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Mélanie Bruneau

Mélanie Bruneau is a partner at the firm and she advises on a broad range of areas in European Law. Her practice focuses on advising clients a variety of industrial sectors, including transport, and aviation, energy, hydrogen, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer goods and cosmetics, manufacturing, chemicals, and IT on the legal aspects of their business activities, with a particular emphasis on EU and French regulatory and compliance matters.

Mélanie advises large multinationals on all aspects of EU competition law, including merger control. She also has significant experience in cartel investigations and sector inquiry investigations. Mélanie was also involved in the first cartel settlement and in the first hybrid cartel settlement before the European Commission. Mélanie regularly advises clients on global antitrust compliance programs. She performs internal audits and compliance trainings. She advises on the rules and procedures governing State aid, as well as EU and French public procurement directives. Mélanie regularly advises on global companies and trade associations on ESG, environment, and sustainability matters including collaboration agreements between competitors and green claims.

Mélanie has experience in foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign subsidies regulation (FSR). She has performed multi-jurisdictional FDI assessments and obtained FDI clearances in France under phase 1 and phase 2 for EU and non-EU acquisitions.  

Mélanie has significant experience in advising on vertical agreements including exclusive distribution and supply, as well as selective distribution and franchising. She also has lots of experience in advising on horizontal issues including joint ventures, collaboration, cooperation, research and development, as well as consortium and grant agreements. She frequently advises on resale price maintenance (RPM) and price discrimination issues on behalf of some of the largest companies in the world. Mélanie frequently advises on restrictions of active and passive sales, non compete provisions, but also on termination of distribution agreements. She advises on parallel import restrictions and more generally on free movement of goods. Mélanie regularly advises on commercial agency agreements (including on compensation and termination issues).

She also advises on consumer protection legislation including unfair commercial practices as well as misleading and comparative advertising. She advises companies on distribution agreements including e-commerce cross-border issues and distribution networks in Europe. Mélanie has assisted various clients in the setting up of their commercial websites and drafting of terms and conditions of sale in compliance with the e-commerce, e-sign and data protection legislations.

Over the past 15 years, Mélanie has developed a strong experience in a wide range of transport and logistics, aviation, ground handling, transport infrastructure, and airport related matters where she advises clients on EU and French regulatory issues and complex contractual arrangements. This includes regulatory issues associated with international transportation of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, perishables, jewelry and high-value goods, but also on slot allocation. Mélanie has advised on the emissions trading schemes (ETS) for aviation, on the guidelines for State aid to airports and airlines and on passenger rights. She also has experience in EU sanctions, customs, export controls, and anti-corruption matters. She has also extensive experience advising international companies on logistics, 3PL, warehousing, and global supply chain issues.

Mélanie is a member of the Paris and Brussels Bars. She has contributed to Practical Law Company (PLC) on international sales and marketing.

Prior to joining the firm, Mélanie was a partner in another international firm in Brussels. In terms of project management, she has been on site to manage large projects for firm clients. She spent nine months on the Paris European Hub of one of the world’s largest express transport companies. She also went on the Geneva site of one of the leading international integrated producer of polymers and fibers for project management. Mélanie has also acted as an expert for the European Commission in the context of the EU Research and Innovation programme “Horizon 2020” (2018).

  • Named Top Author in the Transportation category (JD Supra Reader’s Choice Awards, 2024)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 EMEA as a Recommended Lawyer in Belgium
    • Aviation, 2024
    • Industry focus: Transport, 2024
    • Competition: EU and global, 2024
  • Nominated as a stand-out lawyer to Thomson Reuters, 2023 and 2024
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 for Competition Law in Belgium, 2020
  • Named Top Author in the Airlines/Aviation category (JD Supra Reader’s Choice Awards, 2020)
  • Recognized by Chambers Global as Foreign Expert for Competition/European Law in France, 2017
  • Member of the association of francophone competition law practitioners in Brussels (L'Entente)
  • Member of the Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA)
  • Member of the Women in Life Science Network (Brussels)
  • Acted as Expert for the European Commission in the context of the EU Research and Innovation program “Horizon 2020” (Brussels, 2018)
  • Speaking engagement on EU regulatory initiatives in ESG and sustainability at the Luxury Summer Cocktail and Panel Event (K&L Gates, London, 12 June 2023)
  • Speaking engagement on “Global Health, Safety and Environment Forum - ESG in Europe: Overview of the EU Sustainability Policy Strategy” (NSC Networks, Webinar, 16 May 2023)
  • Speaking engagement on EU regulatory initiatives propelling a Hydrogen economy at the S&P Global European Hydrogen Markets Conference (Platts Hydrogen Markets Europe, Amsterdam, 20-21 September 2022)
  • Speaking engagement at the Competition Law & Regulation in the Energy Sector conference (Comp Law, Brussels, 10 November 2020)
  • Speaking engagement at the Merger Control Digital Conference (Comp Law, Brussels, 13 October 2020)
  • Speaking engagement at the 3PL Supply Chain Summit on “fulfilment services, new market surveillance obligations to comply with” (Brussels, 15 October 2019)
  • Lecturer at the VUB (Belgium) on Introduction to Competition Law (2017)
  • Speaking engagement at the conference regarding the e-commerce sector inquiry (Brussels, Concurrences, 3 March 2016)
  • Speaking engagement at the conference on EU e-commerce (Paris, Concurrences, 21 June 2016)
  • Speaking engagement at the conference organized by ACC on EU antitrust issues, including private damages and e-commerce (Rome, ACC, 24 May 2016)
  • Speaking engagement at the conference on EU antitrust and JVs (Paris, Concurrences, 3 May 2016)
  • Lecturer at the University of Lille (France) on International Transport Law (24 hours) from 2015 to 2019
  • Lecturer at the University of Saint Etienne (France) on Introduction to Competition Law (2016)
  • Lecturer at the University of Leuven (Belgium) on Competition Law and Human Rights (2016)
  • Speaking engagement on Human Rights at the Venice School on Human Rights (Venice, EIUC, 2015)
  • Speaking engagement at the conference organized by ACC on crisis management (London, ACC, June 2015)
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
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  • "The team is able to provide excellent, pragmatic support on delicate matters under often very tight timelines."
  • "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."
  • "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

K&L Gates GP's international platform allows it to successfully negotiate merger clearances from the EC, US FTC and DOJ, and competition authorities worldwide. The Brussels team is also a strong performer in antitrust investigations and litigation; Philip Torbøl has two decades of experience robustly defending clients' interests in EC investigations into cartels, abuses of dominance and state aid, among other matters. Mélanie Bruneau, who is an expert in EU and French law, handles transactional and behavioural competition matters for clients in industries such as aviation, pharmaceuticals and industrial engineering, among various others. Francesco Carloni is a well-known name among clients in the luxury and fashion industry; he is representing Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode in the EC's ongoing review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and vertical guideline. His wide-ranging experience also spans multiple other sectors.

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021
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