Firms To Watch: EU and competition

Beale & Co’s competition team welcomed the arrival of new practice head Paul Henty from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in July 2021; he advises on merger control issues, behavioural competition matters and state aid.
Cooley (UK) LLP made a notable hire for its London base in March 2022, with well-regarded practitioner Caroline Hobson joining from CMS.
Founded in Brussels, competition boutique Geradin Partners launched a London office in May 2021 with the recruitment of Tom Smith from the Competition and Markets Authority, where he was a legal director. Smith jointly leads the practice alongside founding partner Damien Geradin, who splits his time between the firm’s Brussel and London bases.
Led by Alex Stratakis, Van Bael & Bellis (London) LLP launched a London competition team in September 2020; the practice covers a broad range of matters from merger control, cartels and horizontal agreements to abuse of dominance, distribution and UK subsidy control.
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EU and competition in London

Linklaters LLP

Well-regarded for its ability to marry a ‘high calibre, technical capability‘ with a ‘commercial and pragmatic’ approach, Linklaters LLP‘ sizeable practice is consistently engaged by some of the biggest companies in the world for assistance in high-stakes regulatory, transactional, and contentious matters. In recent months, the team has concentrated its position in the healthcare and technology sectors, advising on takeover bids, contractual breaches, and foreign investment clearance matters. Global antitrust and foreign investment head Nicole Kar maintains a prolific merger investigations practice, and serves as a key adviser to a diverse roster of financial institutes, retailers, mining groups, and healthcare operators. The group’s wide-ranging expertise in UK utility regulation – including sectoral regulator-led investigations and price control appeals – is underpinned by Natura Gracia, a dual-qualified (English and Spanish) public procurement specialist who regularly advises a range of water companies and energy providers. Simon Pritchard is consistently engaged for his track record in Phase 2 merger inquiries, cartel investigations, and merger litigations, while Anna Mitchell is particularly strong in UK and EU merger control, investigations, and market studies. Managing associate Verity Egerton-Doyle, noted for her experienced in CMA merger investigations and CA98 cases, is especially well-versed in tech and life sciences matters. Cartel investigations specialist Rachel Hetherington is also recommended. Christian Ahlborn has  left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Kar

Other key lawyers:

Simon Pritchard; Natura Gracia; Anna Mitchell; Verity Egerton-Doyle; Jonathan Ford; Lauren O’Brien

Testimonials

‘Linklaters offers high-quality UK and EU advice in  both competition law and financial regulatory law. Our experience has been that they are good about delegating work to the appropriate level which provides better value than some otherwise similar firms. We also value their antitrust strength and depth beyond the EU on multi-jurisdictional questions.’

‘Practical and commercial. Dedicated to getting the job done, quality advice delivered with good humour and a collaborative approach.’

‘Simon Pritchard and Lauren O’Brien were next to me in the trenches for weeks on end. They had a real sense of shared endeavour, and maintained positivity and commercial insight/balance throughout.’

‘Great availability and responsiveness of key individuals; strength in depth; advice that is sensitive to the commercial context in which clients operate.’

‘Jonathan Ford is highly responsive and effective, and delivers context-sensitive advice. Natura Gracia is very impressive and good to work with.’

‘What makes them unique is the high calibre, technical capability of the team, coupled together with their ability to deliver commercial and pragmatic advice quickly and concisely.’

‘Rachel Hetherington and Jonathan Ford stand out for their ability to work consistently under pressure whilst maintaining a sense of humour and delivering excellent legal advice.’

‘Excellent breadth of knowledge of competition law; always our go-to in the event of any competition, regulation, or antitrust legal needs.’

Key clients

Scotia Gas Networks , Northern Gas Networks and Wales & West Utilities Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water

BGL Group Limited

GBST Holdings Limited

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

JD Sports Fashion PLC

Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners (Brookfield) and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP)

Dialog Semiconductor plc

Unilever

Teneo Restructuring Limited

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May‘s ‘top-class‘ competition group possesses market-leading multijurisdictional capabilities across the full scope of antitrust investigations, merger control cases, subsidy control issues, and consumer law matters. The ‘wonderful‘ global competition co-chair Bertrand Louveaux is reputed for the depth of his practice, advising a mix of blue-chip manufacturers, financial services providers, and tech companies both on transactional matters and before the various regulatory authorities. Fellow global co-chair Claire Jeffs routinely coordinates merger approvals on a global scale, and is also noted for her experience in cartel and other behavioural cases. Philippe Chappatte is a highly experienced EU and UK competition law adviser, with recent highlights including proposed acquisitions in the biotech and health tech sectors. Multinational tech companies and sovereign states alike turn to Isabel Taylor for her expertise in state aid, subsidy control, and competition authority investigations – both at home and abroad. Lisa Wright ‘s recent focus encompasses e-commerce and financial services, while William Turtle has handled matters for the full scope of consumer goods manufacturers – from food and drink to luxury products. Senior counsel Tina Zhuo is also recommended. Jonathan Slade was promoted to partner in May 2022. All named lawyers work between the firm’s London and Brussels offices.

Practice head(s):

Bertrand Louveaux; Claire Jeffs

Other key lawyers:

Philippe Chappatte; Isabel Taylor; Lisa Wright; William Turtle; Tina Zhuo; Jonathan Slade

Testimonials

‘Top-class firm. Highly experienced in the biggest and most difficult transactions. They will tell you with as much certainty as anyone can what is going to happen to your deal at the outset which is hugely valuable.’

‘Bertrand Louveaux is a standout partner. Vastly experienced and unafraid to tell you what you need to hear. He is worldly but grounded, and it’s very useful have someone like Bertrand who understands the political dimension of a transaction.’

‘Slaughter and May are just the best. They have a seemingly endless conveyor belt of excellent associates who complement the market-leading knowledge and gravitas of the senior partners.’

‘They know the law back to front. They’re on top of all the debates on current legal changes, and there are many. They are involved in the cases which are driving them. They know our (complex) business well. They command a room. Bertrand Louveaux is our lead partner, and is just wonderful.’

Key clients

Booking Holdings

British Airways/IAG

Daily Mail and General Trust

Diageo

Dignity

eBay

FNZ

GlaxoSmithKline

Google

Illumina

INEOS

Meggitt

Moody’s

Meta (formerly Facebook)

Nuance Corporation

Richemont (Compagnie Financière Richemont SA)

S&P Global

Suez

Ultra Electronics Holding

UK Government

Vodafone

Warner Music Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Google in relation to various investigations and market studies by the competition authorities in Europe (notably the EC, the UK CMA and the French Competition Authority), as well as globally (Japan, Australia, and South Africa) in relation to online platforms and digital advertising.
  • Advising Illumina on its $8bn acquisition of Grail, the first case called in by the European Commission under its new Article 22 policy, including the Commission’s Phase 2 review and the parallel application to the General Court to annul the Commission’s decision.
  • Advising S&P Global on international filings for its proposed $44bn merger with IHS Markit.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s antitrust team is a premier choice for a stellar line-up of financial services heavyweights and market-leading corporates spanning an exhaustive range of industries. London antitrust chair Mark Friend is a veteran market presence noted for the depth of his expertise in high-stakes mergers, State Aid matters, and market dominance investigations – both at the domestic and EU level. Philip Mansfield, who heads up the global antitrust group, is especially well regarded for his capabilities in merger, cartel, and behavioural matters in the tech sector. Working between the firm’s London and Brussels offices, Dominic Long runs the firm’s UK NSI and FDI desk, working with various TMT, energy, and healthcare entities on cross-border merger clearances and cartel investigations. Also dividing her time between London and Brussels, Kristina Nordlander, who joined the practice from Sidley Austin LLP in January 2022, is a seasoned advisor who acts on numerous EU behavioural and State aid cases as well as high-profile litigation in the EU courts. Promoted to partner in May 2022, Thomas Masterman works on some of the most high-profile deals taking place in the market, with recent engagements including multi-billion-pound mergers for major energy and logistics companies. Alasdair Balfour has left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Friend; Philip Mansfield

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Long; Thomas Masterman; Kristina Nordlander

Key clients

Agoda (part of Booking.com)

American Tower Corporation

AP Moller Maersk

ASSA ABLOY

Cargill

Cisco

Direct Line Group

Exponent Private Equity

Grünenthal

Hitachi

Impact Investing Institute

Maersk Drilling

Macquarie

Marks & Spencer

NEC Corporation

Nickel Institute

NortonLifeLock

Poly (Polycom)

QatarEnergy

Rangers FC

Reckitt

Sage

Scottish Power

Seagate

Severn Trent

The Brink’s Company

Wittington Investments

Zoopla

Work highlights

  • Represented Scottish Power before the CMA in an appeal brought by a group of energy network companies against licence modifications made by Ofgem to implement network price controls for the period 2021-26.
  • Acting for NortonLifeLock on its proposed $8bn acquisition of FTSE100 cybersecurity developer Avast.
  • Acting for Maersk Drilling in relation to its planned merger with Noble Corporation.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘dedicated’ competition law team represents a number of household names including Amazon, Spotify and Mastercard. The team has a very strong practice in the tech, fintech and pharma sectors and also regularly advises on antitrust and foreign investment clearances for complex mergers. Greg Olsen, who has served on Bank of England and European Central Bank antitrust working groups, leads the team. He is supported by an impressive bench of partners including former Director of the CMA mergers group Nelson Jung and cartel and market investigations expert Alex Nourry . Sue Hinchliffe, who joined from General Electric in June 2021, brings more than 20 years of private practice experience to the team.

Practice head(s):

Greg Olsen

Other key lawyers:

Alex Nourry; Nelson Jung; Sue Hinchliffe; Jennifer Storey; Chandralekha Ghosh; Aniko Adam

Testimonials

‘The availability of senior partners together with the seamless integration of advice across multiple Clifford Chance practice groups was a key part of the success of a recent acquisition of ours.’

‘Diligent and with a clear understanding of client objectives and timelines’

‘Creative and solutions focused while being flexible and nimble’

‘Very dedicated, work well together, regular billing and updates’

‘Nelson Jung & Aniko Adam navigated an extremely difficult and complex anti-trust led auction process in a tight timeline.’

‘Greg Olsen manages the complexities very well; is always available and provides answers clearly and in plain English.

‘Jenny Storey wraps around the client and takes the time to understand complicated and non-standard structures.’

Key clients

Amazon

Spotify

Mondelez International

Mastercard

Comcast / NBCUniversal

General Electric

Inmarsat

Delivery Hero

CD&R

CVC

Work highlights

  • Advising Amazon on multi-jurisdictional merger filings associated with its acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios. The firm is advising on all merger fillings outside of the US, including the EU filing.
  • Advising Cellnex on its acquisition of Arqiva’s telecommunications towers business, which was cleared unconditionally by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) at Phase 1.
  • Represented Mastercard in securing conditional antitrust clearance for its €2.85 billion acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account (“A2A”) payments business.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

With a team of highly regarded partners covering a range of work including state aid, investigations and multi billion dollar mergers, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is praised by clients for providing ‘concrete advice‘. HSF’s competition group have a notable specialism in merger control work, having advised on deals for National Grid, Virgin Atlantic and Uber among others over the last 12 months. Global head of practice for competition, regulation and trade Stephen Wisking advises clients across a broad sweep of sectors including financial services, media and energy. Standout figures in his team are Susan Black, Kim Dietzel and the ‘excellent’ Veronica Roberts.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Wisking

Other key lawyers:

Susan Black; Kim Deitzel; Veronica Roberts; Andre Pretorius; Tim Briggs; Clemence Barraud; Danielle Secher

Testimonials

‘One of the best EU and Competition teams I have worked with in the City.’

