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EU Competition and Trade Law

With proven skills in all aspects of economic law, Kramer Levin's Paris office advises clients on a broad range of matters involving European Competition and Trade Law, including: 

  • Antitrust: cartels and abuse of dominant position

    Kramer Levin's attorneys represent both claimants and defendants in all stages of proceedings before French and EU-level competition authorities and judicial courts, and also assist clients in leniency programs. When warranted for particular matters of international dimension, the Paris office taps the support of Kramer Levin's antitrust department in New York and/or collaborates with a network of leading correspondent firms in other European countries. For companies with a dominant market position or a substantial market share, our team can also advise on commercial practice restrictions stemming from abuse of dominant position and economic dependency regulations. Our "competition due diligence" skills enable clients to better assess the compliance of their commercial practices and agreements with relevant regulations.

  • Merger control

    Kramer Levin has broad experience in dealing with mergers, takeovers and joint venture transactions. Starting at the preliminary stages of deal structuring, our competition team provides guidance based on the nature of the deal, handling the necessary integration of any applicable merger control rules and merger filings in the schedule of the transaction as contemplated. Our competition team assists clients through the merger review process before the French Competition Authority or the European Commission, and, when merger filings are needed in other jurisdictions, we call on the assistance of our New York team or members of our network of correspondent firms abroad. We also assist clients wishing to intervene as a third party in merger control procedures and in appeals against decisions of the competition authorities.

  • Horizontal cooperation

    Kramer Levin's Competition team in Paris advises French and multi-national businesses on a wide range of issues with regard to cooperation agreements and joint ventures. We advise our clients on the design and negotiation of their partnership agreements, including R&D agreements, specialization, joint production, acquisitions & sales agreements and transfer of technology. We also counsel clients on competition issues related to economic interest groups and temporary consortiums for participation in tenders. We recently intervened in the negotiation of a joint production agreement and the implementation of a cluster in the wind power sector and advised a major French metal construction company in connection with an R&D agreement with competitors in the metal construction sector. On a regular basis we advise industrial companies on setting up joint venture companies and/or full function joint companies. This includes structuring the transaction, negotiating the relevant contracts, filing merger control notifications and providing guidance to avoid antitrust issues. We also assess risks in situations requiring or facilitating exchanges of strategic information between competitors and provide guidance to avoid infringements of competition rules. Our attorneys regularly defend our clients in Court cases relating to cooperation matters.

  • Distribution

    Kramer Levin's practice covers various aspects of the distribution of goods and services including the negotiation of contracts between suppliers and distributors, the drafting of general terms of sale and purchase, assistance in the termination of long-term commercial relationships, and commercial litigation. We advise clients in structuring, setting up and implementing specific distribution channels such as franchise networks and exclusive and selective distribution systems, and in negotiating agency agreements and subcontracting agreements.

  • State aid and EU subsidies

    Kramer Levin represents companies receiving State aid, together with governments, in notification and pre-notification proceedings with the European Commission. In the absence of prior notification, we provide assistance both for companies receiving State aid and plaintiffs in infringement proceedings brought by the European Commission. Our team has acquired specific expertise in various public aid schemes, in particular aids to airports and the automobile and aerospace industries, and for research.

    We actively monitor EU regulations regarding State Aid. In particular, when the European Commission issues proposals for the modification of applicable rules and guidelines, we intervene with a view to influencing the drafting of the relevant regulatory texts (among others, State Aid to regional airports, the automobile industry and port services). We also regularly advise our clients on the nature of measures deemed to be exempt from notification based on the "private investor" test. We also have broad expertise and experience in regard to grants by the European Commission of research subsidies and structural funds. We also undertake litigation, as the case may be, to defend our clients' interests against the Commission's attempts to reclaim subsidies after audits.

  • Internal market

    Kramer Levin provides legal assistance on issues relating to the free circulation of goods, services and capital, freedom of establishment and secondary EU legislation, both in regard to regulatory matters and litigation. We assist clients in lodging complaints with the European Commission with respect to infringements of EU law by Member States and advise them in subsequent proceedings initiated by the Commission.

  • Consumer protection and advertising

    Kramer Levin has developed particular skills in consumer protection law, including the introduction of products on the market, the preparation of general terms and conditions of sale, canvassing, remote sale and e-commerce, in both the commercial and financial services sectors. We also provide advice in marketing, sales promotion and advertising, and assist clients in investigations by consumer protection authorities and in proceedings before courts.

Funds Talk: February 2017

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