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United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > Competition litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Competition litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Elizabeth Morony leads the practice at Clifford Chance and acted for Barclays Bank in the European Commission (EC)’s cartel investigation into EURIBOR/LIBOR rate fixing and related litigation. In another highlight, Luke Tolaini led the team that is acting in the investigation by the EC and US authorities into precious metals spot trading. Other clients include JP Morgan Chase, Siemens and Samsung UK.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘an outstanding firm’ for competition matters, with clients singling out Jon Lawrence and Mark Sansom as ‘standout partners’. Lawrence led the team acting for Ericsson in patent infringement litigation brought by Unwired Planet against Samsung and Huawei, which has involved a counterclaim that the transfer of patents between Ericsson and Unwired Planet breached Chapter one of the Competition Act 1998. In another notable highlight, Rod Carlton and Alastair Chapman are leading the team representing HSBC in the Competition Market Authority (CMA)’s investigation into personal current account and SME banking services.

According to one client, Hausfeld is ‘without doubt the best in the market in the area of claimant work’. The practice continues to be involved in the biggest competition cases before the English courts: practice head Anthony Maton led on claims arising from the EC’s decision to fine 11 air cargo carriers for operating cartel affecting cargo services, which was the largest cartel damages action by value and number of claimants before any European court. Maton also led alongside Nicola Boyle in claims for compensation from MasterCard for inflated interchange fees paid to licensee banks. Anna Morfey joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, while Ed Coulson re-joined Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team of ‘smooth and aggressive operators’ is noted for providing ‘a Rolls-Royce service’ to clients. Practice co-head Stephen Wisking led the team acting for Sky in numerous Ofcom investigations and before the Competition Appeals Tribunal, including the client’s appeal to Ofcom’s 2010 decision forcing it to provide its sports channels to rivals on contractual terms set by Ofcom. In another key matter, Wisking and the ‘very smart and capable’ Kim Dietzel led the team defending Pilkington in follow-on damages claims in the UK and Germany arising from the EC’s car glass and flat glass cartel investigations. Matthew Weiniger QC joined Linklaters LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘very strong’ practice successfully defended Ofgem against two appeals before CMA in regards to Ofgem’s price control decisions for the UK’s electricity networks. In another important case, the department represented Air Canada in its landmark appeal against the EC’s decision in its cartel investigation into surcharges for fuel and security costs, as well as related damages claims arising from the investigation. Practice head Nicholas Heaton (‘a truly formidable litigator’) and the ‘excellentSuyong Kim acted on the damages cases and the investigation and subsequent appeals, respectively.

Linklaters LLP has been defending Visa Europe in ongoing litigation concerning alleged breaches of EU and domestic competition laws related to multilateral interchange fees. The practice is also acting for LG Electronics in follow-on damages proceedings relating to investigations into alleged collusion in the sale of cathode ray tubes, and is representing Goldman Sachs Group in its appeal to the EC’s decision in the power cables sector cartel investigation. Practice head Michael Sanders is ‘the man you want on your side in any big-ticket competition litigation’. Tom Cassels (‘a class act’) joined from Baker McKenzie LLP and Matthew Weiniger QC joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

In an illustration of its strength in the financial services sector, Allen & Overy LLP’s competition practice assisted 11 UK members of Visa Europe with the drafting of a loss sharing agreement, which was a precondition of the sale of Visa Europe to Visa Inc., and which involved the issue of allocation of liability for contingent competition law damages arising from interchange fees. In another key matter, the practice acted for Hitachi in the EC’s investigation into suspected cartel conduct in the automotive parts sector, in which the department obtained a favourable outcome for the client. Mark Friend and Antonio Bavasso head the practice.

King & Wood Mallesons is noted for its ‘exceptional advice and support’. As well as representing Qantas Airways in follow-on damages litigation stemming from the air cargo cartel investigation and for a leading financial institution in the LIBOR investigation, the practice has represented clients in pharmaceuticals and telecommunications competition investigations. Tom Usher heads the practice, which includes Stephen Kon, who is ‘a real doyen’.