‘Good technical knowledge explained in accessible way. Very responsive and gives definitive advice, not options and reams of black letter law. To the point and concise.’

‘Veronica Roberts is excellent, gives you confidence you are in safe hands, won’t sit on the fence; understands and appreciates the commercial perspective and will try to come up with a solution.

‘Great supporting team in Clemence Bernaud and Danielle Secher. Incredibly responsive and knowledgeable. Always available and work as a team seamlessly.

‘Great team, availability and depth of knowledge; good all-rounders, able to pick up subtle issues and deliver concrete advice.’

Key clients

NEC Software Solutions UK

National Grid

Stagecoach

Uber

MUFG

Iveco Group, CNH Industrial, and Stellantis (together “Iveco”)

Willis Towers Watson

General Mills

Virgin Atlantic Airways

GIC

Certares

Google

Sky

Bauer

Ardonagh Group

National Grid

Uber

NEC Software Solutions UK

National Grid

Stagecoach

Uber

MUFG

Iveco Group, CNH Industrial, and Stellantis (together “Iveco”)

Willis Towers Watson

General Mills

Virgin Atlantic Airways

GIC

Certares

Google

Sky

Bauer

Ardonagh Group

National Grid

Uber

Work highlights

  • Advised National Grid on its acquisition of Western Power Distribution (“WPD”), the UK’s largest electricity distribution business, for an equity value of £7.8 billion.
  • Advised Comcast and its subsidiary Sky in connection with the merger control aspects of the creation of a new joint venture company with ViacomCBS (SkyShowtime)
  • Advising Virgin Atlantic on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s 2022 interim price control and H7 price control reviews in relation to Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL)’s airport charges

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Leveraging its considerable global network, Hogan Lovells International LLP is well positioned to act for some of the world’s leading corporates on a host of big-ticket competition mandates. Practice head Christopher Hutton is a trusted adviser to a diverse roster of commercial banks, payment services providers, and tech companies, who turn to him for his experience in cross-border investigations and associated litigious proceedings. Veteran practitioner Susan Bright is an accomplished antitrust lawyer, while global telecoms head Angus Coulter advises widely on domestic competition issues in the TMT, life sciences, and retail sectors. The ‘exceptional’ Suyong Kim has most recently been engaged on the EC and CMA clearance aspects of various multi-billion dollar global transactions for consumer goods conglomerates and software companies. Counsel Alice Wallace-Wright is recommended for her expertise in unfair pricing investigations and anti-competitive conduct breaches. Mark Jones has left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Susan Bright; Angus Coulter; Suyong Kim; Alice Wallace-Wright

Testimonials

‘A knowledgeable and collaborative team who we have worked with for many years.’

‘Susan Bright is measured and knowledgeable with a strong track record.’

‘Alice Wallace-Wright is a real up and comer.’

‘Suyong Kim is exceptional.’

‘Great knowledge, experience, and attention to detail.’

Key clients

Dell Technologies

AmerisourceBergen Corporation

Vodafone Limited and Vodafone Group Plc

Bottomline Technologies (DE) Inc.

Novartis

The Crown Estate

Kraft Heinz

On the Beach

Kingfisher plc

Work highlights

  • Representing Kustomer in its nearly $1bn acquisition by Meta (Facebook).
  • Advised AmerisourceBergen on its $6.47bn acquisition of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s Alliance Healthcare, as well as retail pharmacy operations in Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway.
  • Secured a victory for the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) in its successful defence before the CMA of multiple appeals against its recent RIIO-2 price control decisions for the UK’s national transmission networks and regional gas distribution networks for the next few years.

Ashurst

Ashurst has a strong competition team with a wealth of experience in the field, notably supported by an in-house team of economists. The firm regularly advises on large mergers and cartel investigations. Nigel Parr and Euan Burrows respectively head Ashurst’s global and EMEA practices. Parr is described as ‘the best competition lawyer there is’ by one client. Duncan Liddell is another key partner and has a strong practice including advising on investigations into anticompetitive conduct. Steven Vaz has been involved in some of the firm’s key work this year and is noted by clients as a rising force.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Parr; Euan Burrows

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Liddell; Neil Cuninghame; Steven Vaz; Tom Punton; David Wirth; Danica Barley

Testimonials

‘An excellent well rounded team, with both technical and sector expertise, as well as commercial pragmatism. Ashurst’s main strengths also include its ability to call on its global office base for expertise in numerous jurisdictions. Many firms claim to have this feature, but Ashurst delivers a global service seamlessly.’

‘Willingness to invest the time and resources to get to know the company and its sector. Top quality lawyers at all levels, plus excellent economist support where required. Open communications and clear articulation of sometimes highly complex and nuanced legal concepts.’

‘Tom Punton has a unique ability to grasp market information and contextualise the advice in a clear and approachable manner.’

‘Euan Burrows. Exceptionally intelligent and thoughtful, and able to articulate highly nuanced legal concepts to non-experts. A real pleasure to work with. Nigel Parr is the best competition lawyer there is. Outstanding.’

‘Steven Vaz is a very knowledgeable younger partner who already punches above his weight but also is not afraid to effectively marshal the diverse experiences of his colleagues across the firm when appropriate to support client needs.’

‘We have worked with the Ashurst Competition team for around 20 years, which is fairly unique in the context of the company’s relationship with other legal providers. As might be expected from the length of this relationship, we regard Nigel Parr and the team as being genuine partners to us, and they have been at our side across all manner of key competition related projects over that period.’

‘Duncan Liddell has been willing to get to grips with the details and understand the commercial drivers involved, which means his advice is commercial and he offers solutions that other lawyers may miss.’

‘Stand out individuals include Neil Cuninghame. Great attention to detail and a safe pair of hands who, if required, will leave no stone unturned to ensure the right outcome. Neil is excellent for complex mergers.’

Key clients

Ryder

Intel

Royal Mail Group

AVEVA Group Plc

Bank of America

PPL Corporation

Babcock

Lloyds Banking Group

IHS Markit

Morrisons

Work highlights

  • Representing Ryder Limited before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in the largest individual damages claim in the UK arising from the Trucks Cartel.  
  • Acting for IHS Markit in connection with its $44bn merger with S&P Global.
  • Acted for Intel in the remittal to the EU General Court following its successful appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice of the General Court’s decision in 2014.

Baker McKenzie

Representing a collection of multinational clients across energy, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and numerous other sectors, Baker McKenzie has a ‘truly connected global practice’. Department head Keith Jones, alongside Samantha Mobley and Luis Alfonso Gómez , demonstrates experience in a range of matters. The firm acted on back to back multi-billion dollar transactions for Platinum Equity in 2021 and the team routinely works on the competition aspects of high-stakes and complex cross-border transactions. James Robinson offers expertise on cartel issues and investigations, advising on behavioural compliance, immunity and settlement.

Practice head(s):

Keith Jones

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Mobley; Luis Gomez; James Robinson; Karoline Phillips

Testimonials

‘The team is highly strategic and pragmatic and puts exceptional emphasis on client and industry knowledge.’

‘Keith Jones is a real strategic adviser, able to assist the general counsel in highly sensitive matters. He truly understands the client, the industry and the regulatory/enforcement environment. Keith understands that for a variety of reasons we need to use a broad range of firms and his friendly and casual personality makes teamwork very smooth and he can play the strategic adviser role in a way that his leadership is recognised and supported by the whole team.’

‘A truly connected global practice, with consistently high quality and commercial advice, showing a deep practical understanding of competition law and economics.’

‘Sam Mobley – an experienced practitioner who inspires confidence, happy to roll up her sleeves when needed and outstanding client skills’.

‘Karoline Phillips – a rising star with excellent business acumen, impressive analytical skills and extremely personable.’ 

‘Keith Jones is a solid and reliable lawyer. He’s great at collaborating with his broader international team.’

‘James Robinson is approachable and responsive.’

‘A truly connected global practice, with consistently high quality and commercial advice, showing a deep practical understanding of competition law and economics.’

Key clients

Accenture

Adidas

Archer Daniels Midland

BA

Bain Capital

Barclays Bank

BAT

Bidvest

Cobelfret

EDF Energy

Endeavor

GE

GlaxoSmithKline

Hitachi

JLL

L’Oréal

Platinum Equity

Rio Tinto

Roland

Shell

Sika

Silver Lake

Sumitomo Corporation

Unichem Laboratories Limited and Niche Generics Limited

Unilever

Vertiv Corporation

Willis Towers Watson

Work highlights

  • Acted for Platinum Equity on the competition aspects of two multi-billion dollar transactions.
  • Assisting Sika (the Swiss multinational chemical company) with competition aspects of the acquisition of MBCC Group, the former BASF Construction Chemicals, from an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a global private equity firm, for a consideration of €5.2bn.
  • Assisted Vertiv Holdings Co., the global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions on its approx. USD 2 billion acquisition of the E&I Group (E&I Engineering Ireland Limited and its affiliate, Powerbar Gulf LLC).

Latham & Watkins

The ‘tremendousLatham & Watkins fields a strong bench of partners and associates, whose collective experience and acumen make them well positioned to advise on the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious competition matters. Merger control proceedings, including Phase II investigations both in the UK and before the European Commission, are a key workflow for the team, which is also capable in cartel defences, abuse of dominance issues, and CMA investigations. The team is jointly chaired by mergers expert Jonathan Parker and the ‘excellent’ David Little, who regularly represents TMT, financial services, and life sciences clients in proceedings before the European Commission and the CMA. The ‘super bright‘ associate Greg Bonné is recommended for his deep experience in Phase I and II merger investigations, as well as on big-ticket proposed acquisitions. Fellow associate Stephanie Adams is noted for her knowledge of foreign investment screening and subsidy control. All named lawyers are based in London, with the exception of David Little, who divides his time between London and Brussels.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Parker; David Little

Other key lawyers:

Greg Bonne

Testimonials

‘The teams we are work with are tremendous. Comprehensive and professional.’

‘Jonathan Parker and Greg Bonne were both very easy to deal with, extremely clear, and helpful.’

‘Greg Bonne is a super bright hire who understands the CMA very well.’

‘Hayley Pizzey is a brilliant up and coming associate – one to watch out for the future.’

‘The Latham & Watkins team is split between its Brussels and London offices but functions seamlessly in practice. The team is a very high quality one, with great subject matter expertise, ability to translate difficult concepts for those without a competition law background. Knowledgeable, friendly and very responsive. A pleasure to work with.’

‘David Little is excellent; one of the best lawyers I have worked with.’

‘David combines antitrust expertise with business-friendly solutions; he is able to cut through complexity easily and offer strategic advice. David is also very approachable, thoughtful and a great leader for his team.’

‘Great knowledge of EU competition law, attention to detail, and legal creativity. They can easily understand non-legal industries.’

