EU and competition in Ireland

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody's 'universally respected' team advises on the full range of EU and competition law, including merger control notifications, state aid, public procurement, EU law and competition compliance. The team also has a strong reputation for handling EU and Irish competition litigation and advises clients on dawn raid responses and investigations by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the European Commission. The practice is led by 'exceptional competition lawyer' Vincent Power, who has extensive experience, particularly in EU transport law. Alan McCarthy specialises in advising on the EU and Irish merger control implications of M&A and joint ventures, and Anna-Marie Curran is highly regarded for procurement matters.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Power

Testimonials

We regularly receive thoughtful, expert advice from the team on a range of difficult competition law questions, including litigation support.

Alan McCarthy can be relied upon for sound advice and commercial judgement.

Associate Jessica Egan is a good support.

The team at A&L Goodbody is peerless in the Irish market. Vincent Power, Alan McCarthy and Anna-Marie Curran are universally respected and between them have more experience than any other competition team in the country. All are exceptionally hardworking and extremely well attuned to their clients’ objectives. If you are confronted with a tricky competition or procurement issue, they are the team to go to.

Vincent Power is an exceptional competition lawyer and arguably the most experienced and respected practicioner in the Irish market. The quality of his advice and judgement is second to none. Vincent has a great ability to navigate the most complex of situations and get a client to their desired objective, no matter what the odds.

Key clients

ESB

Irish Continental Group

Comcast

Renault

Heineken

CapVest

Dalata Hotel Group plc

ABP

Bord Gais Energy

Pernod Ricard/Irish Distillers

Man Bus & Trucks

Permanent tsb

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

eir

Ervia

ABP

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Capi-Lux

Nutricia Medical Ireland Limited

TII

Future Ticketing Limited

AIB

Beauparc (formerly Panda Waste)

Work highlights

  • Advising Man SE and Man Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH on the first material competition law damages action in Ireland.
  • Advising Comcast on the media merger notification for its proposed acquisition of Sky by way of a public offer.
  • Defending Pernod Ricard (owner of Irish Distillers) in a wide-ranging EU and Irish competition law claim by Protégé in relation to an alleged abuse of dominance.

Arthur Cox

The 'excellent' team at Arthur Cox counts major Irish plcs, multinationals, and government departments and agencies among its clients. It has longstanding experience advising on competition investigations and dawn raids, as well as merger control, state aid and the competition aspects of commercial agreements, and has handled high-profile competition litigation, including follow-on actions for damages. Practice head Richard Ryan is representing clients in all of the major ongoing investigations by the European Commission and the CCPC. The recently promoted Patrick Horan, who is 'a standout performer in the Irish market', is also a key contact. Florence Loric departed for an in-house role at ComReg.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ryan

Testimonials

Patrick Horan is tremendous to work with and the best competition lawyer we have worked with across Europe. His grasp of niche economic business matters with the law made us feel very comfortable.

This team has taken so much complexity out of the deal and made our lives far easier than I have ever experienced before.

Patrick Horan is exceptionally organised, hugely articulate and possesses the deep domain experience required to untangle the critical issues in a complex merger case. With Patrick, you get far more wisdom and experience than should make sense for his age.

Excellent. Professional advice based on a thorough understanding of the law and our business.

Highly intelligent, competent, personable individuals who are dedicated to providing timely, comprehensive advice.

Patrick Horan and Richard Ryan are both excellent lawyers.

Patrick Horan is a standout performer in the Irish market. He has a very strong understanding of the rules and is very commercially minded. He has a deep understanding of our business and is a pleasure to work with.

