"One of the top 10 cartel practices in the world"

GCR 100, 2015

Competition / Antitrust

Gleiss Lutz has been involved in shaping antitrust law since day one, having played an active role in all major national and international developments and cases for more than 60 years. Our clients benefit not only from our extensive experience but also from our many years of dealing with the relevant authorities. This makes us one of the leading antitrust practices not only in Germany but across Europe.

Merger control

A major focus of our practice is the planning and implementation of merger control procedures – whether in Germany, the European Union, or elsewhere in the world. To ensure that transactions are brought to a successful conclusion, we negotiate constructively and effectively, devising practical and creative solutions with a keen eye for legal, economic, and political developments. When arranging and coordinating filings in multiple jurisdictions, we look into the notification obligations mandated by antitrust legislation and conduct the necessary procedures with the help of our global network of leading local law firms.

Cartel investigations

Gleiss Lutz enjoys an outstanding reputation for defending clients in cartel investigations and has played an instrumental role in nearly all major German and European cases in recent years. Our work in the first settlement proceedings in European antitrust law was groundbreaking and serves as a ringing endorsement for future casework in this area.

As part of an international network, we are able to assist our clients swiftly and effectively in all legal jurisdictions, for example in cases in which multiple cartel authorities conduct coordinated searches in several countries. We also help clients develop cross-border defence strategies, and prepare and file any necessary leniency applications. Furthermore, Gleiss Lutz has a wealth of experience in appealing decisions imposing fines, frequently representing clients in court at national and European level – including in many landmark cases before the German Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice.

Damages actions (follow-on actions)

In Europe, in particular, we have been involved in the development of private enforcement – a relatively new field of law – from the very beginning, building up extensive experience in the process. Representation of defendants in test cases such as ORWI, CDC (grey cement) and firefighting vehicles underscore our pioneer status. Our integrated teams of lawyers provide cross-border Support and advice that addresses the legal issues specific to EU member states, the US, and other major jurisdictions. Here, our services include defending against and the out-of-court settlement of damages claims, as well as advising on claims between the cartel members themselves. We regularly work with some of the most renowned economists in the field.


We develop and implement tailored compliance programmes for companies to help them avoid falling foul of the cartel authorities and to minimise the risk of fines. We also conduct preventive antitrust audits and organise seminars as well as customised online workshops to train staff and heighten their awareness of antitrust issues. In the event of breaches of duty by management, we can advise extensively on D&O insurance coverage.

Vertical and horizontal agreements

We also advise on horizontal agreements with competitors and vertical agreements with suppliers, distributors or customers. By preparing a state-of-the-art “self-assessment” as required by law, we ensure that our clients achieve their commercial objectives while fully complying with antitrust laws. Our lawyers have longstanding experience in dealing with distribution, R&D, specialisation, licensing and joint venture contracts, to name but a few. What’s more, our industry-specific know-how means our advice is highly appreciated in the automotive, banking, chemicals, healthcare, energy, engineering, media, food, pharmaceuticals, raw materials, commodities and insurance sectors.

International reach

We provide integrated specialist advice to our clients anywhere in the world – be it on multiple merger filings, international cartel investigations, or damages actions with worldwide implications. Close ties with leading antitrust practices around the world allow us to draw from a flexible and proven inter national network. This enables us to put together hand-picked, multi-jurisdictional teams tailored to our clients’ needs.