Rowan Legal

Marcela Káňová is one of the leading experts in the field of public procurement and competition in the Czech Republic. Her main area of expertise is representing clients in administrative proceedings before the Office for the Protection of Competition, administrative courts and the European Commission, as well as in objections in tendering procedures. She also specializes in IT law, where she benefits from practical experience in the IT sector, which she gained as a partner at IBM.

She advised clients on cartels, abuse of dominance and competition law assessments of mergers and acquisitions, significant market power, public support and public procurement until September 2021 as a partner at Císař, Češka, Smutný, where she was from the inception of the legal team specializing in these areas, which she also led for several years. She has been involved in a number of key projects in the ICT, railway infrastructure, energy and petrochemical sectors. Before joining the Bar in 2015, she headed the Public Procurement Monitoring and Bid Rigging Department at the Office for the Protection of Competition, which, in addition to supervising the conduct of contracting authorities, was involved in investigating complaints and conducting administrative proceedings to detect instances of illegal cartel agreements between suppliers bidding for public contracts.

Marcela is a member of the Disputes Committee of the Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition for public procurement and the Disputes Committee of the Director of the National Office for Cyber and Information Security. She is also a member of the Control Board of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, the Expert Team for the Digital Economy at the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic and a member of the editorial board of the Public Procurement journal. She is also involved in publishing and lecturing activities.

Represented a major railway carrier in proceedings before the Office for the Protection of Competition regarding a cartel agreement on the rail freight transport market in the form of market sharing. The administrative proceedings included a successful leniency application and a settlement procedure. The originally threatened fine of hundreds of millions was minimized and the negative impact on the specific persons involved in the formation and execution of the cartel agreement were averted.

Assisted in advising a client operating in the passenger rail transport market in the context of an investigation by the European Commission into possible abuse of a dominant position in the form of alleged underpricing on a specific route after competitors began operating on the same route. The Commission’s investigation was eventually dropped after several years.

Represented a group of companies involved in the mining and processing of non-metallic minerals in cartel proceedings before the Office for the Protection of Competition. Despite the fact that the cartel agreement was curiously concluded in the form of a notarial deed, the resulting fine was minimal due to the procedural strategy and settlement procedure.

Represented a major bank in an OCC investigation into possible abuse of dominant position by card companies (Visa and Mastercard) in setting fees for withdrawals from foreign ATMs. The result was an adjustment of these conditions in favor of the client.

Provided legal advice to a state-owned company dealing with the mitigation of the consequences of mining activities in the design and implementation of a comprehensive solution that enabled the continuation and completion of the liquidation of one of the largest environmental burdens in the Czech Republic – the Ostrava oil lagoons. This solution, which was limited in particular with regard to the Public Procurement Act, included the termination of the original implementation contract, the conclusion of a settlement agreement between the contracting authority and the original contractor, and the implementation of a mini-tender for the conclusion of a new contract worth CZK 400 million.

Provided contract management support throughout for a contracting authority managing an information system that is part of the critical information infrastructure of the state, in order to ensure its support, maintenance and development. She proposed a plan, which she also participated in the implementation of, and thanks to which a new supplier was selected in an open tender, despite a decade-long vendor lock-in. Her legal advice also included negotiating with the existing supplier, which resulted in its commitment to assign the exercise of copyright ownership rights to the contracting authority upon termination of the tendered contract, thus finally freeing itself from the proprietary lock-in.

Represented one of the most important Czech cultural institutions in numerous disputes related to tenders for the implementation of new permanent exhibitions, which represent the largest exhibition project in Czech history and which uses the most modern forms of presentation, audiovisual and accompanying interactivity. In addition to administrative proceedings before the Office for the Protection of Competition, the work also included representation in court in actions for damages against the contracting authority in the relatively untested area of damages in public procurement.

Provided comprehensive legal advice to a railway infrastructure manager in the preparation of a transaction in the form of a transfer of part of a plant to this manager, with an emphasis on merger, public aid and public procurement aspects, but including the preparation of transaction documentation.

Mlsna P. et al. Competition and public procurement. Synergies and intersections. Pilsen: Aleš Čeněk. 2022 – co-author.

Káňová M. Public Procurement. Selected aspects and institutes. Prague: Wolters Kluwer ČR, 2023.


School: Charles University, Faculty of Law, 1/2023
Field of study: Rigorous State Examination (JUDr.), Commercial Law

School: Charles University, Faculty of Law, 3/2022
Field of study: Doctoral studies (Ph.D.), Theoretical Legal Sciences – Business Law

School: Masaryk University in Brno, Faculty of Law, 1/2012
Field of study: Master’s degree (Mgr.) Law and Legal Studies

School: Leopold – Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Rechtwissenschaften, Insbruck, Austria
Field of study: Public international law and European law

Professional experience

Company: ROWAN LEGAL, law firm
Position: Attorney-at-law and Partner (04/2023–present)

Company: IBM Czech Republic s.r.o., IBM Consulting

  • Associate Partner, Public Sector Client Partner
  • Business Sales & Delivery Executive (11/2021–3/2023)

Company: Císař, Češka, Smutný law firm

  • Lawyer and Partner (7/2019–9/2021)
  • Associate and Legal Team Leader (3/2018–6/2019)
  • Junior Lawyer and Legal Team Leader (7/2017–2/2018)
  • Junior Lawyer (7/2015–6/2017)

Company: Office for the Protection of Competition

  • Director of Public Procurement and Bid Rigging (8/2013–6/2015)
  • Principal Expert in the Awareness and Transparency of Public Procurement project (8/2013–1/2014)
  • Officer (9/2012–8/2013)

Company:  Mgr. Viktora Klímy, law firm
Position: Junior lawyer (1/2011–8/2012)