EU and competition in Ireland

A&L Goodbody LLP

The 'very solid' team at A&L Goodbody LLP has extensive experience of large-scale merger control, high-profile competition litigation and investigations by the EU Commission and the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), and state aid. The team also advises on Brexit-related issues and provides dawn raid training. Newly appointed senior counsel Vincent Power SC, who has significant expertise in all areas of EU and competition law, particularly in the transport sector, leads the highly experienced team. Alan McCarthy specialises in EU and Irish merger control and Anna-Marie Curran is an expert in public procurement.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Power SC

Other key lawyers:

Alan McCarthy; Anna-Marie Curran; Lorna McLoughlin

Testimonials

‘Very experienced in Irish and EU competition law issues.’

‘Alan McCarthy can be counted upon to give careful, measured advice and has a wealth of experience in this field.’

‘A very solid team.’

‘Vincent Power is outstanding as an expert in the field and in looking for pragmatic solutions.’

‘Vincent Power is a giant in his field. Alan McCarthy is technically excellent and such a pleasure to work with. Anna-Marie Curran is the first port of call on procurement.’

A&L Goodbody continue to be highly valued for us in relation to competition law enforcement and dawn raid training and management.’

Key clients

MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH

Stars

Nutricia Medical Ireland Limited

Electricity Supply Board

CVC

Eircom (UK) Limited

Irish Water

Irish Ferries (part of Irish Continental Group plc)

Pernod Ricard (owner of Irish Distillers)

Future Ticketing Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH in relation to a large follow-on damages action in the Irish High Court.
  • Advised Stars on the filing in Ireland of its merger with Flutter/Paddy Power.
  • Acting for the Electricity Supply Board in relation to the merger notification of the proposed joint venture with Coillte in relation to the development of a wind farm project.

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox's 'extremely knowledgeable' team has been highly active advising on the merger control aspects of major transactions in the Irish market, as well as acting for clients in significant competition litigation and European Commission and CCPC investigations, offering a new dawn raid app to assist clients. The team also advises a number of government departments and state agencies on state aid matters. Practice head Richard Ryan has experience advising public bodies and leading Irish multinationals on all aspects of EU and competition law. The 'very impressivePatrick Horan is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Horan; Simon Breen

Testimonials

‘Richard Ryan is very committed to doing his best for the client, and is creative as well as careful.’

‘Navigated the tricky CCPC waters well and gave very practical legal advice along the way.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable and open to questions on specific industries with complex corporate structures.’

‘Efficient, effective, personable, and always well briefed on the nuances of our industry.’

‘Patrick Horan is very impressive.’

Key clients

Ryanair

Land Development Agency

Kerry Group plc

Intel

Phoenix Tower International

Davy

Covivio

Pandox

Archer Hotel Capital

CRH plc

Irish Cement Limited

Roadstone Limited

Flutter Entertainment plc

LN-Gaiety Holdings

Allied Irish Banks plc

Department of Finance

National Treasury Management Agency

Mediahuis N.V.

Insurance Ireland

Applegreen plc

Accenture

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation

MCD Productions

Volvo and Renault Trucks

Glanbia plc

Fyffes

Total Produce plc

Green REIT plc

National Broadband Ireland

Bank of Ireland

Independent News & Media

Ulster Bank

Greenergy

Greencore

Work highlights

  • Advised Flutter (which owns a number of gambling brands including Paddy Power and Betfair) on the Irish merger control aspects of its €12.2bn merger with The Stars Group.
  • Advising Insurance Ireland on the ongoing European Commission investigation concerning Insurance Ireland’s database, InsuranceLink.
  • Acting for CRH and its subsidiary Irish Cement in defending an investigation by the CCPC into bagged cement in Ireland.

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Highlighted for its 'excellent client service and strategic advice', Mason Hayes & Curran LLP has particular expertise in merger control, with experience advising on complex phase II mergers. High-profile competition litigation and CCPC investigations, state aid and public procurement are also key areas of strength for the team, which is particularly active in competition matters in the technology, media and energy sectors. The 'fantastic' Niall Collins leads the practice, while Tara Kelly has significant experience in advising private equity firms on competition matters, and Michael Madden specialises in media merger control and state aid.

Practice head(s):

Niall Collins

Other key lawyers:

Tara Kelly; Michael Madden; Liam Heylin; Laura Durning

Testimonials

‘Excellent client service, strategic advice on Irish competition issues and very well led by Niall Collins.’

‘Niall Collins is a fantastic lawyer to work with. He co-counsels on matters extremely well. His client service levels, knowledge and proactive attitude are real strengths.’

Key clients

Elis S.A.

