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About Merit Olthoff

Merit’s practice covers EU and German competition law with a focus on EU State aid law

She has extensive experience in advising on all aspects related to competition law. Her focus is on EU and German merger control and antitrust investigations. She is also an expert in EU State aid law and has advised financial sector clients following the last financial crisis and the COVID-19 outbreak on State aid related matters.

Merit's recent experience includes EU and global merger filings as well as German merger control reviews for basic industry and private equity clients. On EU State aid law, she has worked with clients from a range of business sectors, including financial services, infrastructure, energy and consumer goods. She regularly advises financial industry clients and banks in European Commission State aid restructuring procedures. More recently, her focus is on State aid and tax. She is involved in a European Commission investigation in State aid through tax and has seen another one successfully through to the EU Courts. 

Merit spent four years practicing in our Brussels office before transferring to Berlin in 2016. 

Merit speaks German, English and French.

Recent work

  • Advising Aon on its multibillion business combination with WTW in a Phase II European Commisssion merger procedure.
  • Advising a real estate consortium on its proposed acquistion of the German REAL hypermarket chain from METRO AG.
  • Advising major multinationals from across business sectors in the European Commission's investigations into State aid through tax (regimes), including appeal procedures before the European Courts.
  • Advising major financial institutions across Europe in their restructuring procedures under EU State aid rules including advising HSH Nordbank AG (now HCOB) on its successful privatisation process.  
  • Advising private equity firms in German and EU merger control proceedings.
  • Advising a German client on a joint purchasing cooperation as well as infrastructure clients on joint bidding arrangements in front of the German Federal Cartel Office.    



  • University of London, UK (LL.M)
  • Law school at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, Germany

Professional qualifications

  • Rechtsanwältin, Germany (admitted to the Hamburg Bar)

Professional memberships

  • Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht