Kai Struckmann | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Kai Struckmann
Kai Struckmann

Kai Struckmann

Local Partner, Brussels

T +32 2 239 26 12

E kstruckmann@whitecase.com

“Clients praise his sense for the political dimensions of State aid cases.”

JUVE, 2014/2015

Overview

Kai advises public and corporate clients on all areas of competition law, with a particular focus on European State aid rules, often in relation to restructuring and privatisation issues.

Clients benefit from his knowledge and insight concerning the application of EU public procurement requirements, and their interaction with State aid rules. Kai also provides authoritative advice on antitrust legislation in cartel investigations, and on competition compliance through programs and individual training sessions. His significant experience in this area includes one of the first two cartel settlement cases before the European Commission.

Kai has developed a successful track record assisting clients with merger filings with EU and national competition authorities, as well as representing clients before the EU courts in Luxembourg, where he is involved in a number of ongoing litigations. His domestic and international experience spans an array of business sectors, including energy, financial services and aviation.

Kai's knowledge of competition law is reinforced by his experience working as an official in the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition prior to joining White & Case. In this position, he was responsible for the enforcement of State aid policy at the (then newly created) Enforcement Unit. Prior to this, he handled individual State aid investigations in one of the Directorate's sectorial units.

A regular speaker at industry events, Kai is also a prolific writer on legal developments which affect his clients' interests.

Bars and Courts

  • Regional Court of Hannover
  • Brussels Bar (E list)

Education

  • Second State Examination in Law, Judicial Examining Board of Berlin
  • Master of Law, in European Law, University of Nottingham
  • Judicial Examining Board of Lower Saxony

Languages

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Experience

Sanitec's proceedings in the General Court of the European Union

Kai successfully represented Sanitec Europe in its appeal before the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg. The General Court reduced the fine jointly and severally imposed on Sanitec and certain of its subsidiaries by approximately €7.1 million. A 2010 Decision by the European Commission had originally imposed fines of more than €622 million on 17 bathroom fixtures and fittings manufacturers. This complex appeal involved analysing evidence in five languages, and highlighted Kai and the Brussels team's ability to handle multi-lingual cartel litigation.

RWE's sale of NET4GAS

Kai was part of the international team which advised RWE AG, a leading European electricity and gas company, in connection with the sale of its 100 percent share in NET4GAS, s.r.o., the Czech gas transmission system operator, to a consortium of Allianz and Borealis Infrastructure. The consortium acquired the shares for an enterprise value of almost €1.6 billion. Kai provided support to the Prague and London teams who were helping RWE to navigate this complex business transaction.

Victory for Czech Airlines

Kai co-led the international team of lawyers which secured a significant victory for České aerolinie, a.s. ("Czech Airlines"). The European Commission determined that CZK2.5 billion in restructuring aid, originally provided to Czech Airlines in April 2009, was in line with European Union (EU) state aid rules. Following an in-depth review, the Commission noted that the airline's restructuring plans, consisting of capacity reduction, efficient cost and revenues management and the sale of assets, should ensure the company's viability.

Significant victory in Sodium Chlorate Cartel Case

Kai achieved a significant victory for his clients Aragonesas and Uralita when the European Union (EU) General Court annulled €9.9 million of fines imposed as a result of Aragonesas' part in a sodium chlorate cartel.

US$3 billion BAWAG PSK restructuring

Kai represented the steering committee of lenders in the financial restructuring of a US$3 billion loan provided to Sacher Funding Limited, an affiliate of BAWAG PSK, one of the largest commercial banks in Austria, with approximately 150 bank branches and more than 1200 post office branches. This was a complex transaction which required great care, negotiating skills, and commercial awareness.

Energy Interconnection

Kai advised clients on the competition and EU energy regulatory law aspects of a number of electricity interconnection and gas pipeline projects.

Energy & Competition

Kai represented a number of energy companies in EU Commission antitrust and State aid investigations.

Antitrust Litigation

Kai represented various clients in antitrust investigations by the EU Commission and subsequent litigation before the EU courts, which in two cases led to the partial annulment of the Commission Decision, including the imposed fine.

Spanish Tax Lease Litigation

Kai represented the Dutch Shipbuilding Association in litigation before the EU courts in an annulment action regarding an EU Commission Decision on a Spanish Tax Lease scheme.

Financial Crisis Aid

Kai successfully represented Aegon, one of the world's largest providers of life insurance, pensions and long-term savings and investment products, in a State aid investigation regarding a €3 billion emergency recapitalisation. He also advised a steering committee of lenders on the implications of a State aid investigation of the restructuring of a US$3 billion loan facility.

Speaking Engagements

"Damages actions and injunctive actions in national courts", 20 May 2016: State Aid Proceedings and Litigation conference organized by ERA, Brussels. The presentation was part of the morning session on "Enforcement of State Aid Law in National Court Proceedings", of which he was also the chair.

"State aid in privatization and restructuring", 18 February 2016: Conference on State Aid and the EU Accession Process organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia,
Beograd
, (presenter)

"When State aid met tax: A practitioner's view on recent investigations into transfer pricing", 25 January 2016: Lunch seminar organised by Concurrences Journal,
Brussels
, (presenter)

"State aid – opportunity or threat? A practitioner’s view on State aid in privatisation, rescue & restructuring", 3 November 2015: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia,
Ljubljana
, (presenter)

"Procedural Rights for State Aid Recipients" and roundtable discussion on the topic "The consequences of procedural modernisation reform on State aid litigation", 20 September 2013: "Competition Law and the Courts: Developments in Antitrust and State Aid Law" conference, University of Luxembourg and the Competition Law Scholars Forum,
Luxembourg
, (presenter)

"The Remedy of Ineffectiveness", 24–25 June 2013: "Public Procurement: Global Revolution VI" conference, (presenter)

"State Aid, Energy and the Environment – How can Member States promote energy policy objectives within the State aid rules?", 12 December 2012: Concurrences Law & Economics Workshop,
Brussels

"Off-balance sheet financing of the purchase of rolling stock", 22 March 2012: EIB seminar sessions,
Luxembourg
, (presenter)

"EU directives on procurement, mediation and ADR procedures", 17 – 18 November 2011: DRBF European Conference,
Brussels
, (presenter)

Publications