CapVest Partners LLP

Ticketmaster / Live Nation

CNH Industrial / Iveco

The Blackstone Group L.P.

The Carlyle Group

Valero Energy

Discovery Communications

TELUS Corporation

21st Century Fox

Work highlights

  • Advising Elis S.A. and its subsidiary Berendsen Ireland Limited on the proposed acquisition of Kings Laundry Limited.
  • Acting for Live Nation/Ticketmaster in the ongoing investigation by the CCPC into suspected anti-competitive practices in the provision of tickets and ticketing services on the island of Ireland.
  • Acting for CNH Industrial, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Iveco Magirus and Iveco in their defence of proceedings issued against them for follow-on damages for alleged breach of EU competition law.

Matheson

The 'excellent' team at Matheson has significant strength in merger control relating to high-profile domestic and global M&A transactions, including complex phase II mergers. The team also has experience in competition litigation, investigations and dawn raids (and has launched its own dawn raid app), as well as advising on Covid-19 related state aid issues. Helen Kelly, who has particular expertise in the telecoms sector, and the 'remarkably erudite' Kate McKenna lead the team. Ronan Scanlan and new recruit Calum Warren, who joined from Latham & Watkins in November 2019, provide strong support at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Helen Kelly; Kate McKenna

Other key lawyers:

Ronan Scanlan; Calum Warren

Testimonials

‘Notwithstanding the specialisation by the partners in their fields of expertise, they appear to be not just knowledgeable but also reasonably up to date in other fields. This type of crossover knowledge and broader informal remit can be extremely useful in devising and advising on case strategy.’

‘Helen Kelly is an outstanding case manager and communicator. Kate McKenna is a remarkably erudite lawyer second guessing collateral issues.’

‘Kate McKenna and her team are approachable and provide practical advice. Kate is responsive and efficient.’

‘The Matheson EU and competition team blends its deep wealth of knowledge and experience of these particular areas of law with an ability to read its client’s needs and requirements quickly and comprehensively. In my dealings with them, I have found their advice to be solution focused, innovative, and very specific to the requirements of the situation. This is all delivered well within agreed timelines and in a communication style that is both technically excellent yet capable of being clearly understood by those of other disciplines. I have great confidence in the quality of knowledge and service provided by Matheson.’

‘Kate McKenna combines exceptional communications skills with, in my experience, unparalleled depth of legal knowledge and experience in EU and competition law. Kate honed in on the key issues, both legal and commercial, that needed to be addressed and dealt with those in a clear, succinct manner, and identified an innovative solution. In over three decades of managing commercial transactions, I have yet to identify a lawyer in the area of EU and competition law in whom I would have greater confidence than Kate.’

‘Matheson have an excellent team in place and have real strength in depth across a number of areas.’

‘Kate McKenna is excellent in her field.’

Key clients

Abtran

AMP Capital Investors (Ireland)

Aviva Group

Aramark

Arnotts

ASL Aviation

Boskalis

Brokers Ireland

College Proteins

Commercial Mushrooms Producers Co-Operative Society (CMP)

Credit Suisse

Carr Communications

Chapel Gate

Commscope

Daily Mail / DMGT

Discovery

Department for Energy

daa plc

Disney

EirGrid

enet

Energia

Enterprise Ireland

Fexco

FitBit

Guaranteed Irish

Indaver

Independent News & Media (INM)

Irish Strategic Investment Fund

Irish Distillers

Irish Heritage Trust

Irving Oil

JPI Media plc

Link Group

Monument Re

Monaghan Mushrooms

National Treasury Management Agency

Newsbrands

Nicholl (Fuel Oils) Ltd

Nomad Foods

Payac

Phillip Morris

Platinum Equity

Red Bull

Reach

Saint Gobain

Sazerac Company Inc

Sky UK

Sky Ireland

Sodexo

Sport Ireland

SSE

Parma Investments Limited

Star Capital

Stobart Group

Stock Spiri

Work highlights

  • Advising Link Group on a phase II merger control case arising from its acquisition of Pepper.
  • Achieved clearance before the CCPC for Parma Investments Limited in respect of the combination of the Galway, Hermitage and Blackrock Clinics.
  • Representing ASL Aviation in a court action for over €200m in damages against the European Commission for losses suffered as a result of the 2013 decision to prohibit the TNT/UPS merger.

McCann FitzGerald

McCann FitzGerald has 'great depth of coverage' across all areas of EU and competition law, but is particularly strong in merger control, regularly advising on high-profile domestic and cross-border M&A, as well as cartel investigations and private enforcement actions. The team is also experienced in advising multinationals and Irish state bodies on complex state aid issues, an area where Laura Treacy, who was previously head of the firm's Brussels office, has particular expertise. The 'exceptional' Philip Andrews leads the team, which also includes associate Seán O’Dea, who regularly advises on competition law compliance.