Key clients

Meta (formerly Facebook)

GRAIL, Inc

NVIDIA Corporation

AMD

Microsoft

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Farfetch

Viasat

Siemens Healthineers AG (Siemens Healthineers)

Aon plc

American Airlines Group

KKR & Co. Inc

Work highlights

  • Representing GRAIL in the EC’s review of its acquisition by Illumina, a landmark case concerning application of the referral powers under Article 22 of the EU Merger.
  • Represented NVIDIA in obtaining global antitrust clearances for its planned (now terminated) acquisition of Arm Limited from SoftBank.
  • Representing Microsoft in its $19.7bn acquisition of Nuance, which the CMA and the European Commission cleared following a referral request.

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP‘s combination of ‘excellent legal knowledge and commercial acumen‘ makes them a strong choice for a wide variety of clients, ranging from pharmaceutical companies to industrial manufacturers. Steered by practice head Malcolm Walton, the team regularly advises on cross-jurisdictional merger control actions, FDI proceedings, and high-stakes investigations instigated by the CMA, among other relevant authorities. Cameron Firth is widely lauded by peers and clients alike for his capabilities in CMA investigations and merger control matters, most notably in the pharmaceutical sector. The ‘excellentTom Usher is recommended for his ‘unparalleled’ competition knowledge in the financial services and broadcasting sectors, while Emma Radcliffe draws equal praise for her work in cross-border cartel investigations. Simon Day specialises in private damage actions for competition law breaches, including collective and individual claims.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Walton

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Firth; Tom Usher; Emma Radcliffe; Simon Day

Testimonials

‘Excellent legal knowledge combined with commercial acumen. They are really user-friendly and give you the advice that you need without involving large teams and excessive billing.’

‘Tom Usher is an excellent lawyer with unparalleled legal knowledge, but more importantly, he understands our business and therefore provides practical, workable advice.’

‘Macfarlanes stands out for  combining longstanding experience in commercial litigation with specialist competition litigators. Bringing the two together is a powerful combination and results in a very slick and experienced operation, particularly in the field of follow-on damages claims.’

‘Simon Day is an extremely well-respected and sensible lawyer who makes consistently good judgement calls. I can tell that clients trust him deeply with their cases.’

‘Emma Radcliffe is a newly-appointed partner who has a wealth of experience in competition law and is destined for good things. She has an excellent eye for detail.’

‘Alex Evans is an exceptional lawyer. He is likely to be one of Macfarlanes’ future stars. He has an excellent ability to manage complex litigation, particularly multi-defendant pieces of litigation, and is always a calm and well-respected in the room.’

‘Cameron Firth really knows his stuff, and Simon Day is razor sharp.’

Key clients

ZF Friedrichshafen

Daimler Truck

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc

Waterland Private Equity

Siris Capital Group

Binderholz Group

Inspecs Group plc

Flynn Pharma

Genius Sports

Sepura

Prysmian

Diageo

Associated British Foods plc

Oaktree Capital

Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Work highlights

  • Advising Binderholz on  UK merger control aspects of its acquisition of BSW Timber Ltd.
  • Advising Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc on the $7.2bn acquisition of NASDAQ listed GW Pharmaceuticals plc.
  • Advised M7 on the merger control aspects of its acquisition by Oxford Properties, which is part of the OMERS portfolio.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's competition team has an ‘international span‘ and displays broad strength and expertise, with particular focus on financial institutions, consumer brands, transport and energy. Mark Simpson, who has more than 20 years experience, leads the London team ,while Ian Giles heads up the practice across the EMEA region.  The practice is expanding in the areas of competition litigation and contentious regulatory work. Growth in the area of litigation was reflected in the promotion of Helen Fairhead to partner in January 2022, while the firm has recently added Bloomberg and Ritchie Bros. as clients.

Practice head(s):

Ian Giles; Mark Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Mark Tricker; Caroline Thomas; Susanna Rogers; Helen Fairhead

Testimonials

‘The team is very good and efficient at mergers work, with a good international span and an excellent office in London.’

‘We appreciate the specialist technical knowledge, yet down to earth, commercial approach of the team. This is true of the partners and the associates. ‘Can do’ approach and an appreciation of our culture and what is important to us as a business makes the NRF antitrust and competition team stand out. They also provide clear transparency on billing throughout the instruction process.’

‘Mark Simpson possesses expert knowledge, and is clear and concise with our internal senior stakeholders. Mark leads his team from the front and is quick to balance technical detail with the bigger picture.’

‘Caroline Thomas possesses excellent technical knowledge, is quick to understand very technical products, and provides accessible, practical advice.’

‘Mark Tricker is super bright and applies knowledge in a practical way to help manage legal risk.’

‘The service is impeccable. Fast and pragmatic response that is fit for purpose.’

Key clients

Arla

Barclays Bank plc

Bloomberg

BMW

bp plc

Bristol Water plc

BUPA

CAE

Carlsberg

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Delta Air Lines

EirGrid

Exxon Mobil

Hertz

HSBC

Jet2

National Grid

Orange

PayPal

PayPoint plc

Qatar Petroleum

Ritchie Bros.

Shell

SONI Limited

Stena Line

Thales

Work highlights

  • Representing Orange SA in its defence of claims brought in the High Court against  mobile network operators by the Administrators of Phones4U.
  • Advising Ritchie Bros. on its $1bn acquisition of Euro Auctions. This has recently been referred for an in-depth Phase II investigation by the CMA following a lengthy Phase I process, culminating in the CMA rejecting the Parties’ offer of undertakings in lieu.
  • Advised National Grid Electricity Transmission plc and National Grid Gas plc on appeals to the Competition and Markets Authority against Ofgem’s RIIO-2 price control determination, including successfully arguing for removal of the outperformance wedge.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard has a compact but dedicated competition team in London, supported by the wider firm's network across the UK and internationally. The team has 'the bandwidth to deal with all types of competition work'; the ‘technically excellentBruce Kilpatrick  is known for his expertise in merger control. Mark Molyneux  heads the competition litigation practice from Manchester, while Rona Bar-Isaac has a depth of experience in complex market investigations.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Kilpatrick; Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Rona Bar-Isaac; Al Mangan; Samantha Haigh; Valeri Bozhikov

Testimonials

‘They are a pleasure to work with. Have the bandwidth to deal with all types of competition work. They are confident in their advice but extremely approachable and aim to work seamlessly as part of the team.’

‘Mark Molyneux: remains at the top of his game. A superb strategist and a go-to person on a tricky issue.’

‘Bruce Kilpatrick: technically excellent. His understanding of econometrics and its impact on competition litigation is incredible.’

‘Samantha Haigh: recently promoted to partner – fabulous lawyer. Very pleased to see Sam has been recognised by the practice.’

‘Rona Bar-Isaac brings a calm management style and excellent judgement to litigation.’

‘I’ve been very impressed by Addleshaw’s competition practice. Very knowledgeable and very practical.’

‘Bruce Kilpatrick is extremely experienced and has a deep reservoir of sage wisdom. Any company would be lucky to benefit from his expert and practical counseling. Valeri Bozhikov is an exceptional associate who is high energy and eager to bring his sound judgement to bear on nuanced questions of law.’

‘Rona Bar-Isaac is expert in her field, and very commercial and supportive. She understands our business model and provides excellent, clear advice which has enabled us to move forward confidently in business decisions.’

Key clients

Allergan plc (member of the AbbVie Inc Group)

Ferryspeed (CI) Limited

Sanne Group PLC

SSE Plc

Giphy Inc

Compass Community Limited & Horizon Care and Education Group Limited

Danske Bank

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

The Road Haulage Association

Saga plc

Finlays (James Finlay Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advised Allergan plc in relation to the CMA’s CA98 investigation for excessive and unfair pricing of hydrocortisone tablets, for which the CMA imposed penalties of £266 million in July 2021 (and advising Allergan on its related appeal to the CAT).
  • Represented GIPHY Inc as co-counsel in relation to the CMA’s Phase 2 investigation into its acquisition by Meta Inc (previously Facebook).
  • Advised SSE plc on a high profile CMA licence modification appeal concerning tariffs for transmission charges, currently awaiting the outcome of a judicial review.

Bristows LLP

With longstanding expertise in the technology and life sciences sectors, Bristows LLP‘s team, which works across London and Brussels,  is regularly drafted in to advise on complex matters at the intersection between IP and competition law. The team is led jointly by the ‘simply excellentStephen Smith and technology and pharmaceutical sector expert Sophie Lawrance .  It is able to offer a full range of advice on everything from strategic transactions, to EU and UK competition investigations and disputes.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Smith; Sophie Lawrance

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Bond; Sean-Paul Brankin; Matthew Hunt

Testimonials

‘Highly approachable team who can break down complex legal concepts into plain English. Very responsive. You feel you are in safe hands.’

‘Stephen Smith is simply excellent. He just gets it and gets on with it.

‘As well as its core EU and competition expertise, Bristows brings a deep sectoral knowledge to bear on all issues it advises on. Very attuned to market developments, the team is able to provide highly tailored and insightful advice. Its long-term relationships with clients is a testament to how highly regarded the team is.’

‘Sophie Lawrance has a fantastic understanding of all issues on the competition law/intellectual property interface. Always a pleasure to deal with. Steve Smith is a great asset to the Bristows team: approachable, knowledgeable and always willing to spend time to get to know his clients’ businesses. Sean-Paul Brankin has a solid understanding of merger control, and is able to deliver very pragmatic advice.’

‘Matthew Hunt is really smart and super helpful.’

Key clients

Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries

Baringa Partners LLP

British Brands Group

CityFibre

Designers Guild Limited

Google

Hunter Douglas NV

Morningside

Ocado Retail Limited

Oxford University Press

Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

Wayfair

ZTE

Work highlights

  • Advised Hunter Douglas on all aspects of the CMA’s in-depth Phase 2 review into its acquisition of 247 Home Furnishings Limited.
  • Advising CityFibre on the competition law aspects of numerous proposed acquisitions and in respect of Ofcom’s review of BT Openreach’s proposed new pricing scheme for new fibre to the premises connections.
  • Advising generic pharmaceutical company Morningside in a 4-year CMA Chapter I investigation, leading to a case closure (with no finding of infringement) in 2021.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP 's London competition team offer substantial and varied competition advice on matters including merger control and investigations. Practice Andrew Hockley - who has of late been primarily based in Sydney - is well regarded in the competition law arena and provides a ‘comprehensive service‘. His clients have included Tesco, BT, AIG and Royal Mail and he has direct experience from the energy sector as former competition counsel for BP. Chris Bryant, with extensive experience in EU competition and trade law, leads the firm’s cross-practice Brexit team.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hockley

Other key lawyers:

Chris Bryant; Victoria Newbold; Clare Reeve Curatola

Testimonials

‘The BCLP EU and Competition Law team combines a diligent and astute technical practice with a very personable service. The firm has worked hard to forge a meangingful and collaborative relationship with us, and have demonstrated a keen interest in our commercial priorities and strategic direction. BCLP also offer exceptional value, even when confronted with uncertain or changing instructions.’

‘The Reg & Competition team within BCLP is excellent. The team have broad and demonstrable experience across a variety of regulated industries. Their advice is always strategic and commercial.’

