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Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB) is a boutique firm specialising in private litigation linked to antitrust and unfair competition cases. The firm ‘digs deep into the details of the business in respect to competition law’. The team is led by founding partners Santiago Martínez Lage and Rafael Allendesalazar; and the ‘knowledgeable and trusted’ Helmut Brokelmann, who is ‘sharp in his analysis’. Also notable is Paloma Martinez Lage, who has ‘a deep understanding of each case’. The practice is representing Renfe in the appeal against a fine imposed by the Spanish competition authority for allegedly colluding with Deutsche Bahn, as well as acting for Orange Spain in its appeal against the €29.5m fine imposed by the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, for abuse of a collective dominant position with Telefonica and Vodafone.
What the team is known for
In-demand boutique that advises on all aspects of Spanish and EU competition law, with recognised prowess in behavioural matters such as abuse of dominance cases or cartel investigations. Assists with third-party complaints to competition authorities and defends major corporate clients in high-value follow-on litigation mandates. Also assists with merger control notifications and distribution issues. Experienced in representing clients from a range of sectors, with an enviable client roster featuring prominent names from the publishing, automotive and retail industries.
Clients praise the lawyer for being “very knowledgeable about competition matters both in terms of administrative processes and legal proceedings, and they develop a close relationship with the client.”
The team is hailed for its “availability, thorough study of issues, personal immediacy and quality of work.”
Represented Inditex in an EC investigation initiated by the Task Force Digital Single Market of DG COMP.
The “very straightforward, business-oriented and very knowledgeable” Helmut Brokelmann advises important clients from the TMT, life sciences and energy sectors on a wide array of competition issues. He demonstrated his skills in assistance to Laudamotion with a merger clearance procedure before the CNMC relating to its acquisition of the assets of Niki. His areas of expertise extend to follow-on damages claims and appeal proceedings, before both Spanish and European authorities. Sources further underline his “extensive knowledge” of competition law.
The “young and dynamic” Paloma Martínez Lage is endorsed for her expertise and approach to clients, who hail from the telecoms, aviation and consumer goods sectors. She plays a key role in abuse of dominant position cases, pricing investigations and transactional operations.
The “fantastic” Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho draws praise for his technical expertise and is highly respected in the market. He is active in matters relating to the consumer goods, e-commerce and financial services sectors, including public and private entities, and has expertise representing them at the Supreme Court and the ECJ. His practice includes appealing against CNMC decisions and assisting with investigations. He demonstrated his prowess by successfully representing Procter & Gamble before the CNMC in a cartel investigation concerning the adult incontinence product market.
Santiago Martínez Lage is considered to be “the pioneer practitioner of antitrust law in Spain.” His experience includes representing clients before the EC and the Spanish authorities in various competition matters. He has further expertise in arbitration proceedings.
Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann partners Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann are widely reckoned to be some of the best practitioners on the Spanish market. Paloma Martínez-Lage and Mariarosaria Ganino were promoted to partner in May 2018, creating a team of five partners, one counsel and five associates.
The firm was recently retained by the Correos as its competition law counsel for the next year and to represent the Spanish mail post company in its appeals against regulatory decisions setting the framework for access to the public postal network. Brokelmann and Martínez-Lage in 2016 successfully persuading the General Court to overturn the fines Printeos received for its role in the envelope cartel. The EU court ruled that the European Commission had failed to properly explain why Printeos received a less favourable fine reduction than the other settling cartelists. The Commission reissued the fine in 2017, claiming to have fixed the procedural error. Now, there is a pending appeal against the Commission’s refusal to pay interest to Printeos for the annulled part.
In other litigation, Brokelmann and Ganino represented Renfe during its appeal against the CNMC’s railway cartel decision. The team also represents Orange Spain in its appeal against the €29.5 million fine imposed by the CNMC in an abuse of dominance decision. The Audiencia Nacional annulled the authority’s decision in 2017, and the appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court.Download document
Antitrust and competition boutique Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB) stands out for its ‘technical knowledge and complete understanding of clients’ concerns, always looking at all potential alternatives’. Highlights included representing Renfe in appealing the highest individual fine handed out by the Spanish competition authority, which was imposed for the alleged abuse of a dominant position. Name partners Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann are industry-leading experts, who are recommended for their ‘full availability and commitment’.
