Services – Competition and Consumer Protection

Go to content

Merger control, fair competition, consumer protection

We provide legal assistance and represent clients in all types of proceedings before the Polish competition authority (the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection—UOKiK) and in competition cases before the European Commission. We represent clients before Polish courts and support them in cases before foreign courts regarding aspects of Polish or EU law.

We advise clients from all sectors of the economy, in particular manufacturing and distribution of consumer goods, new technologies, IT, energy, finance, media, real estate, clothing, automotive, building materials, heavy industry, healthcare, and telecommunications.

We have represented clients in four of the five cases involving restrictive practices identified by the president of UOKiK as the most important in the regulator’s 30-year history, involving:

  • A paint manufacturer’s arrangement with DIY stores
  • Arrangements between banks on interchange fees
  • A cement cartel
  • An agreement in the Warsaw heating market.

We are members of the Antitrust Alliance and Lex Mundi, a coalition of independent specialised law firms. In cooperation with them, we can provide comprehensive competition and consumer law services on a transnational level in all jurisdictions in Europe.

We analyse our clients’ business models and provide practical, sensible advice, so that the client achieves its business objectives in compliance with the law. This especially applies to pricing policy, relations between suppliers and distributors, distribution systems, information exchange, cooperation between competitors, and evaluation of new business models.

We draft contracts, evaluate our clients’ agreements and familiarise them with principles to follow in their relations with competitors, suppliers, distributors and customers. We provide training to managers and employees on how to recognise and minimise risks associated with illegal horizontal and vertical arrangements, sharing of information, and abuse of dominant position.

We assess the client’s position in the market and develop rules to follow if the client has a dominant position.

We help develop and implement in-house competition compliance programmes. We conduct antitrust risk audits and internal investigations. We also prepare and conduct client-focused, industry-specific training on practical issues such as relations with suppliers, customers and competitors, including information exchange, distribution rules, activity within industry organisations, and how to behave in the event of an unannounced inspection or search (dawn raid) by the competition authority.

We conduct internal audits of antitrust compliance of clients’ staff. In one such case, the audit involved interviews with over a hundred employees.

We prepare merger notifications and represent clients in merger control proceedings before UOKiK and the European Commission. We coordinate antitrust notifications in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously.

We have assisted clients in concentration control matters since the early 1990s. We have extensive experience with transactions and in contacts and negotiations with the competition authorities. We have conducted more than 1,000 analyses of the obligation to notify intended concentrations in a variety of often complex transactions, both domestic and foreign. We have obtained approvals from UOKiK for more than 350 concentrations in industries such as energy, finance, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, paper production and distribution, construction, real estate, aerospace, steel production, food production and distribution, cosmetics production and distribution, hotel services, office space rental, media and advertising, publishing, insurance, retail and wholesale, IT services, telecommunications, automotive, rail products, fertiliser production and distribution, feed production and distribution, and many others.

We analyse the obligation to report transactions to UOKiK under foreign direct investment regulations. We have carried out dozens of such analyses.

We represent both claimants and defendants in litigation seeking damages for violation of competition law. We cooperate with foreign law firms in cases of Polish and international businesses in other jurisdictions.

We prepare lawsuits and applications for injunctive relief in unfair competition cases. We draft and review contracts on all aspects of business related to fair competition, and assist in cases of unfair market practices.

We represent businesses before UOKiK and the courts in cases concerning protection of the collective interests of consumers. We advise on abusive clauses, practices that may violate collective interests of consumers, and legal requirements in dealings between businesses and consumers. In this respect, we work closely with the firm’s other practices, particularly new technology, banking, and life sciences.

We analyse our clients’ activities in setting conditions, negotiating and terminating contracts in the agri-food sector. We determine the risk of practices being found to constitute unfair exploitation of contractual advantage, and advise on how to eliminate or mitigate this risk. We recommend safe solutions to our clients suited to their business model. We continually monitor the practices of the competition authority in this area and keep our clients informed of the latest actions by UOKiK.

We analyse our clients’ practices and advise them on payments in commercial transactions, particularly in the case of delays covered by the Payment Gridlock Act and informational obligations under the act.

We conduct training and seminars on the Payment Gridlock Act.

We represent clients in proceedings before UOKiK concerning product safety and also advise clients in this area.