Key clients

CRH plc

Irish Cement Limited

Roadstone Limited

Kennedy Wilson Europe

LN-Gaiety Holdings

Allied Irish Banks plc

Department of Finance

National Treasury Management Agency

Paddy Power Betfair plc (t/a Flutter)

Aer Lingus

Applegreen plc

Mediahuis NV

Accenture

LacPatrick Cooperative Society Limited

Insurance Ireland

MCD Productions

Volvo and Renault Trucks

Total Produce plc

Fyffes

Glanbia plc

SkyBet

Sports Direct International

CapVest

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Granahan McCourt

Green REIT plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Insurance Ireland in relation to a dawn raid conducted by the European Commission and the ongoing investigation concerning motor insurance in Ireland.
  • Advising LN-Gaiety Holdings on the Irish merger control aspects of its acquisition of MCD Productions.
  • Advising the Department of Finance and the National Treasury Management Agency on state aid and procurement matters relating to the establishment and operation of Home Building Finance Ireland.

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Merger control is a particular strength for Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, but the 'strong' team has also been active in high-profile investigations, litigation, state aid and procurement matters. The practice is well known for advising on competition matters in the media, technology and energy sectors, and also acts for a number of private equity firms. 'Standout' team head Niall Collins has extensive merger control experience; newly promoted partner Tara Kelly, who is 'extremely hardworking and tenacious', has expertise in international competition investigations; and Michael Madden specialises in state aid, media mergers and economic regulation.

Practice head(s):

Niall Collins

Testimonials

Excellent quality advice.

Tara Kelly is extremely hardworking and tenacious. Charm, intellect and work ethic of the highest order.

Niall Collins is the standout in a strong team. Commercial, charming and with a forensic approach to detail, he is a delight to work with.

We always use Mason Hayes as our first port of call due to the excellent experiences we have had to date.

Niall Collins and Tara Kelly are extremely responsive and always available to discuss key aspects of the Irish merger control regime.

Key clients

Elis S.A. / Berendsen

21st Century Fox

The Carlyle Group

Ticketmaster / Live Nation

CNH Industrial / Iveco

Discovery Communications

FBD Insurance

Endless LLP

Fane Valley Co-Operative Society Limited

Valero Energy

McKesson Corporation (United Drug)

The Blackstone Group L.P.

KKR & Co. Inc.

Kerry Group

Platinum Equity Group

Amazon

Nest Labs (Google)

British Telecommunications

Department of Communications

Facebook

Work highlights

  • Advising Live Nation/Ticketmaster on the CCPC’s ongoing investigation into the ticketing sector.
  • Advising Elis on its proposed acquisition of Kings Laundry. The transaction was recently cleared by the CCPC in phase II, subject to legally binding commitments.
  • Advised The Blackstone Group on the Irish merger control aspects of its investment in TaskUs.

Matheson

Noted for its 'strong reputation in competition law', Matheson advises on the full range of matters, including merger control (relating to Irish and global mergers), competition litigation, state aid and competition investigations, with particular strength in defending clients against allegations of abuse of dominance. The team acts for leading domestic and international clients from a range of sectors, especially TMT, financial services, food and beverages, energy and life sciences. The 'impressive' Helen Kelly leads the practice and is highly regarded for merger control, investigations, state aid and behavioural competition issues. Kate McKenna has expertise in the telecoms, financial and life sciences sectors and senior associate Ronan Scanlan has extensive experience in merger control investigations.

Practice head(s):

Helen Kelly

Testimonials

Very strong reputation in competition law. Irish and EU expertise and regulatory experience combines to make this a full-service antitrust offering.’

Helen Kelly remains very impressive – incisive, helpful and wonderfully responsive.

Senior associate Ronan Scanlan is very helpful and has good experience on which to draw to make sure advice is efficiently delivered.