What the team is known for In-demand boutique that advises on all aspects of Spanish and EU competition law, with recognised prowess in behavioural matters such as abuse of dominance cases or cartel investigations. Assists with third-party complaints to competition authorities and defends major corporate clients in high-value follow-on litigation mandates. Also assists with merger control notifications. Experienced in representing clients from a range of sectors, with an enviable client roster featuring prominent names from the sports, media, automotive and pharmaceutical industries.
Strengths Clients describe the lawyers as “extremely knowledgeable and very specialised,” adding: “Their commitment and quality of work is always outstanding.”
“They have a complete understanding of my concerns and always explore all the potential alternatives,” notes another interviewee.
Work highlights Acted for RENFE in its High Court appeal against the EUR65 million fine imposed by the CNMC for alleged abuse of its dominant position and collusion with Deutsche Bahn.
Represented Printeos in its appeal to the EU General Court seeking a total annulment of the fine imposed by the EC on participants in the envelopes cartel. The firm also advised on subsequent proceedings against the EC aiming to recover interest on the amount returned to Printeos.
Santiago Martínez Lage is a hugely respected figure in the Spanish market owing to his long-standing experience in significant mandates. Sources often highlight his active presence from the earliest stages of the development of competition law in Spain.
Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho is praised for his “technical knowledge, expertise and versatility,” with one interviewee adding: “He is definitely one of the most talented competition lawyers in Spain.” He regularly defends clients in cartel investigations carried out by Spanish competition authorities and handles appeal proceedings. He defended Inditex in a sector inquiry carried out by the EC’s task force for the digital single market.
Helmut Brokelmann acts on both administrative proceedings and litigation relating to national and European competition law. Market commentators note his particular activity in significant follow-on damages claims brought by third parties. He is well respected for his technical expertise, with one source adding: “He has a very practical sense of how to proceed in dealing with national and European competition authorities in different jurisdictions.”
Paloma Martínez Lage has broad expertise in cartel investigations, merger control and state aid. Clients appreciate that she is “dedicated, hard-working and pays a lot of attention to detail.”
EU and antitrust work takes up around 90% of MARTÍNEZ LAGE ALLENDESALAZAR & BROKELMANN’s time, says partner Rafael Allendesalazar, of which roughly 80% is behavioural. The boutique was formerly a branch of antitrust heavyweight Howrey from 2008 until its dissolution in 2011 – a testament to the firm’s top reputation in competition matters in Spain and the EU more generally. Observers say managing partner Santiago Martínez Lage, who founded the firm in 1985, has become less visible in recent years, but Allendesalazar and partner Helmut Brokelmann are widely reckoned to be some of the best practitioners on the Spanish market. Telecoms appears to be a particular strength.
Brokelmann and senior associate Paloma Martínez-Lage secured a victory for Printeos in 2016, successfully persuading the General Court to overturn the DG Comp fines the company received for its role in the envelopes cartel. The EU court ruled that the enforcer had failed to properly explain why Printeos received a less favourable fine reduction than the other settling cartelists; DG Comp reissued the Printeos fine in 2017, claiming to have fixed the procedural error. In July 2017, the CNMC’s board rejected its investigators’ claims that the firm’s client Praxair had entered an illegal market-sharing agreement in the medical gases market.
