Alexander Birnstiel, LL.M. (College of Europe)

Rechtsanwalt (Lawyer)
Practice Group: Antitrust & Competition
Practice Group: Compliance & Investigations

Alexander advises German and international clients from a large number of industries (including automotive, chemicals, primary and reinsurance, financial services, generic drugs, real estate, IT, food retailing and production, media, pharmaceuticals, sport and steel) on all questions of German and European antitrust and competition law.

He represents clients in cartel, abuse and merger control proceedings (including coordination of multijurisdictional filings) before the German Federal Cartel Office, the European Commission and national and European courts. He also advises clients on antitrust issues associated with digitalisation projects (including setting up and running internet platforms), the interface between antitrust and intellectual property, private enforcement and compliance issues and in dawn raid scenarios.

In European State aid law, Alexander can refer to comprehensive experience and work both for the public sector and private clients (State aid beneficiaries and complainants) including in the area of regional State aid, rescue and restructuring aid and hospital financing.


  • German and European antitrust and competition law
  • German and European merger control
  • Cartel proceedings
  • Antitrust litigation
  • Compliance and investigations
  • European State aid law


  • Legal studies at the Universities of Munich and Geneva as well as postgraduate studies at the College of Europe in Bruges
  • Private practice experience in Brussels and London
  • At Noerr since 1998
  • Admitted to the Munich Chamber of Lawyers

Selected Projects

  • Andritz: Advising on merger control in connection with the public takeover of a majority share in German company Schuler, including notifications before the European Commission and the competition authorities of the US, Turkey, Brazil and China
  • Bahlsen: Defending the company in connection with the “confectionery cartel" and averting and asserting cartel damages claims
  • Bosch: Advising Bosch on private enforcement (cartel damages claims) regarding the European ball bearings cartel
  • CMC Commercial Metals Company: Advising CMC in connection with antitrust administrative proceedings and cartel damages claims
  • Daimler: Providing on-going advice on merger control and competition law with regard to joint ventures and acquisitions (including multijurisdictional filings); general advice regarding competition compliance
  • Ennoconn Corporation/HonHai: Advising the company on merger control regarding the acquisition of shares in S&T AG and conducting merger control proceedings before the European Commission
  • H2 Mobility industrial consortium (Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell und Total): Providing the industrial consortium with antitrust, merger control and State aid law advice on the setting-up of a joint venture to establish hydrogen filling station infrastructure in Germany; Providing on-going advice on competition law
  • HUK-COBURG: Representing the HUK-COBURG insurance group in private enforcement litigation (cartel damages claims) regarding the EU car glass cartel
  • PCC Precision Castparts Corp.: Advising on merger control including representation in a phase-2 proceeding before the German Federal Cartel Office
  • Pesticide cartel: Successful defence of wholesaler in German pesticide cartel case
  • Schwarz Group: Advising food retailer Kaufland on the acquisition of food retailer Real shops and on the acquisition of the internet marketplace
  • SKW Stahl Metallurgie: Representing SKW AG in the calcium carbide cartel proceedings (EU cartel case involving alleged price and quota agreements) before the European Commission, the European General Court and the European Court of Justice, as well as before national courts (including the German Federal Court of Justice) in civil proceedings
  • ThyssenKrupp: Advising on the handling of antitrust law compliance issues, the establishment and execution of an amnesty programme and support in an ad hoc antitrust audit not related to any specific events
  • Westlake/Vinnolit: Representation of US leniency applicant (and its German subsidiary) in DG COMP ethylene purchasing cartel case


  • Recognised by Who’s Who Legal as “Thought Leader – Competition 2021"
  • Frequently recommended lawyer for antitrust, JUVE Handbook (2021/2022)
  • Recommended lawyer for antitrust, Legal 500 (2020)
  • Leading expert in antitrust, Germany 2021, Best Lawyers / Handelsblatt
  • Leading expert in European Union law, Germany 2021, Best Lawyers / Handelsblatt
  • Leading expert in competition/European law, Chambers Europe (2021)
  • Leading expert in competition/European law, Chambers Global (2021)
  • Top Lawyer for antitrust and competition, WirtschaftsWoche (2020)
  • Top Lawyer for compliance, WirtschaftsWoche (2017)
  • Recommended lawyer for state aid, Legal 500 (2021)


  • International Bar Association (IBA); Member of the Legal Practice Division (LPD) Council; Past Chair of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee; also member of the Antitrust Law Committee
  • American Bar Association (ABA), Antitrust Section
  • Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht

Selected Publications

  • Europäisches Beihilfenrecht, Birnstiel/Bungenberg/Heinrich (eds), Nomos Kommentar, 2013
  • Dawn Raids - richtiger Umgang mit kartellbehördlichen Durchsuchungen, Birnstiel/Janka/Schubert, DB 2014
  • Kartellrecht, in: Bräutigam/Kraul (eds), Rechtshandbuch Internet of Things (IoT), C.H.Beck 2021
  • Verschärfte Ermittlungsbefugnisse deutscher Kartellbehörden – Umfassende Auskunftsverlangen und Mitwirkungspflichten bei Durchsuchungen, Birnstiel/Hegener, DB 2021