Overview

Andrzej Kmiecik heads the competition law practice at the firm. He has particular expertise in merger control, cartels, dominance, distribution, pricing and intellectual property.

He represents clients before the European Commission, the EU Courts and in national competition law proceedings.
 
Andrzej’s practice covers a wide range of industries, including the automotive sector, pharmaceuticals, paper and board products, office equipment, consumer electronics, aerospace, shipping, petrochemicals, clothing and footwear, and financial infrastructure.
 
Some of the high profile EU merger control cases he has handled include: Boeing/McDonnell Douglas; Enso/Stora; Boeing/Hughes; Caemi/Mitsui/CVRD; Boeing/Lockheed/ULA; SABIC/Huntsman; SABIC/GE Plastics; DFDS/CRO Ports/Älvsborg; Canon/IRIS (Art. 22 referral); Deutsche Börse/London Stock Exchange (for a complainant); and Boeing/Embraer.
 
His experience in EU cartel investigations includes acting as defence counsel in: Newsprint; Amino Acids (also on appeal); Carbonless Paper (also on appeal); Publication Papers; Fine Papers; and Occupant Safety Systems (among other investigations in relation to car parts). He has handled both full adversarial and settlement proceedings, as well as making leniency applications at EU and national level.
 
Andrzej has also successfully defended clients against complaints of exclusionary conduct before the European Commission, including Canon (ink jet consumables) and Honda (racing engine technology).
 
He has a very active practice in the field of vertical agreements, and recently acted as defence counsel in one of the first cases in which the Commission’s novel cooperation procedure was used achieving a substantial reduction in the fine for the client. He also developed a niche practice in the field of motor vehicle distribution: he counsels and defends a number of manufacturers, combining extensive experience with in-depth industry knowledge.
 
His experience extends to acting as counsel in major EU antitrust investigations involving the life sciences sector, including: Becton Dickinson/Novo Nordisk (diabetes care); Lederle/SKB (vaccines) and Chiron/DRK (blood screening). He was actively involved in the Commission’s pharmaceutical sector inquiry.
 
He regularly lectures and writes on competition law matters.

Languages

English, French

Recommendations

  • Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for Competition Law
  • Chambers Global and Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Competition/European Law)
  • International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists
  • Legal 500 for Competition Law (Leading Individual)
  • Expert Guides – Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers – Competition/Antitrust Law

Education

  • College of Europe, Bruges, Diploma in European Law, 1990
  • College of Law, London, 1986/1987
  • Merton College, Oxford University, M.A., 1985 

Publications

Coordinating contributor to Van Bael & Bellis, Competition Law of the European Union, Kluwer (upcoming sixth edition), a standard work of reference in the field of EU competition law.

Bar Admissions

Solicitor, England & Wales
Brussels

Expertise

Notable assignments

  • Representing Boeing before the European Commission in its merger with McDonnell Douglas in one of the most highly politicised and contentious reviews of transatlantic mergers.

  • Representing Daesang in securing a substantial reduction of its fine in the European Commission’s amino acids cartel proceedings, further reduced on appeal before the EU General Court.

  • Representing Canon in defeating an attempt by EFIM to obtain access to Canon’s ink-jet patents by alleging exclusionary conduct on the part of Canon and its competitors before the European Commission.

  • Representing SABIC in securing EU merger control approval for its acquisition of the global plastics business of GE.

Publications and insights

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    • 01/07/2020
    • Articles

    European Commission’s White Paper on Levelling the Playing Field as regards Foreign Subsidies

    Key Takeaway: The EU (and Member States) may be given new, far-reaching powers to tackle the perceived harmful effects of third-country subsidies benefitting businesses operating in the EU. Remedies could be imposed limiting participation in all sectors of the internal market, including prohibiting businesses from making subsidised acquisitions and participating in public procurement in the EU. On 17 June 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published a White Paper on how to respond to third countries giving subsidies to companies active in the EU (“foreign subsidies”). In an effort to level the playing field, the Commission proposes new tools to address what it perceives as unfair competition from foreign players in the EU’s internal market. The Commission considers that existing tools, in the areas of notably trade defence, competition law and public procurement, are insufficient to avoid distortions resulting from foreign subsidies. The proposed new tool box fits within the EU’s new policy of “open strategic autonomy”. It signals a more pro-active approach on the part of the EU in responding to unfair and abusive practices distorting the EU internal market and undermining the level playing field.

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    • 22/05/2020
    • News

    Andrzej Kmiecik participates in ICC-Baker McKenzie 14th Annual Conference on Trends and Developments in Global Competition Law

    On 15 May 2020, Van Bael & Bellis partner and head of competition Andrzej Kmiecik participated in a panel discussing developments in international merger control at the 14th Annual Conference on Trends and Developments in Global Competition Law organised online by the London-based Interdisciplinary Centre for Competition Law and Policy and Baker McKenzie. Other members of the panel were: Chris Prevett, Senior Legal Director, Mergers, Markets & Sector Regulation, UK Competition and Markets Authority and Heather Johnson, Senior Counsel to the Director, US Federal Trade Commission. The panel was chaired by Eyad Maher Dabbah, Director and Professor, ICC, Queen Mary University of London. Further information on the conference is available here.

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