Bo Vesterdorf

Senior Consultant

Bo Vesterdorf is senior consultant in Plesner's EU and Competition Law team.

Bo Vesterdorf, Dr.iur.h.c., Commander 1st Class, served as a judge of the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union for a period of 18 years - the last 10 as President. Bo served as a judge from the establishment of the General Court in 1989 and has thus been instrumental in influencing the development of EU competition law and EU law in general. 

Bo Vesterdorf has been working for Plesner since 2007 and has been permanently attached to the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, Fordham University in the US and University College London.


  • Business Week voted Bo Vesterdorf one of 25 "Stars of Europe" :
    Vesterdorf has played a giant role in the creation of a new Europe-wide jurisprudence, the effects of which are felt from Seville to Seattle."
  • Bruylant published a Liber Amicorum in Honour of Bo Vesterdorf with contributions from some of the most famous judges, scientists and legal practitioners in EU law, including (present and former) judges of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Claus Gulmann and Koen Lenaerts, and the president of the EFTA Court, Carl Baudenbacher.
  • Fordham Law School dedicated an issue of its International Law Journal to Bo Vesterdorf, highlighting him as "an eminent jurist who has significantly contributed to the development of the CFI’s jurisprudence, and also provided able pragmatic leadership as its presiding judge."
  • The University of St. Gallen awarded Bo Vesterdorf an honorary doctorate, Dr.iur.h.c.: "Vesterdorf is one of the most influential judges in the history of European integration."

Experience as consultant

Legal opinions and expert testimonies

Bo Vesterdorf has issued legal opinions and expert testimonies in a number of international and national cases relating to both EU competition law and EU law in general, including:

  • Legal opinions in some of the most high-profile international abuse cases involving tech-giants before the EC and the ECJ
  • Legal opinions in well-known patent law (SEP) cases involving Asian, American and European companies
  • Legal opinion in a patent dispute between well-known companies within haptic technology
  • Legal opinion to the EC and the Council of the EU regarding the legal basis for a EC proposal on statutory audit of public interest entities
  • Expert testimony before Stockholm's Tingsrätt regarding trademark rights in the food sector
  • Legal opinion in a case before the Greek Telecommunication Authority regarding the principle of ”Equally efficient operator” in margin squeeze cases
  • Legal opinion in a case before Stockholm's Tingsrätt regarding a possible request for preliminary ruling about the EU VAT rules
  • Legal opinion in court cases in various member states regarding parental liability for damages in EU cartel cases
  • Legal opinion in an EU merger case involving Greek airlines
  • Legal opinion in a case before the Danish Competition Council regarding alleged excessive prices in the electricity market
  • Legal opinion in a case before Stockholm's Tingsrätt regarding margin squeeze in the telecommunications sector
  • Legal opinion in an English case regarding interpretation of EU law on the allocation of telecommunications frequencies
  • Legal opinion in a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration regarding price discrimination 
  • Legal opinion in a case before a Latvian regional court regarding a decision on interim measures from the Latvian Competition Council

Mock trials
Bo Vesterdorf has served as judge in mock trials in a number of cases as preparation for oral hearings before the Court of Justice, the General Court and national courts.

An EU judge's perspective
Bo Vesterdorf has assisted clients and their external counsels in a number of cases with an EU judge's perspective on, inter alia, the likely outcome of cases, the assessment of evidence and legal arguments and procedural issues. This includes:

  • EU cartel cases, both involving traditional and novel types of cartels, such as cases involving collecting societies and pay-for-delay cases
  • EU abuse cases, including some of the most high-profile cases involving international tech giants
  • EU merger control cases, including a case regarding alleged gun jumping involving a reference to the ECJ for preliminary ruling
  • State aid cases, including cases involving the organisation of privatisations to avoid state aid
  • Other cases, including cases involving procedural issues such as interim measures, a case regarding power cables between EU member states, a case regarding transport of natural gas to the EU from a non-EU member state and a patent dispute before the US courts

Experience from the General Court

EU Law
Bo Vesterdorf was involved in several cases concerning state aid, public procurement, actions for damages, trademarks, EU registrations of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and EU administrative law in general.

Bo Vesterdorf was involved in a number of important cartel cases, including Welded Steel Mesh, Soda-ash and Dutch building and construction, which confirmed and elaborated on many of the fundamental principles of EU cartel law.

Bo Vesterdorf acted as Advocate General on the first cartel case to be brought before the General Court, Polypropylene. His Opinion, which for the most part was followed by the General Court and on appeal by the Court of Justice, established a number of important principles, which have been confirmed in numerous subsequent decisions and judgments, including regarding economic evidence, burden and standard of proof, the probative value of different types of evidence, the defendants' rights of access to file, the notion of concerted practices, and presumptions concerning passive participation in meetings and exchange of information.

Bo Vesterdorf acted as Reporting Judge in Cartonboard, where the General Court indirectly increased the level of the fine.

Bo Vesterdorf was a judge in some of the most important abuse cases decided by the General Court, including Hilti (as Reporting Judge) concerning dominance on secondary markets and tying; British Airways concerning rebate schemes; and Tiercé Ladbroke, Magill and Microsoft regarding refusal to supply and the interaction between competition law and IP law

Bo Vesterdorf was a judge in a number of important merger cases appealed to the General Court, including Gencor and Airtours, which clarified the conditions for collective dominance; Tetra Laval concerning market definition and conglomerate and vertical mergers; and Schneider/Legrand concerning the consequences of procedural infringements.

Vertical Agreements
Bo Vesterdorf was a judge in a number of important cases regarding vertical agreements, including Viho concerning the notion of an undertaking; Parker Pen concerning export prohibitions, effect on trade and requirements for establishing intent; and Kruidvat and Leclerc concerning selective distribution systems and distribution of luxury products.

Procedural Issues
Bo Vesterdorf was a judge in a number of important cases involving procedural issues, including Microsoft regarding interim measures; API regarding rights of access to file; and Mannesmannröhren-Werke regarding the right of defence, privilege against self-incrimination and the rights and duties of parties when answering requests for information.

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