Image of Gerwin Van Gerven

Gerwin Van Gerven

Antitrust & Foreign Investment Partner, Brussels

“I have 30 years’ experience advising major corporates and investment firms on competition law. I am viewed as an effective advocate and negotiator, offering clients expert judgment and extensive knowledge of dealing with regulators.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Gerwin is widely respected as a highly skilled European competition lawyer, advising on complex competition issues, including on merger control, anti-cartel enforcement, monopolisation cases and other conduct investigations.

He is regarded as one of the leading competition lawyers of his generation. He has been ranked consistently amongst the top ten competition lawyers in the world since many years, and this based on input from peers, corporates and regulators. Chambers referred to him recently as “widely praised as one of the best lawyers out there” and noted that “clients appreciate his reputation, saying: ‘You can trust he'll be able to speak with everyone at the [European Commission] - his added value is the great respect everyone has for him’.” Other directories have referred to him as “exceptionally talented and widely respected”, “a quick and sharp individual – he sees the issues in any situation and knows how to calibrate the argument”, “an absolute star in Brussels” and “one of the deans of European competition law.” 

Gerwin represents clients from around the world in dealings with competition authorities as well as in court litigation. He has in-depth knowledge of regulatory procedures and best practices as well as longstanding relationships with key regulators, in particular at the European Commission. He has also an active advisory practice covering a range of areas of interest to corporates.

Gerwin’s experience spans many industry sectors, with recent experience in telecoms and information technology, life sciences, consumer goods, retail and air transport. He has advised on several of the major merger investigations of the last 20 years, including in 20 or so Phase II investigations conducted by the European Commission. In addition, he has represented clients in many conduct investigations. For example, he played a role in some of the main European monopolisation cases of the last twenty years, including Microsoft, Intel, Google, Qualcomm and Broadcom.

Gerwin led the firm’s global antitrust practice between 2003 and 2011.

Work highlights

Gerwin has led on many high-profile transactions and conduct investigations. Recent highlights include advising:

  • SABMiller: advising on its combination with ABInBev, the largest transaction in the beer sector and one of the largest M&A transactions ever.
  • McKesson/Celesio: advising on a recent 3-to-2 merger in pharmaceutical wholesaling in Belgium.
  • Intel: advising on several acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Altera and McAfee, two of its largest deals, and the sale of its memory business. 
  • Vodafone: advising on several acquisitions and joint ventures including its industry transforming acquisition of Mannesmann.
  • Johnson & Johnson: advising on many acquisitions including its acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business and its acquisition of the medical devices company Synthes.
  • American Airlines: advising on its merger with US Airways as well as on the EC’s and OFT’s investigations into American’s transatlantic alliance with British Airways.
  • Microsoft: advising on its acquisition of Yahoo!’s search business.
  • Mobil: advising on its merger with Exxon to form ExxonMobil.
  • A healthcare company: advising on one of the EC’s reverse payment investigations.
  • A South Korean consumer electronics company: advising on the Cathode Ray Tubes and Optical Disk Drive investigations.
  • A Japanese automotive parts company: advising as an immunity applicant on several investigations by the European Commission.
  • A European brand owner: advising on an investigation into a retail price channel coordination in Belgium and the resulting settlement.
  • Clients: advising on European-wide sector investigations into roaming charges, healthcare, energy pricing, e-commerce, airline alliances.


Professional experience

Gerwin is a long-standing non-governmental advisor to the European Commission in the International Competition Network (ICN), a forum in which competition authorities share information and develop best practices. He is a member of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association and a member of the Antitrust Committee of the International Bar Association.

He has written extensively on issues such as merger control, cartel investigations and leniency, abuse of a dominant position, co-operation between antitrust authorities and international antitrust. He has spoken many times at some of the leading antitrust conferences around the world and is frequently invited by corporates, banks, agencies and professional and industry organisations to share and discuss his views on regulatory developments and best practices.


Education and qualifications

Gerwin holds master degrees in both law and economics from the University of Leuven and Harvard Law School.

He speaks Dutch, English and French.