITS DEVELOPMENT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

We are strategically expanding and growing the competition and antitrust team, via expertise and size, across both the Zurich and Geneva offices to continue providing competitive resources on the increasing quantity of large, cross-border case mandates. 

The use of new and innovative technology tools (e-discovery tools, e-learning, knowledge management, artificial intelligence, practice management software) to promote wider efficiency across client work and internal processes will also be heavily invested in over the next years. We look to train and develop team members to have strong expertise and ability in these areas, allowing us to readily adapt to changes foreseen in the competition law market. 

Additionally, to promote a growing innovative mindset, the competition team is continuously seeking ways to improve its business model and services to clients in order to be more efficient.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Competition: Lawyers

David Mamane is a partner and head of Schellenberg Wittmer's competition group in Zurich. His main areas of practice are competition and antitrust law, as well as telecommunications and energy regulation, public procurement, licence and distribution agreements. David regularly advises clients in proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission and is experienced in all aspects of Swiss and European competition law, including national and multi-jurisdictional merger control procedures, cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, dawn raids, internal investigations, compliance, e-learning and leniency procedures. David has established himself as one of the world’s most renowned Swiss competition lawyers due to his involvement in international conferences and matters.

David is highly specialised in IT matters and is a co-founder of a legal consulting firm in the IT sector. With this unique expertise, David leads IT and knowledge management at Schellenberg Wittmer.

David's recent case expertise includes advising Husqvarna in two investigations by the Swiss Competition Commission regarding vertical price fixing and horizontal coordination. The team was able to limit the procedure to certain types of behaviour and negotiate two favourable settlements. He also recently represented a leading Swiss bank in investigations by the Swiss Competition Commission; and advised Olympus with regard to competition law questions concerning the distribution of products in Switzerland.

David is highly recognised for his expertise by leading directories and publications such as Chambers and PartnersThe Legal 500WWL and GCR. They describe him as an "outstanding competition expert with a reputation for working on multi-jurisdictional cases" and "someone with a brilliant mind and strategic thinker".

David Mamane lectures on competition law at the University of Lucerne and has authored several publications on Swiss and European competition law. He is a member of the Zurich and Swiss Bar Associations; the Association of German-Speaking Competition Lawyers; the international antitrust committee steering group of the American Bar Association’s section of international law; and the International Bar Association’s competition committee merger working group. He is the former president of the International Association of Young Lawyers’ antitrust commission and the co-founder of the European Competition Lawyers Association (www.competitionlawyers.org).

David Mamane studied law at the University of Basel (lic iur 1997) and the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium (LLM, Master of European Law, 2003). Between 2000 and 2008 he was an associate in the Brussels office of a leading international law firm and in a leading Swiss law firm, as well as a teaching assistant at the College of Europe. 

Schellenberg Wittmer is one of the leading business law firms in Switzerland. Over 140 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore advise domestic and international clients on all aspects of business law.

WWL says: David Mamane is a "smart competition lawyer" who "always provides spot-on advice". One client calls him "one of the best external counsels I have ever worked with".

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Competition which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Competition

David Mamane is a partner and head of Schellenberg Wittmer's competition group in Zurich. His main areas of practice are competition and antitrust law, as well as telecommunications and energy, public procurement, licence and distribution agreements.

David is co-founder of a legal consulting firm in the IT sector and leads the IT and knowledge management team at Schellenberg Wittmer. He is also a co-founder of the European Competition Lawyers Association (ECLA; www.competitionlawyers.org).

His recent expertise includes advising Husqvarna in investigations by the Swiss Competition Commission; representing a leading Swiss bank in investigations by the Swiss Competition Commission; and advising Olympus with regard to competition law.

David is recognised as a "most highly regarded" individual by Who's Who Legal: Competition and Global Competition Review (GCR).

David lectures on competition law at the University of Lucerne and has authored publications on Swiss and European competition law. He is a member of the Zurich and Swiss Bar Associations, the Association of German-Speaking Competition Lawyers and the International Bar Association's competition committee merger working group. He is the former president of the International Association of Young Lawyers' antitrust commission.

David studied law at the University of Basel (lic iur, 1997) and the College of Europe (LLM, Master of European Law, 2003). Between 2000 and 2008, he was an associate of leading international and Swiss law firms, as well as a teaching assistant at the College of Europe.

WWL says: David Mamane is “a big name” in the field who “absolutely deserves to be at the top of the list” according to sources. He focuses his first-class practice on a wide array of antitrust matters including merger control and cartel investigations.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

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