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Who Represents Who

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The ‘renowned’ EU and competition practice at DWF is praised for its ‘pragmatic and commercial advice’ and ‘in-depth expertise’ in state aid, public procurement, funding and regulatory issues. Clients also benefit from its close links with the firm’s Brussels office. The team is advising Mexichem UK and Mexichem Group on an ongoing European Commission investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Honeywell and DuPont, and is acting for Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council on grants to a culture and visitor centre in the North East, and on a European Commission investigation. The firm also handles state aid matters for the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council, and is continuing to act for Birmingham City Council and Finance Birmingham on the administration of the £300m AMSCI fund for supporting supply chain manufacturing and engineering companies in England. Based across the Manchester and Leeds offices, ‘Exceptional’team head Jonathan Branton, who splits his time between Manchester and Leeds, is highly regarded for state aid matters, and is handling a raft of Brexit-related issues for clients. Other key figures include senior associate Jay Mehta, who specialises in EU funding and information access matters; Michael Mousdale, who is an expert in local government and public procurement work; and Howard Cartlidge, who leads the London team.

Spread across its Liverpool and Manchester offices, Weightmans LLP’s competition practice handles a range of matters across the healthcare, food and insurance sectors, and also advises local authorities, universities, developers and venture funds on state aid issues relating to grants, loans and deal structures. Highlights included advising IKO on the clearance of its merger with Pure Asphalt Company; assisisting Surrey and Sussex Police on the joint purchase of managed digital services from Telefónica; and acting for Greyhound Media Group on the EU matters relating to the establishment of a consortium for the joint promotion and sale of media rights to greyhound races. The team also delivered competition advice to John West in relation to its supply contracts with supermarkets. Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Motor Insurers’ Bureau and Stobart Group are also clients. Department head Laurence Pritchard regularly handles merger control issues as well as advising on anti-competitive agreements and practices. His track record includes acting on high-profile investigations carried out by the Office of Fair Trading, Competition Commission, Competition and Markets Authority and European Commission. Gary Jones handles state aid matters and advises on grant and loan funding, regeneration projects and contract procurement. Also recommended are procurement specialist Vincent King and Martin Vincent.

The ‘highly responsive’ and ‘efficient’ team at Addleshaw Goddard attracts praise for providing ‘high-quality advice’. Its expertise covers merger control matters and competition litigation, as well as antitrust issues, market investigations and state aid across the retail, financial services, public sector and regulated utility industries. Highlights for the team included providing merger control advice to Andrew Page on the sale of a majority of its car parts business to LKQ Corporation; and acting for Manchester Airports Group on issues arising from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s first investigation under the Competition Act 1998, which involved price-fixing arrangements with a parking operator at East Midlands Airport; the firm successfully negotiated a reduction of the CAA’s proposed £12.5m fine against the client to zero. On the contentious side, the team represented six clients in follow-on damages proceedings commenced in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Vita Cellular Foams (UK) and Vita Industrial (UK) related to a European Commission investigation into anti-competitive conduct in the polyurethane foam sector. Merseytravel, Cheshire East Council and Sainsbury's are also clients. Key figures include national team head Bruce Kilpatrick and Rona Bar-Isaac, who are primarily based in London; Mark Molyneux, who heads the competition litigation team; and associate Clare Walker, who has ‘excellent project-management skills and provides commercially sound and practical advice’.

The ‘excellent’ team at Squire Patton Boggs provides ‘very knowledgeable and accurate’ advice and is adept at private enforcement and judicial review proceedings and merger control, and regularly advises on antitrust enforcement investigations by the UK competition authorities and the European Commission. The team works closely with colleagues across the UK and Europe and particularly benefits from close links with its Brussels office. It is representing BritNed in a damages claim against ABB in the High Court arising out of ABB’s participation in the power cables cartel, and is advising Synthomer on merger control issues regarding its acquisition of Hexion Performance Adhesives and Coatings business, which included obtaining merger control clearances in the USA, Germany and Poland. Ashtead Group, Peninsula Business Services and Cathay Pacific are also clients. Diarmuid Ryan works across the London and Manchester offices and is ‘very experienced’ in competition authority investigations, merger control, commercial agreements and disputes, and also advises on compliance and dawn raid programmes. Senior associate Nicola Elam is experienced in antitrust matters.

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