Johan Carle
Office:
Norrlandsgatan 21
PO Box 1711
111 87
City:
Stockholm
Country:
Sweden
Tel:
+46 8 595 065 76
Fax:
+46 8 595 060 01

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Competition

Johan Carle joined Mannheimer Swartling in 1993 and was elected partner in 1999. He was Mannheimer Swartling’s resident partner in Brussels for almost a decade, returning to Stockholm in 2003 where he now heads the EU and competition law group. Johan has substantial experience of issues relating to merger control, cartels, abuse of a dominant position, state aid and public procurement. He is consistently ranked as a leading individual in the most recognised legal directories.

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

As a specialist within a full-service firm, I enjoy working with colleagues in other disciplines and fitting together the puzzle pieces of our respective areas of expertise into a complete picture for our clients. I also relish the deep dive into a client’s business that is required as a competition lawyer – if we don’t know what they do, we can’t very well help them manage the risk to do it.

HOW DOES WORKING ON BOTH TRANSACTIONAL AND CONTENTIOUS MATTERS BENEFIT YOUR WORK IN BOTH AREAS?

On a personal level, a mixed practice simply keeps things more interesting. On a practical level, there is also greater scope to avoid litigation or an investigation if you have handled matters that have not always followed such a smooth course. 

TO WHAT EXTENT HAVE CULTURAL NORMS AROUND LITIGATION IN THE NORDIC MARKET BEGUN TO CHANGE?

Compared to the US, the UK or even other parts of the EU, Sweden has traditionally been a far less litigious jurisdiction. I would say that there is still a “Nordic way” – where agreements tend to be shorter and “what ifs” are less laboriously catered for – but I do now see this being somewhat tempered by outside influences. More often than not we are involved in multi-jurisdictional matters and what works domestically may not be appropriate in that context. Nordic pragmatism can still be brought to bear, however!

M&A HAS REACHED RECORD HIGHS IN RECENT MONTHS. HOW DOES THE FIRM ENSURE IT IS WELL PLACED TO ASSIST ON RELATED COMPETITION MATTERS?

Skill, size and systems! We have strength and depth in our practice group. We work actively with systematising what we do so it can be done efficiently and effectively. We maintain close ties with our M&A colleagues, learning from each other, and ensuring we are brought in how and when appropriate. We are in good shape for the increasing workload.

HAS THE SWEDISH COMPETITION AUTHORITY MIRRORED THE STRICTER APPROACH TO PROCEDURAL ISSUES NOW BEING EXPERIENCED AT EU-LEVEL, FOR EXAMPLE AS REGARDS GUN-JUMPING?

To some extent, yes. For example, the Swedish Authority used its “stop the clock” powers in a merger context for the first time in summer 2018, following failure by the notifying party to respond in time to a request for information (time started to run again after 19 days) This may signal a tightening up procedurally, motivated by a similar climate at the European Commission. It remains the case, however, that the Swedish framework has somewhat blunter teeth than that of the EC. The potential impact of ECN+ will be interesting in this context.

SWEDEN RECENTLY APPOINTED A NEW DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE COMPETITION AUTHORITY. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR HIM TO ADDRESS IN THE JURISDICTION?

The current director general has now been in the job just over a year. He has overseen, through design or happenstance, something of a spring clean of the caseload of the Swedish Competition Authority, closing many long-running cases. For me, I would like to see some more positive precedent – sensible prioritisation with successful outcomes to guide our work in private practice.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FIELD OF COMPETITION LAW DEVELOPING OVER THE COMING YEARS?

I am not one for crystal-ball gazing but there are areas of commerce in the Nordics that are already fairly concentrated so it will be interesting to see how further consolidation would be handled domestically or at EU-level. Even small add-on deals can be problematic in this context. The Swedish authority can in some circumstances request a notification of a below-threshold merger – we may see more of this. 

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

We have long held the leading position in the Nordics, the result of hard work and dedication across our team. I am proud to head up this group, combined successfully – for the most part! – with my family life. Not always an easy balance to strike and I can take pride in that.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Competition: Lawyers

Johan Carle is a partner at Mannheimer Swartling and chairs the EU and competition law group.

He was resident partner at Mannheimer Swartling’s office in Brussels from 1999 to 2003 before returning to the firm’s head office in Stockholm, where he began his career in 1993.

He specialises in cartel litigation, merger control and the application of EU and Swedish competition law, particularly in relation to the abuse of a dominant position. He regularly represents clients before the European Commission and the Swedish Competition Authority.

In addition, he has extensive experience of state aid and public procurement matters, representing clients before the European Commission and in courts.

WWL says: Johan Carle is "a leading lawyer in the field", according to sources, who note that he "handles high-end cases well".

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

Other Practice Areas:

Follow us on LinkedIn

Practice Areas

Firms

Browse Firms

Search Firms

The Who's Who Legal 100

Awards

News & Features

Special Reports

Events

Shop

About Us

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

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.

Copyright © 2019 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. | http://www.lbresearch.com

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910

http://www.whoswholegal.com | editorial@whoswholegal.com

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK