Davis Polk to Launch EU Antitrust Practice in Brussels

17th January 2023

Davis Polk today announced that the firm is launching a European antitrust practice in Brussels. The practice will be led by Jürgen Schindler and Frances Dethmers.

“The European Commission is a critical antitrust authority. We are excited to be able to offer our clients sophisticated antitrust capabilities with respect to matters under EU law,” said Neil Barr, Davis Polk’s Managing Partner. “We are thrilled to welcome Jürgen and Frances to Davis Polk.”

The firm’s office in Brussels will open in 2023.

Mr. Schindler and Ms. Dethmers join the firm from Allen & Overy, where both served as partners and Mr. Schindler as co-head of the global competition and antitrust group. Mr. Schindler has extensive experience advising clients on complex international, EU and German merger control, cartel and abuse of dominance cases. His practice encompasses a broad range of sectors, including energy, finance, technology, transport (shipping and airlines), raw materials, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and consumer and industrial products. In addition, Mr. Schindler litigates before the European courts in Luxembourg.

Mr. Schindler’s practice has extensive geographic coverage; he has advised clients in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. He is admitted to practice in Germany, Belgium and New York. He will join Davis Polk as a partner.

He is a Non-Governmental Adviser to the European Commission and to the German Competition Authority at the International Competition Network (ICN), which includes around 140 competition authorities worldwide, and he regularly contributes to the ICN’s cartel and merger working groups. In addition, he is a long-time editorial board member of the ABA’s Antitrust Magazine Online.

Ms. Dethmers’ practice focuses on international, EU and Dutch competition law. She is an economist and a qualified lawyer. She has extensive experience advising clients from a wide range of industries (in particular, pharmaceuticals, health and life sciences, consumer and industrial products, chemicals and packaging) on highly complex merger control procedures, as well as on cartel investigations, abuse of dominance investigations, intellectual property issues and licensing and distribution agreements. Prior to working in private practice, she worked at the Dutch Competition Authority and the European Commission. Her background as an economist gives her unique insight into the economic concepts and analytical tools at the heart of competition law. She is admitted to practice in the Netherlands. She will join Davis Polk as Special Adviser – EU Antitrust.

“Jürgen and Frances are exceptional lawyers with an outstanding reputation in Brussels, and we are thrilled to have them on board to help us launch our EU antitrust practice,” said Art Burke, head of Davis Polk’s Antitrust & Competition practice. “Their significant experience across merger control matters, cartels and antitrust litigation will benefit our clients greatly and will further solidify our position as a leading global antitrust firm.”

Davis Polk is recognized as a preeminent firm in antitrust and competition law, including with top-tier rankings from publications such as Global Competition Review, Benchmark Litigation and Chambers USA. Clients rely on Davis Polk’s deep experience across the full spectrum of antitrust and competition matters. The firm steers clients through sensitive antitrust investigations and high-stakes litigation, including class actions and government enforcement actions. Davis Polk also serves in a lead role for large defense groups, including in cases alleging cartel behavior in numerous industries and financial markets. Having addressed and resolved antitrust issues presented by thousands of transactions across all economic sectors, the firm is widely recognized in particular for its work on cross-border combinations and routinely acts as coordinating counsel for international merger control review for complex transactions.

Mr. Schindler said, “Frances and I are very excited to be joining Davis Polk, a firm we have long held in high esteem. We have been struck by the strong culture that permeates throughout the firm, and we very much look forward to working with this fantastic team and helping the firm to execute on this strategic expansion of its global antitrust capabilities. We are very grateful for our time as partners at Allen & Overy.”

Ranked as a leading EU competition lawyer by Chambers Europe, Mr. Schindler in 1999 graduated from the University of Hamburg and earned an LLM in European Law from the College of Europe in Bruges. In 2007, he earned an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center focusing on U.S. antitrust law and economics. Ms. Dethmers earned a master’s degree in economics in 1998 and a master’s degree in law in 2001, both from the University of Amsterdam.

For more information, please read the press release.

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