SPECIALIZATION:

COMPETITION LAW

We advise our Polish and international clients on all aspects of Polish and EU competition rules. We are one of the largest competition law teams in Poland, which allows us to successfully handle complex cases that require the involvement of a number of lawyers.

We  represent clients before Poland’s Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), the European Commission and the courts. We defend them against accusations that they are involved in anti-competitive agreements, abuse a dominant position, or breach the collective interests of consumers. We obtain the Commission or UOKiK approvals for concentrations. We also assist in cases concerned with securing contractual advantage and with payment backlogs. We represent entrepreneurs in litigation in cases for reparation of the damage arising out of breach of competition rules.

We have unique experience built over years of practice. Many of the cases we have handled have established precedents. In antimonopoly proceedings where fixing resale prices had been alleged, we secured a conditional decision (with no penalties imposed) that was the first of its type in the UOKIK’s history. In 2004 we filed an application under the leniency programme, the first ever made in Poland. What distinguishes us is a high rate of success in challenging accusations of misconduct made by the competition authorities against entrepreneurs. We estimate that the total amount of penalties that our clients have avoided paying reaches several hundred million Zloty. The arguments we have presented often led to the decision to discontinue proceedings at the administrative phase. Where the UOKiK did make a decision on the merits, the appeals we filed led to that decision being reversed or to a substantial reduction of the penalties. Many clients have asked us to design and supervise their competition compliance programmes.

We have given several hundred training sessions on competition law to entrepreneurs active in various market sectors. We also completed a large number of internal antimonopoly audits and mock control proceedings.

We have a strong track record advising on concentrations. We have secured positive decisions in many complicated cases where the market share of the parties was above the level which is likely to mean that an entrepreneur has a dominant position. We have also participated in many concentrations where the approval depended on a number of structural or behavioural conditions. We also have broad experience in representing clients before the UOKiK in concentration cases that do not raise antimonopoly issues. We estimate that in 10% of all the decisions issued in recent years by the UOKiK, the parties were represented by SK&S attorneys.

We specialise in:

  • advising clients in proceedings conducted by the UOKiK concerned with allegations of making agreements restricting competition, abusing a dominant position or breaking the collective interests of consumers; representing clients in court proceedings in appeals against decisions of the competition authority,
  • advising clients during concentration proceedings,
  • representing clients in litigation in cases for reparation of the damage arising out of breach of competition rules,
  • advising clients on regulations pertaining to unfair use of contractual advantage; handling such cases before the UOKiK and the courts,
  • advising clients on regulations pertaining to payment backlogs,
  • legal assistance in connection with searches and inspections by the competition authorities,
  • providing training on competition law and consumer rights to the management, and to the staff of the marketing, sales and other departments in entrepreneurs’ organizations,
  • comprehensive antitrust audits, including analyses using forensic IT and artificial intelligence programs,
  • mock dawn raids,
  • developing internal compliance systems and monitoring procedures over sales agreements and communication with the market,
  • verification of compliance of distribution systems with competition rules,
  • ongoing advice to clients with regard to consumer rights (in particular verification of bylaws, terms of promotions and other documents used in B2C relations),
  • advising clients on administrative liability for dangerous products.

Awards
SK&S’s competition practice is generally considered to be the leader in Poland, and this is reflected in its invariably high position in the local (“Rzeczpospolita” daily, “Polityka Insight”) and international (Chambers, Legal 500, Global Competitions Review) legal directories.

Krzysztof Kanton
Partner, attorney-at-law
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