PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE
Mikael heads our Finnish Competition practice. He advises clients on all aspects of competition and EU law.
Mikael has solid domestic and international experience in matters relating to competition law disputes, merger control and compliance work. He regularly represents clients in proceedings before national competition authorities and courts as well as before the European Commission.
Mikael has recently been involved in competition law proceedings e.g. in the following sectors: infrastructure, building material, pulp and paper, telecommunications, healthcare, media, food and consumer products.
In addition to being a frequent speaker at competition law seminars, Mikael has also published numerous articles and contributed chapters to international publications, including the chapters on Finnish competition law in Maitland-Walker (ed.): “Competition Laws of Europe” (second edition, 2003), Dabbah-Hawk (ed.): “Anti-cartel Enforcement Worldwide” (2009) and Dabbah-Lasok (ed.): “Merger Control Worldwide” (second edition, 2012).
Currently representing clients in a number of large pending public and private enforcement procedures.
Counsel to Lemminkäinen Corporation in the combination of Lemminkäinen Corporation and YIT Corporation through a statutory merger.
Counsel to Powerflute Oyj in the recommended cash offer for Powerflute by Nordic Packaging and Container (Finland) Holdings Oy an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.
Counsel to SoftBank and its affiliates in the sale of their entire 72.2% stake in Supercell, a Finnish leading mobile game maker, to Tencent, a Chinese internet company, in a transaction valuing Supercell’s equity at USD 10.2 billion.
Counsel to Uponor in establishing an Intelligent Water Sensing Technology JV with Belkin International in the U.S. and Europe.
- Counsel to Viking Malt Oy in its acquisition of the Danish Malting Group comprising three malt breweries in Denmark and Poland from The Carlsberg Group.
- Counsel to Patria and its shareholder in the sale of 49.9% of the shares in Patria Oyj to Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.
- Counsel to Alma Media Corporation in the exchange offer for the shares and options in Talentum Oyj. The exchange offer includes both share and cash components and the total value of the offer amounts to Eur 42.7 million.
- Counsel to EQT in its acquisition of Terveystalo.
- Counsel to TeliaSonera in the establishment of a new mobile network sharing joint venture with DNA regarding Northern and Eastern Finland.
- Counsel to Heineken in its sale of Hartwall to Royal Unibrew (deal value EUR 470 million).
- Counsel to Ramirent in Ramirent’s and Cramo’s establishment of a 50/50 owned JV company.
- Counsel to the company in a matter concerning alleged resale price maintenance, to date the largest case in Finland related to vertical restrictions.
- Counsel to Myllykoski and Rhein Papier in the acquisition of the companies by UPM.
- Counsel to Royal Dutch Shell on the divestment of its refining and retail business in Finland and Sweden.
- Counsel to Alma Media in two separate media transactions, both unconditionally cleared by the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) following in-depth Phase 2 investigations.
- Counsel to UPM in the acquisition of Metsä-Botnia's Uruguayan operations and related transactions, with an aggregate value of approximately EUR 2 billion.
- Counsel to a Finnish public company against the FCA in the largest-ever cartel proceedings brought before Finnish courts.
- Counsel to the notifying party in more than 100 transactions involving merger control filings before the FCA, the European Commission and/or other national and supranational competition authorities.
Mikael is consistently ranked as one of the leading competition lawyers in Finland, e.g. in such international legal directories as Chambers Global, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal, European Legal Experts, PLCWhich Lawyer?.
By way of example, he has been referred to as follows:
- 'Mikael Wahlbeck has an "excellent touch in negotiations with the authorities."', Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2017
- Ranked in the Elite category in GCR 100, Global Competition Review, 2017
- Described as a talented lawyer who is amongst "the best in town.", Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2016
- Leading individual, Competition, Legal 500, 2016 and 2017
- Winner of the Competition & Antitrust category for Finland in the Client Choice Awards 2016
- Ranked as "Lawyer of the Year" in Competition Law (Helsinki, 2016) by Best Lawyers®
- "Mikael Wahlbeck "is a talented lawyer who knows his stuff" ", Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2015
- "Practice head Mikael Wahlbeck is highly recommended", EU and competition, Legal 500, 2015
- "Mikael Wahlbeck leads a "quick, friendly and skilled" team on merger control matters and cartel investigations.", Legal 500, 2014
- "According to sources, department head Mikael Wahlbeck "is very easy to reach and quick to respond, and has very good knowledge of competition law issues."’, Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2014
- Ranked among the best lawyers in the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions (Helsinki: Competition) of Best Lawyers®
- "Mikael Wahlbeck continues to cement his reputation in Finnish competition circles...", Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2013
- "Mikael Wahlbeck, who ‘thinks one step ahead of other lawyers’ and has long been considered one of Finland’s foremost experts in competition law.", Legal 500, 2013
- "Practice head Mikael Wahlbeck has been leading on a variety of difficult matters for important clients, and is seen as key to the group's continued success.", Chambers Europe 2012
- "Head of competition Mikael Wahlbeck is ‘a true expert in his area...' ", Legal 500, 2012
- "Mikael Wahlbeck is the partner in charge of the department, and is widely considered one of the country's most visible competition practitioners. “He is experienced and has a clear and commercial approach.”', Chambers Europe 2011
- Ranked in the Elite category in GCR 100, Global Competition Review, 2011
- Best Lawyers’ 2010 Finland Antitrust Lawyer of the Year
- Ranked in the Elite category in GCR 100, Global Competition Review, 2010
- 'Mikael Wahlbeck oversees the team and is applauded for his experience acting on complex cases.', Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2010
- Endorsed in Competition/anti-trust, PLC Which Lawyer? 2010
- Leading lawyer in EU and Competition in the Guide to European Legal Experts 2010
- "The broad practice…handles international and domestic competition matters of the highest level...Partners Mikael Wahlbeck and Tapani Manninen are ‘ quick’ and ‘very professional’.", Legal 500, 2009
- “Heads the firm's competition and litigation practice group, and has wide-ranging experience in advising on merger clearances and restrictive trade practices. Known for his strengths in the telecommunications sector, but also has experience in the construction, media, food and consumer product industries.”, PLCWhich Lawyer? 2008 and 2009
- “’Rising star’ Mikael Wahlbeck heads the competition and litigation team. Clients appreciate the clarity of his guidance and advice.”, Chambers Europe and Chambers Global 2008
- “…leads the ‘skilled’ competition team at Hannes Snellman Attorneys at Law Ltd which handles a plethora of high-profile matters.”, Legal 500, 2008
- "...one of the world's pre-eminent Competition lawyers.", The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists 2008
MEMBERSHIPS AND POSITIONS OF TRUST
- Member of the Finnish Bar Association
- Member of the Finnish Association for Competition Law
- Member of the Finnish expert group of the ICC Commission on Competition
- Member of the International Bar Association
- Member of the Antitrust Committee of the International Bar Association
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
- Partner, Head of Competition, Hannes Snellman, 2007
- Visiting Lawyer, Linklaters (Brussels), 2004
- Master of Sciences (Econ.), Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2002
- Associate Lawyer, Hannes Snellman, 2000
- Trainee, Directorate General for Competition, European Commission (Brussels), 1999 – 2000
- Master of Laws, University of Helsinki, 1999