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Michel Petite

Avocat of Counsel

Clifford Chance, Paris
Clifford Chance, Brussels
Practice area Litigation & dispute resolution, Antitrust competition, EU & trade
Tel +33144055244

Michel Petite

Avocat of Counsel

Michel Petite specialises in European Commission policies, community law and competition law, working in close co-operation with practice groups such as antitrust, trade, banking, taxation and government relations and public policy; International commercial law and litigation at the world Trade Organisation court.

Michel has worked as legal adviser to three Commission Presidents: Jacques Delors, Romano Prodi, (as head of cabinet), and Jose Manuel Barroso.  Throughout his time at the Commission he was heavily involved in competition (setting up the "merger" Regulation; director of "State aids"), internal market matters and Taxation. He participated in all the institutional reforms (Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, Lisbon).

Career and qualifications

  • Master's degree in private and public law
  • Admitted as an Avocat in Paris 1973
  • Joined European Commission 1979
  • Joined Clifford Chance 2008
  • Speaks French and English

Professional bodies

  • Michel Petite is a member of the Board of Centre for European Reform since 2013

Awards and citations

  • "Clifford Chance recently advised on key merger control matters and notably obtained an EC phase two clearance of Airbus Safran Launchers’ acquisition of Arianespace. The team is also handling highly sensitive tax-related state aid cases. Of counsel Michel Petite is recommended. Emmanuel Durand joined De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and Patrick Hubert is now at Orrick Rambaud Martel."
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Section EU Competition and Distribution, 2017
  • Michel Petite advises predominantly on EU law, benefiting from his remarkable experience as former director general of the legal service of the EC. One interviewee says: "He is super-knowledgeable about competition law, super-bright and easy to work with."
    Chambers Europe, France, Section Competition/European Law, 2017
  • Michel Petite spends time in both the Paris and Brussels offices of the firm. He has a wealth of experience in EU competition law and is particularly well versed in EC policies.
    Chambers Global, France, Section Corporate/M&A, 2017
  • Clients value Michel Petite for his "very high-profile view on cases and capacity to build a strategy towards the European Commission." He has further expertise in community law and works closely with other practice areas such as antitrust and public policy.
    Chambers Europe, France, Section Competition/European Law, 2016
  • "Clifford Chance’s 12-lawyer practice produces ‘high-quality work’ and is involved in several high-profile antitrust cases in France. The team ‘has a strong level of expertise in telecoms matters’, where it acted for SFR in a landmark case making claims of abuse of a dominant position by Orange, which led to a €350m fine against Orange. The firm also assisted Airbus Safran Launchers with its acquisition of a majority stake in Arianespace. The practice is led by Emmanuel Durand, of counsel Michel Petite and Patrick Hubert, who is ‘highly experienced and yet always responsive, open-minded and willing to adapt to his clients’ needs".
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Section EU competition and distribution, 2016
  • Competition law-focused Michel Petite advises from the firm's Paris and Brussels offices. He has notable experience in handling matters concerning European competition and antitrust law.
    Chambers Global, France, Section Corporate / M&A, 2016
  • "Competition lawyer Michel Petite divides his time between the firm's Paris and Brussels offices. He is noted for his expertise on European matters, advising clients on a range of topics linked to competition, antitrust and community law."
    Chambers Global, France, Corporate/M&A, 2015
  • Michel Petite is hailed as "a great lawyer" who has extensive experience from the EC. "He understands the EU policies that affect our business and can quickly get to the heart of an issue," reports one enthusiastic client.
    Chambers Europe, Section Competition/European Law, 2014
  • Michel Petite excels at sensitive state aid matters
    Legal 500, Section EU Competition and Distribution, 2013
  • European competition law specialist Michel Petite has long-standing experience working as a legal adviser to the European Commission. He regularly collaborates with colleagues in Clifford Chance's Belgian office." 
    Chambers, Section Corporate / M&A : France, 2013

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