Day to day competition law: Which roles for in-house counsels?

Antitrust Workshop organized by Concurrences in partnership with Clifford Chance and ECLA.


Patrick Hubert (Partner Clifford Chance)

This conference is an opportunity to present the book "Day to day competition law, A practical Guide for Businesses", which I co-authored with Olivier Lécroart and Marie Leppard, published by Larcier/Bruylant. This book aims to fill a gap in the field of competition law by addressing in a concrete manner non-lawyers or non-specialized lawyers. It meets three objectives: (i) to share the values of competition law, since operational staff will better apply rules if they do not think they are artificial; (ii) to provide a practical guide to help them in crisis situations as well as in the daily life of the company; (iii) and above all to make operational staff understand when they should consult the in-house lawyer. Training operational staff in competition law is indeed insufficient, as a daily practice may prove to be anti-competitive without them being aware of it.

Our conference is in direct contact with this issue of the role that the legal director can play in the respect of competition law by operational staff. We will address the issue through a general approach that Philippe Coen will present to us, who is speaking today not in his capacity as Disney’s General Counsel but as President of ECLA, the European Federation of Corporate Lawyers’ Associations. He will focus his speech on the issue of the confidentiality of legal counsel’s speeches, referring in particular to the white paper that ECLA has just published on this subject. We will benefit from the experience of two corporate lawyers who have in common the fact that they have gone from the trauma of mediatized sanctions to a proactive approach to competition law: Saint-Gobain, whose experience will be presented to us by Oliver Lécroart, and Michelin, about which Laurent Geelhand will speak. We will end with a doctrinal conclusion; Christope Roquilly, professor at EDHEC, will show us what economic and management theories can bring to competition law compliance policies.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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