Jacques-Philippe Gunther

Partner

Paris
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
21-23 rue de la Ville l'Evêque
75008 Paris
T +33 1 53 43 4538
F +33 1 40 06 9606
jguntherwillkie.com
Brussels
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Avenue Louise, 480 / 3B
1050 Bruxelles
T +32 2 290 18 20
F +32 2 290 18 21

Jacques-Philippe Gunther is a partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group, where he heads the firm's European competition and antitrust practice. He is also Co-Chair of the firm’s European Committee.

Jacques-Philippe is known for his experience in advising clients on complex disputes before the competition authorities (EC and French) as well as Courts (European Court of Justice and French courts) on cartel and abuse of dominant position cases. Jacques-Philippe is also well known for his experience on complex phase 1 and phase 2 European and national merger filings. He is also one of the most recognized attorneys in the field of State Aids. Jacques-Philippe has particular experience in the telecom, transport (shipping, airlines), energy, media, defense, sports and financial sectors.

Consistently ranked over the past eleven years in the Band 1 category by Chambers, the 2015 edition describes Jacques-Philippe as "very good at determining the strategy and creative at devising a defence." He is also recognized in several other professional guides, including Legal 500, which states that he is “very experienced, smart and provides excellent strategic advice," and Global Competition Review, which notes that Jacques-Philippe’s team (ranked as “Elite”) “continues to draw praise for being one of France’s leading competition practices.”

+ Continue Reading

Highlights

Jacques-Philippe Gunther is a partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group, where he heads the firm's European competition and antitrust practice. He is also Co-Chair of the firm’s European Committee.

Selected Significant Matters

EU /Multi Merger Filing

  • advising Arkema in the sale of its activated carbon and filter aid business to Calgon Carbon
  • advised Arkema in the €1.74 billion acquisition of Bostik from Total SA
  • advised CMA CGM in its acquisition of OPDR
  • advised Orange in its €3.4 billion acquisition of Jazztel
  • advised EDF in the acquisition of Edison
  • advised CMA CGM in the sale of Terminal Link to CMHI
  • advised EDF in the acquisition of Photowatt
  • advised PAI Partners in its acquisition of IPH
  • represented Arkema before the European Commission and national authorities (including China, south Africa, Turkey, Italy, Germany) in several acquisitions including the acquisition of the photocures and coatings businesses of Total’s resin division
  • represented Arkema in its acquisition of Coatex
  • represented Orange before the European Commission and national competition authorities (Poland, Austria and Germany) in its procurement Joint Venture with Deutsche Telekom
  • advised PAI Partners before the European Commission in the announced sale of its interests in Yoplait to General Mills for an enterprise value of €1.6 billion
  • advised CMA CGM in connection with a US$150 million minority investment of French sovereign fund Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement
  • represented Gaz de France in its $159 billion merger with Suez. Our EU team led the phase 2 merger review process before the European Commission and coordinated numerous merger review filings throughout the world
  • represented CMA CGM in several transactions before the European Commission as well as several national authorities including China, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, South Africa
  • advised Kiloutou before the French competition authorities in the acquisition of BM Location from Bergerat Monnoyeur
  • advised Elior before the French competition authority in its acquisition of Sins & Stes
  • represented Thales before the European Commission in its JV deal with Finmeccanicca (phase 2 decision without remedy)
  • represented Thales before the European Commission in its merger with Racall
  • advised Eurotunnel before the French authorities in the acquisition of Sea France’s assets
  • advised Lagardère, its subsidiary Aélia and Aéroports de Lyon in their joint venture process
  • advised Perstorp in its Joint Venture with PTT Global Chemical
  • Intervention as a plaintiff (on behalf of competitors) in several complex mergers including actions before Courts (Canal +/TPS; TF1/TMC; Canal +/direct 8; Procter and Gamble/Shikedanz; Seb/Moulinex among others)

