Nicolas Birkhäuser combines his first-rate practice in competition law with strong expertise in IP.  He is distinguished as a leading lawyer by Chambers, Legal 500, Best Lawyers and other legal directories.


Nicolas Birkhäuser has extensive experience representing companies in cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations as well as in merger control proceedings, including multijurisdictional coordination. Nicolas Birkhäuser also focuses on IP, including in particular transactions and IP related contracts.

Nicolas Birkhäuser advises companies across a broad range of industries, including the automotive sector, financial services, insurance, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, food, mechanical engineering, construction, wholesale and retail, media, telecommunications, IT and sports.

Nicolas Birkhäuser successfully represents leading companies in these industries in high-profile transactions, including, among other things, the setup and growth of their business, cooperation, distribution, sourcing, R&D, market dominance and compliance.

The following is a selection of cases in which Nicolas Birkhäuser acted as a counsel:

  • Merger control proceedings, such as the acquisition of SIX Payment Services by Atos / Worldline, European leader in the payments and transactional services industry, 2018

  • Cartel and abuse of dominance investigations by the Competition Commission

  • Counsel to leading bank in investigation of alleged LIBOR rate manipulation, 2017-2017, partly ongoing

  • Counsel to leading bank in investigation of alleged misconduct relating to FX, 2014-ongoing

  • Counsel to premium car manufacturer in investigation of alleged collusion with regard to leasing conditions, 2014-ongoing

  • Counsel to major construction company in investigations of alleged bid rigging, 2009-ongoing

  • Counsel to BMW as defendant in a major parallel import case, 2010-2017

  • High-profile transactions including competition law and IP, among others, the takeover of Actelion by Johnson & Johnson, 2017, and the cooperation between Navistar Inc. and MAN/Volkswagen, 2017

  • Counsel to Procter & Gamble for competition law and IP, ongoing

  • Counsel to Coop Genossenschaft, major Swiss retailer, for competition law, ongoing

  • Counsel to Chr. Hansen Holding A/S on matters concerning intellectual property, including in particular technology transfer and licensing, in the context of its agreement with Lonza AG to establish a 50/50 joint venture

  • Counsel to ASSA ABLOY AB on matters concerning intellectual property in the context of its acquisition of a 54% controlling stake in agta record ag

  • Disputes including competition law and IP

  • Committee of the Swiss Association of Competition Law (asas)
  • Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht e.V.
  • LES Licensing Executives Society Switzerland
  • INGRES Institute for Industrial Property Law
  • AIPPI International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property
  • Swiss Bar Association
  • Zurich Bar Association

Market Perception

  • Nicolas Birkhäuser 'has an astute understanding of our requirements as a complex, global organisation and is able to tailor his advice to cover the specific Swiss antitrust aspects and at the same time tie into the multi-jurisdictional environment in which we operate,' and 'He routinely handles merger control procedures, leniency programmes and complex investigations.'

    Chambers Europe 2021
  • Nicolas Birkhäuser provides very valuable and straight to the point advice. He addresses the critical aspects of competition and antitrust law with the necessary thoroughness and his expertise allows him to answer very concrete, practical questions.

    Legal 500 2021
  • Nicolas Birkhäuser: very smart, concise and flexible (also under time pressure).

    Legal 500 2021
  • Nicolas Birkhäuser is a great lawyer, very knowledgeable about competition law and the industry. He is a pleasure to work with, very responsive and with great business understanding and results driven.

    Legal 500 2021
  • Clients are impressed with Nicolas Birkhäuser's ‘outstanding responsiveness, hands-on approach and ability to communicate even complex subject matters in a concise and clear manner.' 'He is a real antitrust expert with a lot of enthusiasm and a fighting spirit'

    Chambers Europe 2020
  • With his potent blend of competition, commercial and IP law know-how, Nicolas Birkhäuser provides holistic counsel that is widely sought after. He has a knack for hunting out promising commercialisation opportunities and is a judicious problem solver when crucial assets are on the line.

    IAM Patent 1000 2020
  • Eager, trustworthy and always available, Nicolas Birkhäuser is a client’s dream. He can operate across the whole spectrum of technical areas and is in his element negotiating the most complex deals.

    IAM Patent 1000 2019

News & Insights

Deals & Cases