‘Andrew Hockley has provided a very comprehensive competition law service to us, in connection with a substantial and particularly exigent restructuring project, a global internal policy review, together with some discrete training. Andrew is very well-regarded by us and is recognised as a ‘go-to’ expert for competition-related matters. He has developed a thorough understanding of our business model and strategy, and hence also collaborates very well with our business stakeholders.’

‘Good broad strength, helpful and engaged.’

‘Clare Reeve Curatola is savvy and makes sense to the business.’

‘Victoria Newbold is excellent. She is friendly, accessible and hardworking, as well as being a standout lawyer. The team provide much needed support to a stretched in house team.’

Key clients

easyJet

Royal Mail Group Ltd

Morgan Stanley

National Grid

Scottish Power

Technicolor SA

BT

Tesco

Evolution Gaming Group

Heathrow Airport Limited

Thames Water

Enterprise Rent-a-car

Farfetch

Carrefour

Work highlights

  • The firm advised longstanding client Kape Technologies plc on its US$936 million agreement to acquire premium consumer VPN business ExpressVPN. BCLP’s UK Antitrust & Competition team led the global merger control and foreign direct investment review for the transaction.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Supporting the wider firm's leading US and Brussels competition practices, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's London competition practice is in growth mode. Well-regarded former Office of Fair Trading and Slaughter and May lawyer Jackie Holland joined in 2021, strengthening a team that includes key partners Nicholas Levy and Maurits Dolmans. The team advises on a range of complex matters including CMA and European investigations and competition litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Levy, Maurits Dolmans; Jackie Holland; Paul Gilbert; Henry Mostyn; Paul Stuart

Key clients

American Express

ASML

Citi

Coca-Cola

Ecolab

ExxonMobil

Giphy

Google

GSK

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

HP Inc.

HSBC

IBM

IQVIA

LG Display

Merck

NSK

NVIDIA

Samsung

Sony Music

Telefonica

Twitter

Walt Disney

Whirlpool

Work highlights

  • Advised Telefónica in securing clearance from the CMA for its £31.4 billion joint venture with Liberty Global.
  • Represented (as global antitrust counsel) Adevinta in its acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group.
  • Advised American Express Company in relation to the acquisition by American Express Global Business Travel of Egencia, Expedia Group’s corporate travel business.

CMS

Drawing on its huge international platform to provide clients with a truly international offering, CMS has a strong practice with particular capabilities in the digital, media, energy and pharmaceuticals sectors. The team, which is led by the ‘effective’ and ‘approachable’ Brian Sher , counts Microsoft, the BBC and GSK among its clients. Former practice co-head Caroline Hobson  left for Cooley (UK) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Brian Sher

Other key lawyers:

Russell Hoare; Jacqueline Vallat; Lucy Charatan

Testimonials

‘Brian Sher is very personable and confident in his advice. His experience means he brings a wealth of knowledge but he is also very commercial and aware of the needs of a business. Lucy Charatan is an extremely good associate, very dedicated and detail-orientated and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Growing in stature and very strong in certain key areas such as life sciences and telecoms/media’

‘Brian Sher: intellectual and driven, with good commercial awareness, and determined to take the firm’s practice to the highest level’

‘Very helpful for multinational mergers with teams of CMS lawyers across Europe able to deal effectively with local jurisdictions and really good interpretation of the advice by the team in London’

‘Ability to work seamlessly with other teams’

‘Brian Sher is an effective lawyer – nice, low key manner which I can see working well with regulators.’

Key clients

Microsoft

BBC

GlaxoSmithKline

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Thomson Reuters

ParentPay

Cadent Gas

SSE

Alliance Pharma Plc

CEMEX

Work highlights

  • Advised Cadent Gas, the UK’s largest gas distributor on its successful appeal to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against Ofgem’s RIIO-2 price control decision.
  • Acting for Microsoft as defendant in an action brought by a second-hand software reseller claiming damages and injunctive relief for infringement of the Chapter II Prohibition Competition Act 1998.
  • Representing GSK, the lead appellant in the ‘Paroxetine’ case.

DLA Piper

Advising on the competition aspects of large volumes of international M&A transactions, DLA Piper is engaged by an extensive roster of corporate clients. Sarah Smith leads the team and also represents clients in the Competition Appeals Tribunal. She is supported by Alexandra Kamerling, Sam Szlezinger and Matt Evans, who joined in August 2021 from Jones Day.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Smith

Other key lawyers:

Sam Szlezinger; Alexandra Kamerling; Matt Evans

Testimonials

‘The team has good coverage across jurisdictions, making them well-equipped to handle multi-jurisdictional competition matters.’

‘Matt Evans and Sarah Smith manage a great team – friendly, with a sense of humour but always professional’

‘Always responsive, supportive and professional.’

‘Quick to resolve issues and provide the right level of advice targeted to the audience receiving the advice’

Work highlights

  • Acted for MKS on the acquisition of Atotech from the Carlyle Group for $5.1 billion.
  • Acted for Korean Air Lines Co Ltd on its KRW 1.5 trillion acquisition of Asiana Airlines Inc, which is expected to create one of the world’s 10 biggest airlines and is and one of the first cases being filed to both the European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority in parallel.
  • Represented Philip Morris International during its acquisitions of Vectura Group plc, Fertin Pharma and OtiTopic, which are worth approximately USD 2 billion combined

Euclid Law

Independent competition boutique, Euclid Law offers competition and foreign direct investment advice. It has particular expertise working with the London arms of US law firms and accounting firms. With an office in Brussels as well as London, it has regularly acted on phase I and phase II merger clearances before the European Commission and CMA.  Euclid’s partners have all previously worked within major international law firms before joining the team. Founder Oliver Bretz is ably supported by specialists including Becket McGrath, Gavin Robert and Sarah Long.

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Bretz; Gavin Robert; Becket McGrath; Sarah Long; Natalie Greenwood; Marie Leppard; Micheal Reiss

Testimonials

‘A highly skilled and specialist competition law practice’

‘Small, boutique firm with very high level of expertise. The absence of associates means that clients deal directly with partners and there are no large teams racking up costs.’

‘Oliver Bretz stands out for knowledge, experience, commercial risk awareness, prompt response and delivery of excellent and fit for purpose work product.’

‘Gavin Robert is the best private practice lawyer I have worked with at providing insightful, commercial, pragmatic and accessible (for the business as well as the legal team) behavioural advice.’

‘Gavin Robert – extensive expertise, particularly into processes and mindset from a competition authority’s perspective.’

‘Boutique practice specialising in competition law. Focused on commercial outcomes for clients. Excellent in taking instructions and providing helpful actionable advice.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable in the industry with a great manner with clients’

‘A good, down-to-earth approach, client-friendly team and exceptional advice.’

Key clients

BP

Mastercard

Rio Tinto

Guardian Media Group

RATP

TA Associates

New Balance

Work highlights

  • Advised TA Associates in the merger of equals between TA Associates’ portfolio company, Compusoft and Genstar Capital’s portfolio company, 2020 Technologies.
  • Represented BP in relation to the CMA market study announced on 2 December 2020 into the electric vehicle charging sector in the UK. The market study is highly unusual as it involves a market sector that is still at the very early stages of development.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Advising on merger control matters and investigations and demonstrating a specialist knowledge of Foreign Direct Investment regimes in many jurisdictions, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has ‘a very strong team’. Led by highly experienced competition lawyers Ros Kellaway and James Lindop, the competition team at Eversheds also contains the ‘exceptionalJulia Woodward-Carlton  and highly rated Jessica Martin , who is viewed by some clients as an expert in the automotive sector following a secondment at Volkswagen.

Practice head(s):

Ros Kellaway – International co-chair; James Lindop – head of competition, EU and trade (UK)

Other key lawyers:

Julia Woodward-Carlton; Jessica Martin; Claire Morgan; Pater Harper; Elizabeth Coleman

Testimonials

‘The competition team at Eversheds adopts a hands on approach that makes cooperating with the team very pleasant and effective.’

‘Ros Kellaway is the lead partner of the team. She has outstanding knowledge in this field of the law and relies on her extensive experience. She is a great and effective communicator and is very solution-driven.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable’

‘The critical element was the ability to both interpret  the situation legally but also to empathise with the client.  Julia Woodward-Carlton and Ros Kellaway were exceptional to deal with.’

‘Very strong team, with huge depth of experience across all main areas of competition law. Also, a very strong client focus. The team builds up strong working relationships with clients.’

‘Very thorough, no stone unturned approach. Top people include Peter Harper. Claire Morgan is also very capable and has a great track record in UK mergers.’

‘The team provides useful, commercial advice on complex competition and FDI matters. The team is very strong in depth with excellent individuals at the associate level. The team is responsive, approachable and very easy to work with.’

‘Elizabeth Coleman:  able to understand our business challenges effectively and bring in specific experts where necessary to ensure we get the most appropriate advice, relative to us doing business in the EU and also specifically for the competition challenges that we face as a company’

Key clients

Agents Mutual

Aspen Holdings

Volkswagen Group UK

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is building momentum in the London competition market, attracting more high profile clients and taking on an increasing amount of CMA investigations work. Ali Nikpay is highly regarded and serves as a non-governmental adviser to the UK CMA as well as heading Gibson’s competition team. Deirdre Taylor has led on some of the firm’s most important and complex work over the past 12 months.

Practice head(s):

Ali Nikpay

Other key lawyers:

Deirdre Taylor

Key clients

Asda

Elliot Investment Management

General Electric

KKR

Merck

News Corporation

Quidel Corporation

viagogo

Walmart

Welbilt

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Fielding a highly regarded team of talented partners, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP‘s London practice is reputed for its strength in big-ticket, multi-jurisdictional mergers and consequent investigative proceedings. In recent months, the team has advised on transactions facing varying degrees of regulator scrutiny, working with blue-chip clients from the worlds of TMT, natural resources, and financial services. The ‘immensely valuable’ practice head Paula Riedel is praised by clients and peers alike for her far-reaching expertise in high-value transactions, regularly representing corporates before the European Commission and the CMA. The team is also noted for its nascent but prolific UK FDI filing practice, where dual-qualified (Belgian and English) Sally Evans and NSI specialist Mark Gardner are central figures. The ‘excellent’ Matthew Sinclair-Thomson works with a number of the firm’s most high-profile clients – including cybersecurity and aerospace conglomerates – while the dual-qualified (English and German) Michael Engel‘s ‘highly committed and collaborative‘ approach sees him advising on full scope of EU, German, and UK-governed competition issues. Sarah Jordan  and Annie Herdman have left the practice for Goodwin and Ropes & Gray LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):

Paula Riedel

Other key lawyers:

Michael Engel; Matthew Sinclair-Thomson; Sally Evans

Testimonials

‘Matthew Sinclair-Thomson is excellent. Very commercial and hardworking. Copes with complex problems with ease. Unflappable.’

‘Michael Engel is highly committed and very collaborative.’

‘Matthew Sinclair-Thomson was first class. Approachable, dependable and readily available. The advice was exceptional and very practical.’

‘The team’s accessibility, experience and practical guidance was incredibly valuable to us when considering an acquisition with global competition considerations.’