Cartel Agreements

  • advises CMA CGM with regards to an investigation launched by the European Commission against several liner shipping companies regarding potential anticompetitive agreements and/or abuse of dominant position
  • advised CMA CGM before the French competition authorities on a settlement procedure with regards to an investigation related to sea transport services from North Europe to the French West Indies
  • advised GDF Suez in obtaining before the European court of Justice the largest antitrust fine reduction in a major EU cartel case in the energy sector (more than €230 million). The team was nominated in the category "Litigation of the year" by Global Competition Review
  • represented Crédit Mutuel and CIC banks in three major cases before the French competition Authority, the French Supreme Court and the European authorities relating to interchange fees
  • represented France Televisions on an alleged cartel agreement with Orange on their joint venture dealing with rewind TV programs

Abuse of Dominant Position

  • representing Orange in the reversal of the judgment of the Paris Commercial Court in its ‘secondary residence’ case against SFR
  • advised TDF shareholders (comprising Brookfield, PSP, APG and Arcus) in obtaining the dismissal of the complaint filed by rival FPS before the French Competition Authority
  • represents EDF before the French antitrust authority in the context of an alleged abuse of dominant position against a player active in the solar industry
  • advised successfully Orange before the Court of Appeal (Paris) in the context of an alleged abuse of dominant position against an Internet transit services provider (Cogent)
  • advises Orange in an EC investigation concerning Internet connectivity services following unannounced inspections in July 2013
  • advises Arkema as a plaintiff in the opening by the European Commission of proceedings concerning cartel agreements and abuses of dominant position in relation to standardization issues ("patent ambush") in the car refrigerant sector
  • represented Meteo Consult as a plaintiff in the context of a claim to the French Competition Authority against Météo-France about the use of its State’s subsidy to offer low prices on its commercial activity (cross-subsidies)
  • represents Orange in several litigations (damages proceedings with respect to anticompetitive practices) before commercial Courts) and before the European Commission in relation to alleged abuses of dominant position in the Internet access market
  • advises Amaury Group before the French authority in a case relating to an alleged abuse of dominant position lodged by a rival newspaper
  • represented Boeringher Ingelheim in several instances before the French authorities in relation to an alleged restriction of parallel imports of pharmaceuticals products
  • represented the Ligue Française de Football ("LFP") in a dispute regarding the exclusive distribution of the Orange channel Orange Foot. This high-profile dispute was opposing telecom operators SFR and Free to incumbent company Orange and LFP
  • represented Ebay with respect to the European Commission’s formal investigation under Article 102 TFUE launched in November 2010 regarding potential abusive practices implemented by Google

State Aids

  • advising on the state aid aspects of the creation of Agence France Locale, the first funding agency 100% owned by local governments and dedicated to their financing in France
  • represented Coface with respect to a proceeding conducted by the European Commission regarding the financing of a nuclear power station
  • advised Transdev as a joint shareholder of SNCM regarding two negative decisions following formal investigation procedures conducted by the European Commission
  • advising CCR on a litigation pending before the French administrative courts relating to the guaranty granted to CCR by the French state for the reinsurance of disaster risks.
  • represented the French State in obtaining EC approval for €1.2 Billion PSA Group (Peugeot cars) aid
  • advised several banks with regards to a proceeding conducted by the Commission regarding the GIE Fiscaux (fiscal EIGs)
  • advised Sernam and its shareholders regarding the analysis by the European Commission of the compatibility of state aids with the company’s privatization. Also represented Sernam with regards to action brought by rival Mory before the administrative tribunal regarding the recovery of states aids granted to Sernam
  • advised the majority shareholder of a company regarding a potential aid linked to its investment from the Banque Publique d’Investissement
  • represented France Televisions in relation to the filing of a new state financing regime as well as in several annulment actions brought before the General Court of the EU by TF1, M6 and Canal+ with regards to this state financing scheme benefiting France Televisions
  • representing EDF in arguing before the European Commission that a purchase of a solar industry company was not to be considered as an illegal state aid
  • representing Coface as a plaintiff against two state owned companies which benefited from illegal state subsidies in the context of an acquisition of two competitors
  • advising GDF Suez in obtaining the EC approval on the pension regime for its civil servant employees
  • advised Crédit Mutuel regarding the alleged state aid with Le Livret Bleu

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Willkie, Jacques-Philippe led the antitrust and competition practice that he started in the Paris office of Freshfields Bruckhaus in 1999. Prior to Freshfields, he was a partner with Gide Loyrette Nouel (Paris and Brussels), where he began his career.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Jacques-Philippe is a former president of the F.N.U.JA (Fédération des Unions de Jeunes Avocats, Federation of the Union of Young Lawyers). He is also a former member of the Board of the National Council of the Bars (C.N.B.). He currently chairs the antitrust Commission of the "Club des Juristes", one of the most sophisticated think tank including in-house and outside lawyers.

