Frédéric Louis


Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis focuses on all aspects of EU competition law, in particular, behavioral investigations (cartels and abuse of dominance), merger clearances and State Aid. In addition, he has extensive litigation experience, having represented clients in more than 35 proceedings before the European courts in Luxembourg. Mr. Louis also advises on other aspects of EU regulatory law, including product regulations and data protection. He has been centrally involved in pioneering transparency litigation, having won a series of cases mandating freedom of access to information held by the EU institutions. He also litigates and represents clients before Dutch, French and Belgian courts (including antitrust damages claims) and competition authorities.


Mr. Louis's competition practice includes cartel, parallel imports and abuse of dominance investigations (including internal investigations and leniency applications); complaints and litigation; merger clearance; State Aid investigations; and complaints and counseling. He advises clients across a wide variety of industry sectors, from basic industries (construction materials, chemicals) to consumer goods, including service industries (telecommunications, banking, media and sports). 

Mr. Louis's litigation experience before the EU courts ranges over various aspects (including freedom of commerce and constitutional issues) with a focus on competition litigation. Mr. Louis has argued cases before the Grand Chamber of both the General Court and the Court of Justice of the EU.

Mr. Louis is antitrust and regulatory counsel to a dozen of European and worldwide industry associations. He has advised and litigated on behalf of clients on numerous EU regulatory issues, including advertising, banking, communications, cybersecurity, data protection, energy, environment, health & safety, product liability, public procurement, freedom of commerce and provision of transborder services. He advises clients across a wide variety of industry sectors, from basic industries (construction materials, chemicals) to consumer goods, including service industries (electronic communications, banking, media and sports). He has represented the EU Commission and is advisor to the European Central Bank. Mr. Louis has advised Japanese and multinational companies on data protection law and general compliance issues, including jurisdiction and territorial scope, information notices, anonymization and pseudonymisation, cross border flows of personal data, foreign law enforcement requests in the context of cartel investigations issues, and online marketing.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized for his work in competition/European law in the 2015-2018 editions of Chambers Europe and the 2013-2018 editions of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Recognized in the 2013-2018 editions of the Best Lawyers in Belgium for his work in Competition/Antitrust Law
  • Listed in the 2014-2016 editions of Expert Guides as a leading attorney in Brussels in the area of Competition/Antitrust Law
  • Selected as a leader in his field in the 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of Who's Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists
  • Named to Global Competition Review's selective list of "40 under Forty" leading competition lawyers in 2008
  • Recognized for his European competition and competition/antitrust practices in the 2006/2007 and 2009/2010 editions of the PLC Cross-border Competition Handbook

Publications & News


May 23, 2018

8-in-8 Recent Trends in European Law and Policy Alert Series—The EU’s Data Protection Regulatory Big Bang: The GDPR Comes Into Force

This is the inaugural issue of WilmerHale's 8-in-8 Recent Trends in European Law and Policy Alert Series. Over the next eight weeks, our attorneys will share insights on current and emerging issues affecting companies doing business in Europe and across the Atlantic. In this first issue we discuss some of the background to the General Data Protection Regulation and its relevance to companies in all sectors that do business in or with Europe.

May 22, 2018

EU to Reactivate 1996 Blocking Regulation Against US Sanctions on Iran

On Friday, May 18, the EU Commission launched the formal process to reactivate a 1996 trade defense law in response to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA on Iran's nuclear program.

March 20, 2018

Chambers Europe 2018 Recognizes WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices

Twelve WilmerHale lawyers and three firm practices have been recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers Europe: Leading Lawyers for Business.

March 16, 2018

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2018

In the 2018 edition of Chambers Global, 33 WilmerHale lawyers were named among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business."

January 16, 2018

EU Merger Control 2017: Competition in Innovation; EC Prohibiting Deals; Fines for Procedural Infringements; and EU Courts Overturning EC Decisions

2017 saw some highly significant investigations and court judgments in European Union merger control.

October 11, 2017

Brexit and Data Protection: The UK Government's New Data Protection Bill

The UK government has taken an additional step in its attempts to find a way to ensure uninterrupted data flows between the UK and the EU after Brexit. On 13 September 2017, the UK government introduced a draft Data Protection Bill to the UK Parliament, accompanied by explanatory notes.

September 1, 2017

Market Intelligence: Privacy and Cybersecurity in Belgium and the EU

An interview with Christian Duvernoy, Frédéric Louis, Anne Vallery and Itsiq Benizri, published in Market Intelligence: Privacy and Cybersecurity (Getting The Deal Through).

August 1, 2017

International Merger Remedies

A chapter by John Ratliff, Frédéric Louis and Cormac O'Daly published in The Merger Control Review (8th edition), Chapter 5, pp. 50-62

July 10, 2017

EU Overview in Public Competition Enforcement Review

Frédéric Louis and Anne Vallery highlight a few  of the significant developments, touching upon all aspects of European Commission enforcement of the TFEU antitrust rules, under the supervision of the EU courts in Luxembourg, that took place over the past year. The authors also discuss in greater detail two issues relating to Article 101 TFEU enforcement, namely the concept of infringement by object and what it means for the Commission's burden of proof, and the limits of the single continuous complex infringement (SCCI) concept as it applies to fringe participants in a cartel.

July 1, 2017

European Union: Abuse of Dominance

A chapter by Frédéric Louis and Cormac O'Daly, published in The European, Middle Eastern and African Antitrust Review 2018, pp. 3-8 (

Recent Highlights

  • Cartel investigations and litigation. Over the years, Mr. Louis has defended a number of clients which were the subject of adverse cartel proceedings initiated by the EC Commission, obtaining mostly favorable outcomes for his clients. Recently, he represented Guardian in its appeal to the European Court of Justice, which reduced the fine that the Commission originally imposed in its flat glass decision by over € 44 million. He also won a rare annulment of a cartel decision for another clients, as well as a reduction of €205 million on a fine of €326 million imposed by the EU Commission. He also has experience in settlement proceedings.
  • Abuse of dominance.  Mr. Louis has filed a number of complaints with the EC Commission alleging abuse of dominance and has defended clients against such allegations. He recently won an annulment of a decision imposing an EUR 19 million fine on one of his clients.
  • Behavioral counseling.  Mr. Louis has particular experience in counseling as to the appropriate industry response under competition law to the requirements of environmental and waste regulations, and is currently assisting a number of industries in coping with the demands of the EU end-of-life collection and recycling demands. He has assisted numerous clients in the structuring of commercial contracts, including joint ventures, R&D co-marketing agreements, distribution agreements and licenses of intellectual property rights.
  • Merger clearance.  Mr. Louis has extensive experience in merger clearances before the European Commission, including transacting in the banking, pharmaceutical, chemicals and communications sectors. He represented clients in two successful Phase II merger clearance matters.

Professional Activities

Mr. Louis is a contributor to various law publications on all topics of competition law and is general secretary of Les cahiers de droit européen, an academic European law journal.


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LLM, University of London, 1992

magna cum laude, Free University of Brussels, 1991

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