According to one client, Slaughter and May’s ‘lawyers have brilliant judgement and a relentless will to win’. Recent highlights include acting for British Airways in the air cargo litigation, and defending Philips in a €1bn damages claim stemming from the EC’s investigation into the sale of cathode ray tubes. Practice head Richard Swallow and Bertrand Louveaux (‘an immensely skilled litigator’) led in both cases, and are recommended alongside Isabel Taylor and Philippe Chappatte.

At Ashurst, practice co-head Euan Burrows led for new client Pirelli in follow-on damages cases arising from the EC’s power cables cartel investigation, and Duncan Liddell led the team acting for RBS in the Mastercard and Visa interchange fees litigation. Fellow co-head Mark Clarke is also recommended.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP acts for both claimants and defendants; on the defendant side, Chris Bryant led the team representing a multinational client in numerous follow-on damages actions arising from the global automotive parts cartel investigation. On the claimant side, practice head Andrew Hockley led the team representing Scottish Power and National Grid in a multimillion-pound damages claim stemming from the power cables cartel investigation. Hockley ‘draws on huge experience to offer the client a range of strategic options – his judgement is spot on’.

Tech and IP specialist firm Bristows LLP successfully defended Google against Streetmap in a High Court claim for abuse of dominant position, and represented Samsung in regards to a major patent dispute with Unwired Planet, which involved the consideration of the competition law issue of patent “privateering”. Practice head Pat Treacy (‘a brilliant litigator who combines technical strength with impeccable tactical nous’) and Myles Jelf led on both matters. Sophie Lawrance was promoted to partner and ‘has the perfect balance of technical competition and litigation skills’. Stephen Smith joined from RPC.

DLA Piper’s broad practice acts for clients in the sport, pharmaceuticals and telecoms sectors. Sam Szlezinger joined from Dentons and heads the practice following the departure of former head Kate Vernon to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Sarah Smith and Alexandra Kamerling are also recommended.

Led by the ‘very thorough and experiencedPeter Scott, Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice advises both defendants and claimants in large-scale competition disputes. On the claimant side, the practice acted for Vodafone in a damages claim against the suppliers of smart card chips stemming from the EC’s decision that suppliers had co-ordinated market behaviour in breach of the EU’s rules against cartel activity. In a key defendant matter, the practice represented Schneider Electric in connection with the gas insulated switchgear cartel investigation. Mark Simpson is another key figure.

RPC’s competition clients include Pizza Express, Sports Direct and the RSA Group. In an illustration of its strength in the public healthcare sector, the practice has been acting for NHS bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland in a damages claim against the manufacturer of a cardiovascular drug arising from potential infringements of EU competition law. Practice head Lambros Kilaniotis is recommended. Stephen Smith moved to Bristows LLP.

In a key mandate for Squire Patton Boggs, the practice has been acting for Cathay Pacific in its judicial review of the EC’s air cargo cartel decision. The practice has also been advising The Brewers of Europe on the implications of minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland. Martin Rees and Diarmuid Ryan are practice co-heads.

Claimant litigation firm Stewarts Law LLP is representing 13 claimants in interchange fees litigation against MasterCard, and a major household appliance manufacturer in the refrigeration compressors cartel litigation. Jonathan Sinclair heads the practice, which includes ‘first-class litigatorsKate Pollock, Scott Campbell and Inge Forster.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice is headed by Keith Jones and Francesca Richmond, who took over after the departure of Tom Cassels to Linklaters LLP. The practice has a strong focus on cross-jurisdictional matters and follow-on claims, acting for multinational clients such as Shell UK, Accenture and Camelot.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP represented Sony Corporation in a claim brought by Microsoft Mobile arising from alleged cartel infringement in relation to the supply of lithium ion batteries. In another key matter, the practice defended LG Display in follow-on claims arising from the EC’s LCD infringement decision. Romano Subiotto QC, Sunil Gadhia and Maurits Dolmans are key figures.

