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5th Open Düsseldorf Seminar for Doctoral Students in Antitrust Law

60 doctoral candidates from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who are writing their theses on competition law topics were guests in Düsseldorf on 5 and 6 September 2022: the Institute for Competition Law at Heinrich Heine University had invited to the 5th Open Düsseldorf Seminar for Doctoral Candidates in Antitrust Law. The event has become a kind of milestone for young academics in antitrust - it is rare to have such intense discussions and to meet people who are passionate about competition law, and who also share the joys and sorrows of a dissertation. Professors Christian Kersting and Rupprecht Podszun were particularly pleased to be able to welcome the participants in person at the University House, instead of - as last year - only online.

Over the two days, eight participants presented their dissertation projects. From Düsseldorf University, these were Svea Stratmann and Leon Kümmel. In addition, there were inspiring lectures by experts: Alexandra Poling-Fleuß, judge in the 1st Cartel Senate of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, spoke about price control in competition pricing and provided an insight into a case that has already occupied her Senate several times. Professor Paul Heidhues of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) explained the role of behavioural economics for competition issues. Consumer protection (i.e. regulation) can promote competition, he argued. Another highlight was the "fireside chat without a fireplace": Martijn Snoep, head of the Dutch Autoriteit Consument & Markt, came to the event. Snoep was a lawyer for 28 years before he moved to the top of the antitrust authority. In direct dialogue with doctoral students, he answered all questions openly, with much wit and high insight value.

For the second time, the Award of the Institute cor Competition Law for the best PhD was presented, donated by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. It was won by Jörn Kramer for his work on damage assessment in competition claims. Marius Böwe and Florian Huerkamp presented the certificate.

On the second day, the prospective antitrust lawyers had to prove themselves in a case study prepared by a team of lawyers led by Thomas Lübbig (Freshfields). They were coached by members of the Düsseldorf bar: Niklas Andree, Carsten Grave, Christian Horstkotte, Thorsten Mäger, Martin Raible and Beatrice Stange as well as the former chair of the BGH cartel senate Peter Meier-Beck advised the teams. Afterwards, the results had to be defended. Now the coaches and Gerhard Klumpe from the Dortmund Regional Court took their seats on the bench and asked for the pleas. The most entertaining part of the day was the battle for a leniency application: Fictitious company board members Christian Horstkotte and Martin Raible played their part as tough managers with grandeur.

The Düsseldorf bar generously supported the seminar in other ways: meals were provided by Glade Michel Wirtz and CMS Hasche Sigle, Freshfields and Clifford Chance provided catering in the university. The overall organisation was in the hands of Patrick Hauser, Managing Director of the Institute for Competition Law. After two packed days, it was clear: Competition law is the most exciting field of law in the world - and it is good to know that there are sympathetic people all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland who see it the same way.

Photos: Clemens Pfeifer

Kategorie/n: Startseitenbericht, Kersting, Podszun, IKR
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