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You are here: Expertise / Competition Law
Expertise  Competition Law

Field of Expertise Competition Law

Size can be a problem.
But only if you do not consult us in advance.

We advise our clients on all aspects of competition law and merger control. In the case of a transaction we support our clients throughout all stages from strategic planning to the successful completion of the notification procedures before the competition authorities. A further important focus of our work is on cartel cases. Furthermore, follow-on damage claims are a prominent part of our practice.

Range of Services - Competition Law

  • EU and German merger control proceedings
  • Coordination of multi-jurisdictional merger filings
  • Cartel proceedings before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, as well as before the EU and German courts
  • Follow-on damage claims
  • Competitive assessments and antitrust audits
  • Advice on abuse of dominance issues
  • Competition law advice on Compliance programs and other preventive measures
  • Competition law advice on distribution arrangements
»The opening of the Brussels office has offered SZA a platform further to expand its international client base.«
JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2017
»Highly recommended«
GCR 100: German Competition Law 2017
»The competition law practice impresses with top level experience in litigation matters.«
Legal 500 Deutschland - Kartellrecht 2017
»Clients say that Hans-Joachim Hellmann is ‘open-minded and frank’, as well as ‘very experienced in competition law’.«
Chambers Europe 2016
»Silvio Cappellari is a ‘very bright individual’ and received recommendations from clients and peers alike.«
Who’s Who Legal: Competition 2016

Merger Control

Corporate acquisitions, mergers, the foundation of joint ventures and comparable transactions require the involvement of antitrust experts from an early stage in order to identify antitrust risks and prepare any necessary filings with the relevant antitrust authorities. We advise domestic and international clients in all merger control matters and represent them in merger control procedures before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. We combine longterm expertise with experience in numerous fields of business. We ensure the smooth implementation of the transaction by individual strategic advice and effective handling of the matter. Of course, our range of services also includes antitrust risk analysis in an early stage of a transaction.

»[I]n merger control matters, […] the team draws on impressive M&A strength.«
Chambers Europe 2017
»Based on Cappellari’s contacts, SZA increasingly handles merger control cases for international groups.«
JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2016
»Silvio Cappellari and Stephanie Birmanns are ‘excellent, experienced [and have] interesting clients’ (competitor).«
JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2017

Cartel Proceedings

Cartel proceedings are a further focus of our practice. We represent businesses before the European Commission and the European Courts as well as before the German Federal Cartel Office and the domestic courts. In cartel cases our practice group has extensive experience. We have defended international and German clients in numerous administrative cartel cases and court proceedings on a European level. These cases include, inter alia, cartonboard, district heating, vitamins, newsprint, carbonless paper, industrial bags, fittings and freight forwarding. Domestic cartel proceedings are also significant. We have represented companies from many fields of business before the Federal Cartel Office and the competent Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) and have successfully conducted settlement negotiations with the competition authority.

»SZA is particularly well regarded for its handling of cartel proceedings.«
JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2016
»Hans-Joachim Hellmann is a ‘committed defense counsel in cartel proceedings’ (competitor).«
JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2016
»Christina Malz is a ‘very good lawyer with a deep wealth of knowledge’ (competitor).«
JUVE Handbook German Commercial Law Firms 2016

Follow-on Damage Claims

More and more damage claims arise out of European and national cartel cases. We have outstanding expertise in these so-called "follow-on" damage claims. This enables us to provide our clients legal advice that is based on the necessary antitrust know-how combined with our broad experience in litigation. As in merger control and cartel cases we work closely with renowned  economic experts if required.

»Private litigation has been a growth area [for SZA].«
GCR 100: German Competition Law 2017
»SZA is giving advice to transport logistics company Vossloh regarding ist defense against follow-on damage claims brought by multiple regional and local transport companies in Germany.«
Legal 500 Germany – Competition Law 2017


In light of exorbitantly increasing fines and the high risk of detection due to successful leniency programs of the competition authorities, we also render advice on measures preventing antitrust violations. We offer competition law compliance programs individually tailored to the needs of our clients. Our range of services includes comprehensive audits as well as trainings, seminars, workshops and any other measures required to maintain competition law compliance within a business.

»It is an excellent set-up overall and the lawyers are very client-oriented.«
Chambers Europe 2017
»Germany’s Top Lawyers«, experts for competition law: Hans-Joachim Hellmann
Handelsblatt, Juni 2016