Patrick Hubert, a Paris-based partner in the Antitrust &
Competition group, brings decades of legal experience and innovation in both
private practice and government, with experience ranging from acting as chief
of staff to the French Minister of Justice, to being general counsel and chief
investigator with the French competition authority, and from acting as a judge with
the Conseil d’Etat (French Supreme Administrative Court) to even publishing a
paper as a cell biologist (when very young).
This breadth of experience has allowed him to become a
leading authority in the field of antitrust, but his background helps him
borrow ideas from anywhere – finding imaginative solutions for the legal and
business challenges his clients face.
Patrick has long been a trailblazer in his field. For example, years before private compliance programs
became commonplace, Patrick persuaded his clients to dedicate resources to
compliance policies, thus being one of the first to encourage proactive rather
than strictly reactive actions. In France, he was one of the first to launch
antitrust recovery claims and to work on a private standalone claim, without
any precedent from the regulator. Acting on the plaintiff side, he obtained the
highest fine ever imposed on a dominant company, a record that has remained
unchallenged so far.
He is currently handling private claims totaling more than 5
billion euro, advising global tech companies and other multinationals in French
and EU competition matters, including merger control filings, cartel and abuse
of dominance investigations, state aid and compliance work, as well as private
damages actions before the French courts. In addition, he serves as vice
chairman of the competition commission of the International Chamber of Commerce
and chairs its merger control working party.
Is a wind of change blowing through the European merger control enforcement landscape?
The response is yes, certainly.
Very recent cases or investigations launched by the European Commission alleging potential violations of merger control procedural rules by notifying parties have sent a clear signal to companies: you’d now better think twice before breaking the merger control procedural rules.
It is even truer when one considers that this may well be a trend throughout Europe. These cases have echoed back to recent similar cases, pending or closed, at the member state level (the Altice case in France, the CEE Holding Group limited/ Olympic International Holdings Limited case in Hungary, the AB Kauno Grudai / AB Vievio Paukstynas case in Lithuania, and a very recent bakery case in Slovakia). READ MORE
On March 16, 2017, the European Commission (“EC”) introduced a new tool to make it easier for individuals to alert the EC about competition law violations, mainly secret cartels, while maintaining the anonymity of the whistle-blowers.
The EC presented the objectives of the new tool (I) and how it works (II); this tool, which is not new in Europe, leaves several questions unanswered (III).