Strati Sakellariou-Witt

Partner, Brussels

Biography

Overview

Strati advises on European competition law and general European Union law questions. She represents clients in merger control reviews, abuse of dominance and cartel proceedings. She has advised companies active in a broad range of industries, including IT, telecommunications, consumer goods, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals, oil & gas, and transport.

She has represented clients before the European Commission in Phase I and Phase II merger control reviews, and has comprehensive experience in representing companies in in-depth investigations which include negotiation of divestitures.

Strati has represented clients in cartel investigations before the European Commission and on appeal in leading cases before the EU courts, including: 'Toshiba v Commission' (gas insulated switchgear); 'Chalkor v Commission' (copper plumbing tubes); 'Toshiba v Commission' (power transformers); and 'Toshiba v Úřad pro ochranu hospodářské soutěže' (ne bis in idem/parallel cartel investigations). Given the global nature of alleged cartel infringements, she has also advised, together with local counsel, clients in multinational cartel proceedings before the Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Israeli authorities and courts.

Her practice also focuses on abuse of dominance proceedings before the European Commission as well as the Greek and Cypriot competition authorities and courts and has represented clients in relation to different types of conduct, including rebates (soft drinks, milk, semiconductors), excessive pricing (car rentals, FRAND licensing), refusal to supply, margin squeeze (telecoms).

She has particular expertise in pharmaceuticals and life sciences, where she advises clients on competition law questions, including distribution, rebates, generic and biosimilar entry. She has also successfully represented major pharmaceutical companies in abuse of dominance court proceedings in relation to parallel trade of pharmaceuticals in Greece. In addition, Strati has experience in a number of EU regulatory law questions, notably in pharmaceuticals, biotech and other life sciences sectors. She writes on a regular basis on a broad range of life sciences issues and sits on the editorial board of a quarterly newsletter produced for a multinational pharmaceutical company.

Strati advises regularly on questions of EU competition compliance and has conducted mock dawn raids for major international companies. Her secondment to a multinational conglomerate corporation, where she assisted the European Chief Compliance Officer on competition law compliance issues across Europe, provided her with invaluable insight from an industry perspective.

Bars and Courts
Brussels Bar
New York State Bar
Athens Bar
Education
LLM
New York University School of Law
LLM
University of Athens
LLB
University of Athens
University of Salamanca
Languages
English
French
Greek
Spanish

Experience

  • Representation of DIC Corporation, a Japanese fine chemicals company, and its US subsidiary Sun Chemical Corporation, in connection with DIC's €1.15 billion acquisition of BASF's global pigments business, known as BASF Colors & Effects.
  • Representation of Merck KGaA in the European Commission's investigation related to provision of information in the context of the merger notification of Merck KGaA's $ 17 billion acquisition of Sigma Aldrich.
  • Representation of Saudi Aramco on its US$69.1 billion acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The transaction was named "M&A Deal of the Year (Over US$50 billion)" by the M&A Advisor (2020).
  • Representation of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on a long term infrastructure deal with a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG) to optimize its assets through a lease-and-lease-back arrangement involving its stabilized crude oil pipeline network. Saudi Aramco will receive upfront proceeds of around US$12.4 billion.
  • Representation of Saudi Aramco in connection with the US$20 billion Sadara chemical, a joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
  • Representation of Tenaris, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes, in connection with the establishment of joint venture with Severstal, a vertically integrated steel and steel-related mining company, for the production of welded pipes for the oil & gas industry in Russia.
  • Representation of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in connection with the sale of a 40% stake in ADNOC Oil Pipelines to a consortium comprising KKR and Blackrock (named "M&A Deal of the Year" at the 2019 IFLR Middle East Awards).
  • Representation of Hikma Pharmaceuticals in the purchase of a remedy package in the Pfizer/Hospira transaction.
  • Representation of MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc.(MOL), an integrated oil and gas company active across the entire crude oil and natural gas value chain, in its acquisition of ENI Hungaria Zrt. (ENI Hungaria) and ENI Slovenija druzba za trzenje z naftnimi derivati, d.o.o. (ENI Slovenija)'s 183 filing stations in Hungary and 17 stations in Slovenia operated under the Eni and Agip brands; as well as the ex-refinery and non-retail operations of these companies in Hungary and Slovenia.
  • Advising a major consumer electronics manufacturer in the European Commission's sector inquiry on e-commerce.
  • Representing a major Greek mobile telephony company in an abuse of dominance (margin squeeze) proceeding before the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT).
  • Represented Toshiba Corporation in multijurisdictional cartel proceedings concerning Gas Insulated Switchgear. This involved a successful appeal of the original European Commission decision fining Toshiba €90.9 million for participating in a global cartel to the European General Court—where the Court annulled in full the fine on Toshiba—and a further appeal to the Court of Justice of the EU. 
  • Represented Zimmer Holdings, a world leader in musculoskeletal health solutions, in obtaining merger clearance from the European Commission for its $13.35 billion acquisition of Biomet, Inc. This complex Phase II case was cleared two months prior to the official deadline.
  • Represented Wilmar International Inc, Asia's leading agribusiness group, in obtaining merger clearance from the European Commission for its joint venture with Fox Petrolifera Italiana SpA.
  • Advised companies active in car rental services in cases involving airports' excessive pricing practices. She successfully represented a major car rental operator in a complaint against an airport before the Cypriot Competition Commission.
  • Represented Toshiba Corporation in an appeal to the General Court of the EU against a European Commission decision finding a home market protection agreement in Power Transformers.
  • In a first for EU merger control, Strati achieved a significant success for Aegean Airlines before the European Commission, which cleared the Greek carrier's proposed acquisition of its rival Olympic Air. This was the second time the two companies had tried to merge, following Olympic/Aegean I, when the Commission prohibited the transaction.
  • Successfully represented Pfizer Inc. in three separate proceedings before the Greek civil courts initiated by pharmaceutical wholesalers requesting large quantities of prescription medicines in order to export them.
  • Represented a major company active in the soft drinks and milk markets before the Greek and Cypriot authorities and courts in relation to abuse of dominance proceedings with regard to rebates and refusal to supply.
  • Represented Toshiba Corporation in a seminal preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice, which established the principles governing the scope for parallel proceedings by national competition authorities and the European Commission.
  • Represented Halcor S.A. (previously Chalkor Metal Works) in an appeal to the Court of Justice of the EU against a European Commission cartel decision concerning copper plumbing tubes. The case raised fundamental questions of due process and judicial review which shaped the case law of European competition law.
  • Successfully represented AbbVie (previously Abbott Laboratories) in two separate proceedings before the Greek civil courts initiated by pharmaceutical wholesalers requesting large quantities of prescription medicines in order to export them.
  • Strati has conducted a number of EU competition compliance audits for major companies in the telecommunications, consumer electronics, semiconductor, energy and food and drinks markets.
Publications