In mergers, Brokelmann and Martínez represented IBA Molecular before the CNMC as the nuclear medicine company bought rival ITP. The enforcer cleared the deal unconditionally in Phase I despite the merged company’s having a market share of more than 80% in radiopharmaceuticals. And in court work, Brokelmann and senior associate Mariarosaria Ganino represented Renfe during its appeal against the CNMC’s railway cartel decision; the firm also acts for several clients in Spanish follow-on claims.Download document
What the team is known for In-demand boutique that advises on the gamut of Spanish and EU competition law, with recognised prowess in behavioural matters such as abuse of dominance cases or cartel investigations. Increasingly active in merger control filings. Experienced in representing clients from a range of sectors, with an enviable client roster featuring prominent names from the sports, media, automotive and pharmaceuticals industries. It has recently expanded its client list with new additions 13 TV and ING.
Strengths Interviewees value the firm’s thorough way of helping clients. One source states: “The team found the right arguments to go beyond the best case scenario,” while another adds: “The lawyers think outside of the box and this is extremely appreciated.”
The team is commended for its quick response in urgent situations. “They come and advise us immediately when we need them to,” says one client.
Work highlights Assisted DTS with its appeal at the ECJ against a state aid decision relating to RTVE.
Represented RENFE in infringement proceedings after a complaint was lodged at the CNMC by another railway operator.
Significant clients Uber, Redexis, PRISA, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners.
Founding partner Santiago Martínez Lage has a wealth of experience in competition law. His impressive reputation in the market leads to sources describing him as “the father of antitrust law in Spain.” He remains active in arbitration proceedings.
Interviewees thoroughly appreciate that Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho “is concerned about matters beyond the investigation – he gets to know the client really well and recommends good practices.” Multiple sources pick up on his “above standard” abilities in the field, with compliments including recognition of his deft negotiation skills and lengthy experience. His recent practice has included assisting high-profile clients with CNMC investigations, regulatory work and merger filings.
German-qualified lawyer Helmut Brokelmann is unanimously recognised as having abundant experience in high-profile behavioural cases. Sources appreciate the way he communicates with the authorities and describe him as “a hard-working, rigorous and excellent lawyer,” with one source adding that he is “very well organised.”
“Fantastic lawyer” Paloma Martínez Lage is recognised for her experience in Brussels and hard-working approach. She has played a key part in some of the firm’s recent mandates, such as assisting clients with appeals against CNMC decisions and with cartel investigations.
Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB) is a well-established Spanish antitrust and competition boutique, and has a ‘good image in front of Spanish judges’. The team is currently advising Uber on contentious and non-contentious matters at both domestic and EU levels. Praised for their ‘empathy’ and ‘deep knowledge of antitrust law’, partners Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann are ‘reliable and down-to-earth’.
EU and antitrust work takes up around 90% of MARTINEZ LAGE ALLENDESALAZAR & BROKELMANN‘s time, says partner Rafael Allendesalazar, of which roughly 80% is behavioural. The boutique was formerly a branch of antitrust heavyweight Howrey from 2008 until its dissolution in 2011 -a testament to the firm’s top reputation in competition matters in Spain and the EU more generally. Working with Allendesalazar are partners Helmut Brokelmann and managing partner Santiago Martínez Lage, who founded the firm in 1985; observers say he has become less visible in recent years – but Allendesalazar and Brokelmann are widely reckoned to be some of the best practitioners on the Spanish market. Telecoms appears to be a particular strength.
The firm representad Riberebro during DG Comp’s mushroom cartel investigation; two years after the enforcer imposed more than €32 million in fines on rivals Bonduelle and Prochamp, it ordered Riberebro – which had refused to settle – to pay €5.2 million for price-fixing and market allocation across Europe between 2010 and 2012. Allendesalazar and Alfonso Rincón representad Urban Science during the CNMC’s blockbuster car sales cartel; the company was ordered to pay a €70,000 fine for its role in facilitating the infringement. Brokelmann acted for DTS, which the CNMC ordered to pay €5 million Spanish fine alongside owner Telefónica over a concertad practice linked to televised football rights.
Despite the firm’s behavioural focus, it still finds itself involved in some meaty mergers. It represented frequent client Orange during its acquisition of web and cable provider Jazztel, acting together with a team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher. DG Comp cleared the four-to-three deal subject to the divestment of a Jazztel-operated fibre-optic network after an in-depth review, two weeks before its legal deadline, despite concerns the deal would boost prices for internet access for Spanish consumers. In a separate Orange merger-related case, Allendesalazar has representad it during its appeal against the CNMC’s decision to allow Telefónica to acquire Canal+.