Key clients

Abtran

AMP Capital Investors (Ireland)

Aramark

Arnotts

ASL Aviation

Boskalis

College Proteins

Commercial Mushrooms Producers Co-Operative Society (CMP)

Credit Suisse

daa plc

Disney

EirGrid

enet

Enterprise Ireland

Fexco

FitBit

Indaver

Independent News & Media

Irish Strategic Investment Fund

Irving Oil

Monaghan Mushrooms

National Broadband Ireland (formerly enet consortium)

National Treasury Management Agency

Newsbrands

Nicholl (Fuel Oils) Ltd

Nomad Foods

Payac

Phillip Morris

Work highlights

  • Advising Independent News & Media plc on the competition aspects of its ongoing public takeover by Mediahuis.
  • Advising ASL Aviation on its action for damages against the European Commission for losses suffered as a result of the Commission’s 2013 decision to prohibit the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by UPS.
  • Advising an insurance body on the CCPC’s investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the private motor insurance sector in Ireland.

McCann FitzGerald

McCann FitzGerald 'excels in the area of EU and competition law': the team has been highly active in advising on merger control, as well as cartel investigations and state aid. In addition, the team has extensive experience in competition litigation. It counts major domestic and international corporates and state bodies among its clients, with significant expertise in the telecoms and energy sectors. Practice head Philip Andrews has 'vast experience' in complex merger control and investigations. Laura Treacy, who was promoted to partner in May 2019, is based in the firm's Brussels office, while associate Seán O’Dea, who has experience in significant merger control matters, returned to the Dublin office from Gilbert + Tobin.

Practice head(s):

Philip Andrews

Testimonials

Unrivalled expertise in this speciality

Philip Andrews has a comprehensive understanding of this speciality. He is a great communicator.

Excellent knowledge and experience of the Irish competition authority machinations

The combination of Philip Andrews’ vast experience in this field with Laura Treacy’s practical on-the-ground experience in Brussels makes them a formidable team. They understand the nuances of EU and competition law and are always fully up to date with the most recent case law as well as prospective developments in the field and can guide accordingly.’

Philip Andrews and Laura Treacy are both extremely thorough and knowledgeable. They leave one in no doubt that all angles have been explored and all risks measured. Equally they are commercially focused and good at translating technical areas of law to the business.

Philip Andrews is a tough negotiator and has excellent knowledge of regulatory provisions and legislation in the area.

Their expertise in the area of EU and competition law was evident from the team’s ability to analyse the facts presented to them to provide clear, reasoned advice tailored to our requirements.

Both Philip Andrews and Seán O’Dea were very responsive in their dealings with us and displayed a genuine interest in the subject matter and willingness to really understand and meet our needs as a client.

Philip Andrews and Seán O’Dea are a top-class team. Besides their in-depth knowledge of competition law, their measured and practical approach brings added value.

Top-quality advice, practical solutions, client focused

They understand competition law and how to engage effectively with the competition agency.

Philip Andrews is a well experienced competition lawyer in Ireland. He shows good leadership and works to achieve workable solutions.

Seán O’Dea is very courteous and professional. His papers are easy to read and understand as he deals with the issues raised in a timely fashion.

McCann FitzGerald excels in the area of EU and competition law. The depth of knowledge of their partners, who are well supported by excellent associate staff and resources, make for an unparalleled offering to clients in this area.

Key clients

BWG Foods

Cemex

Exponent Private Equity LLP / Enva Group

Vhi

Lakeland Dairies

National Asset Management Agency

National Treasury Management Agency

BBC

Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association

Bristol Myers Squibb

Dublin Airport Authority

Oaktree

Sisk

Sysco

Vodafone Ireland plc

Commission for Communications Regulation

DAF Trucks

Coillte

Electricity Supply Board

Bord na Móna

Work highlights

  • Acting for DAF Trucks in follow-on damages claims in Ireland arising from the European Commission’s decision on the infringement of competition law rules.
  • Advising the Voluntary Health Insurance Board on proceedings alleging abuse of dominance brought by medical service providers.
  • Advising ESB on a range of state aid, antitrust and EU regulatory issues connected with its fibre-to-the-building joint venture with Vodafone, SIRO, including the implications for ESB of the National Broadband plan.

