Dirk Arts


Dirk specialises in Belgian and EU competition law as well as general EU law. 

He advises and assists clients in administrative and judicial procedures, both before national and European authorities and courts. Dirk has particular experience within the energy, media, chemical, retail and automobile sectors. He represents clients in cartel investigations conducted by both the Commission as well as the Belgian competition authority, and advises on merger control cases.

Dirk is a member of the editorial board of Competition and a founding member of the Belgian Association of Competition Lawyers.

Dirk has worked as a research assistant at the Institute for European Law of the KULeuven before serving as a Référendaire (legal secretary) in the General Court. He teaches Judicial Protection in the EU at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Dirk has been identified by Global Competition Review’s independent research with clients and peers as being among the world’s leading competition lawyers.


Representative matters

Several financial institutions in their defence in Cartel investigations of the European Commission.

Scania on the European Commission heavy trucks investigation and in follow-on private damages claims across the EEA.

The merger control aspects of the creation of Mediahuis NV, the largest newspaper publisher in Belgium.

Published Work

Chapter “Judicial Review of Cartel Decision”, in Frank Wijckmans and Filip. Tuytschaever (eds), Horizontal Agreements and Cartels in EU Competition Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015, p. 269-311.

"Iedereen gelijk voor de wet? Beschouwingen over de rechtmatigheid van het verlenen van clementie in kartelzaken.", Tijdschrift voor Belgische Mededinging, 2012, p. 3-18. 

"Schneider and the non-contractual liability of the European Community in the field of merger control", Journal of European Competition Law and Practice, 30 December 2009. 

Arts. D, Lenaerts. K, Mawelis. I, (2006) "Procedural Law of the European Union" London, Sweet & Maxwell, p.789, (Robert Bray ed.)

Met Koen Lenaerts, Europees Procesrecht (derde uitgave), Antwerpen/Apeldoorn, Maklu Uitgeverij, 2003, 618 p

Dirk Arts is a great practitioner and clearly someone who is very well regarded as a senior Belgian competition lawyer.
Chambers Global, Competition EU, 2023
Dirk Arts is super-pragmatic and works really smoothly as part of an integrated team across different practice areas.
Chambers Global, Competition European Law, 2022



Stagiair, Belgium, 1997

Admitted as advocaat, Belgium, 2001

Registered Foreign Lawyer, England and Wales, 2021


Law Degree, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), 1988

LLM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1990


Dutch, English, French
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.