Eckart Wagner and Eric Veillerobe of WAGNER LEGAL, Hamburg, law firm and specialist attorney/lawyer for competition/antitrust law, European law, compliance management, merger control, private enforcement etc.

Eckart Wagner and Eric Veillerobe of WAGNER LEGAL, Hamburg, law firm and specialist attorney/lawyer for competition/antitrust law, European law, compliance management, merger control, private enforcement etc.

Competition law

Competition law rules are often the key to opening up markets. Breaches of competition law, on the other hand, can cost companies dear. So, from a commercial perspective it is crucial to keep those risks in mind - while identifying any potential room for manoeuvre. Providing clients with this kind of strategic support requires expert knowledge and years of practical experience.

WAGNER LEGAL advises and represents its clients in all areas of competition law as well as on related issues:

  • Cartel proceedings
  • Cartel damages
  • Distribution and cooperation agreements
  • Merger control
  • Compliance

Our lawyers advise clients in the negotiation and structuring of contracts, as well as providing strategic guidance on the risks and opportunities associated with commercial proposals. We also represent clients before the German and European authorities, in particular the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), the European Commission, and courts. In doing so, according to JUVE, “the firm demonstrates time and again that it can also manage complex mandates.” (JUVE Handbook 2019/20).

Competition law proceedings

WAGNER LEGAL advises companies, board members and trade associations in fine and abuse and other antitrust proceedings before the German Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission as well as German and European courts. We advise and represent both addressees of such proceedings as well as complainants and respondents.

In addition to cartel proceedings, we have a special focus on antitrust-related distribution law, including price fixing and abuse proceedings. For example, we recently successfully represented the Federal German trade association in the sporting goods industry as complainant against the DOSB and the IOC before the German Federal Cartel Office on IOC rules restricting sponsors in the marketing of athletes (see here).

Cartel damages

We support you in asserting or defending antitrust related claims in or out of court. As an independent specialised law firm, we can represent claimants or defendants.

Antitrust litigation is one of our main areas of our work, where we are highly recognised in the market. For example, we brought cartel damage claims on behalf of corporate clients against, among others, the participants in the sugar, truck and EC-Cash cartels. Competitors praise WAGNER LEGAL as “very experienced in litigation.” (JUVE Handbook 2020/21) Eckart Wagner “ranks, with his team, among the most active lawyers in litigation.” (JUVE Handbook 2019/20) WAGNER LEGAL is a “specialist in competition law-driven litigation.” (JUVE Handbook 2018/19) Competitors praise the “persistent and tenacious representation” of clients. (JUVE Handbook 2017/18) WAGNER LEGAL has “enlivened the market” in the field of cartel damages. (JUVE Handbook 2016/17) WAGNER LEGAL is pursuing “one of the largest lawsuits against the sugar cartel.” (JUVE Handbook 2016/17) The litigation success for Reuter brought “a lot of praise in the market.” (JUVE Handbook 2016/17) WAGNER LEGAL won “one of the first verdicts awarding cartel damages.” (JUVE Handbook 2015/16) “The strongest commentary in the market was the litigation success for Reuter, which was a much-noted damages decision." (JUVE Handbook 2014/15)

Distribution and cooperation agreements

We advise you on the drafting of your agreements in compliance with competition law as well as on the defense against clauses and distribution measures that violate competition law. In particular, we support you in distribution and purchasing agreements, distribution systems, discount systems, price maintenance issues, online distribution and online platforms, cooperation, purchasing groups and license agreements.

We provide strategic advice and support in negotiations, but we also have a great amount of experience in the ins and outs of court assertion of claims for supply, injunctive relief, and damages under competition law, for example in the area of online trading and the mineral oil industry.

This also receives special recognition in the market: “Competitors praise in particular the ‘persistent representation’ and the ‘great know-how’ with regard to online platforms. Wagner conducts various lawsuits for Reuter, among others against Google.” (JUVE Handbook 2017/18); “a very persistent and tenacious representation as well as advice on online platforms at the highest level”, praises one competitor (JUVE Handbook 2015/16). For the online retailer Reuter, we successfully sued for damages in a landmark ruling before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and the German Supreme Court regarding Dornbracht's discounts and double-price systems (see here and here) [links to News]. “The litigation success for Reuter, which earned Eckart Wagner a great amount of praise in the market, also led to a whole series of new mandates from online retailers and other companies on distribution antitrust issues.” (JUVE Handbook 2016/17).

Merger control

Many transactions and joint ventures require prior approval by merger control authorities. We advise you on merger control laws internationally, conduct the merger control proceedings before the German Federal Cartel Office or the European Commission and coordinate with network law firms further filings that may be required worldwide.

We have many years of experience in all aspects of merger control law, among others in the mineral oil, payment services, automotive, engineering, agriculture and food industries.

This is also particularly recognised in the market: “The boutique law firm also regularly advises a number of well-known clients on merger control.” (JUVE Handbook 2019/20); “the team, with its experience with major law firms, is well connected in the market and has been called in on a number of international merger control cases.” (JUVE Handbook 2015/16); “the experience in international merger control is exceptional for a firm of this size.” (JUVE Handbook 2014/15).

Compliance

Our compliance advice serves to prevent and uncover (antitrust) violations in companies and, if necessary, to limit any damage already incurred. To this end, we conduct audits, workshops and trainings and support clients in establishing and implementing effective compliance structures and processes.

In this way, we relieve the burden on companies and their management and enable them to develop their potential without being exposed to liability, competition and criminal law risks.

Mediation and contract negotiations

With our extensive expertise in conflict management, we support you in the area of contract negotiation strategy as well as in the area of organisational and team development. We help you to identify your conflicts, thereby enabling the development of new initiatives and the creation of synergies. After all, partner, shareholder and team conflicts that you let “fester” can cost you and your organisation dearly, create a lot of stress and take up too much of the time of everyone involved. We support you in resolving your conflicts quickly, sustainably and cost-effectively.

The principle of self-responsibility and a controlled process is particularly important to us. With mediation, you retain control over possible solutions and can avoid legal disputes.

For more information on our mediation services, as well as on our range of systemic consulting, coaching and supervision services, please visit www.vonmeding.eu.