Whish expects DG Comp not to stagger hybrid settlements

Whish expects DG Comp not to stagger hybrid settlements

09 July 2018

In the wake of having a fine voided for breach of defence rights, the European Commission is unlikely “for the time being” to adopt staggered hybrid settlements, a leading expert has said.

“Hot docs” approach has come to EU, observers say

10 July 2018

The European Commission has become increasingly reliant on merging companies’ internal documents to substantiate competition concerns, lawyers and economists have said.

Gazprom decision not inconsistent with Google and Qualcomm fines, Csiszár says

Gazprom decision not inconsistent with Google and Qualcomm fines, Csiszár says

10 July 2018

The European Commission’s recent decision not to fine Gazprom for abuse of dominance was consistent with the agency’s punishment of Google or Qualcomm, a senior official at the EU competition watchdog has said.

DG Comp official defends agencies’ gun-jumping cases

DG Comp official defends agencies’ gun-jumping cases

11 July 2018

European competition authorities need to enforce against companies’ premature integration and have not been too heavy handed in their approach to gun jumping, a European Commission official has said.

Internal documents might affect how rebates are viewed, lawyers warn

17 July 2018

Even after the European Court of Justice’s ruling in Intel indicated that loyalty rebates may not cause anticompetitive foreclosure, companies should still be aware of how their internal documents explaining the rationale for such discounts will be seen by enforcers and courts.

DG Comp advice on whistleblowers “doesn’t make sense”, says lawyer

DG Comp advice on whistleblowers “doesn’t make sense”, says lawyer

17 July 2018

A European lawyer and former litigator at the US Department of Justice has said that given how cartels operate, whistleblowers should not first have to go through an internal reporting system at their companies when reporting evidence of potential antitrust offences.


John Davies

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London and Brussels

John is a partner in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's antitrust practice and works out of Brussels and London. He is also a former head of the group’s global practice. John founded the Brussels office in 1989 and was managing partner for 10 years. Clients turn to John when they need a competition lawyer who gives authoritative antitrust advice at the highest level. He is an experienced strategist who understands the culture of competition agencies in Europe and elsewhere.

Bojana Ignjatovic

RBB Economics, London

Bojana Ignjatovic is a Partner based in the London office of RBB Economics. Bojana has more than fifteen years’ experience as an expert in competition economics, in both private and public practice. She has advised on a large number of high-profile cases before the European Commission and many national domestic authorities, in particular in the UK.

Keynote Speakers

Paul Csiszár

Director, Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

After graduating from ELTE School of Law of Budapest, Paul Csiszár studied international comparative law and earned a second Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School in the United States. Following his admission to the Bar in 1986 in California he practiced as a corporate, securities and M&A lawyer in the US and then from 1997 in Central Europe with the international law firm of Squire Sanders until 2003 when he joined the public sector. Currently Mr Csiszár serves as Director of "Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture" at the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission.

Richard Whish QC

Emeritus Professor, King's College London

Emeritus Professor Richard Whish is a legal academic and author. He is a qualified solicitor and was in legal practice in London from 1989 to 1998. He was admitted in 1977. He has been recommended for his contribution to competition law and policy, in the UK, the European Union and in many other countries with competition laws throughout the world.


Melanie Aitken

Bennett Jones, Washington, DC

Pinar Bagci

The Brattle Group, London

Christian Bayart

Allen & Overy, Antwerp

Daniel Beard QC

Monckton Chambers, London

Alastair Chapman

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London

Joan de Solà-Morales

RBB Economics, Brussels

Götz Drauz

Sullivan & Cromwell, Brussels

David Foster

Frontier Economics, London and Brussels

Simon Genevaz

Unit C.5 Merger Network, Information, Communication and Media, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

Philipp Girardet

Willkie Farr & Gallagher, London

Helen Gornall

Director, Competition Law, Azko Nobel, Amsterdam

Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska

Hansberry Tomkiel, Warsaw

Andrzej Kmiecik

Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels

Assimakis Komninos

White & Case, Brussels

Jonas Koponen

Linklaters, Brussels

Anna Lyle-Smythe

Slaughter and May, Brussels

Creighton Macy

Baker McKenzie, Washington, DC

Andrew McBride

Chief Compliance Officer, Albemarle, Charlotte

Margot Miller

Global Legal Director, Antitrust, Anheuser-Busch InBev, New York

Jasvinder Nakhwal

Peters & Peters, London

Matthew Readings

Shearman & Sterling, London and Brussels

Jürgen Schindler

Allen & Overy, Brussels

Ingrid Vandenborre

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels

Vincent Verouden

E.CA Economics, Brussels

Patricia Vidal

Uría Menéndez, Madrid

James Webber

Shearman & Sterling, Brussels and London

Elena Zoido

Compass Lexecon, Madrid


Day one - Monday, 9 July

13.00: Welcome coffee and registration

13.45: Chairs' welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London and Brussels
Bojana Ignjatovic, RBB Economics, London

14.00: Richard Whish’s The Year in Review

Richard Whish QC, Emeritus Professor, King's College London

Professor Whish will review the year just gone, emphasising the themes and trends behind the headlines.

15.30: Compliance – what is now best in breed? 

