My range of services covers in particular the following aspects:
- Strategic advice and litigation relating to market access (public infrastructures, administrative approvals and prerequisites for market entry)
- Advice on options against competition from State-owned companies, in particular with regard to exclusive rights, financing, market behaviour and in-house procurement
- Sector specific market regulations
Businesses established within the EU (likewise EEA) are in principle free to exercise an economic in Germany. EU market rules protect against restrictions of market access and equal treatment with local competitors. Yet, market access is often subject to administrative and regulatory requirements and restrictions, including administrative approvals relating to the products and services to be provided. As far as the public administration controls infrastructures and facilities necessary for market access, rights of access must be analysed and possibly enforced.
If State-owned companies are themselves active on a given market, the market strategy of the newcomer vis-à-vis the incumbent must be adapted accordingly. In principle, State-owned companies are subject to the same antitrust and unfair competition regulations as private companies. If State-owned companies offer services or products financed through public resources and/or mandated by public authorities, remedies under State aid and public procurement regulations may allow newcomers to overcome competitive disadvantages resulting therefrom.
In public commercial law, I advise and represent clients on issues of market access against competition from public sector companies, mostly in the context of antitrust, unfair competition or State aid. As to regulatory law, I have acquired specific expertise at the interface with antitrust law, particularly in access to railway infrastructure. As to procurement law, my focus has been on the examination of in-house procurement.
Legal affairs relating to market strategy and competition have a cross-border dimension as soon as one party is another present outside its domestic market. Thus, mergers may need to be cleared by several national antitrust authorities. IP rights must be secured and enforced across borders. Contracts are negotiated with foreign business partners. Internationally operating companies are affected by State aid and public intervention intended to protect local businesses. Unfair competition, especially on the internet, may have an impact in multiple jurisdictions.
While cross-border aspects increase the legal complexity, they can also open up additional options, the use of which may help to achieve set goals.
International and foreign clients account for an important share of my legal work. I frequently and gladly work with clients and advisors from other jurisdiction and, due to my international educational background and professional experience, I am well acquainted with dealing with cultural differences. Thanks to having practised and lived in Paris for many years, I am particularly familiar with French clients, their expectations and their way of doing business.