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Laurent Geelhand

Laurent Geelhand

Partner
About

Veteran of the automotive industry and former general counsel, Laurent is a partner in the EU Competition team in Brussels. Regarded as one of the pioneers of competition litigation and private enforcement in Europe, he has a strong and influential reputation in the market as a leading competition lawyer.

Laurent has over 30 years of experience in the automotive, transport and logistics sectors, both on firm and client side. He maintains one of the strongest antitrust automotive practices in Europe, advising French, German, Italian and British car manufacturers on the transformation of the automotive industry and their relationships with their suppliers. His wide range of clients also includes transport and logistics companies, leading waste and water treatment groups as well as companies from the food and retail, aeronautic, energy and IT sectors.

Laurent has unique experience with respect to abuse of dominance. He also received praise and several awards for antitrust compliance tools. For example, he devised a highly regarded and successful antitrust compliance program using innovative communication techniques (such as video games) and quality and internal control processes.

EXPERIENCE

  • Coordinating global litigation strategies in relation to cartel damage claims in multiple jurisdictions, including the trucks cartel before Dutch, UK and Israeli courts and numerous car parts cartels before the UK, French, German and US courts.
  • Representing the Michelin Group in the landmark Michelin II abuse of dominance case (while General Counsel).
  • Representing the Michelin Group in a negotiation with the Polish government relating to the grant of an aid package and obtaining its approval by the European Commission (while General Counsel).
  • Handling complex European merger control cases before the European Commission and various jurisdictions in the food and beverages, aerospace, automotive, chemicals and entertainment sectors, as well as all filings for the Michelin Group (phase I and phase II) while General Counsel.
  • Representing a leading soft drinks company in several abuse of dominance litigation cases.
  • Handling multi-million dollars acquisitions and joint ventures in various industries, such as telecoms, chemicals, food, electronics, etc.
Languages
  • French
  • English
Education
  • University of Washington, LLM, 1990
  • Université libre de Bruxelles, Law and Economics, Magna cum laude, 1989
  • Université libre de Bruxelles, LLB, cum laude, 1988

Awards

  • FT Innovative Lawyers Innovation in Legal Expertise – Dispute resolution award for innovative thinking in setting up a cooperation between Transport and Logistiek Nederland and the Dutch insurer TVM for the purpose of a litigation, 2018
  • Leaders League special award in the category best competition litigation firm in France, 2021
  • Global Competition Review award for pan-European Trucks Cartel litigation, 2020
  • Legal Business “Competition Team of the Year” award for the work accomplished with Peugeot (PSA Group) against two European and four Japanese manufacturers found guilty of price fixing, 2019
  • Special Jury Prize at the Serious Game Expo for the Michelin Serious Game “Mission Anti-trust”, 2011
  • Recognised as Global Leader for Competition Plaintiff in the 2020 and 2021 editions of Who’s Who Legal Global Leaders
  • Cited as an “Elite” firm by the Global Competition Review at the EU Claimants Bar, 2022
  • Cited by Leaders League as “highly recommended” law firm for Belgium dispute resolution, 2021
  • Recognised as “Thought Leader for Competition” by Who’s Who Legal (“widely recognised as an authority in European antitrust law and cross-border litigation”), 2019
  • Listed by the Global Competition Review among the stars of the “in-house antitrust bar” in 2014 and among the Top 35 Corporate Competition Counsel in 2018 (“using innovative litigation techniques and funding schemes, Laurent secured multimillion-euro settlements for the tyre maker arising from the rubber chemicals, synthetic rubber and paraffin wax cartels”)
  • Cited by the Competition Litigation Review as having an “expert-level expertise” in 2020 and “highly commended for their work across the ‘impressive portfolio of automotive clients” in 2018

Publications

  • Document production under the lens: the return of the French blocking statute? June 2020
  • COVID 19 - will the automotive industry survive a 2nd time around? May 2020
  • L’indemnisation du préjudice causé par une pratique anticoncurrentielle: Nouvel eldorado des praticiens du droit de la concurrence et des victimes de pratiques anticoncurrentielles ? A quoi sert la concurrence, October 2014
  • Letter of the French Competition Authority on Michelin antitrust compliance programme, May 2012
  • Total’s newsletter “Projections”, March-April 2012
  • “The rise of public cartel enforcement and the seeds of potential decline”, with Michael D. Hausfeld, St.Gallen ICF Conference Book, 2010

Seminars

  • Visiting Lecturer on European antitrust law, Master degree program, University of Montpellier, France
  • Regular speaker at leading conferences worldwide such as ABA, IBC, GCR, the French Competition Authority, the Italian Competition Authority and the French Supreme Court
  • Interviewed by Business Week (2009), the Global Competition Review, MLex (2014), Parr (2014), the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times (2013), Les Echos, Le Figaro (2012), Liaisons sociales (2013), Entreprises et carrières (2012), le JDD, BFM Business, France Inter, etc.

Prior Experience

  • 2022 to date, Partner, DLA Piper, Brussels
  • 2014-2022, Managing Partner in a leading competition litigation firm, Paris/Brussels
  • 1998-2014, General Counsel Europe, Michelin Group, Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 1991-1998, Associate in a leading competition and antitrust firm, Brussels
  • 1990-1991, Associate in a corporate firm, New York

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Lawyer registered with the Brussels Bar (French speaking section)
  • Foreign Registered Lawyer England and Wales
  • Former Board member of a German headquartered family controlled automotive car parts supplier (antivibration and other metal to rubber components) with facilities throughout the world
  • Former Board member with Transport and Logistiek Nederland’s general counsel of a company representing the interests of TLN members

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