Specialisation

Competition and consumer protection law

Related people:
Strategy consulting and compliance programmes

Compliance programmes are developed by companies to minimise the legal risk of violations of laws, regulations and industry standards which might lead to negative consequences, regulatory or other government inspections, reputational damage, financial liability and/or criminal responsibility issues. Our team of experienced lawyers advise to company directors and top-level management on the development of internal procedures and action planning.

Our experience includes:

  • internal audits for business clients;
  • implementing special audit procedures and streamlining business processes to eliminate the risk of antitrust violations;
  • advice relating to searches of premises and inspections carried out by competition protection authorities;
  • legal analyses of sales networks;
  • drafting and analysing partnership agreements;
  • reviewing contracts and agreements for unfair terms.
Legal advice on infringements of collective interests of consumers, unfair market practices and unfair contract terms

The changing market environment and the lack of a strict definition of unfair contract terms require suppliers of products or services to consumers to keep monitoring their internal rules, regulations and standard terms and conditions to ensure they comply with the laws and regulations. Our experts are able to provide comprehensive legal support with audits, the drafting of contracts, rules and regulations, as well as advice on unfair market practices.

Our experience includes:

  • legal analyses/reviews of advertisements, promotional campaigns, and standard contracts or terms and conditions, for compliance with competition law;
  • representing clients in investigations relating to infringement of collective interests of consumers by limiting the rights of consumers in the case of product defects;
  • representing clients in investigations relating to infringement of collective interests of consumers through the use of misleading advertisements;
  • representing clients in various investigations relating to the inclusion of unfair contract terms in standard terms and conditions, including on websites.
Control of concentrations between undertakings

Our experts advise clients on the control of concentrations between undertakings. We assist clients throughout the process, from reviewing the intended concentration in terms of the prior notification requirement, to notification, to completing the concentration.

Our experience includes:

  • preparations and prior notification of the concentration;
  • representing clients in investigations relating to failure to notify a concentration, e.g. in the press sector;
  • advising clients on the fulfilment of the conditions attached to the permission to implement a concentration;
  • monitoring investigations and other procedures initiated by competition protection authorities (in Poland and other European jurisdictions) and negotiating concentration conditions;
  • providing clients with legal support in appeals against decisions refusing to permit the intended concentration.
Distribution and other agreements

Our experts assist clients in dealing with the legal aspects of distribution, co-operation and other business agreements. The distribution agreements we draft for our clients are worded so as to minimise the risk of allegations of competition law violations on the one hand and to enable the parties to the agreement to achieve the business goals of their business relationship to the largest possible extent on the other.

Our experience includes:

  • advising clients on franchise agreements in the foodservice sector;
  • advising clients on discount schemes in the food industry;
  • providing advice on and drafting agreements for group purchasing arrangements for large-format retail store operators;
  • advising clients on the establishment and operation of trade associations;
  • advising clients on the establishment of selective distribution systems in the sports equipment industry;
  • advising clients on joint venture agreements.
Transfers of technology and innovation

We have the necessary expertise and experience to provide clients with comprehensive advice on agreements transferring technology and innovation. Our lawyers are able to draft and negotiate agreements transferring the results of scientific research, technical expertise, processes, patents and innovative solutions for commercial applications. In working for our clients, they combine their extensive expertise in intellectual property law with an in-depth understanding of competition law and the related limitations.

Our experience includes:

  • representing clients in negotiations and drafting contracts for the erection of chemical installations and the resulting transfer of technology;
  • representing clients in negotiations and drafting licence agreements in the pharmaceutical industry;
  • drafting and reviewing numerous licence agreements for the transfer of technology and know-how protection.
Investigations by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

We have considerable experience of representing clients in investigations relating to competition-restricting agreements, abuse of dominant position or involvement in practices that infringe collective interests of consumers. Our lawyers are able to assist clients throughout the investigation process, from the initial, explanatory procedure to the anti-trust investigation.

The following are examples of cases where our lawyers prevented antitrust accusations against clients:

  • an investigation relating to alleged violations of competition law in franchise agreements in the foodservice industry;
  • an investigation relating to an alleged abuse of a company’s dominant position in vending sales,
  • an investigation relating to an alleged abuse of a company’s dominant position by denying access to computer software and maintenance services.
Appeals against decisions of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

We have represented clients in numerous appeals against decisions of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Our lawyers draft the appeal documents and represent clients before the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

Our experience includes:

  • investigations relating to cases of alleged abuse of dominant position through price discrimination, e.g. in the telecommunications industry;
  • investigations relating to failure to notify a concentration, e.g. in the press sector;
  • an investigation relating to alleged reseller price fixing arrangements involving DIY store chains;
  • an investigation relating to interchange fees.
Courses and workshops

Our experts share their knowledge and experience as course and workshop trainers, as well as at conferences, in the field of competition law and consumer protection, with special emphasis on the liability of management board members. We also provide dedicated training opportunities, including short courses and workshops, designed specifically for individual clients and taking into account the legal and business environments in which they operate. The training often takes the form of refresher courses that provide an update on new legislation, where it is particularly difficult to interpret and identify the possible legal risk factors. Training is available in Polish and/or in English.