At Jones Day, Nick Cotter has been leading the team defending MasterCard in the interchange fees litigation. The practice is jointly led by Alan Davis, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, and Matt Evans.

Andrij Jurkiw heads Mishcon de Reya LLP’s practice, which has been representing Sainsbury’s in interchange fees litigation. Other clients include Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. Rob Murray and Sarah Houghton provide ‘consistent, considered advice’ and have ‘a good breadth of knowledge’.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s client list includes London Metal Exchange, AstraZeneca and Google. Omar Shah was recruited from Latham & Watkins, and of counsel Joanna Christoforou joined from Ashurst.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘dedicated to finding a solution for clients’, with department head Guy Lougher standing out for his ‘great judgement, endless patience and an overwhelming desire to win for clients’. Ben Lasserson is also highly recommended. Clients include Groupe Eurotunnel, whose dispute with the CMA will go to the Supreme Court.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP acts for both defendants and claimants in the automotive, technology and retail sectors. Boris Bronfentrinker heads the practice, which includes Kate Vernon, who joined from DLA Piper, and Nicola Chesaites, who was recruited from the General Court of the European Union.

White & Case LLP acted for Toshiba Corporation in regard to the TV and computer monitor tubes cartel litigation and in the gas insulated switchgear cartel investigation. The practice also acts for clients in the pharmaceutical and banking sectors. Charles Balmain, Mark Powell and John Reynolds are recommended.

Winston & Strawn London LLP’s clients include Panasonic Corporation, Hitachi Metals and Actavis. Department head and managing partner, Peter Crowther, ‘understands businesses and markets and comes up with solutions that suit competition issues’. Jade-Alexandra Fearns is another key contact.

Criminal cartel defence firm BCL Solicitors LLP is considered ‘a go-to firm for criminal competition matters’. Recent highlights include advising individuals in the LIBOR investigation. Richard Sallybanks heads the team, which includes Ian Burton and Harry Travers.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has been advising clients in the leisure and hospitality, and energy sectors on merger-related competition matters. Ali Nikpay heads the practice.

Kingsley Napley LLP has been acting for individuals in the LIBOR investigation. Eve Giles is ‘a strong, tenacious and strategic defence lawyer who stands up for her clients’. Stephen Parkinson heads the practice.

Latham & Watkins is representing Singapore Airlines in the air cargo cartel litigation and is acting for London Metal Exchange in defending a judicial review application made by United Company Rusal concerning the client’s decision to introduce new warehousing rules. John Colahan and John Kallaugher are the key contacts. Omar Shah moved to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP has been acting for Asiana Airlines in the air cargo cartel litigation, and is representing ICAP plc in its appeal to the EC’s finding of alleged complicity in the manipulation of interest rate benchmarks governing derivatives. David Foster heads the team.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP combines both commercial competition litigation with criminal cartel defence work. Jonathan Tickner is a key contact on the commercial competition side, while Jasvinder Nakhwal and Michael O’Kane specialise in the criminal cartel side.

Simmons & Simmons’ practice acts for clients in the retail, aviation and energy sectors and specialises in multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. Tony Woodgate is a key contact.

Recent work for Taylor Wessing LLP’s practice include acting for clients in the pharmaceutical, retail and e-commerce sectors. Robert Vidal leads the practice, which includes Louisa Penny.

The ‘hugely impressive’ team at Travers Smith LLP acted for German-based technology group Schott in the cathode ray tube litigation, and is defending Renesas in the follow-on damages claim brought by Vodafone relating to the supply of smart card chips. Clients praise practice head Nigel Seay for his ‘real depth of expertise in competition law’ and Caroline Edwards, who is ‘an excellent all-round litigator’. Toby Robinson is also recommended.

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