What the team is known for In-demand boutique that advises on the gamut of Spanish and EU competition law, with particular prowess in behavioural matters such as abuse of dominance and cartels. Increasingly active in merger control filings, as well as private enforcement litigation. Experienced in representing clients from the media, sports, telecommunications, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“The team is fantastic and keeps that reputation on the market.”
“The team has good knowledge of the law and of the practices. Lawyers are very solid intellectually and they are very serious and accountable in their approach.”
Work highlights Assisted Orange and Jazztel with the notification of Orange’s acquisition of Jazztel to the European Commission.
Represented Uber before the Spanish administrative authorities as well as before the European Court of Justice.
Founder and managing partner Santiago Martínez Lage has extensive experience representing clients before the European Commission and the Spanish and EU competition courts. He is also known for his high-profile academic activity.
Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho is an experienced litigator specialising in EU and Spanish law. He has great experience of investigations and merger control matters. Clients refer to him as a “top lawyer in the market.” He successfully assisted SGAE with a CNMC-initiated investigation in relation to TV rights tariffs.
Helmut Brokelmann advises on competition litigation and administrative proceedings such as infringement proceedings and cartels. In one source’s opinion “He is very solid and knowledgeable about everything in competition law. He is hard-working, very direct and rigorous with clients.” He advised RENFE on the infringement claim initiated by the competition authority against the company.
Paloma Martínez Lage‘s practice covers investigation and leniency requests, abuse of dominant position, merger filings and state aid. Clients say: “She is a very good lawyer. She has a very good knowledge, is hard-working, responsive and puts herself in clients’ shoes.”
Significant clients Printeos, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, Praxair, Procter & Gamble, PRISA.
Specialist boutique Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB) has extensive experience, drawing on the combined talents of name partners Santiago Martínez Lage, Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann. Allendesalazar is assisting Uber before administrative authorities, Spanish courts and the European Court of Justice.
Boutique MARTÍNEZ LAGE, ALLENDESALAZAR & BROKELMANN is home to one of Spain’s oldest competition practices. Between 2008 and 2011, the firm became the Spanish arm of Howrey under the name of Howrey Martínez Lage, but it became independent again after the US firm’s collapse. The three named partners – Santiago Martínez Lage, Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann – are supported by five associates and regulatory specialist and academic Juan José Montero as a of counsel. In the last year associate Roberto Vallina left the firm for Roca Junyent, Antonio Vázquez joined the firm as junior associate and Alfonso Rincón was promoted to senior associate.
Practice head Martínez is now less active in cases and devotes more time to advice and arbitration but the firm still boasts an impressive caseload. It represented Orange in its acquisition of Jazztel, which was subjected to a Phase II investigation at DG Comp before it was cleared with commitments. The firm is representing Tompla before the EU General Court in its appeal against the commission’s decision in the envelopes cartel case, the firm is also defending the company against damages actions before the Spanish commercial courts.
Cartel work has been a feature of the firm’s year and it is defending a number of clients in investigations at the domestic level including, but not limited to, clients in the automotive, petrol and christmas sweets industries. The firm is also representing incumbent railway operator RENFE in an investigation against it and Deutsche Bahn.Download document
Basic facts about the department
7 other qualified lawyers
What the team is known for Extremely well-regarded boutique entirely focused on EU and competition law. Actively involved in antitrust litigation, behavioural investigations and complex merger control issues. Regularly advises clients across the retail, energy, transport and media sectors on regulatory strategies and administrative procedures.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“A prestigious team with an in-depth knowledge of competition law.”
“Solid lawyers with a very practical grasp of the law.”
Work highlights Represented France Telecom España in an investigation into abuse of a collective dominant position together with Vodafone launched by the CNMC.