Autumn dawn raid revival on the cards for European competition authorities, Kluwer Competition Law Blog, September 2021

"The EU Commission publishes a staff working document on its evaluation of the Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations on research & development and specialisation agreements", Concurrences, 6 May 2021, e-Competitions May 2021, Art. N° 101070 (with J. MacLennan, T. Kuhn and P. Citron)

"Getting the deal Through – Market Intelligence – Merger Control" European Union & Greece, Lexology, January 2021

"European Union: Pharmaceuticals", The European, Middle Eastern and African Antitrust Review 2020, GCR, July 2019 (with J. Jourdan, J. Killick, A. Komninos and A. Schulz)

"The UK competition authority closes its investigation into an allegedly abusive discount scheme in the pharmaceutical sector (Remicade)", Concurrences, 14 March 2019, e-Competitions March 2019, Art. N° 90218 (with J. Killick and A. Komninos), nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards

"European Union: Pharmaceuticals", The European, Middle Eastern and African Antitrust Review 2019, GCR, July 2018 (with J. Jourdan, J. Killick, A. Komninos and A. Schulz)

"Recent Policy and Judicial Developments in EU Competition Law" – Chapter in book “China and World: Studies on the Development of Competition Law” published by AnJie Law Firm, July 2018 (with J.Jourdan)

"Recent Developments in EU Competition Law Enforcement (1)", Kokusai Shoji Homu (International Business Law and Practice), Vol 46, n° 6, 2018 (with A. Schulz and P. Pêcheux)

"The EU Court of Justice endorses an effects-based assessment of rebates (Intel)", Concurrences, 6 September 2017, e-Competitions September 2017, Art. N° 84862 (with A. Komninos, J. Killick, J. MacLennan, J. Jourdan, J. Jeram), nominated for the 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards

"Lessons to Keep in Mind for Your Next Complex Global Deal", Transaction Advisors, December 2015 (with M. Powell), awarded Best Cross-Border Business Article, 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards

"Huawei v ZTE—No More Need to Look at the Orange Book in SEP", CPI Antitrust Chronicle, October 2015 (with J. Killick)

"Mobile health apps – are they a regulated medical device?", White & Case, August 2015 (with K. Rübsamen)

"The 'As Efficient Competitor Test' After Post Danmark: Emphasis on Margin Squeeze", Concurrences - Revue Des Droits de la Concurrence, September 2013 (with A. Komninos)

"Due process in competition cases: a step forward by the ECJ", Commercial Dispute Resolution, January 2012 (with J. Killick)

"The ECJ Advocate General Sharpston voices opinion on the standard of judicial review over fines in cartel cases (KME)", Bulletin e-Competitions ECHR, February 2011 (co-author)

Awards and Recognition

Competition and Antitrust Lawyer of the Year, Euromoney LMG Europe Women in Business Law Awards, 2021

European Female Rising Star, Law.com, 2021

Recommended, Legal 500 EMEA, Belgium: EU and competition, 2021

Rising Star, Law 360 Competition/Antitrust, 2020

Top competition/antitrust practitioners in Belgium, Women in Business Law Expert Guide 2020

Best in Competition & Antitrust - Euromoney LMG Europe Women in Business Law Awards, 2019

Who's Who Legal, Competition Future Leader