EU & Competition

The EU & Competition team of Pels Rijcken is known for the consistent high quality of its broad practice. The competition law practice covers the full range of antitrust, abuse and merger cases. The team has regularly acted for national competition authority ACM in the administrative courts and it represents various multinational companies in cartel damages actions before the Dutch civil courts. The state aid experts rank among the top of the Netherlands. Clients are public authorities as well as financial institutions and beneficiaries of state aid. The team handles all common forms of state aid, such as subsidies, loans, guarantees, share participations, restructuring aid, etc. The EU & Competition team also has a strong reputation for handling complex EU law matters, be it institutional questions or matters of substantive law. Many cases relate to the compatibility of national measures with EU law. Team members all have a profound sectoral knowledge of one or more sector on industry, such as energy, food, transport, media, sports and infrastructural projects.


Some highlights

Recently the team successfully defended the first prohibition by ACM of a hospital merger. It represents defendants in several cartel damages actions, amongst whom ArcelorMittal and Scandinavian Airlines. The team’s state aid practice includes both financial transactions and many development projects one of which concerns a the new football stadium in Rotterdam. General EU law cases for the Dutch state concern inter alia the ownership unbundling of regional energy companies, the opening up of gambling markets, and legislative measures in social areas such as healthcare and the Dutch occupational pension schemes.


Erik Pijnacker Hordijk

Erik Pijnacker Hordijk | EU & Competition, Energy | Partner

+31 70 515 37 29 | +31 6 26142426 | |

Erik covers the broad spectre of competition law, including merger control, cartels and abuse of dominance. He has represented companies before competition authorities around the globe. Erik is also a seasoned litigator. He has appeared in over 100 cases before the EU courts in Luxembourg in cases concerning competition, State aid, internal market issues and other disputes regarding EU law. He won the largest damage case ever regarding unlawful legislation against the Council and the Commission of the EU. Moreover, he has been actively involved in numerous cartel damages cases for over a decade. Erik joined Pels Rijcken as a partner in the summer of 2017 from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, where he had been a partner since 1991.


Allard Knook | EU & Competition | Senior associate

+31 70 5153 239 | |

Allard Knook is specialised in state aid law and European law. After completing his doctorate at the Utrecht University in 2009, Allard Knook built up a prodigious reputation as a lawyer within a short space of time. He is an expert when it comes to identifying and covering risks related to state aid. This area of law is really booming. Decentralised public authorities and property developers as well as housing associations, research institutes, sports clubs, nature organisations, power companies and various other institutions all know exactly how to find their way to Allard. Allard can number most of the Dutch municipalities and provinces among his client base and is highly praised by them for his integrity, keen intellectual ability, personal approach and his practical and client-focused way of working.