Advised Prisa on the EC’s investigation into the broadcasting agreements of Canal+ and Majors.
Firm founder and “market reference” Santiago Martínez Lage has built up a strong reputation on the market and is vastly experienced in competition law.
Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho is praised by clients for “his prestige in the Spanish market, his empathy with clients and understanding of their needs and his knowledge and availability.” A specialist in EU and competition law, he has represented public and private entities from a range of industries, including telecommunications, energy, media and finance.
Highlighted for his ability to “provide specialised assessment considering both legal and business aspects,” Helmut Brokelmann regularly appears in administrative proceedings and litigation before the Spanish and EU competition authorities. His key matters of the past year include representing Tompla in cartel investigations in the envelope sector.
“Serious, rigorous and a very hard worker,” senior associate Paloma Martínez-Lage impresses clients with her comprehensive knowledge of the market. Her practice covers state aid, abuse of dominant position, merger filings and infringement proceedings.
Senior associate Mariarosaria Ganino is praised by clients for her in-depth analysis of matters and meticulous approach. She has a great deal of experience in the media, pharmaceutical and energy sectors.
Significant clients Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, Disa, Praxair, Procter & Gamble, Tompla.
Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB) shows ‘the rare combination of incredibly strong competition capabilities’ with ‘pragmatic, end-to-end advice’. Clients praise the ‘exemplary level of service’ and the firm’s ‘full dedication to the area’. ‘Outstanding practitioner’ Rafael Allendesalazar has ‘invaluable understanding of both EU and national antitrust regulations’; he is assisting Orange with the EC notification of its acquisition of Jazztel. Helmut Brokelmann is advising France Telecom España on a CNMC investigation into alleged abuse of collective dominant position in the wholesale voice-telephony market. Santiago Martínez Lage are also recommended.
Boutique firm Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann is home to one of Spain’s oldest competition practices. Between 2008 and 2011, the firm became the Spanish arm of Howrey under the name of Howrey Martínez Lage, but it became independent again after the US firm’s collapse. The three named partners – Santiago Martínez Lage, Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann – all appear in Who’s Who Legal. They are supported by five associates. Practice head Martínez is now less active in cases and devotes more time to advice and arbitration. Last year saw the arrival of regulatory specialist and academic Juan José Montero as of counsel.
The firm is defending companies in several investigations by DG Comp – including Canal+ Spain in the investigation into the licensing agreements of pay-TV broadcasters with the US film studios and Tompla and Riberebro in cartel investigations. On a national level, the firm is defending clients in several cartels; Brokelmann successfully represented France Telecom España before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Telefónica case and in the CNMC’s investigation of an abuse of dominant position together with Telefónica and Vodafone in the wholesale market for voice telephony. The firm is also acting for collecting society SGAE in an investigation by the CNMC concerning its tariffs for TV rights. Before the civil courts, Brokelmann successfully defended fair operator IFEMA againts a damages action by a competitor for abuse of dominance.
On the merger front, Allendesalazar is advising Coca-Cola Iberian partners, the new sole Iberian bottler for Coca-Cola, in setting up its contracts.Download document
Band 1 | Martínez Lage, Alllendesalazar & Brokelmann
What the team is known for Highly specialised competition law boutique with a long-standing reputation. It provides representation in complex antitrust and unfair competition litigation to a varied client roster.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“True specialists in competition law.”
“The lawyers are available at all times, extremely knowledgeable of our sector and excellent at risk assessment. They go the extra mile and put themselves in our shoes.”
What’s new? Shell/Disa is a new client for this practice.
Work highlights Assisted Coca-Cola Spain and the seven independent bottlers of the company with the merger of their operations in Spain and Portugal.
Represented France Telecom in an abuse of dominant position investigation by the CNC.
Founding partner Santiago Martínez Lage is seen as “the founder of modern competition law in Spain.” He continues to draw praise for his long-standing career and for being a pioneering figure.
Sources are enthusiastic about partner Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho: “He is a very rigorous lawyer who is always on top of things and suggests wise strategies.”
