European Competitive Telecommunications Association

Hein Hobbelen

Partner, Belgium/Netherlands, Bird&Bird


Hein is a partner in Bird & Bird's Competition and EU practice and an active member of the firm's market leading Tech & Comms and Media, Entertainment & Sports sector groups, of which he co-heads the Brussels sections. Hein divides his time between Brussels and The Hague.

Clients value Hein's experience in EU cartel, State aid, abuse of dominance and merger investigations, his experience at the interface of competition law and sector regulation (Hein inter alia has longstanding experience in the tech, comms and media sectors) and his experience in EU trade law matters.

His considerable experience (of more than 20 years) makes him a well-known practitioner for all key pillars of EU competition, trade and sector-specific laws. Clients include some of Europe's well-known tech, communications and media companies as well as Ahlstrom-Munksjö, connected car company Cubic Telecom, Shire Baxalta, Volker Wessels, Ingelheim-Boehringer amongst many others.

Hein has particular experience in:

  • Merger control. Recent involvement in some high-profile cases in Brussels
  • Article 101/cartel work including (global) investigations. Extensive experience in dawn raids and cartel (global) investigations. Expert in filing multi-jurisdictional leniency applications before the EU and national competition authorities
  • Antitrust compliance programs/audits
  • State aid proceedings. In-depth knowledge and experience in EU State aid cases, with particular expertise in relation to State aid work in the technology, communications and media sectors
  • Abuse of dominance. Successfully represents both complainants and defendants in abuse of dominance proceedings
  • Regulatory advice in the Technology, Communications and Media sectors
  • EU trade law advice, often at the interplay with EU competition law

Hein is also central to firm-wide international initiatives relating to Compliance & Investigations and Public Affairs, with a particular emphasis on developing the EU/Brussels angle.

Hein regularly speaks at EU & Competition law events across Europe. He is a long-standing guest lecturer at Leuven University in Post-Graduate Studies in ICT, IP and Media Law, and at the Advanced Competition Law Course at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Hein is also a member of the ENTraNCE Advisory Council at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His academic activities are complemented by regular contributions to academic publications on competition and sector-specific laws.

Hein holds degrees in Dutch and International Law from the University of Amsterdam and holds a Masters' degree in International and Comparative Law from the Free University of Brussels. 

Hein speaks Dutch, English, French, Italian and German.

Hein has been recognised by clients and peers as one of the World's Leading Competition Lawyers - Who's Who Legal - Competition, 2018

Bird & Bird’s "business-savvy and efficient" group includes Hein Hobbelen - Legal 500 EMEA - Competition 2018

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