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Francisco Cantos Baquedano worked for 30 years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in their offices in London, Brussels, and Madrid, as a founding member of the firm. He also founded and led the Competition Law Department of Freshfields in Spain for over 20 years as a partner. He served as the Global Co-Head of the Mergers Skills Group (2014-2018), Global Co-Head of the Latin America Group (2012-2020), and Non-Governmental Advisor to the ICN (2014-2020). In October 2020, Francisco joined Ontier as a partner to lead the Competition Law area. Francisco has advised clients before both the European Commission and the CNMC in some of the most complex Competition cases of the last decades, including major corporate mergers and M&A transactions in Spain, significant cartels, cases of abuse of dominant position related to famous international cases, relevant EU State aid matters, and major antitrust litigation cases.

Work highlights

Advising a leading American automobile manufacturer against claims for damages and losses filed by car buyers and their dealerships.
Advising a major multilateral bank based in Washington DC on a comprehensive and detailed antitrust audit regarding the Compliance Program for Competition of a prominent Spanish infrastructure group listed on the stock exchange (IBEX 35).
Representation of a major Spanish logistics operator and national press distributor in Phase II of the merger control procedure before the CNMC regarding their proposed joint-venture with another major Spanish logistics group.

What clients say

Francisco Cantos is recognized as a "leading individual" in the most important legal directories such as Chambers, Legal 500, and Global Competition Review.

He has received several awards including the best EU antitrust team (Chambers, 2005) and the best Competition Law Department in Spain (Iberian Lawyer, 2019).

Qualifications and memberships

  • Law degree from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM).
  • Master's degree in European Law (LLM) from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
  • Member of the Madrid Bar Association.
  • Member of the Spanish Association for the Defense of Competition.

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