Clients describe Helmut Brokelmann as “responsive, technically solid and absolutely committed,” and as “an expert in European law with in-depth knowledge of cross-border projects.”
Senior associate Mariarosaria Ganino was part of the team advising France Telecom on abuse of dominant position issues.
Significant clients Renfe, Prisa, Praxair, Procter & Gamble, Disney/Buena Vista.
Boutique firm Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB)’s team is highly regarded for its longstanding expertise in competition and EC law. Santiago Martínez Lage stands out as a reference in the Spanish market, though Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann regularly take the lead in advising clients. The firm successfully represented Coca-Cola Spain and its Spanish independent bottlers before the CNC in merger clearance proceedings; and is currently advising France Telecom España in a CNC investigation over alleged abuse of dominance with Telefónica and Vodafone.
Boutique firm Martínez Lage Allendesalazar & Brokelmann is home to one of Spain’s oldest competition practices. Between 2008 and 2011, the firm became the Spanish arm of Howrey under the name of Howrey Martínez Lage, but it returned to independence after the US firm’s collapse. The three named partners – Santiago Martínez Lage, Rafael Allendesalazar and Helmut Brokelmann – all appear in Who’s Who Legal. They are supported by five associates. Practice head Martínez is now less active in cases and devotes more time to advice and arbitration.
The firm is defending companies in several investigations by DG Comp – including Riberebro in a cartel investigation in the mushroom production sector; PRISA TV in its appeal before the EU General Court against state aid awarded to a rival; and envelope manufacturer Tompla in investigations by DG Comp and the Spanish authority. It also acted for an association of business travel agencies in a defence of RENFE’s ticket distribution system before DG Comp.
In national cartel cases, the firm advised Procter & Gamble’s subsidiary Wella in a successful appeal against a €12 million fine by the CNC. Allendesalazar is acting for car rental company Record-Go in both cartel proceedings and a case relating to alleged information exchange with the airport regulator. The team is also representing Praxair in an investigation of the sale and distribution of carbon dioxide for beer manufacturing, and France Telecom España in a CNC investigation regarding an alleged abuse of a collective dominant position.
Merger work includes representing Coca-Cola and its Spanish bottlers in merger proceedings that involve the consolidation of seven Spanish bottlers into a single entity, and acting for Disa and Shell in a joint venture concerning the sale of aviation fuels, which was cleared by the CNC with commitments.Download document
THE FIRM This traditional competition firm remains at the pinnacle of the market, with clients highlighting its technical prowess, experience and business savvy. Although cartel investigations and state aid issues are a cornerstone of the practice, the lawyers are also active in merger control. In recent months, they advised envelope manufacturer Tompla on a cartel investigation, and assisted Prisa with a merger filing concerning its acquisition of TV operator DTS. Other clients include France Telecom, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble.
Sources say: “Its technical capacity and level of commitment are second to none. The results are outstanding – I wouldn’t work with anyone else.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Although less active of late, seasoned player Santiago Martínez Lage is widely recognised as an authority in the field. Rafael Allendesalazar Corcho is “wonderful: always available, pragmatic and completely up to date,” say clients. Sources describe Helmut Brokelmann as “fantastic. He’s a pioneer with exquisite technical expertise.” Senior associate Mariarosaria Ganino wins praise for her technical strength”.
Martínez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (MLAB) is a ‘wonderful’ boutique that ‘produces solid documents that are impeccably written’, and does ‘deep research’. Notwithstanding the split from Howrey LLP, which subsequently dissolved, the firm remains at the forefront of the market, attracting instructions from clients such as Coca-Cola and Cobega. Notable recent mandates include representing Tompla in cartel investigations, and acting for Procter & Gamble subsidiary Wella in several appeals against a decision by the CNC to impose a €12m fine for alleged participation in a cartel. Managing partner Santiago Martínez Lage has an excellent reputation, and Rafael Allendesalazar is ‘always available and supportive’. Helmut Brokelmann is ‘knowledgeable and hardworking’.