Serge Durande is a retired of counsel from Bird & Bird where he worked as senior European counsel in the international competition group. He was based in Brussels and worked in close cooperation with the firm’s competition law teams internationally. Prior to joining Bird & Bird, Serge Durande spent most of his career working at the EU Commission, Directorate General for Competition, where he joined as an inspector in 1975. He was head of unit for state aids from 1987 to 1993. In this role, he was responsible for the landmark French TGV and German ICE decisions by the Commission. He was also Head of Unit for Transports and Transports Infrastructure (1993-1999). The TACA decision and the British Airways decisions were among the numerous decisions in the field of antitrust that were taken under his supervision at that time. In 1999, Serge Durande started a new role as head of unit for Financial Services. It is under his guidance that the Visa landmark decision was taken. In 2001, Serge was then appointed by Mario Monti as a hearing officer with the ranking of director, a position he kept with Commissioner Neelie Kroes until the end of 2007. In this function, he was accountable for the respect of due process and rights of defense, towards the College of Commissioners. He was also in a position to advise the Commissioner for Competition when he felt that this was necessary.