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Marquard Christen, LL.M., MAS

Partner
Member Steering Committee CMS Competition Group & Head of Public Procurement Group

CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd.
Dreikönigstrasse 7
P.O. Box
8022 Zurich
Switzerland
Languages German, English, French, Spanish, Dutch

Marquard Christen specializes in competition (antitrust) and public procurement law.

Marquard advises Swiss and foreign companies on all aspects of Swiss and EU competition law (horizontal and vertical agreements, dominance abuse, merger control and civil antitrust law) and represents them in proceedings before competition authorities and courts. Over the past 15 years, he has gained special knowledge in various industries including automotive, construction, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, telecommunication and payment. In public procurement law, Marquard supports both procuring entities and bidders in the tender process and in appeal proceedings. Additionally, he advises clients on compliance matters, in general and with a particular focus on antitrust law (development of compliance programs, compliance and dawn raid trainings and antitrust law audits).

Marquard joined our firm as a trainee in 2001 and continued working for CMS as an associate after being admitted to the bar in 2003. From 2009 to 2010 he worked as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross before returning to CMS in 2011. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the global CMS Competition Group and heads our firm's Public Procurement Practice Group. Marquard is also an investigator appointed by the Swiss Bankers Association with regard to the enforcement of the Swiss Code of Conduct on the Due Diligence of Banks (CDB) and a member of the Expert Committee on Digitalisation of the Swiss Bar Association. He regularly lectures and publishes in his fields of expertise and is the co-founder of a competition law roundtable consisting of young partners and senior associates from major Swiss law firms.

Apart from commercial law, Marquard is committed to the advancement of human rights and international humanitarian law. He is also active in the firm's pro bono engagements.

Marquard Christen is married and the father of two sons.

 

Rankings

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Marquard Christen is 'clearly one of the best experts in competition law', say sources, one of whom adds, 'His strength is his ability to quickly understand even the most complex set of facts.'

Who's Who Legal, Thought Leaders – Competition 2020

'Pragmatic strategist' Marquard Christen, who 'has unique expertise in competition law combined with public procurement', reached a settlement for client Rimowa during a ComCo investigation regarding an alleged restriction on product exports from Germany to Switzerland.

The Legal 500, Competition - Switzerland 2019

Marquard Christen at CMS von Erlach Poncet is a firm favourite among sources who commend his "unique gift for providing crisp and clear advice" as well as "his excellent expertise in competition law and outstanding analytical skills".

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland – Competition 2019

Marquard Christen wins praise from clients for being "very responsive and extremely business minded." Interviewees highlight his "ability to understand the economic context and to tailor his response to the needs of his client." He regularly assists clients with merger clearance matters, as well as representing them in antitrust investigations.

Chambers and Partners, Competition/Antitrust - Switzerland 2019

Marquard Christen "impresses with his strong legal knowledge, excellent analytical skills and practical advice based on clients' needs," according to interviewees. Clients also extol his "ability not only to assess facts from a legal perspective, but also to understand the economic context." He has particular expertise in the intersect between competition and public procurement law, with expertise in the area of bid rigging.

Chambers and Partners, Competition/Antitrust – Switzerland 2018

Apart from team lead Patrick Sommer, the ‘business-minded’ Marquard Christen is the main adviser, who offers ‘superb, convincing advice’, ‘profound knowledge of antitrust law’ and has a ‘complex readiness of mind’.

The Legal 500, Competition - Switzerland 2018

‘Outstanding and proactive’ firm CMS has significant expertise in real estate, employment, competition and litigation matters. Stefan Gerster, Marquard Christen, Christian Gersbach, Jodok Wicki and Philipp Dickenmann are the names to note.

The Legal 500, Leading Firms: German-Speaking Switzerland, 2018

Marquard Christen is "a very visible and strong practitioner" who has exceptional knowledge of investigations and compliance matters.

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland – Competition 2018

Clients greatly appreciate Marquard Christen for his "strong legal knowledge, excellent analytical skills and practical advice".

Who's Who Legal - Competition 2018

CMS attracts praise for its combination of ‘great service’ with ‘timely and practical advice’. The team has been representing Bayer in appeal proceedings against a decision by the Competition Commission regarding alleged vertical price fixing. Practice head Patrick Sommer and recently promoted partner Marquard Christen are recommended."

The Legal 500, Competition - Switzerland 2017

Clients endorse Marquard Christen's services as “tailor made and focused on our needs”, describing his counsel as “of outstanding quality and based on a deep understanding of our business."

