Hendrik Viaene

EU Competition


Hendrik Viaene

Gateway building

Luchthaven Brussel Nationaal 1 J

1930 Zaventem


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Hendrik is Global leader of the Centre of Expertise in Competition and Regulatory Law, which is based in Brussels, Belgium. Prior to that, he headed the competition practice at an international law firm.

Hendrik advises clients on all issues concerning competition and regulatory law, such as state aid, cartels, licensing agreements, merger filings, M&A negotiations, abuse of dominance cases, and distribution agreements.

Hendrik assists governments as well as privately and publicly owned companies. Hendrik has assisted clients in many sectors of the economy, such as energy, chemicals, paints, automotive, financial data, recycling and waste management, telecom, construction, renewables, media, private equity, financial industry, etc.

He frequently represents companies before national competition authorities and before the European Commission, either as a complainant or as a defendant, in state aid, cartel, merger, and abuse of dominance investigations. Based on his vast experience, he also assists governments and companies on defence strategies as well as compliance programmes to avoid fines or having to refund or recover state aid.

Specifically with regard to mergers, Hendrik has successfully assisted clients as notifying party or as complainant, both in first and in second phase investigations, in merger clearance proceedings before competition authorities based in all parts of the world.

Hendrik Viaene also counsels clients on compliance audits, immunity and leniency initiatives, and general risk avoidance in relation to competition law.

He frequently is called upon by clients to advise on patent and other intellectual property rights licensing initiatives in light of restrictions imposed by competition law.

Hendrik is a litigator who frequently assists clients before national courts as well as the European Court of Justice.

He has acted as lead counsel in over 20 court cases before the European Court of Justice. Among others, Hendrik represented the United States of America in litigation before the General Court and before the Court of Justice when intervening in support in Apple’s application for annulment of the Commission’s decision ordering the recovery of illegal state aid granted to Apple (cases C-12/18 P (I), United States of America and application for leave to intervene in T-892/16 Apple v Commission, Order of 15 December 2017)). A number of those cases were argued in the Grand Chamber composition, which attests to the complexity and novelty of cases Hendrik treats (see, among others, case C-583/11 P, ITK a.o. v European Parliament, Council of the European Union and T-726/16, VFP v European Commission).

Hendrik is recognised by Chambers Global and by Chambers Europe where clients regard him as “a true subject matter expert” who “is hands-on and communicates clearly”. Another client says:”He is a full-service practitioner in this area; he understands cartels, M&A and has a good understanding of the economics of cases. He understands the problems fully."

Specifically in the area of state aid law, he is considered top 10 globally. He is also ranked by Legal500, Who’s Who, Benchmark Litigation Europe, Leaders League, and by IFLR1000.

Hendrik Viaene