‘Paula Riedel’s expertise completely shines – she is a stand out lawyer whose guidance was both practical and immensely valuable, and she was clearly respected by all involved in the transaction (including the competition authorities). Matthew Sinclair-Thomson also provided measured and well considered guidance. Together they make a formidable team and were a pleasure to work with.’

‘Their knowledge and experience, both in terms of the industry we operate in as well the applicable legislation ensured that they asked the minimum amount of questions to us and required the minimum of information from us to make a solid determination what was necessary.’

‘We were very impressed by Sally Evans’ knowledge and the speed at which she answered questions and rendered support.’

Key clients

Norton LifeLock Inc

Noble Corporation

Cobham Limited

Celanese Corporation

EQT Partners

American Securities LLC

ADTRAN

Bain Capital Private Equity

Genstar Capital and 2020 Technologies

Bain/ Cinven

Arxada AG

TDR

SK Capital

Intelsat

Blackstone

Work highlights

  • Advising NortonLifeLock on its $8.6 – $9.2 billion proposed merger with competitor Avast, including in the CMA in-depth review.
  • Acting as lead antitrust and FDI counsel to US client Noble in connection with the proposed acquisition of its Danish rival Maersk Drilling, which will create one of the largest offshore drilling companies in the world and remains subject to scrutiny by the CMA.
  • Representing Cobham on the proposed UK public takeover of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (“Ultra”). Kirkland is handling the UK national security review under the Public Interest Intervention Notice.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP draws considerable praise from clients, who laud the competition team for its 'scale and scope' across both contentious and non-contentious matters. Global chair Alan Davis is reputed for his 'extraordinarily versatile' capabilities in both investigations and litigious proceedings, while the 'highly impressive' Angelique Bret advises on all aspects of consumer protection law. Totis Kotsonis is recommended for his expertise in subsidies, procurement, trade agreements, and trade remedies.

Practice head(s):

Alan Davis

Other key lawyers:

Totis Kotsonis; Angelique Bret

Testimonials

‘Alan Davis is a star performer – one of savviest competition lawyers in London. He is an extraordinarily versatile lawyer, equally at home doing a complex phase 2 merger as he is in a piece of heavy competition litigation.’

‘Breadth and depth of expertise in competition law, including on EU State aid and UK Subsidy Control matters, which they combine with a deep understanding of the telecoms industry.’

‘Totis Kotsonis provides a well-balanced view in his advice (applying his knowledge from other jurisdictions). He’s not afraid to challenge, or call-out client / third-party assumptions about the law, and always provides a workable solution / other alternative options. Very personable, responsive and can be relied on for his expertise.’

‘I cannot think of a single practice in London that has such scale and scope. Their regional strength is a major plus for the London practice, drawing in clients from an array of sectors’

‘The Pinsent Masons team have unparalleled experience on competition matters in the UK market, and in particular, they have an outstanding reputation in technology and digital markets – they are really market leaders in this area. In addition, Pinsent Masons are also market leaders in the area of subsidy control, which is a new area for the UK post-Brexit. It is their in-depth knowledge combined with outstanding interpersonal skills that really sets Pinsent Masons apart from other law firms.’

‘Alan Davis excels with his very detailed knowledge of all aspects of competition law in the UK. He combines this with excellent interpersonal skills, which mean that his team are able to advise clients extremely effectively and work alongside client teams to achieve very successful outcomes for clients.’

‘Totis Kotsonis is one of the leading lawyers on subsidy control and trade matters in the UK market. In particular, he has a stellar reputation for advising clients on subsidy control matters, which is a new area under the UK regime post-Brexit. He is really sought after in this area and has a fantastic profile in this space. Totis is also extremely client friendly in his approach.’

‘Angelique Bret advises on a wide range of competition law matters, including the new and growing area of consumer protection. The way that Angelique has developed Pinsent Masons’ practice in this area is highly impressive, and she always achieves great outcomes by going the extra mile for her clients.’

Key clients

Google

Post Office

E.ON

Tesco PLC

Allianz Plc

TEVA

FP McCann

Balfour Beatty

Sun Pharma

Therabody Inc.

Motor Fuel Group

Bupa Plc

Pay.UK

UK Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising Motor Fuel Group Limited on the CMA Phase 2 merger inquiry in relation to CD&R LLP’s purchase of Morrisons plc for £7bn.
  • Advising Sun Pharma on its appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union following a European Commission decision to impose fines of €146 million, and in relation to follow-on damages claims in the UK worth in excess of £1.25 billion.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Working in close collaboration with its US colleagues, Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s London office is regularly engaged on the full scope of competition law matters, ranging from merger control and FDI clearance, to EC-led cartel investigations and subsidy control compliance. The team is led by the prolific Matthew Readings, a financial services specialist who also serves as the firm’s global head of antitrust. James Webber‘s considerable knowledge of UK subsidy control regimes and state aid matters makes him a key port of call for a range of clients in the chemical, automotive, financial services, and media sectors. Mark Steenson, who was promoted to counsel in July 2021, routinely advises on both transactional and behaviour competition law matters. Senior associates Gabriella Griggs and Simon Thexton are also noted. All named lawyers are based between London and Brussels.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Readings

Other key lawyers:

James Webber; Mark Steenson; Gabriella Griggs, Simon Thexton

Key clients

ViacomCBS Raytheon

Intercontinental Exchange

Discovery Inc.

Anglo American

Hitachi

Glatfelter Corporation

Jaguar Land Rover

Macquarie

Lanxess

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Advising ViacomCBS on the global merger control aspects of its pending $2.18bn sale of Simon and Schuster to Bertelsmann, in the face of a Second Request and a DOJ suit to block the transaction.
  • Advised Glatfelter Corporation on the competition aspects of its acquisition of the Jacob Holm Group – the second transaction for Glatfelter Corporation in 2021.
  • Represented ViacomCBS in an OTT (streaming joint venture) SkyShowtime with leading European satellite broadcaster Sky and U.S. media company Comcast to serve over 20 European territories across 90 million homes.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is regularly engaged by a range of healthcare, life sciences, TMT, and financial services companies for its capabilities in multi-jurisdictional merger control and antitrust matters, as well as behavioural investigations. Practice chair Satyen Dhana is frequently sought out by financial institutes for his expertise in FCA-driven investigations and cartel inquiries, while the highly experienced Charles Bankes draws praise from clients for his ‘unparalleled‘ knowledge of EU and competition law in the utilities sector.  Mark Jephcott‘s knowledge of Asian competition regimes – particularly those of Greater China, Hong Kong, and Singapore – makes him a key contact for cross-border transactions in the tech, energy, and pharmaceutical sectors. Managing associate David Trapp is recommended for his experience advising on 101/102 and CA98 investigations.

Practice head(s):

Satyen Dhana

Other key lawyers:

Charles Bankes; Mark Jephcott; David Trapp

Testimonials

‘Charles Bankes leads a great team.’

‘Charles Bankes has unparalleled experience in EU and competition law, he has excellent judgment and is charming to work with.’

‘Mark Jephcott recently joined the team and, in combination with Satyen Dhana, the practice appears to be pushing out with dynamism.’

‘Highly enthusiastic and engaged team that work as a business partners. They show deep interest in our business as a whole. Very collaborative. Simmons lean in to discussions on risk sharing costs on matters, alternative secondment models and adopt a very pragmatic and transparent approach to billing. Clear that they care about their team. Fun team to work alongside with.’

‘The team appears to have been re-energised and has a strong drive to grow and innovate’

Key clients

APG

NPD Group Inc.

Future

Flex International USA, Inc.

Roland UK Limited

Macquarie

Work highlights

  • Acting for APG to achieve its Phase 1 unconditional clearance from the CMA as regards its acquisition of certain assets of GCP Student Living.
  • Advising Future plc on the merger control and antitrust aspects of its horizontal acquisition of the publisher Dennis.
  • Advising NPD Group Inc. in its $3bn sale to Hellman & Friedman.

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP‘s capabilities in cross-border merger control are complemented by  a robust behavioural and cartel defence-side offering. Practice head Nigel Seay‘s recent non-contentious engagements include EU-wide merger clearance obligations for clients in the infrastructure and private equity sectors. Stephen Whitfield is noted for his diverse practice focus, working with a broad array of corporates on UK and EU cartel investigations and EC-led sector inquiries. Senior associate Ingrid Rogers garners superlative praise from clients for her expertise in CMA regimes, including the recently enacted UK National Security and Investment (NSI) legislation. Senior counsel Paul McComb is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Seay

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Whitfield; Ingrid Rogers; Paul McComb

Testimonials

‘One of the team’s key strengths is a desire to understand our business in detail, going beyond strict legal principles and seeking to apply them into the commercial context we operate in.’

‘Claire Shepherd is very responsive, a good communicator, and provides pragmatic advice based on her understanding of our business.’

‘Good collaboration between departments. There are no silos, which make cross-functional work seamless.’

‘Affable, market leaders in their fields. They genuinely wanted to understand our business and industry. Their deep knowledge of how the regulators work has enabled effective and reassuring advice.’

‘Stephen Whitfield is a real subject matter expert with genuine industry knowledge. His years of experience in matter of merger control investigation shine through. Commercially-minded and pragmatic.’

‘Ingrid Rogers is one of the best senior associates I have met, very capable, knowledgeable and a great project manager. An asset to the team and practitioner in her own right – one to watch for the future in my opinion.’

Key clients

The Access Group

Bridgepoint plc

BUUK Infrastructure

Intermediate Capital Group plc

Macquarie Bank

Micro Focus International plc

Medivet Group

Nomura International plc

Peel Ports

S4 Capital plc

Breedon Group

Hempel AS

TA Associates

Equistone Partners Europe

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Work highlights

  • Acting for and advising Nomura in respect of its application to the EU General Court for annulment of the European Commission’s decision finding anti-competitive behaviour in the primary and secondary European Government Bond markets.
  • Advising Micro Focus International on the multi-jurisdictional merger control aspects of two significant corporate transactions occurring in 2021.
  • Advised Hempel A/S on its acquisition of Farrow & Ball, from the US private equity firm Ares.

White & Case LLP

Commended by clients for its ‘impressive cross-jurisdictional expertise‘, White & Case LLP is well-versed in the full gamut of UK and EU competition matters. Practice chair Marc Israel is a highly experienced antitrust lawyer, lauded by blue-chip corporates for his ‘responsive and pragmatic’ advocacy in multi-jurisdictional merger control proceedings. Alexandra Rogers is praised for the breadth of her domestic and international expertise, encompassing Phase I and II merger control reviews, cartel investigations, and e-Discovery issues in competition cases. Associate Kate Keilliher notably focuses on competition, regulatory, and state aid concerns in the energy sector. All named lawyers work between Brussels and London.

Practice head(s):

Marc Israel

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Rogers; Kate Keilliher

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and coherent team that are across the details and also very experienced in dealing with the regulator. Able to take commercial views and focus on the important points.’

‘The counterparty was quite challenging but the team’s approach was pragmatic, commercial, and above all, with a lot of good humour – which was invaluable on a long and challenging transaction!’

‘Marc Israel was really helpful, responsive and pragmatic. Very good at pushing back politely but firmly, and helping us to get through some tricky moments with the other side.’

