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Thomas Janssens

Global Head - Antitrust, Competition and Trade Group

distinguished for his stellar reputation in complex international transactional and litigious competition matters

Who's Who Legal Competition

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About Thomas Janssens

Thomas heads our global antitrust, competition and trade practice group – a role he combines with his dynamic and broad client practice.

In client mandates, Thomas immerses himself in the business of his clients in order to provide innovative, tailored solutions to global antitrust issues. In leading our antitrust practice, he works with colleagues across the firm to apply our energy, thought leadership and values to stay on top of our game.

He advises on EU and international antitrust law, covering transactional and conduct matters as well as related litigation. Clients turn to Thomas for complex EU and international mandates, especially those requiring strategic management of cross-border challenges and parallel proceedings before several authorities. He brings international experience and perspective across all areas of antitrust risk and compliance in a wide range of industries, including the fast-moving digital economy. The nature of his work also involves leading teams of Freshfields lawyers and local counsel around the world.

Thomas speaks English, Dutch and French.


Recent work

  • Advising AB InBev on the global competition strategy for its $106bn acquisition of SABMiller, which created one of the world's largest consumer goods companies. The deal was subject to regulatory clearances in more than 30 countries and required remedies, including a significant disposal of assets across the US, Europe and Asia, and public interest commitments in several jurisdictions. Read more about the deal in our case study.
  • Advising Liberty Global’s subsidiary Telenet on the competition law aspects of its headline $1.3bn ‘fixed-to-mobile’ acquisition of Belgium’s third-largest mobile network operator, BASE. 
  • Advising Novartis on the global competition law aspects of two multibillion transactions: its joint venture with GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) to form a world-leading consumer healthcare business; and the sale of its animal health division to Eli Lilly.
  • Advising EMI on the sale of its recorded music division to Vivendi and Universal, as well as advising on the acquisition of its music publishing division by an investor group including Sony.
  • Advising Boehringer Ingelheim on the global merger control aspects of its $22bn asset swap with Sanofi. The deal, which transformed the parties into global leaders in animal health and consumer healthcare respectively, prompted merger filings in over 20 countries, including a rare triple 'fix-it-first' phase one clearance from the European Commission.


Professional memberships

  • International Bar Association - Co-Chair of the Antitrust Section