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Dr. Stefan Ohlhoff, LL.M.

Dr. Stefan Ohlhoff is a partner in the firm's Regulatory and Government Affairs Department. He co-chairs the EU Regulatory Group and is a member of the Antitrust and Competition and International Trade, Investment and Market Access Practice Groups. He joined the firm in 1999.

Practice

Dr. Ohlhoff assists clients in merger proceedings, antitrust investigations and litigation before the European Commission, the German Federal Cartel Office and European and German courts. In addition, he advises clients as to the compliance of joint venture and other agreements and of unilateral behavior with European and German competition law (including assistance with compliance programs).

In international trade law, Dr. Ohlhoff represents clients in antidumping, countervailing duty and safeguard proceedings. He also assists clients with trade compliance issues and has been involved in various WTO matters. Dr. Ohlhoff has also substantial expertise in general European regulatory matters. In particular, he has represented clients on government procurement, healthcare regulatory as well as railway and aviation regulatory matters, including for the European Commission in its legislative initiative to create a single European sky.

Dr. Ohlhoff frequently represents clients in large and complex disputes at the interface between regulatory and civil litigation. For example, he is regularly working for clients in government procurement and civil antitrust litigation matters, including some of the largest civil antitrust matters currently pending in Germany. Dr. Ohlhoff also led a team of lawyers representing a healthcare client in over 200 civil, healthcare regulatory and antitrust litigation matters and hundreds of arbitrations against public health insurers and competing healthcare services providers. Finally, he has substantial expertise in international litigation, including a Swiss-German dispute on the use of German airspace for approaches and departures to a Swiss airport and the WTO disputes on Taxation of Foreign Sales Corporations and Large Civil Aircraft.

Professional Activities

Dr. Ohlhoff publishes and speaks frequently on antitrust and competition law, international trade law and on other aspects of international law.

Among others, he is the author of contributions on EU merger control in Competition Law: European Community Practice and Procedure (Sweet&Maxwell) and in Münchener Kommentar zum Europäischen und Deutschen Wettbewerbsrecht (Kartellrecht) (Beck-Verlag). In addition, he is co-editor of a handbook on regulatory and civil antitrust investigations and litigation to be published by Beck-Verlag in 2014. From 2008 to 2010, Dr. Ohlhoff was the National Contributor for Germany in Global Competition Litigation Review.

Dr. Ohlhoff co-founded the Berliner Kartellrechtskreis in 2008 and was the regional representative of the Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht for Eastern Germany in 2011 and 2012.

Experience

  • Civil Antitrust Litigation

    • Representing Deutsche Bahn in connection with all aspects of asserting claims for several hundred million Euros in damages from the railtrack cartel, including in litigation against major European steel producers. This is one of the largest and most complex cartel damages cases in the history of Germany. 
    • Defending Deutsche Telekom in civil antitrust litigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominance by maintaining a margin squeeze in the local loop between 1998 and 2003. Eight of Deutsche Telekom’s competitors have claimed a total of over 600 million Euros in damages, more than in any other civil antitrust litigation in Germany regarding abusive practices.  
    • Representing a leading German automobile manufacturer in connection with asserting claims for damages from the auto glass cartel against suppliers located in many European jurisdictions. 
    • Defending a healthcare software provider against several attempts by competitors to obtain injunctive relief regarding the supply and disclosure of software code.
  • Regulatory Antitrust and Other Litigation

    • Representing Deutsche Telekom in a landmark price squeeze case before the European Court of First Instance and the European Court of Justice.
    • Representing Deutsche Telekom before the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals in litigation concerning the prohibition by the German Federal Cartel Office of a joint video-on-demand platform of TV broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1. The EU Commission had referred the case to the German and Austrian authorities, and the German Federal Cartel Office prohibited the merger after an extended second-phase review.
    • Representing a leading German supplier of healthcare management services in hundreds of litigation matters and arbitration cases on a broad range of healthcare regulatory, antitrust and civil issues (including the appointment of arbitrators, the validity of arbitrator rulings and payment claims).
    • Representing an airline in litigation before the German Supreme Court and the Berlin and Düsseldorf Court of Appeals in litigation against the German Federal Cartel Office concerning ticket prices.
    • Representing an aircraft manufacturer in connection with the WTO dispute settlement cases between the US and the EU concerning subsidies for large civil aircraft.
    • Representing a Swiss airport in a Swiss-German dispute and in regulatory litigation concerning the use of German airspace for approaches.
    • Representing a bidder in government procurement litigation before the Berlin Court of Appeals concerning a multi-year contract for the management of the Berlin public lighting system. 
  • Merger Control

    • Representing a private equity fund and another investor on antitrust and EU merger control issues in connection with their acquisition of a leading ferry operator in the Baltic Sea.
    • Representing two large German banks in EU merger control proceedings concerning their merger into a new entity.
    • Representing a complainant in the EU Commission’s review of the Thule/Pewag merger. After the extended second-phase review led to a statement of objections, the filing was withdrawn.
    • Representing other clients from the telecommunications, IT/software, airline, aircraft maintenance and engineering industries in EU and German merger control proceedings (including the co-ordination of multinational filings). 
  • Cartel and Abuse of Dominance Investigations

    • Representing clients in EU and German cartel investigations in the flour, paper wholesale, airline and other industries.
    • Representing a client in the healthcare industry in abuse of dominance investigations by the German Federal Cartel Office.
    • Representing a client in a margin squeeze investigation before the German Federal Cartel Office concerning certain IT services.
    • Representing a client in an investigation by the German Federal Cartel Office concerning allegedly abusive pricing for certain data. 

Recognition

  • Mr. Ohlhoff is a member of WilmerHale's Antitrust and Competition Practice, which was the winner of the "Litigation of the Year Award" for the German Rail Cartel follow-on litigation by Global Competition Review (GCR) in 2014.
  • Continuously recommended by JUVE Handbook since 2006/2007 in the area of antitrust. Clients and competitors praise his great analytic skills and his detail-oriented work.
  • Recognized as a leader in antitrust and competition in Germany in the 2007–2018 editions of Chambers Europe and the 2018 edition of Chambers Global for his hands-on approach and prowess as a litigator. Clients say: "He is very reliable and has a good feeling for what clients need. He can discuss on the spot the details of a case and produce very good results."
  • Recommended by Best Lawyers in the fields of trade and competition/antitrust law as a top German business lawyer (Handelsblatt 2011–2018). In 2014, he was named competition/antitrust "Lawyer of the Year."
  • Who's Who Legal Germany continuously recognizes the "skillful negotiator" Dr. Ohlhoff as "well known" for his international trade law practice and his involvement in numerous WTO matters. He is further praised as being "extremely talented" in providing counsel in relation to merger control proceedings, investigations and litigations before the German authorities and EU Commission.
  • Listed in the 2010–2015 editions of Who's Who Legal: Competition Lawyers and Economists and the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 editions of Who's Who Legal: Trade & Customs Lawyers.
  • Listed in the 2014 edition of Expert Guides as a leading attorney in Berlin in the area of Competition/Antitrust Law.
  • Received the Francis Deàk Award of the American Society of International Law in 2000 for his writing on WTO dispute resolution and national security.

Insights & News

Credentials