Practice head(s):

Philip Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Laura Treacy; Seán O’Dea

Testimonials

‘In our view, the McCann FitzGerald group is the most commercial team in the Irish market covering this space. Philip Andrews and Seán O’Dea are a pleasure to work with. They find creative solutions on complex matters, have excellent relationships with regulators and key influencers and the ability to simplify complex matters. Fair billing and good risk alignment.’

‘Philip Andrews is an exceptional competition partner. He has deep expertise, excellent regulatory relationships, and provides a balanced analysis and a creative way of conveying issues in regulatory submissions. Seán O’Dea is a highly capable associate with excellent client-facing skills and regulatory process management abilities.’

‘Philip Andrews is extremely responsive and easy to work with. Laura Treacy understands the client’s needs.’

‘One of the top practices in the country without question. Great depth of coverage across cartels, abuse of dominance, mergers, regulatory and litigation matters.’

‘Philip Andrews is one of Ireland’s leading competition practitioners.’

‘Laura Treacy and her associate Seán O’Dea were helpful, clear and responsive in their advice. Laura repeatedly made herself available at short notice to fit our schedule and took the time to talk through the issues in a practical context rather than simply sending long technical advice notes.’

‘Highly attentive to detail but very pragmatic, fabulous work ethic, stamina and great problem-solving ability. Work very well with in-house teams and are happy to lead commercial teams or liaise through in-house legal so are very respectful of internal legal teams and requirements.’

‘Seán O’Dea gave our team excellent detailed advice on state aid and the general block exemption regulation.’

Key clients

Coillte

Exponent Private Equity LLP / Enva Group

Vhi

Vodafone Ireland plc

Commission for Communications Regulation

Electricity Supply Board

DAF Trucks

Bord na Móna

Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association

BWG Foods

Dublin Airport Authority

Cemex

Lakeland Dairies

National Asset Management Agency

National Treasury Management Agency

BBC

Bristol Myers Squibb

Oaktree

Sisk

Sysco

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (in special liquidation)

Irish Life

Gas Networks Ireland

Brookfield

Deutsche Bank

London Stock Exchange

EQT Partners

Volkswagen

Work highlights

  • Advising Enva Environmental (backed by Exponent Private Equity LLP) on its acquisition of Rilta and on its compliance with its obligations under the divestment and access remedies.
  • Advising Coillte on the sale of its operating wind farm assets to Greencoat Renewables plc and its proposed renewable energy joint venture with the Electricity Supply Board, which is currently before the CCPC for review.
  • Acting for DAF Trucks in follow-on damages claims arising from the Commission decision of infringement of competition law rules.

William Fry

Headed by newly appointed senior counsel Cormac Little SC, William Fry's 'top competition law practice' has advised on merger control relating to some of the most complex, high-profile transactions in the Irish market, as well as investigations and litigation, including prominent state aid and abuse of dominance cases, public procurement and regulatory issues. Other key team members are Claire Waterson and experienced senior associate Sarah Lynam, who stand out for their expertise in sectoral regulation, most notably in telecoms, and the 'excellent' Sheila Tormey, who has particular strength in merger control and private damages actions.

Practice head(s):

Cormac Little SC

Other key lawyers:

Claire Waterson; Sheila Tormey; Sarah Lynam; Eoin Ó Cuilleanáin

Testimonials

‘Cormac Little stands out as the most pragmatic lawyer I have come across. He has an excellent knowledge of the subject and communicates very effectively with clients right up to the boardroom. Put simply, he is one of the standout partners in William Fry.’

‘Cormac Little and Claire Waterson are quietly and thoroughly competent, conscientious yet understated in their impressive work ethic. They are both professional, absolutely reliable, easy to deal with and have a calm and comforting approach in dealing with the client. Neither seek the limelight and are discreet and thoughtful. After many years dealing with them, I feel I can approach them with any problem and they will find a solution that I can work with. For an in-house counsel that is important.’

‘Claire Waterson is a gem. She works hard, is unflappable and works well with everyone.’

‘Sheila Tormey stands out for her domain expertise and client service.’

‘Very knowledgeable and professional team who always provide pragmatic and commercially sound advice.’

‘Cormac Little and Claire Waterson are excellent lawyers who are pragmatic and solutions focused.’

‘William Fry are a top competition law practice. Sheila Tormey is excellent. She really understands distribution – you can tell she’s been through the issues many times – and provides clear and pragmatic advice.’