Competition and consumer protection law Download PDF (979 kB)

We have worked for clients in, for example:

  • telecommunications,
  • the financial sector,
  • retail,
  • the food industry,
  • pharmaceuticals,
  • the intellectual property rights sector,
  • manufactures of technical machinery and equipment,
  • the mass media, including the Internet.
  • Strategy consulting and compliance programmes

    Compliance programmes are developed by companies to minimise the legal risk of violations of laws, regulations and industry standards which might lead to negative consequences, regulatory or other government inspections, reputational damage, financial liability and/or criminal responsibility issues. Our team of experienced lawyers advise to company directors and top-level management on the development of internal procedures and action planning.

    Our experience includes:

    • internal audits for business clients;
    • implementing special audit procedures and streamlining business processes to eliminate the risk of antitrust violations;
    • advice relating to searches of premises and inspections carried out by competition protection authorities;
    • legal analyses of sales networks;
    • drafting and analysing partnership agreements;
    • reviewing contracts and agreements for unfair terms.
  • Legal advice on infringements of collective interests of consumers, unfair market practices and unfair contract terms

    The changing market environment and the lack of a strict definition of unfair contract terms require suppliers of products or services to consumers to keep monitoring their internal rules, regulations and standard terms and conditions to ensure they comply with the laws and regulations. Our experts are able to provide comprehensive legal support with audits, the drafting of contracts, rules and regulations, as well as advice on unfair market practices.

    Our experience includes:

    • legal analyses/reviews of advertisements, promotional campaigns, and standard contracts or terms and conditions, for compliance with competition law;
    • representing clients in investigations relating to infringement of collective interests of consumers by limiting the rights of consumers in the case of product defects;
    • representing clients in investigations relating to infringement of collective interests of consumers through the use of misleading advertisements;
    • representing clients in various investigations relating to the inclusion of unfair contract terms in standard terms and conditions, including on websites.
  • Control of concentrations between undertakings

    Our experts advise clients on the control of concentrations between undertakings. We assist clients throughout the process, from reviewing the intended concentration in terms of the prior notification requirement, to notification, to completing the concentration.

    Our experience includes:

    • preparations and prior notification of the concentration;
    • representing clients in investigations relating to failure to notify a concentration, e.g. in the press sector;
    • advising clients on the fulfilment of the conditions attached to the permission to implement a concentration;
    • monitoring investigations and other procedures initiated by competition protection authorities (in Poland and other European jurisdictions) and negotiating concentration conditions;
    • providing clients with legal support in appeals against decisions refusing to permit the intended concentration.
  • Distribution and other agreements

    Our experts assist clients in dealing with the legal aspects of distribution, co-operation and other business agreements. The distribution agreements we draft for our clients are worded so as to minimise the risk of allegations of competition law violations on the one hand and to enable the parties to the agreement to achieve the business goals of their business relationship to the largest possible extent on the other.

    Our experience includes:

    • advising clients on franchise agreements in the foodservice sector;
    • advising clients on discount schemes in the food industry;
    • providing advice on and drafting agreements for group purchasing arrangements for large-format retail store operators;
    • advising clients on the establishment and operation of trade associations;
    • advising clients on the establishment of selective distribution systems in the sports equipment industry;
    • advising clients on joint venture agreements.
  • Transfers of technology and innovation

    We have the necessary expertise and experience to provide clients with comprehensive advice on agreements transferring technology and innovation. Our lawyers are able to draft and negotiate agreements transferring the results of scientific research, technical expertise, processes, patents and innovative solutions for commercial applications. In working for our clients, they combine their extensive expertise in intellectual property law with an in-depth understanding of competition law and the related limitations.

    Our experience includes:

    • representing clients in negotiations and drafting contracts for the erection of chemical installations and the resulting transfer of technology;
    • representing clients in negotiations and drafting licence agreements in the pharmaceutical industry;
    • drafting and reviewing numerous licence agreements for the transfer of technology and know-how protection.
  • Investigations by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

    We have considerable experience of representing clients in investigations relating to competition-restricting agreements, abuse of dominant position or involvement in practices that infringe collective interests of consumers. Our lawyers are able to assist clients throughout the investigation process, from the initial, explanatory procedure to the anti-trust investigation.

    The following are examples of cases where our lawyers prevented antitrust accusations against clients:

    • an investigation relating to alleged violations of competition law in franchise agreements in the foodservice industry;
    • an investigation relating to an alleged abuse of a company’s dominant position in vending sales,
    • an investigation relating to an alleged abuse of a company’s dominant position by denying access to computer software and maintenance services.
  • Appeals against decisions of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

    We have represented clients in numerous appeals against decisions of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Our lawyers draft the appeal documents and represent clients before the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

    Our experience includes:

    • investigations relating to cases of alleged abuse of dominant position through price discrimination, e.g. in the telecommunications industry;
    • investigations relating to failure to notify a concentration, e.g. in the press sector;
    • an investigation relating to alleged reseller price fixing arrangements involving DIY store chains;
    • an investigation relating to interchange fees.
  • Courses and workshops

    Our experts share their knowledge and experience as course and workshop trainers, as well as at conferences, in the field of competition law and consumer protection, with special emphasis on the liability of management board members. We also provide dedicated training opportunities, including short courses and workshops, designed specifically for individual clients and taking into account the legal and business environments in which they operate. The training often takes the form of refresher courses that provide an update on new legislation, where it is particularly difficult to interpret and identify the possible legal risk factors. Training is available in Polish and/or in English.