Jacques-Philippe is the co-author of many articles regarding competition law practice and is regularly invited as a speaker in prestigious international and national conferences.

Selected Publications and Lectures

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Option Droit & Affaires – 13 January 2014 – Le cas Eurotunnel/ SeaFrance: deux approches nationales du contrôle des concentrations pour un même marché pertinent – Eurotunnel/SeaFrance, two domestic approaches of merger control on the same relevant market
  • Option Droit & Affaires – 13 January 2014 – Contrôle des concentrations – Merger control
  • Revue Lamy Droit des Affaires - March 2013 - Acquisition de TPS : le Conseil d’État confirme les mesures répressives et correctives formulées par l’ADLC contre Canal Plus – TPS Acquisition: The French Council State confirms Competition Authority punitive and remedial measures against Canal Plus
  • Les Echos – 23 January 2013 – Concurrence : participations minoritaires, quel contrôle? / Antitrust: minority interests, what type of control?
  • Concurrences – 12 June 2013 – Rabais, Marges, Squeeze - Discount, Margin, Squeeze: the most efficient competitor test
  • Concurrences – September 2012 - Ententes et droits de propriété intellectuelle : Accords transactionnels, standardisation – Antitrust and intellectual property rights: agreements, standardization
  • Le Magazine des Affaires – April 2012 – Croissance, la solution du build up – Growth, the Build Up solution ?
  • Concurrences – September 2011 - Merger control and minority shareholdings : Time for a change ?
  • Concurrences – September 2011 - Analyse économique des remèdes en droit de la concurrence / Economical analysis of remedies in competition law
  • Le journal des sociétés – June 2011 - Sanctions antitrust : les dessous des cartes / Antitrust sanctions: Underside the cards
  • Le Magazine des Affaires – September 2010 - Concurrence et propriété intellectuelle : seuls les mérites comptent – Antitrust and intellectual property: only the merits matter
  • Les Echos – 24 June 2010 - Europe et concurrence : les enjeux pour les entreprises – Europe & Antitrust: companies issues
  • Concurrences – May 2010 - La Commission européenne refuse le renvoi demandé par le Conseil de la concurrence belge au regard de l'opération de concentration dans le secteur de l'électricité – The European Commission denied the appeal requested by the Belgian competition authority regarding merger control on the electricity sector.

SELECTED NEWS AND EVENTS

  • 19 January 2015 - Paris - Antitrust & Innovation
  • 1 July 2014 – Brussels - Price signaling: What is the grey zone for - public - exchange of information? Concurrences
  • 11 December 2013 – Paris – Merger Control Round Table – Option Droit & Affaires
  • 5-6 December 2013 – Brussels - Competition Summit - Does the Current Climate Prompts for More Major Mergers or Strategic Alliances & Softer Eligibility Criteria? Premier Cercle
  • 10 July 2013 – Brussels - Mergers & remedies: How to assess efficient (merger) remedies? Concurrences
  • 12 June 2013 – Paris - Rabais, marges, squeeze : Le test du concurrent le plus efficace - Discount, Margin, Squeeze : the most efficient competitor test - Concurrences
  • 13-14 November 2012 – Brussels - Annual GCR Live fines – time for a re-think?– Global Competition Review
  • 23 May 2012 – Paris - Ententes et droits de propriété intellectuelle : accords transactionnels, standardisation – Antitrust and intellectual property rights: agreements, standardization - Concurrences
  • 12 April 2012 – Paris – Croissance, la solution du Build-Up – Growth, the Build Up solution ? Magazine des Affaires
  • 10 May 2011 – Paris - L'analyse des remèdes en droit de la concurrence- Economical analysis of remedies in competition law - Concurrences
  • 11 February 2011 – Paris – New Frontiers of Antitrust - Patent ambush in an US/EU perspective: How large is the gap? Concurrences
  • 1 July 2010 – Paris - Les stratégies verticales: Comment apprécier les effets des exclusivités en matière de distribution ? Vertical strategies – How to assess the impact of exclusivity in distribution? Concurrences

