Thomas Vinje is specialised in European antitrust and intellectual property law, with a particular focus on technology issues.
Thomas advises major corporations on mergers, joint ventures, dominance matters, cartel cases, distribution and licensing practices, and competition and IP litigation.
Thomas speaks regularly on European Union intellectual property and antitrust law, and has authored numerous articles and book contributions on these topics. He lectures at the Universities of Amsterdam and Zurich and sits on the Board of Editors for "Computer und Recht International" and "European Intellectual Property Review".
Thomas is a member of our global Antitrust Risk team.
- FairSearch Europe (an industry coalition that includes companies such as Naspers, Oracle and TripAdvisor) as the main complainant in the European Commission's investigation into Google for anticompetitive behaviour concerning its Android mobile device operating system; and as an interested third party on the European Commission's investigation into Google for its abuse of its dominant position in search.
- Foundem as an intervenor in Google’s appeal to the European General Court of the European Commission’s comparison shopping decision.
- Nokia on its defence against a complaint by Daimler and various automotive component suppliers, in relation to its SEP licencing practices.
- Samsung in abuse of dominance proceedings brought by the European Commission regarding Samsung's enforcement of standard essential patents against Apple
- KONE in the Commission's investigation and subsequent proceedings before the General Court and the Court of Justice regarding a cartel in the elevator and escalator industry, as well as in follow-on civil litigation in national courts
- Oracle on several acquisitions including its hotly contested mergers with PeopleSoft and Sun Microsystems
- The European Committee for Interoperable Systems in abuse of dominance proceedings against Microsoft, resulting in the landmark 2007 General Court judgment upholding the Commission's 2004 decision in all material respects, and the Commission's 2009 commitment decision regarding Microsoft's tying of Windows and Internet Explorer
Clifford Chance advises FairSearch on its second successful European Commission antitrust investigation
18 July 2018
Clifford Chance advises Fairsearch on the European Commission case leading to the record €2.4BN EU fine imposed on Google over search engine manipulation practices
29 June 2017
Clifford Chance achieves success for KONE in groundbreaking damages litigation
25 November 2014
Clifford Chance advises major media and telecoms groups on joint ventures to develop online classifieds platforms
17 November 2014
Global M&A Toolkit
- Thomas introduces Our Insights into Global Antitrust Trends report and highlights key topics addressed in the publication (April 2015)
Career and qualifications
- University of Washington (BA, Political Science and Norwegian) 1977
- Columbia University School of Law, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and James Kent Scholar 1982
- Admitted as an attorney in Hawaii 1983
- Admitted as an attorney in California 1986
- Joined Clifford Chance as a Partner 2004
- Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 2007
- Admitted as an avocat in Brussels 2018
- Member of the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Member of the Licensing Executives Society
- Member of the Brussels Bar
- Member of the Hawaii State Bar Association
- Member of the California State Bar Association
- Member of the American Bar Association (ABA)
Awards and citations
- Clients also appreciate that Vinje "not only understands the legal and technical arguments, which are often highly complex, but also understands the political and economic landscape in terms of what is at stake."
Chambers Europe 2020: Competition/European Law
- Behavioural Matter of the Year: FairSearch complaint against Google Android
Global Competition Review (GCR) Awards 2019
- Lawyer of the Year
Global Competition Review (GCR) Awards 2018
- Ranked in the top tier of antitrust lawyers by both Chambers and Legal 500
- 'He has "an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and authorities".'
Legal 500 2018, Competition: EU & Global
- "He is someone you really want on a high-powered matter in the digital sector."
Chambers Europe 2017, Competition/European Law
- "Thomas has an exceptional ability with regards to mastering complex legal and political issues and commuicating them to legal and political establishments in a clear, concrete way so that the impacts (risks or advantages) are understood. The fact that he has been involved in key competition abuse cases for the last 30 years and that he remains highly respected confirms the quality of his service."
IFLR1000 2016, EU Competition