  • What are the newest techniques and approaches to improve compliance globally?
  • What can be learned from Reg Tech?
  • How to keep an audit trail:
    - Accessing data from mobile messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger)
    - Best practices in document storage and database management, including data aggregation software
    - Interface with data protection rules and cybersecurity   
  • Using Artificial Intelligence and smart technologies:
    - Immediate detection through real time monitoring of behaviour
    - Improved audits using clustering and predictive coding
    - Targeted compliance
    - Smart contract technology to ensure constant and dynamic oversight, for example of rebates
    - The role of humans: Spotting the forest for the trees and tuning out the noise

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London and Brussels

Philipp Girardet, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, London
Andrew McBride, Chief Compliance Officer, Albemarle, Charlotte
Patricia Vidal, Uría Menéndez, Madrid
Margot Miller, Global Legal Director, Antitrust, Anheuser-Busch InBev, New York

16.30: Coffee break

16.50: Deal breaking or mischief making: are non-horizontal theories of harm in mergers back with a vengeance?

In Europe, unlike in the US, the number of cases raising primarily non-horizontal concerns has been on the rise. Does this reflect renewed vigour in relation to non-horizontal theories of harm? How easily can the parties dismiss these concerns with reasoned representations? And what remedies might the regulators expect and accept? We will discuss these and other issues with particular discussion on key cases from the past year, including Qualcomm/ NXP, Essilor/ Luxottica, and Rockwell Collins/ BE Aerospace.

Jonas Koponen, Linklaters, Brussels

Matthew Readings, Shearman & Sterling, London and Brussels
Ingrid Vandenborre, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels
Joan de Solà-Morales, RBB Economics, Brussels
Vincent Verouden, E.CA Economics, Brussels

18.00: Conclusion of day one

19.00 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a drinks reception sponsored by Allen & Overy, followed by an all-conference dinner sponsored by Shearman & Sterling

Dinner speaker:
Sir Ivan Rogers, Former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union 

Day two - Tuesday, 10 July

8.00: Welcome coffee and registration

8.45: Chairs’ welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London and Brussels
Bojana Ignjatovic, RBB Economics, London

9.00: Keynote Q&A

Paul Csiszár, Director, Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

9.40: Coffee break               

10.00: It’s rebatable: pricing abuses under Article 102 after Intel

As the dust settles on the Intel judgement, what is the regulators’ approach to exclusionary pricing conduct? What role for economic evidence? And how should dominant companies price to run the gauntlet between the risk of excessive price abuses on the one hand and exclusionary ones on the other?

Bojana Ignjatovic, RBB Economics, London

Pinar Bagci, The Brattle Group, London
Jürgen Schindler, Allen & Overy, Brussels
Helen Gornall, Director, Competition Law, Akzo Nobel, Amsterdam
Daniel Beard QC, Monckton Chambers, London

11.10: The role of the individual employee

  • Whistleblowing:
    - High stakes: whistleblowing has become increasingly instrumental
    - Competition authorities are developing whistleblowing tools
    - Businesses have clear interest in ensuring that internal whistleblowing procedures are fit for purpose
    - Mobilising the HR department
  • Recruitment practices:
    - No-poaching agreements
  • Criminal sanctions
  • Employee rights
  • Data protection

Jasvinder Nakhwal, Peters & Peters, London

Creighton Macy, Baker McKenzie, Washington, DC
Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska, Hansberry Tomkiel, Warsaw
Christian Bayart, Allen & Overy, Antwerp

12.10: Networking lunch                    

13.20: Deal risk

  • Managing the increased risk of litigation around large scale deals:
    - Third party challenges
    - Increased risk of agencies challenging consummated deals
    - UPS/TNT appeal
  • Navigating the risks in the less transparent world of foreign investment reviews, in particular in large cross-border transactions
  • Avoiding legal and procedural entanglements:
    - Gun jumping.  Impact of Altice and other recent deals
    - Appetite for internal documents by competition authorities (in particular the EC) and increased risk of liability for providing incomplete or misleading information

Anna Lyle-Smythe, Slaughter and May, Brussels

Simon Genevaz, Unit C.5 Merger Network, Information, Communication and Media, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels
Melanie Aitken, Bennett Jones, Washington, DC
James Webber, Shearman & Sterling, Brussels and London
Alastair Chapman, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London

14.30: Coffee break

14.50: Cutting it fine: regulators’ approaches to calculating fines

For companies under investigation, estimates of likely fines are of critical importance, so what can we glean from established practice by the Commission and by national regulators? The challenge for this panel: so, how exactly should one estimate the likely fine?

Assimakis Komninos, White & Case, Brussels

Götz Drauz, Sullivan & Cromwell, Brussels
Andrzej Kmiecik, Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels
Elena Zoido, Compass Lexecon, Madrid
David Foster, Frontier Economics, London and Brussels

16.00: Chairs’ closing remarks

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London and Brussels
Bojana Ignjatovic, RBB Economics, London

16.15: Close of conference


Hotel Metropole, Place De Brouckère 31, 1000, Brussels, Belgium

Ticket prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price Until
Super Early €1,300  25 May 2018
Early €1,500 29 June 2018
Standard €1,800 10 July 2018


Type Price
Standard €250