Competition law, either at EU level, at the Portuguese level (where the national Competition Act has been extensively reformed, under the lines and the paradigm of EU law, in 2012, through Law n.º 19/2012, of 8 May) or at comparative level – mainly as regards US antitrust law and also competition law in other jurisdictions (particularly in Brazil where the national Competition Act has been extensively reformed in 2011, through Law n.º 12.529, of 30 November 2011) corresponds to a core and defining area of speciality of the Firm in which this purports to provide original legal thinking and reasoning, based on ground-breaking theoretical work and research of its Founding Partner and of other members with top level academic qualifications in this area.
The know-how of the Firm in this domain allows it to assist top level companies in every economic sectors and also other Law Firms - e.g. with high-level and very specialised Legal Opinions or through other forms of intervention - in all constituent areas of competition law, namely covering anticompetitive practices (cooperation between undertakings and abuse of dominant position/monopolization), merger control and state aid control, in terms of EU Law and also considering implications in terms of national law, e.g. procedural or other. The legal services and top level consultancy at stake may include:
• The production of legal opinions, with a large experience of its Founding Partner advising large Portuguese groups with an international profile or international corporations comprehended in the top ranking Fortune 500 corporations;
• The comprehensive legal planning of major business transactions ascertaining all potential competition law implications, and merger control notification procedures conducted autonomously or in cooperation with other Law Firms intervening in other jurisdictions in support of international mergers, with an extensive track-record in this domain, covering, e.g. major notifications or opposing interventions and comments in merger proceedings in the media, editorial, publishing sectors, cements and building materials sectors, electronic communications in general, or soft drinks;
• And the notification of state aid projects or evaluation or commenting of corporate restructuring with state aid implications, e.g. in the context of privatization transactions - a domain in which the Founding Partner of the Firm has followed most of the privatization transactions conducted in Portugal between 1995 and 1998 and between 2001 and 2011 - and covering sectors as diverse as aeronautics or public broadcast.
The track record of the Founding Partner in this domain covers not only interplay with the Portuguese Competition Authority but with other authorities, namely with DGCOMP of the European Commission in the context of complaints presented by multiple entities (and respective follow-up procedures). More recently, and again basing this development on scientific research of the Founding Partner and of other members of the Firm, a growing focus has been placed in potential private enforcement cases, either as follow-on or stand-alone procedures with a supranational dimension - in the context of cooperation with entities operating in other jurisdictions - building on the EU initiatives in this domain which have known a fundamental step with the Commission formal proposals of June 2013.