Gerwin Van Gerven
Competition/Antitrust Partner, Brussels
“I have 25 years’ experience advising major corporates and investment firms on European competition law. I am viewed as an effective advocate and negotiator, offering clients expert judgment and extensive knowledge of dealing with regulators.”
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 European Commission procedures and its case practice as well as longstanding relationships with key Commission staff. 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, healthcare, consumer goods, retail, energy and air transport. He has advised on several of the major merger investigations of the last twenty years, including in over ten so-called Phase II investigations conducted by the European Commission. In addition, he has represented clients in many conduct investigations. For example, he played a role, acting for the defendant or a complainant, in the main European monopolisation cases of the last twenty years, Microsoft, Intel and Google.
Gerwin led the firm’s global antitrust practice between 2003 and 2011.
Gerwin has led on many high-profile transactions and conduct investigations. Recent highlights include advising:
- SABMiller on its combination with ABInBev, the largest transaction in the beer sector and one of the largest M&A transactions ever
- McKesson/Celesio on a recent 3-to-2 merger in pharmaceutical wholesaling in Belgium
- Intel on a number of acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Altera and McAfee, two of its largest deals
- Vodafone on a number of acquisitions and joint ventures including its industry transforming acquisition of Mannesmann
- Johnson & Johnson on many acquisitions including its acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business and its acquisition of the medical devices company Synthes
- American Airlines 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 on its acquisition of Yahoo!’s search business
- Mobil on its merger with Exxon to form ExxonMobil
- A healthcare company in one of the EC’s recent reverse payment investigations
- A South Korean consumer electronics company in the Cathode Ray Tubes and Optical Disk Drive investigations
- A Japanese automotive parts company as an immunity applicant in a number of investigations by the European Commission
- An European brand owner in an investigation into a retail price channel coordination in Belgium and the resulting settlement
- Clients in European-wide sector investigations into roaming charges, healthcare, energy pricing, e-commerce, airline alliances
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 writes and speaks 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 masters degrees in both law and economics from the University of Leuven and Harvard Law School.
He speaks Dutch, English and French.