Additional Information

Awards and Recognition

  • Willkie’s Antitrust team asserts its position as the obvious reference on the market. DÉCIDEURS 2015 – Team Ranked as Key Reference
  • Accomplished team which handles the full range of competition matters, including merger control and litigation before the EU and French authorities and courts. Also provides day-to-day competition advice and represents clients in dawn raid procedures. Practice head Jacques-Philippe Gunther comes recommended by clients for competition issues affecting the telecoms sector. "He is very good at determining the strategy and creative at devising a defence," reports one interviewee. He represented Orange in the dawn raid carried out by the European Commission in relation to internet connectivity services. CHAMBERS EUROPE 2015 – Band 1 as a firm and individually
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher provides ‘excellent, thorough, pragmatic and most reliable advice’ on antitrust and state aid matters and is also recommended for merger control. It has notable experience in telecoms, media and pharmaceuticals, and has been advising Teva regarding EC investigations into patent settlements. It is representing Orange in an abuse of dominance position case in the internet interconnection market as well as in the context of Numericable’s acquisition of SFR. Practice head Jacques-Philippe Gunther is ‘very experienced, smart and provides excellent strategic advice.' LEGAL 500 EMEA 2015
  • Highly skilled team acts on major competition cases spanning state aid, merger control and litigation. Frequently appears before EU and French competition authorities and courts. Particularly active in abuse of dominance cases. Sector expertise in pharmaceuticals, financial services and telecoms. The ‘dynamic’ Jacques-Philippe Gunther is described as ‘a real rainmaker and an excellent lawyer.’ He heads the competition practice group for Europe and divides his time between Paris and Brussels. His practice includes national and EU merger filings, state aid and antitrust litigation. CHAMBERS EUROPE 2014 – Band 1 as a firm and individually
  • This large and greatly respected practice covers a broad range of antitrust work, such as state aid, merger control and litigation before the French and European courts and authorities. Jacques-Philippe Gunther “is a big player on the market,” and some of his areas of focus are the media, energy and defense sectors. He leads the team and is known for his abilities in domestic and European merger filings. CHAMBERS EUROPE 2013 – Band 1 as a firm and individually
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s eight-lawyer team notably represented Crédit Mutuel in two domestic cases concerning interchange fees; and Arkema in EU patent cartel proceedings. Merger control is another field of expertise. Practice head Jacques-Philippe Gunther and David Tayar are highly recommended. LEGAL 500 EMEA 2013
  • European competition practice head Jacques-Philippe Gunther has longstanding experience in advising clients on complex mergers and disputes. He is also a recognized expert in state aid. He frequently works with clients from the media, telecoms, defense and financial sectors. Market observers state: “His strengths include the depth of his expertise, and his creativity.” CHAMBERS EUROPE 2012 – Band 1 as a firm and individually
  • “In competition law I think that there are very few teams at this firm’s level.” “Energetic, strong and creative.” CHAMBERS EUROPE 2012– Band 1 as a firm and individually
  • Jacques-Philippe Gunther’s team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher continues to draw praise for being one of France’s leading competition practices.  Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP ranked as the “elite” of the French competition bar - GLOBAL COMPETITION REVIEW 2012
  • Practice head Jacques-Philippe Gunther is “a bright and creative adviser who has built a team with strong expertise.” LEGAL 500 EMEA 2012 – Tier 2 Firm
  • Jacques Philippe Gunther leads the group and has been a central figure in its development. Greatly admired by market sources for his technical expertise, he handles major merger notifications and antitrust litigation before both French and European courts. CHAMBERS EUROPE 2011 – Band 2 globally, Band 1 individually
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s practice is led by the “flamboyant” Jacques-Philippe Gunther, who is “never scared to try new things.” LEGAL 500 EMEA 2011 – Tier 2 Firm

Publications / News / Events

+ View All Publications / News / Events