• Share
  • Email
  • Print

Philip Torbøl

Fax +32.(0)2.336.1901
Philip Torbøl is a founding partner of the firm’s Brussels office and is a member of the antitrust, competition and trade regulation group. Within his practice, he focuses on EU competition law, international trade laws and internal market.

Mr. Torbøl’s representation of clients spans over many industry sectors, with particularly strong expertise in the areas of transport, logistics, travel, digital and technological industries, online distribution and consumer electronics. He advises clients in all aspects of competition law, including the conduct of dominant companies, distribution practices, cartel investigations, merger control and state aid.

Beyond his traditional competition law practice, Philip supports clients in their efforts to gain fair access to the EU market and to design efficient distribution strategies within the framework of EU law. In doing that, Philip advises clients in international trade law instruments (WTO, customs and tariffs, trade defence instruments, trade sanctions, fee trade agreements and other bilateral agreements), as well as other EU legal instruments, such as internal market rules and consumer protection regulations.

A former EU official, Mr. Torbøl is known for his effective approach to defend his clients’ interests, not hesitating to combine various EU law instruments, as well as lobbying, to achieve his objectives. Clients appreciate his practical focus on the commercial impact of any process and action.

Mr. Torbøl is a regular contributor to the debate in specialised publications on EU, Competition Law and Trade policy. He has written numerous articles and spoken on many occasions on competition issues to both general and specialized business audiences. He was shortlisted for the Global Competition Review’s 40 under 40 list.

Professional Background

Mr. Torbøl began his career in the European Parliament in Brussels and was also an executive committee member of the European Commission's Youth Forum.

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Torbøl practiced as a partner with another international law firm in Brussels.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Board Member of the Danish Business Leaders Association (DANEX)
  • Deputy Chairman of the Danish Conservative Party in Brussels
  • Advised a designer and manufacturer of specialized security systems and components as a third party intervener before the European Commission, Federal Trade Commission, CADE (Brazil) in connection with its main competitor USD 710 million acquisition of another large competitor. Subsequently advised the client in the acquisition of the divested business, including filings before relevant Competition Authorities.
  • Advised clients in connection with post-merger remedy implementation issues before the European Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Assisted air travel distribution clients in connection with the European Commission’s sector inquiry into the airline distribution sector and follow on DG Comp investigations into specific practices of airline ticket distributors.
  • Assisted travel distribution clients with a filing of complaints against a large airline group for having introduced discriminatory practices against independent distributors and travel agencies.
  • Advised operators in the maritime port sector on competition matters related to interaction between competitors and appropriate communication with DG Comp on the same.
  • Advised a large association of freight forwarders in its negotiations with an association of airlines on a new cooperation program and on its implementation.
  • Advised several trade associations in the metals sector on competition law compliance and distribution, including appropriate exchange with competition authorities.
  • Prepared a complaint (subsequently settled) against a large technology and entertainment company for bundling its music store products to its playing devices.
  • Successfully defended the standings rights for a trade association, as a non-competitor, before the European Court in the maritime sector.
  • Advised a ferry operator in investigations before competition authorities including DG Comp related to access to ports (essential facilities).
  • Advised travel distribution companies and associations in relation to the Lufthansa / Air Berlin merger control cases in the airline sector.
  • Advised CD-ROM and DVD producers in relation to an investigation by DG Comp related to their patent pool.
  • Advised bathroom fixture and fitting producer in relation to a DG Comp investigation into an alleged European-wide cartel in that sector.
  • Defended an oil company in a cartel investigation by DG Comp into an alleged collusion in the European oil sector.
  • Advised a tobacco company in a Commission investigation into alleged collusion.
  • Prepared a complaint under EU competition law for an Albanian telecom operator against abuse of dominance and possible collusion by its competitor and represented the client before EU and Albanian competition authorities.
  • Successfully defended a leading roof window manufacturer before the European Commission in an investigation triggered by a complaint, filed by their main competitor for abused dominant position.
International Trade and Market Access:
  • Developed strategies for EU and US clients to tackle unfair commercial practices by Chinese state owned or controlled enterprises on the European market, including unfair subsidies, predatory pricing and lack of reciprocity (access to the market).
  • Assistance and advice relating to access to tender procedures in a number of EU Member States for a US bidder. .
  • Assist and advise a US transport operator on the traffic rights granted under the EU Air Transport Agreements, in relation to shipment and transport of goods.
  • Assistance in the procedures relating to the access to EU and European national governments’ funding for US companies.
  • Assistance and advice relating to the suspension of EU import duties on two substances produced by a US metals company.