Competition in London Bar
For many 'the best competition litigation set' Brick Court Chambers has 'a large selection of high-quality competition law specialists who enable any instructing solicitor to have their pick of silks and juniors alike'. The set is well-represented in all manner of major cases, such as the trucks cartel case, in which James Flynn QC, Kelyn Bacon QC, and Daniel Jowell QC represent the Road Haulage Association, Iveco, and MAN respectively. Many members are involved in the high-profile Merricks v MasterCard case, with Mark Hoskins QC representing MasterCard in defence of a claim on behalf of a class comprising the majority of the UK population. Marie Demetriou QC, in addition to involvement in the Merricks case for the claimants, also represented the Competition and Markets Authority, defeating an appeal by Ping, which was sanctioned for banning online sales of its golf clubs, the first time the issue was considered by a British court – she was against Robert O’Donoghue QC , also from chambers. The set now also includes Jon Lawrence, who was called to the Bar in 2018 after spending over two decades as a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.
Monckton Chambers is 'a formidably strong set, with a critical mass of highly regarded members in this specialism'. The set has members instructed in all manner of competition cases, including the most high-profile cartel investigations, follow-on damages claims, and litigation over standard essential patents. Paul Harris QC represents the claimants in the Merricks collective action case, in which a litigation funder-backed class representative seeks to bring a claim against Mastercard concerning interchange fees, nominally on behalf of every UK resident who purchased anything from a Mastercard-accepting retailer in a sixteen year window. Jon Turner QC is defending Google in an abuse of dominant position claim brought by price comparison website Foundem; the claim concerns the placement of competing price comparison websites on Google's search engine. More unusually, on behalf of the States of Jersey, Kassie Smith QC carried out a review into the Jersey Competition and Regulatory Authority, after the Jersey Royal Court overturned a finding that a fuel supplier abused its dominant position at Jersey airport.
Blackstone Chambers 'deservedly has a very strong reputation in the competition world', with members instructed at the European and national levels on all manner of cartel cases, as well as having expertise in standard essential patent matters. Brian Kennelly QC and Hanif Mussa are instructed for the European Commission in General Court proceedings concerning the fining of Deutsche Bahn and others over €800m for a freight forwarding cartel – Kennelly QC also leads a team representing Scania in litigation concerning the trucks cartel case. In addition, numerous members of chambers had involvements in an arbitration between Queens' Park Rangers and the English Football League concerning the Financial Fair Play rules, including Thomas de la Mare QC as first instance arbitrator, Kieron Beal QC and James Segan for the English Football League, and Lord David Pannick QC for QPR.