‘Sarah Lynam is a very senior junior with huge tech expertise, particularly in telecoms.’

Key clients

Kings Laundry

Aughinish Alumina

Carlyle

Department of Finance

Phoenix Group Holdings

Apollo Global Management

FNZ

MML Growth Capital Ireland Limited

ComReg

SOLAS

Tesco Ireland Limited

The Pensions Authority

Uniphar

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Work highlights

  • Advising Phoenix Group Holdings on the Irish merger control aspects of its £3.2bn acquisition of ReAssure.
  • Advising the Department of Finance on the state aid and EU law aspects of the recovery of approximately €13–15bn of alleged state aid from Apple.
  • Advising on the rollout of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

LK Shields Solicitors LLP

LK Shields Solicitors LLP has significant experience of merger control in a range of industries, particularly the energy, media, healthcare and gaming sectors, in addition to acting in competition litigation and follow-on damages claims. The team also advises on state aid and compliance with EU regulations. Practice head Marco Hickey has a strong track record in contentious and non-contentious EU and competition matters.

Practice head(s):

Marco Hickey

Key clients

Scania AB

Reach plc

Viagogo AG

Boylesports

Gowan Group Limited

Millstreet Equestrian Services

TOP Oil

Designer Group

CareChoice Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Scania AB in its Irish legal proceedings following the European Commission’s finding of cartel infringement against MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, as well as the subsequent, and more recent, finding against Scania AB.
  • Advising Reach plc on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of the remaining 50% entire issued share capital of the Irish Daily Star, currently held by Independent News and Media Limited.
  • Advised Boylesports Limited on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of entire issued share capital of GT Retail Limited t/a Bruce Betting.

MON Legal Consulting

Specialist competition and regulatory firm MON Legal Consulting was established in 2018 by Maureen O’Neill, who is singled out as 'one of the strongest and most experienced competition and regulatory lawyers in Ireland'. O'Neill has extensive experience of high-profile merger control and competition investigations, advising public and private sector clients including the CCPC and the communications regulator. She also has notable expertise in telecoms regulatory work and competition law compliance advice.

Practice head(s):

Maureen O’Neill

Testimonials

‘Maureen O’Neill is regarded as one of the strongest and most experienced competition and regulatory lawyers in Ireland.’

Philip Lee

Singled out for its 'partner-led and delivered service', Philip Lee counts many Irish public bodies and international companies among its clients, with notable expertise in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. The team has been highly active advising on regulatory, state aid and public procurement issues related to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, and has additional experience of criminal prosecutions and competition enforcement actions. The 'very impressive' Ronan Dunne leads the team. Kerri Crossen and former practice head Philip Lee specialise in procurement.

Practice head(s):

Ronan Dunne

Other key lawyers:

Kerri Crossen; Philip Lee

Testimonials

‘Ronan Dunne is very impressive.’

‘The Philip Lee team strengths that differentiate them from other legal firms we deal with include their focus on providing comprehensive service to the client that is delivered in a comprehensive, practical and cost-effective manner. The services provided are very much a partner led and delivered service. Philip Lee’s excellent approach to building and maintaining client relationships is of particular note and most importantly they are there when you need them the most no matter how short the notice is.’

‘The knowledge and experience Kerri Crossen brings to managing our service requirements is exceptional, in particular her knowledge of regulation and legislation. Kerri has a great ability to present complex information relating to regulation and large-scale commercial projects in a way that that is easily understood. She is a pleasure to work with, very hands on and available.’

Key clients

Health Service Executive

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Roche Pharmaceuticals

Volkswagen Group Ireland Limited

Lucozade Suntory Ribena

Westmeath County Council

Kajima/Equitix

Data Protection Commission

National University of Ireland, Galway

National Development Finance Agency

Duke Street Private Equity

Work highlights

  • Advised the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on the European Commission’s revised Audio-Visual Media Services Directive.
  • Advising the Health Service Executive on an ongoing basis in relation to a wide range of procurement, competition and regulatory matters.
  • Providing regular advice to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland on state aid.

Beauchamps LLP

Beauchamps is experienced in advising domestic clients, particularly from the real estate and public sectors, on competition and state aid issues and public procurement. The team also handles merger control notifications and investigations, with 'exceptionally knowledgeable' practice head Dorit McCann, who is qualified in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and Ireland, well placed to advise on cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Dorit McCann

Testimonials

‘Dorit McCann and her team provide a unique experience of being able to advise on an all-island of Ireland basis on competition matters given her dual qualification. The team has an unrivalled depth of knowledge across EU law, in particular antitrust and procurement. It is leaner but just as strong and fast as its rivals.’

