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International Antitrust, Competition and Trade Law Firm

We cover every area of Antitrust, Competition and Trade law

The CMS Antitrust, Competition and Trade (ACT) group is one of the largest specialist competition and trade teams in the world. More than 225 CMS experts advise clients in more than 40 countries worldwide on all ACT matters.

Due to our size and very wide footprint, we are able to deal with all ACT matters irrespective of their geographic dimension. Where necessary we cooperate with long established contacts from our wider network of law firms everywhere in the world.

We are specialists across the full range of Antitrust, Competition and Trade matters. In the last three years alone, we advised clients in more than 750 competition and trade related proceedings. We have expert sub-groups specialising in specific areas within the wider competition and trade field, e.g. for State aid and FDI/Foreign investment screening. We are also well-known as experts in various sectors of the economy. Our renowned sector specialisation encompasses automotive, consumer products/FMCG, construction, digital economy, energy/oil & gas, life sciences, telecommunications/media and transport to name but a few.

Our clients range from many very large multinationals who frequently use our team as their ACT law firm of choice for the entire region (e.g., in Europe), to governments at all levels and also a high number of medium-sized companies.

We use the most up-to-date technical and AI tools to support our business.

We hold a renowned annual EU competition law conference which has become a feature in the Brussels calendar.  We put out regular case law updates on European and international competition and trade developments on our Law Now service.  Our monthly EU law webinars are attended by in house counsel from around the world.  And our group is steered, not just by a management committee of partners but also by an active associates group that keeps us innovating to serve clients.

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Abuse of dominance and economic dependence
Competitive conduct of companies with a strong market position is subject to increasing scrutiny and may lead to unwanted regulatory intervention, hig
Competition and cartel investigations
Companies should be alive to the possibility of investigations and fines for anti-competitive behaviour. We defend our clients in cartel and other reg
We provide day to day advice in all competition law matters to help clients avoid any conflicts with competition laws. We work closely with our expert
Digital markets
CMS is widely recognised as a leader in providing legal advice to clients from the digital and technology markets. We help companies avoid regulatory
Foreign investment screening
Our broad footprint with CMS offices in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America combined with a very wide network of long-established contacts across a
Foreign subsidies control
Following introduction of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation as of 12 January 2023 (applicable as of 12 July 2023), the EU is extending state aid contro
General EU law, free movement of goods, services and capital
With our highly specialised expertise in general European law, based mainly in Brussels, we help companies defend their commercial interests in all ma
Horizontal agreements
The line between admissible conduct and infringement can be thin. Our specialists’ expertise covers the full range of horizontal cooperation or
Merger Control
We have a long and extensive track record of advising clients on merger control requirements and representing them in merger control proceedings. Each
Private enforcement
The CMS team acts for claimants and defendants in all competition-related private enforcement matters. Our extensive experience across many cases give
Companies in regulated industries are under constant scrutiny over anti-competitive behaviour. With our in-depth sector specific competition law exper
State aid and EU subsidies
State aid is one of the most developing fields of law. The EU and its Member States and many other governments outside the EU have introduced or are a
Trade law and sanctions
In an increasingly challenging international business world, we help companies to remain compliant and keep supply chains moving. With export control
Unfair trading practices (UTP)
We are at the forefront of advising clients in the field of unfair trading practices which is a relatively new field of law in many countries. Whether
Vertical agreements
We give clients confidence in their relationships with suppliers, resellers and customers, online and offline. By reviewing their distribution systems