William Fry

William Fry has a strong reputation for advising on merger control, particularly the negotiation of remedies with the CCPC, and is active in state aid and public procurement matters. The practice also handles competition litigation and investigations by the EU Commission and the Irish competition authority. 'Outstanding competition lawyer' Cormac Little leads the practice and is experienced in merger control, competition investigations and procurement. The 'excellent' Claire Waterson has expertise in sectoral regulation, particularly telecoms, and state aid; Sheila Tormey specialises in merger control, behavioural issues and private damages actions; and senior associate Sarah Lynam's experience includes advising on merger control and abuse of dominance.

Practice head(s):

Cormac Little

Testimonials

Cormac Little is an outstanding competition lawyer. He gives excellent advice and is able to effectively communicate in a way that overcomes the complexities of the law.

Frys have an excellent, easy to interact with and responsive competition team.

Cormac Little and Claire Waterson are both excellent lawyers and both have a calm approach and provide efficient and well-reasoned responses.

Key clients

Aughinish Alumina Limited

Carlyle

Hammerson

Diageo

Irish Times

Pensions Authority

Department of Finance

Uniphar

Solas

ComReg

Work highlights

  • Representing Aughinish Alumina in ongoing state aid proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
  • Advising a truck manufacturer on follow-on competition litigation in the Irish courts.
  • Advised Carlyle on the EU merger regulation filing on the sale of Payzone to AIB/First Data.

Beauchamps

Known for its significant public sector client base, Beauchamps also assists clients in the property, banking, transport, agrifood, pharmaceutical and media sectors with competition matters. The team is particularly active in advising on merger control, procurement and state aid, as well as on competition investigations and litigation. Dual-qualified practice head Dorit McCann is noted for her 'broad range of competition experience' and expertise in advising clients with cross-border operations on merger control.

Practice head(s):

Dorit McCann

Testimonials

Dorit McCann has a very broad range of competition experience. Given that she has practised in Ireland and the UK she has an excellent cross-jurisdictional perspective.

I found Dorit McCann easy to work with. She was responsive and commercial, and her advice was clear and practical.

Key clients

Central Statistics Office

South Dublin County Council

Dale Farm

IDA Ireland

Institutional Property Ireland

Tusla

Arts Council

National Library of Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advising the Central Statistics Office on all aspects of the procurement process for the provision of a census processing system for the 2021 census in Ireland.
  • Advised Dale Farm on the competition issues regarding a potential transaction with its competitor LacPatrick Dairies.
  • Advising Institutional Property Ireland on the application of competition law to trade associations.

LK Shields Solicitors

LK Shields Solicitors provides 'top-notch competition advice' on contentious and non-contentious matters, including merger control (relating to cross-border and domestic transactions), competition litigation, state aid and complaints of infringement of EU and competition law. The team has particular experience advising on merger control matters involving Chinese state-owned enterprises investing in, or acquiring, Irish businesses. Clients are drawn from a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, energy, media and gaming. Marco Hickey, who is noted for his 'great commercial awareness combined with a first-rate competition brain', leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Marco Hickey

Testimonials

Their experience of CCPC processes and precedents is very valuable. It allows them to provide proactive advice, which is received with confidence.

Very pragmatic in their dealings with the CCPC, always focused on the client’s best interests. Great understanding of deal structure and client objectives integrated with top-notch competition advice.

Marco Hickey has great commercial awareness combined with a first-rate competition brain.

Key clients

Reach plc

InfraVia Capital Partners

SS&C Technologies

Scania AB

Irish Petroleum Industry Association

Designer Group

Boylesports

CareChoice

Tedcastles Oil Products

Millstreet Equestrian Services

Work highlights

  • Provided competition advice to the shareholders of Tedcastles Group on the disposal of Top Oil to Irving Oil.
  • Advised Scania AB regarding a cartel investigation by the European Commission and litigation in Ireland that followed on from the subsequent finding of competition law infringement.
  • Provided competition advice to Reach Plc on its acquisition of certain assets of Northern & Shell.

