Comment: A leading firm in antitrust, well known internationally like its competitor Freshfields. One client praised the whole team as “smart, experienced and with a global approach”. For years it has advised Dow Chemical on acquisitions, providing worldwide coordination from the Cologne office. A competitor said of Cologne counsel Kuhn’s work here “he really showed what he was made of". Associates at the firm also have an opportunity to gain experience on large cases to an extent that is rare in Germany. Thanks to Polley, the practice has a high profile in the domestic German market as well. Prominent cases include the ongoing work for Henkel and an important success for Kia regarding the access of independent replacement parts suppliers to its databases. For defense against damages claims, Cleary has strategically bolstered its team with Dr. Wolfgang Deselaers from Linklaters, because although the firm has a renowned specialist in Harms, some competitors have greater clout here thanks to larger teams.
Strengths: One of the most internationally integrated practices. Strong teams of highly regarded antitrust lawyers, esp. in Brussels, France and the US.
Development potential: The up-and-coming generation of lawyers could be disappointed to find that a successfully developed business field such as defense against damages claims has been bumping up against limitations. The arrival of Deselaers thus sends an important signal. Cleary may be able to better use its good international setup here if it bolsters the small German litigation practice.
Recommended: Prof. Dr. Dirk Schroeder, Dr. Romina Polley (“very knowledgeable, has become the German face of the practice”, competitor), Dr. Tilman Kuhn (“a great talent”, client; “efficient and very experienced”, competitor), Rüdiger Harms, Dr. Patrick Bock (“I really value working with them”, client about all three; litigation), Dr. Wolfgang Deselaers.
Practice: Focus on merger controls, litigation ( ?commercial litigation and liability) and antitrust proceedings. Extensive state aid experience in Brussels. Established antitrust lawyers in Paris, Rome and the US. (4 partners, 3 counsel, 17 associates, 3 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Kia Motors in dispute with workshop association over access to vehicle data; Dow Chemical on planned merger with DuPont; regular advice to Henkel, incl. planned purchase of Darex; 3M on planned purchase of Scott Safety; merger controls for Spie.
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