‘White & Case typically ask the questions others don’t. They are unwilling to just “go with the flow”. They drive the regulatory engagement process forward rather than being passive or reactive.’

‘I have worked extensively with Alex Rogers on complex merger control matters. She has an inquiring mind and a strong grasp of the interaction between the merger control process, data protection issues and other areas of law in which she is an expert. She delivers positive, holistic outcomes for her clients.’

‘Marc Israel struck the appropriate balance between understanding our situation whilst also highlighting the likely path the project would take, given his deep experience in dealing with the external agencies concerned. Calm and diligent throughout.’

‘The team’s cross-jurisdictional expertise is particularly impressive.’

Key clients

Kobalt Music Group / AWAL

Autoliv

Cobepa

Avast

Alvogen

Colt Technology Services

Aroundtown SA

Blue Water Energy

Neighborly

Macquarie Asset Management

Smiths Group plc

NTN

Nexans

Triton Investment Management

Lenovo

Pfizer Inc.

Servier

CVC Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Kobalt Music Group Limited and AWAL on the CMA’s Phase II investigation into the sale of its recorded music operations, including AWAL and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, to Sony Music Entertainment.
  • Advising Avast in connection with the CMA’s investigation into alleged breaches of consumer law in the anti-virus software market.

Akin Gump LLP

Akin Gump LLP‘s London competition team advises many large multinationals, investment funds and top financial institutions in behavioural, state aid, merger control and complex litigation cases. Head of the team Davina Garrod ‘knows the competitive dynamics and regulatory overlay in her clients’ markets inside-out’. She is supported by antitrust specialist Scott Pettifor, who was promoted to partner in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Davina Garrod

Other key lawyers:

Scott Pettifor

Testimonials

‘The team offers innovative client solutions, and diversity is an important driver of creativity. The London team is also very international, covering all the major languages, and they work seamlessly with their colleagues in other offices as well as with partner law firms in the Middle East, and LatAm.’

‘The team is led by Davina Garrod who knows the competitive dynamics and regulatory overlay in her clients’ markets inside-out. She is an excellent competition lawyer and highly commercial (a combination that clients particularly value). Scott Pettifor was recently promoted to partner, which is great for the team and very well deserved. The associates are all first-rate, and are given a lot of client exposure which accelerates their development.’

‘Incredibly responsive, massive bench of areas outside of competition to provide a holistic view when issues expand. Great practical experience as opposed to just theoretical. Willing to express views and not just reiterate the black letter law. Exceptional judgement’

‘Davina Garrod understands client service, efficiency and working to provide the right answer in a timely manner.’

‘My experience with the team is that they are technically excellent, collaborative and work well with local counsel across all jurisdictions, ensuring the best client service and practical advice. They’re also cost-sensitive.’

‘Scott Akin is a fantastic adviser, who is dedicated to his clients. He provides practical and strategic advice. He’s easy to work with.’

‘Great team of responsive and knowledgeable experts’

‘Davina’s advice is efficient, responsive and commercially-minded. She is great with the intricate technical details, as well as providing strategic advice. Over the past 12 months Davina and her team have advised me on the competition law and foreign investment implications of various high-value transactions in public and private markets.’

 

Key clients

Singapore Airlines

Bank of America

Dropbox Inc.

Kingston Technology

GIC Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund

Vitol Group

Baker Hughes

PIMCO Inc. (part of the Allianz Group)

Macquarie Bank

UBS

Work highlights

  • Representing Vitol in its ongoing $2.3 billion public takeover of Vivo Energy, a transaction that requires merger control approvals in 12 jurisdictions.
  • Advising a global tech company in the European Commission’s ongoing behavioural competition investigations into Apple Inc., including the music streaming and app store cases.
  • Representing a strategic investor, UBS, in the $52 billion merger between Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a transaction that required merger control approvals in 18 Jurisdictions.

Dentons

Dentons offers an international practice covering both contentious and non-contentious competition law issues. The group has particular expertise in merger control and Foreign Direct Investment matters. The team has expanded under the leadership of the ‘exceptionalAdrian Magnus, supported by Christopher Graf, who is regularly instructed on merger control matters.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Magnus

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Graf; Adele Behles

Testimonials

‘Adrian Magnus, is exceptional. He is one of the most impressive competition lawyers I have met, striking the right balance of technical knowledge with commercial sense. As an in-house lawyer in a FTSE-company, it is important that advisers take the time to understand our business, risks and concerns, and know how to protect our wider organisation. We have many competition law challenges and Dentons has been there, highly responsive, every step of the way to assist. All of the team are excellent commercial and technical lawyers, respond quickly, and work well together. Highly recommend the team.’

‘Christopher Graf – Excellent attorney, great at maintaining relationships, and always quick to get back to us.’

‘Did the basics much better and quicker than peer law firms. Only law firm I used last year that came in ahead of time and (significantly) lower than budget, everyone else miraculously came back with bills at the fee cap. By that measure Dentons were the exception/exceptional.’

‘Knowledgeable, responsive and good to work with’

‘The team from Dentons understands our company very well and gives us exactly the advice we need. They are able to find compromises in results within legal framework. Communication is very good and effective.’

‘They are very attentive to detail, great at communication, and good at maintaining relationships with clients.’

Key clients

Yamaha Music Europe

KPS Capital Partners

TotalEnergies

John Lewis/Waitrose

Marshall Motor Group

Marks&Spencer

Avis Budget Group

Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT)

Work highlights

  • Advising on global merger approvals, including unconditional EC merger clearance, for KPS Capital Partners’ €2.25 billion acquisition of Crown Holdings, Inc.’s European Tinplate business, comprising 44 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
  • Representing SSWT in ongoing collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) brought by Justin Gutmann against SSWT and two other rail operators in relation to alleged abuse of dominance regarding boundary fares.
  • Coordinating Yamaha Music’s representation in RPM investigations by various European competition authorities.

Fieldfisher

Supporting both regulators and regulated businesses, Fieldfisher advises on a range of competition issues including mergers, investigations, litigation, advisory and compliance work. The team is led by John Cassels, who has a strong record in investigations cases. He is supported by Nicholas Pimlott, who is known for his work in the media sector, and Stephen May, who specialises in competition dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

John Cassels

Other key lawyers:

Nick Pimlott; Stepehen May; Ellie Pinnells; Miguel Vaz; Jessica Gardner

Key clients

Achilles Information Limited

DS Smith Plc

Karen Millen, Oasis, Warehouse, Coast, Jigsaw, Luxottica

Pubs Code Adjudicator and Groceries Code Adjudicator

Peloton Interactive Inc

Sazerac Company Inc

Ishida Europe Limited

Iponweb

Work highlights

  • Advised on whether Achilles might have a potential competition claim against Network Rail. Brought a complex standalone claim in the CAT and won on liability; fought Network Rail’s appeal in the Court of Appeal and won; and in February 2022 secured an award of substantial damages and costs in the client’s favour following a trial of the quantum claim.
  • Instructed by FTSE-100 listed company DS Smith plc to bring a claim for follow on-damages against European truck manufacturers MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF.
  • Guided the Pubs Code Adjudicator on its investigation into Heineken and its tied estate.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Supporting its US offices on merger control work and with a particularly strong reputation in private equity, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP ‘s London based competition team is led by the ‘exemplary’ Tobias Caspary . He is supported by Neda Moussavi, whom one client describes as ‘superb’, and who is also helping to develop Fried Frank’s Brussels office.

Practice head(s):

Dr. Tobias Caspary (head of European competition and trade team)

Other key lawyers:

Neda Moussavi; Romain Girard

Testimonials

‘The Fried Frank competition team is very thorough and thoughtful. They are wonderful at identifying and resolving issues.’

‘They are very responsive and clear in their written and spoken communications.’

‘The team at Fried Frank is incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and available. Their legal skills are top class, with a keen eye on ongoing legal developments. Critically, they have a great technical understanding of the telecoms, technology and media sectors and a keen knowledge of the key developments in the sector. In addition to their legal and sectoral knowledge, the team is friendly and collaborative. A real pleasure to work with!’

‘Tobias Caspary is an exemplary competition lawyer. He has great foresight and his knowledge of the sector is detailed. Toby is also incredibly helpful, always willing to hop on a call. His sense of humour makes working with him a highly enjoyable experience.

‘Neda Moussavi is a superb lawyer and fantastic to work with. Her understanding of key developments in competition law in the EU and further afield is fantastic and her attention to detail ensures that all matters are dealt with quickly and correctly. She is generous with her time and knowledge – working with her is a pleasure.’

‘Romain Girard is helpful, knowledgeable and personable. Like the rest of the team, his legal knowledge is spot on – in particular, his awareness of legal developments in key jurisdictions across the world is very useful.’

‘Knowledgeable and business focused team willing to work cost effectively and practically to support client objectives.’

‘I have worked successfully and happily with both Toby Caspary and Neda Moussavi’

Key clients

Permira

Novelis Corporation

Liberty Global

AEA Investors

Blue Yonder Inc., New Mountain Capital Partners

Exeter Property Group

Goldman Sachs

Ascential plc

Work highlights

  • Worked for Novelis Inc, a world leading aluminum producer, following its approx. $3bn acquisition of strong rival, Aleris, Inc., the global leader in aluminum rolled products.
  • Advised Liberty Global in securing unconditional merger control clearance from the European Commission for its joint venture with Infravia Capital Partner (a French PE firm) called Liberty Networks Germany (“LNG”).
  • Advised Permira in relation to the USD 14bn acquisition of McAfee’s B2C business enterprise.

Gowling WLG

With a broad competition practice with a particular strength in state-aid work, Gowling WLG‘s team is led by Bernardine Adkins. Samuel Beighton, who has a background in competition economics, is another key team member and advises on merger control, investigations and dawn raids.

Practice head(s):

Bernardine Adkins

Other key lawyers:

Samuel Beighton; James Stunt

Key clients

Dixons Carphone plc (now Currys plc)

Mazda Motors UK

GCP Student Living plc

Nabuh Energy

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Preventx Limited

Origin Enterprises plc

Codemasters Group Holdings Plc

Medux

Work highlights

  • Acted for Preventx in obtaining an interim injunction against Royal Mail in the context of a claim alleging an abuse of dominance by Royal Mail.
  • Representing GCP Student Living on its £969 million sale to a consortium.
  • Acting for Codemasters on its £945 million sale to Electronic Arts.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP‘s London competition and regulatory group has been through a period of change following a several departures. However, the addition of several senior litigators from Mishcon de Reya LLP , whose practices overlap with the competition and regulatory group’s work, has nonetheless bolstered the team. The group advises regularly on deal driven merger control cases and antitrust defence. It is also targeting growth in real estate competition matters. The team is led by Gillian Sproul,  who has more than 30 years' competition and regulatory experience.

Practice head(s):

Gillian Sproul

Testimonials

‘The team is led by Gill Sproul who has a quiet and confident manner which is appreciated in the area of competition law.’

‘Gill Sproul knows our industry well and ensures that the advice given is tailored and down to earth. Gill is practical, approachable and very easy to work with.’

