Ms. Vandenborre has consistently been named as a leading practitioner in Who’s Who Legal guides in both competition and life sciences. In 2020, she was named Competition Lawyer of the Year at the Benchmark Litigation Europe Awards, which also recognized her work advising Aspen in relation to the European Commission’s Article 102 investigation of the company’s pricing practices as an Impact Case of the Year. In 2016, she received the ILO Client Choice Award for the category of EU Competition and Antitrust, awarded by The International Law Office in recognition of individual partners who excel across the full spectrum of client service, and in 2018 she was shortlisted for Transatlantic Disputes/Regulatory Lawyer of the Year at the Transatlantic Legal Awards, hosted by Legal Week and The American Lawyer. Ms. Vandenborre was part of the Skadden team awarded M&A Deal of the Year at the IFRL1000 Europe 2020 Awards for its representation of Gilead Sciences, Inc. in its US$5.1 billion transaction with Galapagos NV. She currently serves as nongovernmental adviser to the intergovernmental International Competition Network.
Ms. Vandenborre has significant experience in Article 101 issues in relation to cartel arrangements, as well as vertical and competitive agreements. Her recent experience includes the successful representation of a company involved in the then OFT’s (now CMA) examination of the hotel online booking sector, avoiding formal allegations being raised against the company; the representation of a generic pharmaceuticals manufacturer in an appeal before the European General Court against the European Commission’s first reverse payment patent settlement decision, having represented the company in the administrative proceedings before the Commission; and the representation of several tour operators in a European Commission investigation into alleged geo-blocking practices.
She also has successfully assisted companies in obtaining conditional immunity with the European Commission and other competition law agencies in and outside the EU. Recent representations include the immunity and leniency applicants in the EU power cables and car battery recycling cartel investigations, respectively. Ms. Vandenborre also is representing companies in proceedings before the European General Court against European Commission findings of cartel infringements, and is involved in the defense against civil claims arising from these findings.
In addition to her work on Article 101 and 102 enforcement issues, Ms. Vandenborre has substantial merger control experience. She advised Kuoni and Thomas Cook in an investigation by the EU Commission into so-called geo-blocking clauses that provided for different hotel accommodation conditions depending on the location or residence of the traveler. The commission has actively enforced against such clauses in different industries recently, including media, entertainment and retail. Following several years of investigation, the commission agreed to suspend its investigation into the tour operators, including Thomas Cook and Kuoni, without penalty.
Other notable recent examples of Ms. Vandenborre’s merger control work include advising:
- PayPal Holdings, Inc. in its US$4 billion acquisition of Honey Science Corporation;
- Visa Inc. in its US$5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc. This is the fifth-largest U.S. venture-backed technology sale of all time;
- ABB Ltd with the antitrust aspects of its US$7.8 billion sale of a 80.1% stake in its Power Grids division to Hitachi, Ltd.;
- Stryker Corporation in its US$5.4 billion acquisition of Wright Medical Group N.V.; and
- NXP Semiconductors N.V. in its proposed but terminated $47 billion acquisition by Qualcomm Incorporated.
Ms. Vandenborre is a graduate of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and completed part of her law studies at Duke University School of Law. She holds an LL.M. degree from the University of Chicago Law School and is an alumna of the Belgian American Educational Foundation.