LINKLATERS

Comment: This antitrust practice is one of the market leaders and is esp. visible in international merger controls. Brussels partner Meyring has been involved in some of the largest transatlantic merger plans (Linde/Praxair and SABMiller/AB), while Grave and German partner in London Christian Ahlborn worked intensively on the failed merger of the Frankfurt and London stock exchanges. On the whole, relationships with DAX companies such as VW, E.on and Linde have been consolidated. Seeliger also represented the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs in a dispute over the Edeka-Tengelmann merger following its authorization. Linklaters is also one of the most visible players in damages claims. However, the loss of Deselaers to US rival Cleary is painful. He had established a team of antitrust lawyers and litigators over the years, which coordinated defense against claims for Beiersdorf and Nestlé. For antitrust-related disputes in the energy sector, both practice groups are collaborating more closely.
Strengths: Very dynamic ?M&A and ?private equity and venture capital practices, strong Brussels office.
Development potential: In addition to Deselaers, the practice lost several experienced lawyers again, this time a counsel (to McDermott) and two managing associates (both in-house). New hires mean the team has not shrunk but the firm should take the departure of experienced antitrust lawyers seriously. Larger practices such as Gleiss and Freshfields have had more success using promotions to signal chances for advancement to their younger lawyers.
Recommended: Dr. Daniela Seeliger (“experienced, practical, unpretentious”, competitor), Dr. Carsten Grave (“always gets to the point”, client”; “extremely experienced in complex merger controls”, competitor), Dr. Bernd Meyring.
Practice: Focus on German and European merger controls in close cooperation with the M&A practice. Cartel cases and multinational registrations within the Europe-wide Linklaters network. Increasingly active in ?compliance and antitrust proceedings ( ?commercial litigation and liability); also ?state aid. (4 partners, 2 counsel, 17 associates, 1 of counsel).
Clients: ?? Beiersdorf Europe-wide on defense against damages claims, incl. suit by Schlecker insolvency administrators; Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs in Higher Regional Court (Bundesgericht) proceedings over authorization for Edeka-Tengelmann; German stock exchange on planned merger with London Stock Exchange; VW in antitrust proceedings over auto producers (with Freshfields); Nestlé on damages claims against the sugar cartel and defense against damages from the capuccino, chocolate, consumer goods and sausage cartels.
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