 

Key clients

EverArc / Perimeter Solutions

APi Inc

03 Industries

Vengrove / Ark Charity

Work highlights

  • Advised Everarc on the merger control and foreign investment / national security aspects of its acquisition of Perimeter Solutions, a global manufacturer of firefighting products and lubricant additives. The matter is valued at US$2 billion.
  • Advising APi Corporation Inc. on the merger control and national security / foreign investment control aspects of its proposed acquisition of the Chubb security and fire safety business from Carrier Group. The acquisition is valued at US$3.1 billion
  • Advising 03 Industries, a US private investment company, on the UK merger control aspects of its acquisition, jointly with Novum Capital, of Gumtree UK and Motors.co.uk from Adevinta.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is particularly noted for the strength of its competition offering in the pharmaceutical sector, where the ‘always reliable, thorough, and commercial‘ practice handles a formidable volume of CMA investigations. Practice head Frances Murphy drives many of the team’s most high-profile contentious and non-contentious engagements, while Omar Shah‘s focus encompasses cross-border merger control and FDI regulatory clearances. Joanna Christoforou and senior associate Leonidas Theodosiou are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Frances Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Omar Shah; Joanna Christoforou; Leonidas Theodosiou

Testimonials

‘Always reliable, thorough, and commercial advice which gets to the heart of the issues in a transaction.’

‘Leo Theodosiou, Joanna Christoforou and the whole team offer excellent support and are always on hand during a transaction to offer top class insights which allow for clear and fully informed decision making.’

‘Great people. Friendly and supportive, yet they can deliver tough messages when they need to. We really have a sense of collaboration working with this firm – you don’t get that everywhere.’

‘Excellent technical knowledge (which goes without saying) with brilliant minds. Highly supportive. You feel that they care personally about our business.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited

Advanz Pharma Corp.

Focus Pharma

AMCo Pharma

McDonalds Restaurants Limited

Abellio East Anglia Limited and Others

AstraZeneca UK Limited

Tata Steel

Richemont/Pret a Porter

WE Soda

Work highlights

  • Secured a victory for Sainsbury’s by way of a very favourable settlement of its long-running dispute with Visa over the card provider’s unlawful multilateral interchange fee scheme.
  • Leading Concordia’s/Advanz’s defence in relation to the alleged excessive and unfair pricing of the thyroid drug Liothyronine under Chapter II / Article 102.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP is regularly sought out by market-leading tech companies for its merger control expertise in big-ticket transactions. The team is also highly capable in behavioural antitrust cases and investigations governed by various market regulators, including the European Commission and the CMA. Beyond TMT, the ‘highly experienced and always solution-oriented‘, practice head Douglas Lahnborg advises across a diverse range of industries including energy, healthcare, and manufacturing. Clients praise senior associate Saira Henry for her capabilities in UK and EU competition law and UK NSI regime compliance. The ‘experienced and trustworthy‘ Of Counsel Matthew Rose is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Lahnborg

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Rose; Saira Henry

Testimonials

‘Douglas Lahnborg is highly experienced, client-focused, and always solution-oriented. Very good at handling large projects in an efficient manner. Deep commercial understanding and industry insight.’

‘Matthew Rose is experienced and trustworthy, always providing excellent and solid work with high quality. Highly technical lawyer who possesses deep industry knowledge.’

‘Saira Henry excels at finding solutions in complex cases.’

‘High experience, excellent skills, good commercial insight as well as very service minded and efficient. Tasks carried out by a lean team with complementary competences and skills, able to provide good and pragmatic advice in complex matters.’

Key clients

Microsoft

Telenor

Sonos, Inc.

eBay

Crane Co

FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile)

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

PayPal Holdings, Inc

Schlumberger Limited

Graphcore

Ørsted

RingCentral

RockRose Energy plc

Busuu Online S.L.

Zynga Inc.

Aptean

Currencycloud

Work highlights

  • Advised Microsoft on the merger control aspects of a number of acquisitions in 2021.
  • Advised Currencycloud on the merger control aspects of its definitive agreement to be acquired by Visa for £700m.
  • Advised Sonos in the European Commission’s Internet of Things sector inquiry and investigation.

Reed Smith LLP

A litany of corporates from sectors including shipping, logistics, media and entertainment, energy, and natural resources, and agriculture turn to Reed Smith LLP for the scope of its competition expertise. Practice head Marjorie Holmes is noted for her expertise in foreign direct investment, cross-border M&A clearance, and compliance matters. The ‘outstanding’ Ross Mackenzie regularly advises high-profile corporates on mergers, antitrust issues, and market investigations. Associate Emma Weeden specialises in retail and consumer goods competition matters, while fellow associate Vaibhav Adlakha is recommended for his ‘impressive‘ knowledge of state aid and FDI compliance.

Practice head(s):

Marjorie Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Ross Mackenzie; Emma Weeden; Vaibhav Adlakha

Testimonials

‘Vaibhav Adlaka is an impressive lawyer. He is proactive, smart, serviced oriented and has a thoughtful and commercial approach to the law.’

‘Ross Mackenzie is one of the most outstanding competition lawyers in the market. He strikes the perfect balance between technical expertise and commercial pragmatism, making him an excellent antitrust adviser, especially for complex matters that need simple answers.’

‘Marjorie Holmes is knowledgeable, experienced and business-oriented.’

‘If you can’t see the commercial antitrust answer for the technical antitrust trees, Ross is the perfect way through such a forest.’

Work highlights

    Squire Patton Boggs

    Squire Patton Boggs‘excellent team’ possesses a truly multifarious competition offering, regularly advising on multi-jurisdictional merger clearance processes, cartel investigations, FDI reviews, and state aid matters. Newly appointed global practice chair Diarmuid Ryan enjoys a stellar reputation on account of his far-reaching EU and UK competition expertise and associated compliance advice. Triple-qualified (English, Belgian, and Irish) Martin Rees is called on to handle cartel and abuse of dominance investigations before the CMA and the European Commission, while Francesco Liberatore is highly regarded for his niche expertise in the communications sector. Senior associate Tatiana Siakka is also recommended. All named lawyers are based between London and Brussels.

    Practice head(s):

    Diarmuid Ryan

    Other key lawyers:

    Martin Rees; Francesco Liberatore; Tatiana Siakka

    Testimonials

    ‘An excellent team.’

    ‘Francesco Liberatore is the key man in this department in the London office and fully deserves his absolutely stellar reputation.’

    Key clients

    A.C. Nielsen

    Altrad Group

    Amcor

    A.U. Optronics

    Bayer UK

    Brewers of Europe

    British Beer and Pub Association

    Calon

    Cathay Pacific

    Dussur

    EDF

    Ericsson

    Grafton plc

    GSMA

    HomeServe Plc

    Kongsberg Automotive ASA

    LAN

    Marston Holdings

    Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association

    Neptune Networks Limited

    Primo Water Corporation (previously Cott Corporation)

    Princes Foods

    Rimac Automobili

    Roche

    S.A. Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa CIF (SAICA)

    Scandinavian Tobacco Group

    Selecta Group

    Sheffield City Council

    Siemens

    Sita Aero

    SRCL Limited

    Studio Retail Group PLC

    Telecom Infra Project

    Vodafone

    Vp PLC

    World Sailing

    Work highlights

    • Advised Grafton Group plc on the CMA’s ongoing review of the £520m sale of its traditional merchandising business in Great Britain to Huws Gray.
    • Defended Vp PLC in the CMA’s Groundworks cartel investigation and advising on appeal merits.
    • Advised Kongsberg Automotive on the merger control aspects of the €175m sale of its interior comfort systems business unit to Lear Corporation, including the ongoing Phase 1 review by the European Commission.

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP continues to bolster its position in the London competition market, significantly strengthening its antitrust litigation offering with the hire of Boris Bronfentrinker and much of his team from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in November 2021. On the non-contentious side, the firm is regularly engaged by a number of blue-chip corporate clients for assistance in multi-jurisdictional merger control matters, compliance reviews, and abuse of dominance inquiries. The ‘pragmatic and commercial‘ practice head Philipp Girardet is noted for his niche expertise in cartel investigations. Rahul Saha focuses on Phase I investigations facing prospective transactions.

    Practice head(s):

    Philipp Girardet

    Other key lawyers:

    Rahul Saha

    Testimonials

    ‘The competition law team delivers high quality work and is able to explain complicated matters in a concise, easy to understand manner. They understand our market sector and have taken the time to understand our business. They are friendly, responsive and have always been happy to tailor their work approach so that it works for us.’

    ‘Philipp Girardet delivers pragmatic and commercial advice, always framing it in the context of our business needs, without over complicating the matter. He has always made himself available to us as needed.’

    ‘Deep knowledge of competition law and corporate practice related thereto.’

    ‘Philipp Girardet is very responsive, providing practical and efficient advice.’

    Key clients

    Virgin Media O2

    Expedia

    LEGO

    Match (Tinder, Hinge, Match.com)

    Cérélia

    Searchlight Capital

    Franklin Templeton

    Valeo Foods

    Pret A Manger

    Premier Foods

    Work highlights

    • Advising Telefónica UK (O2), now Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), on defending one of the largest standalone antitrust damages claims of around £1bn currently in the English courts.
    • Advising and representing Expedia and, in particular, its online travel agency brands in the context of the ongoing review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) by the European Commission (EC) and the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
    • Providing advice to the LEGO Group in relation to the setting up and operation of a selective distribution system for LEGO Education products across the EEA, Switzerland and the UK.

    Arnold & Porter

    Arnold & Porter‘s London competition law team, headed by John Schmidt, is integrated with the competition litigation offering led by Jane Wessel to provide a service that supports clients through all stages of the matters they bring to the firm. The team acts on large mergers and numerous behavioural matters. The firm, which has been trying to grow its competition practice, takes pride in the fact that many of its competition lawyers are dual qualified in EU member states, so can continue to act before European courts post Brexit.

    Practice head(s):

    John Schmidt

    Other key lawyers:

    Jane Wessel; Niels Christian Ersboll; Ludovica Pizzetti; Zeno Frediani; Alastair Brown; Abbie Coombs

    Testimonials

    ‘This team is capable of handling complex, global transactions. They are very responsive and pleasant to work with.’

    ‘John Schmidt, Niels Ersboll, and Ludovica Pizzetti stand-out as incredibly hard-working and organized attorneys who are capable of handling large, complex, global matters. They are very responsive and receptive to the needs of their client.’

    ‘Arnold & Porter has an exceptionally strong offering across EU and UK competition matters. Their integrated practice combines leading expertise in competition disputes, arbitration and litigation incredibly effectively and, as a result, they are able to add huge value to their clients.’

    ‘Jane Wessel and John Schmidt are both stand out partners. Immensely knowledgeable and professional, they are creative and diligent in seeking solutions for their clients and always go the extra mile. They are also a pleasure to work with.

    ‘Zeno Frediani, Alastair Brown, and Abbie Coombs are all a particular credit to Arnold & Porter. They seamlessly keep all the plates spinning in even the most complex proceedings and consistently give exceptional client service.’

