Alexander Birnstiel, LLM (College of Europe)

Rechtsanwalt (Lawyer), Partner

Antitrust & Competition
Compliance & Investigations
Dawn Raids
Digital Business
Regulatory and Governmental Affairs
EU State aid law and Foreign Subsidies

Alexander Birnstiel

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.


  • 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 2024"
  • Frequently recommended lawyer for antitrust, JUVE Handbook (2023/2024)
  • Recommended lawyer for antitrust, Legal 500 (2020)
  • Leading expert in antitrust law, Germany 2024, Best Lawyers / Handelsblatt
  • Leading expert in European Union law, Germany 2023, Best Lawyers / Handelsblatt
  • Leading expert in competition/European law, Chambers Europe (2017-2024)
  • Leading expert in competition/European law, Chambers Global (2018-2024)
  • Top Lawyer for antitrust and competition, WirtschaftsWoche (2020)
  • Top Lawyer for compliance, WirtschaftsWoche (2017)


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


  • 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


  • International online distribution issues, IBA Annual Conference 2017, Sydney
  • Current EU Antitrust Enforcement Trends And Their Potential Implications For US Businesses And Their Antitrust Advisors (panel moderator), European American Chamber of Commerce, New York, March 2018
  • Best practices in (international) internal investigations, Noerr Competition Day 2018, Munich
  • Spooky spokes: Information exchange and collusion through third parties, 1st Annual Conference 2018 of the European Competition Lawyers Association, Lisbon
  • Annual Antitrust Update for Business Lawyers and Antitrust in the Age of the Internet and Big Data: Getting Products to Market, ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting 2018, Austin (Texas)
  • Digitization and Antitrust: New Antitrust Challenges in Europe and Around the Globe (panel moderator), Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting 2018, Austin (Texas)
  • Global horizontal enforcement trends – a view from Brazil, Japan, the U.S. and the EU, Noerr Competition Day 2019, Munich
  • Anti-Trust in the Digital Era, European American Chamber of Commerce, New York, May 2019
  • Antitrust vs. Regulatory Intervention - How Will Global Markets be Kept Open in an Era of Digitization, AI and Big Data?, Lex Mundi Summit, Amsterdam, May 2019
  • Litigation, IBA 23rd Annual Competition Conference 2019, Florence
  • Managing Multi-jurisdictional Antitrust Investigations, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting 2019, Phoenix (Arizona)
  • Diverging Trends in digital antitrust in China, the US and Europe - How can companies best master the challenge?, Noerr Competition Day 2020, Munich
  • Antitrust and class actions: what does the future hold?, IBA Annual Conference 2020
  • New rules for the digital economy: What do the 10th Amendment to the German Act Against Restraints of Competition and the Digital Services Act package mean in practice?, Noerr Digital Day 2021
  • European Antitrust Enforcement – Reloaded?, Noerr Competition Day 2023, Munich
  • Two ARC amendments in one legislative period - political, legal and/or economic necessity?, Noerr Competition Day 2024, Munich


  • 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