Mergers, Acquisitions and Other Business Combinations
More than 100 countries now have some form of merger notification or clearance regime. We are well placed to determine when such merger control requirements may be triggered and to evaluate and assess the competitive implications of certain business combinations. Our experience enables us to structure transactions so as to minimize hurdles and ensure a timely closing. We can anticipate how antitrust and competition enforcement authorities are likely to view transactions, and understand which types of argument will be persuasive. Our lawyers regularly advise both merging parties and complainants on in-depth “Phase II” or “Second Request” merger control reviews, and have handled scores of settlements and undertakings with competition authorities when necessary to receive regulatory approval and permit a transaction to proceed. We have been involved in some of the largest mergers in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our expertise also extends to Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews, in which we have resolved numerous investigations.
International Cartels and Price Fixing Conspiracies
The detection and prosecution of cartel offences are the highest priorities of antitrust and competition enforcement authorities. We have a long history of handling these cases successfully and can draw on our team of experienced lawyers from around the world. As more jurisdictions have criminalized price-fixing violations, the investigation of these violations has required increasingly sophisticated expertise. Our lawyers have appeared directly before enforcement agencies, not only in the US and before the European Commission, but also on behalf of clients in investigations by authorities in France, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Japan and the UK.
We are widely respected for our ability to seamlessly manage the defense of government price-fixing actions and resulting civil cases, regardless of industry or locale. Similarly, our reach has proven invaluable in negotiating leniency agreements with competition authorities, not only in North America (US, Canada and Mexico) and Europe, but also in Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
We can share our deep understanding of litigation matters involving antitrust and competition issues. Because of the potential for treble damage awards and criminal liability for corporations and individuals in certain jurisdictions (e.g., the US) as well as the emergence of damages actions in others (e.g., the EU), cases involving antitrust and competition issues pose particular risks. Our group combines a substantive knowledge of antitrust and competition laws and issues with practical trial experience. We have litigated a wide range of antitrust matters – monopolization cases, dealer terminations and preliminary injunctions in merger cases. Our lawyers have assisted corporations and individuals in connection with criminal grand jury and civil government investigations, antitrust trials and class actions, pretrial motions, discovery and trial preparations, as well as antitrust appellate advocacy. We also have substantial experience with industries that raise unique antitrust issues, such as aviation, healthcare and chemicals, among others.
EU State Aid and Procurement
In an area requiring very specific expertise, we have a leading position advising companies with respect to the EU rules prohibiting certain forms of direct and indirect state subsidies and the highly complex rules governing governmental tenders throughout the EU. We advise national governments and awarding bodies, recipients of state support, bidders and third-party complainants, and regularly represent such parties before the European Commission and the European Courts in Luxembourg, as well as in procurement matters before national courts in the EU. Our strength is recognized not only by our involvement in the most significant cases, but also by leading legal directories.