Philip Lee

Philip Lee counts a number of domestic and international corporates and public sector bodies among its clients, particularly in the automotive, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, broadcasting and telecoms, energy, and construction sectors. The team is highly active in advising on merger control, state aid and procurement, and also has longstanding experience in competition law enforcement actions. The 'exceptional' Ronan Dunne, who recently took over as practice head, has particular expertise in merger control and state aid. Managing partner Philip Lee is highly regarded for procurement.

Practice head(s):

Ronan Dunne

Testimonials

Ronan Dunne is an absolute pleasure to work with. He is readily available and always delivers top-quality work within the agreed timelines. Ronan has an exceptional ability to communicate complicated legal topics to those without a legal background.

Key clients

Health Service Executive

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Volkswagen Group Ireland Limited

Ryanair

AIB plc

Lucozade Suntory Ribena

Data Protection Commission

PEI

Life Style Sports

BAM Ireland

Aqua Comms

Horseware

Mr Price

Exertis

Celtic Wind Crops

De Danú

Kingswood Computing

Corrib Oil

Stafford Fuels

Cellstar Consortium (including Comcast International Holdings Inc. & Ganley International Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on a range of matters, including the European Commission’s revised Audio-Visual Media Services Directive.
  • Advised the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland on state aid matters in the energy sector.
  • Advised Celtic Wind Crops on the legal regime applicable to its cannabis-related products.

Eversheds Sutherland

Merger control is a key area of focus for Eversheds Sutherland, which regularly advises its Irish and international clients on domestic and EU merger notifications. The team also has experience in advising on state aid and competition law compliance, including advising on follow-on actions, and assists with responding to dawn raids. Practice head Sean Ryan, who is noted for his 'solid competition know-how', has particular expertise in state aid and complaints to the Irish and European competition authorities.

Practice head(s):

Sean Ryan; Neil O’Mahony

Testimonials

Sean Ryan is solid on merger applications.

Sean Ryan has an excellent unassuming manner with solid competition know-how.

Key clients

Blue Insurance

Panda

Beauparc

Star Capital Partnership LLP

Musgrave Group

TIIC Advisor S.A.S and 3i Group plc

Tetrarch

Rilta Group

H2 Fund V

Eagle Target Ireland Holdings Limited

National Treasury Management Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised Blue Insurance on the merger control process in relation to its acquisition by Zurich Group.
  • Advising Panda on all merger control aspects of its acquisition of Knockharley landfill and Kilcullen landfill.
  • Advised Beauparc on all aspects of its joint notification to the European Commission regarding the acquisition of indirect joint control of Beauparc Utilities Holdings Limited by global asset manager Blackstone Group.

Ronan Daly Jermyn

Noted for its 'expertise and excellent communication', Ronan Daly Jermyn has extensive experience of advising on merger control, particularly media merger notifications, procurement, and dawn raids and regulatory investigations. The team also has significant expertise in advising its strong education sector client base on the state aid rules for state-funded research and development projects. Cork-based Diarmaid Gavin leads the practice and counts multinationals and public sector bodies among his clients.

Practice head(s):

Diarmaid Gavin

Testimonials

Expertise, excellent communication, efficient, transparent billing, and the ability to provide remote service

Diarmaid Gavin and Gillian Keating are good listeners – they understood our business and its needs and provided clear and timely advice and communication.

Key clients

FRS Network

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI)

SCIF Group

University of Limerick

Munster Rugby

Connaught Rugby

Bon Secours Health System

University College Cork

National University of Ireland, Galway

Education Procurement Service (EPS)

Work highlights

  • Advised Landmark Media group on the merger control implications of the sale of its print and broadcast media interests to The Irish Times.
  • Advised Knowledge Transfer Ireland on state aid.
  • Advised Garrycastle Stores on the merger control implications of its acquisition by Tedcastles.