‘Dorit McCann gives top-quality advice and sees round corners for her clients. She has both breadth and depth of knowledge, both from the private and public client view point. One to have on your side when the going gets tough! Dorit has a lengthy and enviable client list and is a trusted adviser to many. She gets to grips with the detail and presents difficult concepts with consummate ease.’

‘Renowned for their subject matter expertise and excellent, proactive services.’

‘Dorit McCann is a leading practitioner in respect of public procurement and competition matters. We have always had excellent feedback for Dorit’s work.’

‘This practice have the ability to unpick complex legal and procurement issues and provide solution-focused advice.’

‘Dorit McCann is a standout competition lawyer. She is effective, highly responsive and provides practical advice.’

‘Dorit McCann is exceptionally knowledgeable in the subject matter. She provides very clear and concise advice on very complex issues. She is also very efficient. She communicates technical points in a manner that is understandable to non-lawyers and wider audiences.’

‘Full-service team, very responsive, with practical and succinct advice provided at all times.’

Key clients

Windsor Motors

Commission for Communications Regulation

Central Statistics Office

IDA Ireland

Skillnet

Enterprise Ireland

Institutional Property Investors

Work highlights

  • Advised 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 Irish Institutional Property on the application of competition law to trade associations.
  • Advised Skillnet on its policy regarding the Training Networks Programme 2020-2021, in particular the application of state aid rules.

DAC Beachcroft Dublin

DAC Beachcroft Dublin established its competition law practice in late 2019 with the arrival of the 'highly regarded' Joanne Finn and senior associate Elaine Davis from ByrneWallace LLP. The team is experienced in merger control at EU and national levels, and has considerable expertise in advising public bodies on state aid and procurement. In addition, Finn has particular strength in sectoral regulation, with an emphasis on energy and telecoms.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Finn

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Davis

Testimonials

‘DAC Beachcroft Dublin handles matters across the spectrum of competition and European law. The firm is a newcomer to the Irish market in terms of competition and European law and has been able to achieve instant recognition through Joanne Finn, who is well known and respected in the Irish market. Finn brings to DAC Beachcroft Dublin a reputation for providing comprehensive, sophisticated and strategic competition law advice to both domestic and international corporate clients.’

‘Joanne Finn is very highly regarded on the Irish market. She combines a deep understanding of the law with a keen ability to integrate complex competition law concepts with strategic and practical advice. Clients value her hands-on approach to understanding their businesses and the sectors in which they operate.’

‘Elaine Davis is an incredibly impressive associate.’

Key clients

Maxol Limited

Groupe BPCE

Ireland West Airport Knock

Kapsch TrafficCom AG

AT&T, WarnerMedia, Visa Europe

Vehicle Leasing Association of Ireland

Broderick Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Maxol Limited on EU and competition law and compliance matters.
  • Advising Ireland West Airport Knock on a range of EU and competition law issues, particularly in relation to sector-specific state aid.
  • Advising Kapsch TrafficCom on competition, procurement and regulatory matters in the transport sector.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland's practice is highly experienced in advising on Irish and EU merger control notifications, acting for both domestic and international clients. In addition, the team advises on state aid and general competition law compliance, and has assisted clients with their responses to dawn raids. Sean Ryan is the key name.

Practice head(s):

Sean Ryan; Neil O’Mahony

Key clients

STAR Capital Partnership LLP

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

Arachas Corporate Brokers Limited

MML Growth Capital Partners

National Treasury Management Agency

Capita PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) on all aspects of the merger control process regarding the proposed establishment of a full-function joint venture between the NTMA and Cork County Council.
  • Advised MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland on the merger notification of its significant investment into Eastland Engineering Supply Company Limited.
  • Advised Arachas Corporate Brokers Limited on all merger control aspects relating to its sale to Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC and HPS Investment Partners, LLC, shareholders in the Ardonagh Group.

Ronan Daly Jermyn

Merger control is a key area of activity for the Cork-based competition team at Ronan Daly Jermyn, which also has considerable expertise in advising public bodies and educational institutions on state aid, particularly in relation to state-funded research, and procurement issues. The team also offers a dawn raid response service to clients in the south and west of Ireland. Diarmaid Gavin leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Diarmaid Gavin

Other key lawyers:

Finola McCarthy

Key clients

FRS Network

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI)

Masco 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 Masco Group on the notification of its merger with BCD Engineering.
  • Advising Knowledge Transfer Ireland on state aid considerations relating to research and development.
  • Providing procurement advisory services to Cork City Council using the competitive dialogue procedure for its social housing programmes.