CMS Antitrust, Competition and Trade Group at a glance 

  • specialist presence in Brussels, at the heart of the European Union
  • 225+ competition lawyers
  • Competition law firm of the year 2020 Legal Business, Legal Business Awards
  • 300+ merger control filings in the past three years
  • 250+ other competition law proceedings in the last three years
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CMS Competition Associates
Our CMS Competition Associates’ (CMS-CA) group is a key initiative to provide our junior and senior associates with a platform for the younger generation, drive collaboration and foster innovation at all levels within the CMS Antitrust, Competition & Trade Group, both internally and externally. All associates in the CMS Competition & EU Group are invited to submit applications for membership on a biennial basis. We currently have 24 members from 23 offices, working on various initiatives and three key projects:DiGi PODe-Learningin­foX­chan­geThe focus of each of these projects is on the seamless sharing of key knowledge and experience throughout the CMS Competition & EU Group and to clients internationally, meaning that all can benefit from the most up-to-date cross-border specialist knowledge and advice. Members of the CMS-CA group can volunteer to assist with any of these projects and progress the initiatives independently, with the full support of the CMS Competition & EU Group. Members are also constantly encouraged to come up with and develop new internal and external initiatives, with a particular focus on embracing the newest and most innovative technologies. In addition, the CMS-CA group is actively involved in most activities of the CMS Competition & EU Group, including the annual CMS Competition Conference and the monthly EU Competition Law Briefings. Furthermore, members of the CMS-CA group both conduct internal training sessions to keep the CMS Competition & EU Group abreast of the most recent developments and develop online training for specific clients.
EU Competition Conference 2023
Registration is open! We are delighted to invite you to our traditional EU Competition Conference 2023 organised jointly by the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf - Institute for Competition Law and the CMS Antitrust, Competition & Trade Group. The conference will take place on 11 May 2023 at the SQUARE Conference Centre in Brussels from 10:00 to 17:30 followed by an evening event* at the BELvue Museum. We are very honoured to be able to again welcome a list of distinguished guest speakers from various institutions and private companies who will provide their valuable perspectives on the newest trends in the wide field of competition law. The list of competition law experts includes:Olivier Guersent, Director-General of the Directorate General for Competition, European Com­mis­sionGuil­laume Loriot, Deputy Director-General Mergers at DG Com­pet­i­tion­Andreas Mundt, President of the German Competition AuthorityDamien Gerard, Prosecutor General of the Belgian Competition AuthorityAndreas Schwab, Member of the European Par­lia­ment­Fur­ther­more, we are proud to announce that our sessions will showcase a range of further competition law experts from various private companies and competition economy consultancies including speakers from AB InBev, Akzo Nobel, Alstom, E. CA Economics, Microsoft, Oxera and many others. Our conference will feature interviews, multiple panel discussions and focused sessions, providing insights on a variety of important topics. Conference Programme:   10:00 Wel­come:  Christian Kersting, Heinrich Heine University Düs­sel­dorf Mi­chael Bauer, CMS Brussels  10:10 Panel: Vertical restraints Navigating the new normal - Exploring the impact of new VBER and VGL on pricing strategies and online selling­Pan­el­lists:Miguel Pérez, Director Antitrust, IP & Commercial, Ab InBevCarlos Vérgez, CMS Mad­rid­Mod­er­at­or:Mal­gorzata Urbanska, CMS Warsaw  10:50 Interview with Andreas Mun­dt, Pres­id­ent of the German Competition Authority A new approach towards sustainability agreements and buying groups? Ger­many’s ideas for a new competition toolGuest:An­dreas Mundt, President of the German Competition Au­thor­ity­In­ter­view­ers:Mi­chael Bauer, CMS Brus­sels­An­nemieke Hazelhoff, CMS Amsterdam  11:25 Panel: Horizontal restraints What lies ahead? - The EU Commission’s new approach concerning sustainability agreements and information ex­change­Pan­el­lists:Daniela Esposito, Global Head of Competition Law, Akzo NobelDirk Middelschulte, VP Global General Counsel Competition, Uni­lever­Mod­er­at­ors:An­nemieke Hazelhoff, CMS AmsterdamMichael Bauer, CMS Brussels  12:15 Interview with Guillaume Loriot, Deputy Director-General Mergers at DG Competition Merger control de­vel­op­mentsGuest:Guil­laume Loriot, Deputy Director-General Mergers at DG Com­pet­i­tion­In­ter­view­ers:Chris­toff Henrik Soltau, CMS HamburgDieter Zandler, CMS Vienna  14:00 Focus Session: Private Damage Claims Current trends and pitfalls in private litigation, in the EU and bey­ond­Pan­el­lists:Av­antika Chowdhury, Partner, Oxera Con­sult­ing­Chris­ti­an Kersting, Heinrich Heine University DüsseldorfEdmon Oude Elferink, CMS Am­s­ter­dam­Mod­er­at­or:Tim Reher, CMS Hamburg  14:00 Focus Session: Foreign Direct Investment Beyond Borders: Key learnings and outlook on the future of Foreign Investment Con­trol­P­resenters:Kai Neuhaus, CMS Brus­sels­Jac­queline Vallat, CMS London  14:00 Focus Session: Foreign Subsidies Control Merger control 3.0: How to navigate these uncharted wa­ter­sPan­el­lists:Car­oline Medina, Competition Law Legal Director, AlstomClemens Kerle, CMS Os­lo­Mod­er­at­or:Claire Vannini, CMS Paris  14:45 Interview with Olivier Guersent, Director-General of the Directorate General for Competition, European Commission Topical questions about abuse package, Reg 1/2003 review and more­Guest:Olivi­er Guersent, Director-General of the Directorate General for Competition, European Com­mis­sion­In­ter­view­ers:Rup­precht Podszun, Heinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDirk Van Liedekerke, CMS Brussels  15:50 Panel: Abuse of dominance The new package on exclusionary abuses - Refining the effects-based ap­proach?Pan­el­lists:Dami­en Gerard, Prosecutor General, Belgian Competition AuthoritySimone Kohnz, Director, E. CA Eco­nom­ic­sRup­precht Podszun, Heinrich Heine University Düs­sel­dor­f­Mod­er­at­or:Bri­an Sher, CMS London  16:45 Panel: Digital Regulation The Digital Markets Act comes to life - First experiences, first trend­sPan­el­lists:Soph­ie Gappa, Policy Officer at the Competition Unit of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate ActionGerhard Klumpe, Presiding judge at the Regional Court DortmundCarel Maske, Director of Competition EMEA, Mi­crosoft­Mod­er­at­ors:Björn Herbers, CMS BrusselsSzabolcs Szendro, CMS Budapest  18:30 Evening event* Dinner speech: More regulation or more competition? – An MEP’s point of viewby Andreas Schwab, Member of the European Par­lia­ment Don't miss this unparalleled opportunity to engage with top legal minds and stay ahead of the curve in EU competition law. Should you have any questions regarding this event, please contact us.*Please note that seats for the evening event at the BELvue Museum are limited. We will reach out to you to confirm your seat once we have finalised our guest list. Thank you for your understanding.
EU Competition Law Briefings
The EU Competition Law Briefings have been created to provide a platform for our clients and other competition law experts to stay up to date on the developments of EU Competition Law.  Every month CMS competition experts will present a recent case b
CMS Expert Guide for State Aid
State aid is a highly technical area of EU law and has generated a wide range of evolving case law. Compliance with State aid rules is therefore an issue in any public intervention that involves State resources. State aid issues are usually quite com

Antitrust, Competition and Trade Group | Steering Committee

Portrait ofMichael Bauer
Dr. Michael Bauer
Brussels - EU Law Office
Portrait ofAnnemieke Hazelhoff
Annemieke Hazelhoff
Portrait ofMałgorzata Urbańska
Małgorzata Urbańska
Portrait ofDirk Van Liedekerke
Dirk Van Liedekerke
Portrait ofMarquard Christen
Marquard Christen, LL.M., MAS
Portrait ofBrian Sher
Brian Sher
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