Competition & Public Procurement practice at Dittmar & Indrenius – Quo Vadis?
It is really exciting that we were three to join the D&I competition practice at the same time and from the same firm. It is the first time that basically an entire competition practice moves to another law firm in Finland. We now have one of the very biggest practices, partly reflecting also the recent significant growth of the firm itself.
“Widely recognised as one of the leaders of Finland’s next generation of competition law experts”
– CHAMBERS EUROPE
The combined experience of all of D&I’s competition lawyers is tremendous and quite unique indeed. For example, we have been involved in almost all of the major competition infringement cases and competition law related damages cases in Finland and have experience from both sides of the table. Naturally, our aim is still to raise the profile of our excellent and experienced practice even further. I hope that my nearly 18 years in the profession, which include also several years in London and Brussels, and my many contacts, will help us in this. Actually, I would like to take this opportunity here to thank my clients for following us to D&I.
What’s keeping you busy right now?
I have traditionally always had a wide variety of competition work on the table and this is continuing. At the moment I am perhaps the busiest with infringement and merger control related work as well as with damages actions and compliance training. I am one of the five members of the Competition Law Expert Group of the Finnish Bar Association and we have also some interesting discussions and legislative initiatives going on there.
“Always provides first class and timely competition law services”
– THE LEGAL 500
Competition law related damages actions are nowadays an increasingly topical issue in competition law. They are also significant and interesting with regard to damages actions in general. The current court cases will help define e.g. the measuring of alleged damage and time-bar issues. For example, the Helsinki Court of Appeal will deal with these in its judgments in the asphalt cases later this year and the Supreme Court is about to give its precedent on the latter aspect in the near future. The forth-coming case law may be of significance also in other than competition law related cases. Note also that the Damages Directive – which entered into force in December 2014 – has to be implemented this year. All this is partly also a reason why our practice is keeping such close contact with our excellent Dispute Resolution practice and why many of us are working on both kinds of cases.
What will the future hold for our Competition & Public Procurement practice?
Competition law infringements and the related damages actions as well as merger control are likely to be in the heart of any esteemed competition practice also in the future. Competition law is developing fast both on the EU and national level – as it has always done – and given the forthcoming precedent-nature judgments e.g. in the damages cases we are in for busy and interesting times. The asphalt cartel and the car spare parts cartel related damages cases (in the Helsinki Court of Appeal) as well as e.g. the Valio abuse of dominance (predatory pricing) case (in the Supreme Administrative Court) are all important cases where judgments are expected this year and where D&I has a role in developing the future of competition law.
In the merger control front, it is exciting to work closely with such a cutting-edge M&A & Private Equity practice. It will certainly play a significant role in the further success of the competition practice.
It is also one of our goals to focus on deepening our relationships with our numerous friends in several leading competition practices in other jurisdictions. It is of course a clear advantage to our clients that we are an independent law firm that can freely choose among and recommend them the truly best lawyers in other jurisdictions for advice – based on our personal knowledge and experience, not on a formal agreement or membership.
“Skilful, talented lawyer – one of the easiest people to work with in the Finnish market”
– CHAMBERS EUROPE
Ilkka Leppihalme is a leading, highly ranked expert within EU and Finnish competition law covering inter alia merger control, cartel investigations, horizontal and vertical agreements, abuses of dominance, damages cases and compliance programs across a wide range of industries.
Ilkka has been involved in a number of landmark cases, such as the asphalt cartel and the raw wood cartel cases as well as some major damages and merger control cases.
Before joining Dittmar & Indrenius in 2016 Ilkka made a distinguished career as a partner and head of competition in another leading law firm in Finland. Prior to this, he was with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Brussels.