Scott+Scott hires Deutsche Bahn counsel to lead new office

Source: Global Competition Review | Author: Emily Craig

Markus Hutschneider has joined Scott+Scott to head its new competition litigation-focused Berlin office after 10 years at Deutsche Bahn.

Hutschneider, 47, said he is “excited and proud” to build the firm’s new German office, which opened on Monday.

The firm represents some of the world’s largest corporate companies in complex litigation, Hutschneider said.  The move is “an ideal opportunity” to combine his private practice experience – which has mostly been on the defence side – and his “in-depth insight into private enforcement from a claimant’s perspective,” he said.

Hutschneider joined Deutsche Bahn as senior counsel in October 2010, before being appointed head of case management competition litigation in November 2017.  While at the company, he advised the rail operator on follow-on damages claims arising from the German rail track cartel, the EU air cargo cartel and the EU trucks cartel.

“From my work at Deutsche Bahn, a pioneer in corporate recoveries of cartel damages, I’ve become deeply familiar with the needs of multinational companies when it comes to private enforcement,” Hutschneider said.

Before joining Deutsche Bahn, Hutschneider was a senior expert in competition law and policy at Deutsche Telekom from 2008 to 2010.  He advised the company on its appeal before the European Court of Justice against the European Commission’s decision in 2003 to fine the company €12.6 million for abuse of dominance.  In 2010, the court dismissed its appeal, rejecting arguments that its margin squeeze policy was not anticompetitive.

Hutschneider was counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Berlin between 2002 and 2008.  While at the firm, he represented paper wholesaler Drissler & Co in a probe by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office that found the company and seven rivals fixed the price of certain types of paper.  The agency fined the conspirators a total of €18.1 million as part of a settlement agreement, which was approved by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court in 2008.

The Berlin office is Scott+Scott’s ninth global base and follows the opening of its Amsterdam office last year.  The firm opened its first European office in 2015, hiring Belinda Hollway from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to lead a team in London.

Litigation and dispute resolution partner Michael Melber will also join the office as a partner in January and the firm is in the process of hiring associates with a competition background.

David Scott, Scott+Scott’s managing partner, said Germany is one of the top jurisdictions for companies “seeking to recover their losses from price-fixing cartels and other wrongdoing,” so it became clear that the firm needed to offer clients claimant-side services in this market.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone with Markus’ reputation for excellence and deep experience in competition law spearheading our efforts here,” Scott said.

Scott+Scott has 15 partners in its global competition practice.  Deutsche Bahn did not respond to a request for comment.

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