Niels Christian Ersbøll

Niels Christian Ersbøll

Partner

Niels Christian Ersbøll is a partner in the EU antitrust practice and head of the Brussels office. He advises clients on EU competition law in relation to merger control, cartels and restrictive practices, and abuse of dominance. He has more two decades’ experience.

He has assisted clients in obtaining merger control clearance on a number of significant transactions before the European Commission and coordinating submissions to competition authorities worldwide for clients such as Pfizer, Boston Scientific and AT&T. He has significant experience assessing filing requirements, devising strategy, dealing with review and designing and negotiating remedies.

In relation to cartels, Mr. Ersbøll has successfully acted for companies seeking leniency (immunity as well as fine reductions) before the European Commission, he has appeared before the EU General Court on appeal of European Commission decisions, and is advising on follow-on damage claims. Recently, Mr. Ersbøll also has represented individual directors in cartel proceedings, and acted for a whistle blower. Mr. Ersbøll also has significant experience helping clients with designing and implementing compliance measures and conducting internal investigations and audits.

Outside investigations related work, Mr. Ersbøll regularly advises clients in relation to, for example, distribution and pricing arrangements, parallel trade, and various forms of cooperation agreements and strategic alliances between competitors. He acts for clients in many industries, and has particular experience within the life sciences, media and the transport & logistics sectors.

As a reflection of his deep understanding of the industry, since the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Ersbøll has also been working extensively with the vaccine industry to advise on a multitude of aspects of vaccine and antiviral procurement by governments and international organisations including the EU, the African Union, COVAX and CARICOM.

Experience

  • An individual director in relation to a Belgian cartel investigation.
  • A whistle blower in relation to potential cartel conduct in Europe.
  • Several biotech companies in relation to launch of development products, including setting up production and distribution agreements with partners across the EU and internationally.
  • Advising an animal health company on distribution and pricing strategy across the EU in connection with the introduction of the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/6) and updated rules on the authorisation and use of veterinary medicines in the EU.
  • A pharmaceutical manufacturer on excessive pricing matters.
  • International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) in relation to engagement with COVAX, Gavi, CEPI, and UNICEF/PAHO concerning pandemic response efforts related to SARS-CoV-2.
  • International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) in relation to CEPI’s establishment of a marketplace for vaccine inputs to solve bottlenecks in the production of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Large vaccine producer on antitrust compliance aspects related to procurement and supply of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Major bio-pharmaceutical manufacturer on various antitrust compliance aspects in the context of bio-similar competition, including pricing, distribution and market access.
  • Mitsui OSK Lines in relation to cartel follow-on damages claims.
  • Shipping company in obtaining immunity from fines in relation to a European Commission cartel investigation.
  • Hitachi-LG Data Storage as leniency applicant in the European Commission's investigation into an alleged cartel, including subsequent appeal to the EU General Court.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers in relation to advice on pricing, joint promotions, distribution and market access issues.
  • International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) in relation to antitrust compliance in connection with vaccine access work in low and middle-income countries.
  • Industrial equipment supplier in relation to strategic alliance with a competitor on specialization and the provision of joint services worldwide.
  • Car component manufacturer in relation to a European Commission investigation into an alleged cartel.
  • Supplier of market intelligence information in relation to an investigation into alleged abuse of dominance, including margin squeeze and refusal to supply.
  • International company in conducting a large-scale internal antitrust audit.
  • Large international pharmaceutical company in detailed advice on setting up and managing a supply quota system and advice around related distribution issues.
  • Advising an international vaccines manufacturer on a joint production and distribution arrangement, including detailed compliance guidance.
  • Extensive advice to trade associations in the field of human vaccines regarding antitrust compliance.
  • Advising several international shipping companies on compliance risks in relation to pool agreements and in representations before the European Commission. Conducting detailed review and analysis of pool agreements and advising on strategy.
  • European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) in its representations before the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition in connection with the review of the application of EC competition law to shipping pools.

Perspectives

Cartel Enforcement in the US and EU: Opportunities and Beartraps
Arnold & Porter Webinar
European Commission Proposes a New Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe
Bioslice Blog
Competition Law in Life Sciences Seminar
Arnold & Porter Antitrust/Competition Seminar, Zürich, Switzerland
Navigating the Tensions Between Leniency Cooperation and the Risk of Private Follow-On Damage Claims in Cartel Cases (pdf)
The International Comparative Legal Guide to Cartels & Leniency 2019 published by Global Legal Group
Managing Gun-Jumping and Related Antitrust Risks in M&A Transactions: An EU and US Update
Advisory
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Recognition

Chambers Europe
Competition/European Law (Belgium) (2020–2022)
"Up and Coming"—Competition/European Law (Belgium) (2018–2019)
Chambers Global
Competition/European Law (Belgium) (2022)
"Up and Coming"—Competition/European Law (Belgium) (20182021)
"Foreign Expert for Denmark"—Competition/European Law (Belgium) (20192020)
The Legal 500 Europe
Belgium Competition: EU and Global (2016, 2018, 2021)
More

Credentials

Education
  • Socrates Deploma, European Law, University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium, 2000
  • MA, Copenhagen University, 2000
  • MB, Copenhagen University, 1998
  • Erasmus Diploma, European Law, University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium, 1999
Admissions
  • Brussels, Belgium (associate member, Registered European Lawyer)
  • Denmark (Advokat - Danish Bar & Law Society)
Languages
  • Danish
  • English
  • French
Overview

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