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Francesco Carloni

Francesco Carloni is a partner in the firm’s Brussels and Milan offices where he is a member of the antitrust, competition & trade regulation practice group.

Francesco has extensive experience in notifying mergers and joint ventures with the European Commission and national competition authorities in Europe, coordinating the notification of international transactions globally, and advising on all aspects of antitrust law, including vertical agreements, anti-cartel enforcement, collaborative arrangements, unilateral conduct, e-commerce, EU sector inquiries, public consultations, and state aid. He has been involved in some of the most high-profile and complex merger control cases, including in-depth (Phase 2) investigations and remedies.  He offers compliance training and develops customized compliance programs adapted to clients' specific risk profiles. He has extensive experience in the fashion and luxury sector where he represents a number of the most iconic brands globally. He advises leading corporations in a variety of sectors including fashion and luxury, pharmaceutical, IT, digital maps, telecommunications, aviation, chemicals, liner shipping, food, dairy and automotive industries. A New York and Italian-qualified lawyer, Francesco graduated from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and received two LLMs from the College of Europe, Bruges, and Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He is also the author of several articles on antitrust law - most recently he was the author of Vertical agreements in the luxury sector, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2020) - and often participates as a speaker at conferences and seminars on European and Italian competition law.

Francesco has been repeatedly ranked by Chambers and Partners Global in European Competition Law in Belgium (foreign expert) (2016-2021), of Francesco they say: “Clients value that he is "dedicated and available", "commercial awareness", "always at our disposal and always available for a call", “extremely focused on getting the job done as soon as possible and was able to shorten the timelines”; “not only very good from a technical point of view, but has a good network of contacts, which is important to convey advocacy initiatives.”" Legal 500: “Francesco Carloni is an outstanding partner. He couples excellent professionals skills in EU competition law with a great attention to the client relationship. Francesco is nice, relatable, flexible and can tailor projects and billing to the client’s expectation.”  He has also been recognized by WWL: Competition – Future Leaders in 2017-2021, and ranked by Milano Finanza among the Best lawyers category for competition law in 2020. Francesco is the co-chair of Firm's Luxury Products & Fashion Group.

Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Francesco worked for several international law firms in Brussels. In 2004, he was also an intern for the World Trade Organization in the Council Division & Trade Negotiations Committee, and, in 2003, he was an intern for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Co-founder, antitrustitalia, a Brussels-based association for antitrust professionals, including enforcement officers, lawyers, economists, corporate counsel and scholars; for more information see  
  • Member, Georgetown European Law Alumni Advisory Board
  • Member of the Italian Initiative Group (GII), the most representative fellowship of Italian interests in Brussels, including major industrial groups, banks and international companies, and public institutions and private business associations
  • Co-chaired and hosted the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) a GC roundtable regarding the fashion and luxury sector.
  • Presentation on What trade associations need to know about antitrust compliance at the European Association Summit of 2020 in Brussels.
  • Chaired and presented key developments and implications for the luxury/fashion industry stemming from vertical, restraints, e-commerce, review of the European Commission’s EU block Vertical Exemption Regulation for the largest fashion brands at Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s workshops and meetings (2016-2021)
  • Chaired and presented the antitrust seminar on Enterprise, innovation and competition rules: how to switch to a 2.0 dimension at the Residency of the Italian Ambassador in Brussels (4 November 2015)
  • Presentation on the European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry, 2nd competition breakfast meeting, K&L Gates, Milan (29 September 2015)
  • Presentation on antitrust compliance, 1st competition breakfast meeting, K&L Gates, Milan (23 June 2015)
  • Presentation on gun-jumping, In-house Competition Lawyer Association and antitrustitalia, Barclays, Milan (9 May 2014)
  • Presentation on antitrust sanctions, Business International, Rome (25 October 2013)
  • Presentation on key antitrust trends, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Antitrust Workshop, Milan (18 October 2013)
  • Lecturer, College of Europe, Bruges, EU Advanced Competition Law (2-19 July 2012)
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • A Look At New Vertical Laws, Their Opportunities And Pitfalls,” Law360, 23 January 2023
  • Key Takeaways From China's Amended Anti-Monopoly Law,” Law360, 9 August 2022
  • Co-author, “Vertical agreements in the luxury sector,” Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, 2020
  • Now screening: Europe,” Ragtrader, April 2018
  • ‘Eturas’ UAB and Others v. Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos taryba,” E-Commerce Law Reports, Vol. 16 Issue 2, April 2016
  • Co-author (with Gabriela Da Costa), “Judgments in the Cement Case: Requirement for Greater Clarity, Specificity, and Justification of Information Requests from the Commission”, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (April 2016)
  • “The E-Commerce Sector Inquiry: Can It Stop National Competition Authorities from Adopting an Overly Restrictive Approach?” Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, 30 July 2015
  • Author, “Electrabel v Commission & COMP M.7184 Marine Harvest/Morpol: Gun-jumping and Violation of the Merger Standstill Obligation in Europe,” Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (August 2014)
  • Author “Merger Control 2014” (3rd ed.), Global Legal Insights (July 2014)
  • Author, Chapter: “Italy”, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Merger Control 2014 (November 2013)
  • Co-author (with Domenico Fanuele), “Caught in the net. Why Italy must consider the scope of its new rule on interlocking directorships”, International Financial Law Review, May 2012
  • Author, Chapter: “Italy”, The Public Competition Enforcement Review (2nd ed.) (2010)
Additional News & Event Pages
  • "The team is able to provide excellent, pragmatic support on delicate matters under often very tight timelines."
  • "Francesco Carloni is always a pleasure to work with. He is not only an excellent lawyer but also very business-oriented and pragmatic with a focus on getting things done."
  • "The lawyers involved in this practice are very well skilled and proactive, and oriented to take care of the client’s legal needs anticipating and proposing to the client all possible solutions provided by the applicable law."
  • "I work with Francesco Carloni and his team. I’m very happy with the result obtained and the quality of the advice provided to my company."
  • "K&L Gates renders its services in a very professional and polite way. The people are very skilled, polite and support their client competently."
  • "They are very, very, very accurate, professional and make the clients feel well supported. They explain their advice in a clear and professional way."
  • "In my opinion, K&L Gates possess a very experienced team with regards to State aid issues. Also notable are their capabilities and understanding in railway regulation which is probably a unique combination with state aid experience. I am not aware any other office able to deal so fast yet with such a good understanding and experience in these matters. They are also very flexible and able to understand what big companies need also on the formal side of the cooperation."
Legal 500 - EMEA - Competition: EU and Global 2022
  • "The team is highly professional and skilled, and always ready to deeply discuss with the client in order to offer the best solutions. The team is therefore very polite, well-organised and very efficient."
  • "The team is highly skilled, responsive and available at all times."
  • "They demonstrate excellent knowledge on the matter and always propose business-oriented solutions."
Legal 500 - EMEA - Competition: EU and Global 2021
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