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland - Competition 2017

Relevant experience

  • Representation of company active in the area of ancillary construction trade in antitrust proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court regarding horizontal price fixing
  • Representation of road construction and civil engineering company in antitrust proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission and the Swiss Federal Administrative Court regarding bid rigging
  • Advice to ancillary construction trade association on the implementation of industry guidelines
  • Representation of telecommunications company in several antitrust proceedings against Swisscom before the Swiss Competition authority, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, regarding abuse of dominant position
  • Antitrust advice to leading payment industry company held by competing companies from the financial sector on the implementation of various projects
  • Antitrust advice to municipal electricity company in the implementation of various projects on the commercialisation of its fibre optic network
  • Antitrust advice to cantonal electricity company on the implementation of various projects in regulated and non-regulated areas of activity
  • Advice to international automotive group in antitrust proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission regarding horizontal information exchange and price fixing (including amicable settlement with the authority)
  • Representation of foreign automotive group in Swiss civil antitrust proceedings in the area of distribution and after sales service
  • Antitrust advice to foreign pharmaceuticals wholesaler on the admissibility of a purchasing association
  • Antitrust advice to a leading pharmaceuticals company on the implementation of recommended retail prices
  • Antitrust assessment and advice in relation to a reorganisation of the distribution system of a veterinary medicinal products manufacturer
  • Representation of an international consumer goods manufacturer in antitrust proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission regarding territorial market allocation (including amicable settlement with the authority)
  • Advice to and representation of companies from various industry sectors in merger control proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission
  • Coordination of parallel merger control proceedings in various jurisdictions within and outside the EU for a leading international manufacturer of materials for the automotive and beverage industry
  • Comprehensive antitrust audit for a leading international construction company
  • Development and implementation of compliance programmes (guidelines, trainings, e-learning tools, dawn raid policies) for companies from various industry sectors
  • Public procurement law advice to a cantonal electricity company in relation to a public tender for IT services
  • Public procurement law advice to a municipality in relation to public tenders for the construction of various municipal buildings
  • Representation of companies from various industry sectors (including pharmaceuticals, facility management, IT, transportation and energy) in public procurement proceedings in various cantons (including Zurich and Berne) and before the Swiss Federal Administrative Court
  • Providing a legal opinion on the applicability of the public procurement regime on a cantonal electricity company
  • Antitrust and public procurement law advice to an association and its members in the context of a public tender in the area of humanitarian aid
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Education

  • 2011 – Master of Advanced Studies (MAS), Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEI) and University of Geneva
  • 2007 – Master of Laws (LL.M.), University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2003 – Bar Admission (partial remission for excellence in written exam)
  • 2000 – Law degree (lic. iur., summa cum laude), University of Fribourg and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
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Memberships

  • Zurich Bar Association (ZAV)
  • Practise Group Competition Law of Zurich Bar Association 
  • Swiss Bar Association (SAV)
  • Expert Group on Digitalisation of Swiss Bar Association
  • Swiss Association on Public Procurement (SVöB)
  • Antitrust Law Association (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht)
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Publications

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Lectures list

  • 17 April 2019, Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Zurich, "Verhandlung und Abschluss von einvernehmlichen Regelungen (EVR) – Erfahrungsbericht zu jüngeren Entwicklungen in der Behördenpraxis"
  • 31 October 2018, CMS Competition and Public Procurement Breakfast 2018, Zurich, "Die kartellrechtliche Beurteilung verschiedener Kooperationsformen bei der Teilnahme an staatlichen und privaten Auftragsvergaben“
  • 28 August 2018, Presentation and Antitrust Law Training for major Swiss construction company, "Das Kartellrecht und Ihr Unternehmen – Kartellrechtsverstösse und ihre Auswirkungen"
  • 26 September 2017, Chamber of Commerce of the Stuttgart Region, "Abwicklung von (öffentlichen) Aufträgen in der DACH-Region, Einblick in das Schweizer Vergaberecht"
  • 15 June 2017, Annual Congress of Swiss Bar Association, Lucerne, "Der Weg in die Selbständigkeit – Erfahrungsberichte aus verschiedenen Blickrichtungen"
  • 7 April 2017, International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), Public Law Commission Seminar, Lausanne, "Setting the scene: the legal framework concerning public procurement" (co-speaker: Katarzyna Kuzma, Domanski Zakrewski Palinka, Poland)
  • 16 November 2016, CMS Competition Breakfast 2016, Zurich, "Antitrust Damages Claims in the EU and Switzerland – Legal Framework and Practical Questions" (co-speakers: Satyen Dhana, CMS London and Tim Reher, CMS Hamburg)
  • 20 October 2016, Schweizerischer Fachverband Fenster- und Fassadenbranche (FFF), Gossau, "Das Kartellrecht und Ihr Unternehmen – Kartellrechtsverstösse und ihre Auswirkungen"
  • 18 November 2015, CMS Commercial Breakfast 2015, Zurich, "AGB – Verloren im Kleingedruckten" (co-speaker: Reto Hunsperger)
  • 26 February 2015, CMS Commercial Breakfast 2015, Zurich, "'Liability' und 'Warranty' in Commercial Contracts unter Schweizer Recht – Lost in Translation" (co-speaker: Reto Hunsperger)
  • 11 December 2013, Verband Schweizerischer Elektro-Installationsfirmen (VSEI), Zurich, "Das Kartellrecht und Ihr Unternehmen"
  • 2 May 2013, Generalversammlung des Verbandes Schweizerischer Schloss- und Beschlägefabrikanten (VSSB), Murten, "Das Kartellrecht und Ihr Unternehmen"
  • 15 November 2012, Arbeitgebertagung der Arbeitgebervereinigung des Zürcher Unterlandes (AZU), Zürich, "Tangiert das Kartellrecht Ihr Unternehmen?"
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12/02/2015
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