EU and competition in Ireland
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.
‘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.‘
Irish Continental Group
Dalata Hotel Group plc
Bord Gais Energy
Pernod Ricard/Irish Distillers
Man Bus & Trucks
National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)
Belfast Harbour Commissioners
Nutricia Medical Ireland Limited
Future Ticketing Limited
Beauparc (formerly Panda Waste)
- 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.
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.
‘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.‘
Irish Cement Limited
Kennedy Wilson Europe
Allied Irish Banks plc
Department of Finance
National Treasury Management Agency
Paddy Power Betfair plc (t/a Flutter)
LacPatrick Cooperative Society Limited
Volvo and Renault Trucks
Total Produce plc
Sports Direct International
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Green REIT plc
- 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.
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.
‘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.‘
Elis S.A. / Berendsen
21st Century Fox
The Carlyle Group
Ticketmaster / Live Nation
CNH Industrial / Iveco
Fane Valley Co-Operative Society Limited
McKesson Corporation (United Drug)
The Blackstone Group L.P.
KKR & Co. Inc.
Platinum Equity Group
Nest Labs (Google)
Department of Communications
- 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.
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.
‘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.‘
AMP Capital Investors (Ireland)
Commercial Mushrooms Producers Co-Operative Society (CMP)
Independent News & Media
Irish Strategic Investment Fund
National Broadband Ireland (formerly enet consortium)
National Treasury Management Agency
Nicholl (Fuel Oils) Ltd
- 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 '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.
‘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.‘
Exponent Private Equity LLP / Enva Group
National Asset Management Agency
National Treasury Management Agency
Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association
Bristol Myers Squibb
Dublin Airport Authority
Vodafone Ireland plc
Commission for Communications Regulation
Electricity Supply Board
Bord na Móna
- 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 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.
‘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.‘
Aughinish Alumina Limited
Department of Finance
- 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.
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.
‘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.‘
Central Statistics Office
South Dublin County Council
Institutional Property Ireland
National Library of Ireland
- 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 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.
‘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.‘
InfraVia Capital Partners
Irish Petroleum Industry Association
Tedcastles Oil Products
Millstreet Equestrian Services
- 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 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.
‘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.‘
Health Service Executive
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
Volkswagen Group Ireland Limited
Lucozade Suntory Ribena
Data Protection Commission
Life Style Sports
Celtic Wind Crops
Cellstar Consortium (including Comcast International Holdings Inc. & Ganley International Ltd)
- 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.
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.
Sean Ryan; Neil O’Mahony
‘Sean Ryan is solid on merger applications.‘
‘Sean Ryan has an excellent unassuming manner with solid competition know-how.‘
Star Capital Partnership LLP
TIIC Advisor S.A.S and 3i Group plc
H2 Fund V
Eagle Target Ireland Holdings Limited
National Treasury Management Agency
- 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.
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.
‘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.‘
Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI)
University of Limerick
Bon Secours Health System
University College Cork
National University of Ireland, Galway
Education Procurement Service (EPS)
- 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.