Ilkka Aalto-Setälä

Partner / Helsinki

About Ilkka

Ilkka has over 25 years of experience in antitrust and merger control investigations and litigation. He advises companies and governmental agencies on antitrust, internal market law and marketing law matters at the national and EU levels, including merger control, abuse of a dominant position, cartels, state aid, foreign investment control and public procurement. Ilkka also litigates before the national courts, the European Commission and the European Court of Justice on a regular basis. He has represented clients in almost 100 cases before the Finnish Market Court alone.

In addition, Ilkka has worked for the Merger Task Force of the European Commission and for the Finnish Competition Authority where he was involved in the largest and most complex antitrust investigations across a range of industries.

Ilkka serves as the chairman of the Finnish Bar Association’s Competition Law Expert Group and is a co-founder and board member of the Finnish Competition Law Association. He also served as a member of the ministerial working group that conducted research into and proposed changes to the current Finnish Competition Act.

Ilkka heads our EU & Competition Law team.


Chambers Europe

  • EU & Competition

Chambers Europe
“He is an excellent and pragmatic lawyer.”
“The key point is that we always get what we need on time.”
“He has good experience of the local process, which is most helpful for us in order to understand how to best address the matter at hand.”
“He can come up with innovative and creative solutions. He is an excellent and pragmatic lawyer.”

  • EU & Competition (Hall of Fame)

The Legal 500
“​Strong experience, constructive, can came up with creative solutions, excellent and pragmatic lawyer.”
“Ilkka Aalto-Setälä has in-depth knowledge of EU and competition law and is very solution oriented. “

  • Competition
  • Government Contracts

Best Lawyers

  • Competition/Antitrust

GCR 100

  • Competition

Selected References

  • Represented Finnair before the European Commission in connection with the state aid of EUR 351 million due to the coronavirus outbreak between 16 March and 31 December 2020.
  • Three victories in an automobile spare part cartel case for our client Arwidson: This was the first case in which the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority granted leniency to a whistle-blower. This was also the first time that a competitor challenged the leniency position. In addition, this was the first case in Finland in which a whistle-blower defended itself against cartel damage claims.
  • Represented the Finnish Generic Pharmaceuticals Association by lobbying the Finnish legislators and the European Commission concerning the need to change the law on generic substitution. Our contribution saves tax-payers’ costs of EUR 85 million per year.
  • Successfully represented the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications in the European Commission’s formal state aid investigation, regarding the liberalisation of the Finnish road construction market.


  • Partner, Borenius, 2005–
  • Local Partner, White & Case, 2002–2005
  • Senior Associate, Roschier Holmberg, 1997–2002
  • Research Officer, The Finnish Competition Authority, 1995–1997
  • National Expert, The European Commission, Merger Task Force, Brussels, 1996


  • Bar Admission, 1999, Helsinki, Finland
  • Master of Laws, 1994, University of Turku, Finland


  • Finnish, English