    Key clients

    Heineken

    Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd

    Takeda

    Teva

    Sanofi

    Philip Morris International

    The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

    General Electric Health Care

    Allergan

    Adrestia Capital Partners

    Diageo plc

    Morrisons Supermarkets Ltd

    Bertelsmann/ Penguin Random House

    AT&T/WarnerMedia

    Novo Nordisk

    AB InBev

    Work highlights

    • Acting for AT&T in the spin-off of Warner Media to Discovery.
    • Leading in four pan-European follow-on claims arising from the European trucks cartel: Heineken (Adrestia), a pan-European drinks company, one of the largest FMCG companies in Europe; Diageo PLC; Morrisons Supermarkets; and AB InBev.
    • Advising MOL, a Japanese transportation and logistics company and one of the largest shipping companies in the world, on the “RoRo” cartel follow-on litigation.

    Bird & Bird LLP

    Bird & Bird LLP’s competition practice spans a broad range of work, including the provision of advice on merger clearances and the national security aspects of acquisitions. The team, led by Peter Willis, has represented household names including Costa Coffee and Hershey’s. Willis is supported by associates Ariane Le Strat and the ‘outstandingSaskia King.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter Willis

    Other key lawyers:

    Ariana Le Strat; Saskia King

    Testimonials

    ‘Excellent strength in transactional competition work.’

    ‘Saskia King is outstanding. Superb knowledge of competition law. Very strong academic background. But practical and effective in her legal advice. Real expertise drawn from her experience working for regulators.’

     

    Key clients

    Six Nations Rugby Limited

    Costa Coffee

    Major EU Energy Market Participant “Company X”

    Japanese Manufacturing Company

    Chilly’s Bottles

    Hershey’s

    Tempur Sealey

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Costa Coffee on a significant commercial partnership and distribution agreement with Marks & Spencer. As part of the arrangement, the two household-name brands agreed an exclusive partnership, pursuant to which Marks & Spencer will supply a wide range of products to Costa Coffee for Costa Coffee to stock and sell. Acted for Costa Coffee at every stage of this transaction, from the initial drafting of heads of terms through to drafting, negotiation and completion of the agreement.

    Burges Salmon LLP

    Praised for their ‘hands on, no-nonsense‘ approach and ‘deep experience of competition cases’, Burges Salmon LLP is well-versed in all manner of merger clearance mandates, investigations, State aid, subsidy control, and procurement matters – particularly in the retail, transport, healthcare, financial services, tech, and utilities sectors. Working across the firm’s London and Bristol offices, Chris Worrall routinely advises on the competition aspects of big-ticket acquisitions, most recently for blue-chip software companies and national supermarket chains. The Bristol-based John Houlden is a key figure within the practice for State aid and subsidy control work, while director Noel Beale is rated for his ‘calm and reassuring style’ as well as his ‘excellent industry and regulator knowledge’.

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Worrall

    Other key lawyers:

    John Houlden; Noel Beale

    Testimonials

    ‘Experienced competition team with deep experience of competition cases in a range of sectors including healthcare, logistics, and retail.’

    ‘Chris Worrall is very experienced and provides clear advice in a calm, user-friendly way.’

    ‘Noel Beale has excellent industry and regulator knowledge. His calm and reassuring style works for us as a business.’

    ‘Industry and regulator expertise is important to us as a business, as is the ability to assist on short notice. The team always provide advice and support in a format that works for us, whether that’s a light touch steer or more informal advice.’

    ‘Hands on, no-nonsense practice.’

    Key clients

    Deutsche Post DHL Group

    Co-operative Group Limited

    Spire Healthcare

    Loop Interiors

    Taylor Maxwell Group

    Embark Group Limited

    United Kingdom Research & Innovation (UKRI)

    Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy(BEIS)

    Department for Transport – Office for Zero EmissionsVehicles (“OZEV”)

    Clarks

    Work highlights

    • Advised DHL in relation to its €1.5bn acquisition of global freight forwarding group Hillebrand, successfully obtaining CMA merger clearance.
    • Advised on ComfortDelGro’s proposed acquisition from Stagecoach Group plc of inter-city coach businesses including Megabus.
    • Advised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy(BEIS) with regard to securing Covid-19 vaccines.

    Covington & Burling LLP

    Advising on merger control matters in the pharmaceutical, tech and financial services sectors and demonstrating expertise in enforcement investigations, Covington & Burling LLP ‘s competition team continues to develop under the astute leadership of James Marshall. A notable talent at the firm is Sophie Albrighton, who has been key to assisting with major transactions in the past year after joining from Dentons.

    Practice head(s):

    Johan Ysewyn; James Marshall

    Other key lawyers:

    Sophie Albrighton; Katherine Kingsbury

    Key clients

    Bristol Myers Squibb

    Air Products

    AstraZeneca

    Kohlberg & Co.

    Horizon Discovery plc

    Deutsche Börse AG

    Renesas Corp.

    Eaton Corporation Plc

    Work highlights

    • Advised NCC Group plc, a FTSE 250 UK-listed cyber and software resilience business, on the global competition and FDI aspects of its acquisition of Iron Mountain Inc.’s Intellectual Property Management business for a cash consideration of $220 million.
    • Currently advising Kohlberg, a leading private equity firm and investor in PCI Pharma, on the merger control and FDI aspects of PCI Pharma’s acquisition of Permira’s LSNE, a premier contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) headquartered in Bedford.
    • Covington have advised on the global competition aspects of Deutsche Börse’s acquisition of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s competition team advises clients on large multi-jurisdictional merger control issues and behavioural matters. ‘Able to deliver very detailed and complex analyses in short timeframes’, the team is highly regarded by its clients. The practice head is Timothy McIver, a ‘technically astute’ competition lawyer of more than 20 years’ experience. Anne-Mette Heemsoth regularly advises on foreign investment risk and has a background in acting on merger control investigations before the European Commission.

    Practice head(s):

    Timothy McIver

    Other key lawyers:

    Anne-Mette Heemsoth; Megan MacDonald

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is one of the strongest in the EU and UK markets. They are well connected at the agencies and provide wise, practical, client-ready advice.’

    ‘Tim McIver is a pleasure to deal with – he is very knowledgeable and strategic. He is able to distill the main issues in highly complex transactions and other situations.’

    ‘Excellent client service. Subject matter experts. Collaborative, easy to work with. Commercial/practical. Solution oriented.’

    ‘Timothy McIver and Megan MacDonald have been very supportive. Advice has been clear, succinct, commercially astute and pragmatic.’

    ‘A team that is able to deliver very detailed and complex analyses in short timeframes. What has distinguished them from other firms is their responsiveness, their preciseness and their incredible legal skills, as well as their ability to be pragmatic and business-oriented.’

    ‘Incredible legal skills and precision, coupled with an ability to be pragmatic and business-oriented in their approach.’

    ‘Technically strong, but solutions-focused in their advice, drafting and issues management.’

    ‘Tim McIver is technically astute, while suggesting practical solutions to issues.’

    Key clients

    CDPQ

    Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

    Covanta

    DAZN Group

    Domtar Corporation

    Dover Corporation

    GoDaddy Inc.

    Providence Equity

    Rank Group Limited

    Schneider Electric

    Solenis

    Syniverse

    Work highlights

    • Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its $6 billion acquisition and subsequent combination of Fort Dearborn and Multi-Color Corporation, to create the world’s largest label solutions company.
    • Advised Solenis on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its sale to Platinum Equity at an implied enterprise value of $5.25 billion.
    • Advised Syniverse on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its proposed $2.85 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company M3-Brigade Acquisition II Corp. and its partnership with Twilio.

    HFW

    With specialisms in shipping, commodities, construction and aviation, HFW‘s competition team caters for clients in trade, industry and logistics. It is also known for its provision of state aid and subsidy control advice. The team is headed by ‘ultimate safe pair of hands’ Anthony Woolich. Senior partner Daniel Martin is, notably, an expert on international sanctions. The team is a leader in the Aegean region, working closely with HFW’s Piraeus office and advising the Republic of Cyprus.

    Practice head(s):

    Anthony Woolich

    Other key lawyers:

    Daniel Martin; Eirini Roussou

    Testimonials

    ‘Anthony Woolich heads this team. Highly experienced and practical, the ultimate safe pair of hands.’

     

    Key clients

    Crown Commercial Service

    Republic of Cyprus

    Maersk Group

    BP plc

    Victoria Group

    Morgan Stanley

    European Parliament

    Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Limited

    BW Group

    Exelon Generation

    Work highlights

    • Advised Exelon Generation Limited on its investment in a new Rolls Royce-led entity that will design and build low carbon Small Modular (nuclear) Reactors (SMRs).
    • Worked for Victoria Group on the sale of Sojaprotein to ADM.
    • Advised a leading Middle East airline on extending its co-operation agreement with another leading Middle East airline.

    Jones Day

    Working with a diverse roster of blue-chip multinational clients, Jones Day routinely handles cross-border merger control matters with significant regulatory implications. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of new practice head Mark Jones – an experienced adviser in cartel, monopoly, and market investigation matters – who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in March 2022. Of counsel Jason Beer is recommended for his knowledge of the UK NSI regime, and for his sector-specific capabilities in automotive manufacturing and industrials.

    Practice head(s):

    Mark Jones

    Other key lawyers:

    Jason Beer

    Testimonials

    ‘Strong on the law and lovely to work with.’

    ‘Jason Beer is efficient and knowledgeable and provides great client service.’

    ‘A fantastic combination of industry knowledge and legal expertise.’

     

    Key clients

    Koch Industries

    TransDigm Group Incorporated

    CBRE Inc

    EssilorLuxottica

    Mastercard

    Greystar Partners

    Macquarie

    Work highlights

    • Advised EssilorLuxottica on the acquisition of Lenstec Optical, a particularly complex CMA Phase 1 investigation which raised a number of novel issues.
    • Advised Macquarie on the acquisition of Beauparc Utilities, a notable transaction in the waste management sector in both the UK and Ireland.

    K&L Gates LLP

    The ‘excellentK&L Gates LLP attracts considerable praise from clients, who turn to the team for its wide-ranging capabilities in transactional and behavioural competition matters – particularly in the verticals space. Practice head Jennifer Marsh‘s recent highlights include big-ticket merger filings and bespoke distribution strategies, working with a strong mix of consumer goods heavyweights. Gabriela Da Costa – who was promoted to partner in March 2022 – is well-versed in EU and UK vertical competition law, working with numerous brands on the implementation and enforcement of go-to-market strategies. Senior associate Michal Kocon and associate Georgina Rigg are also recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Jennifer Marsh

    Other key lawyers:

    Gabriela Da Costa; Michal Kocon; Georgina Rigg

    Testimonials

    ‘An excellent, wide-ranging knowledge combined with a real-world capabilities.’

    ‘Jennifer Marsh has an excellent grasp of the wider implications of competition law and a very astute application of those implications to the particular matter in hand.’

    ‘The team as a whole are warm and engaging and so are easy to deal with. They are quick to respond to emails and requests, and always with practical, solid advice and guidance. They are organised and very efficient in their support of our selective distribution system.’

    ‘Michal Kocon’s knowledge in the area of EU and competition practice is to be highly commended, as is his ability to get to the heart of an issue quickly.’

    ‘Jennifer Marsh is a pleasure to work with: readily available when needed, and totally practical and efficient.’

    ‘Great people, very responsive and proactive, good international capability. Innovative solutions.’

    ‘Personable, supportive and go to extra lengths to find potential solutions. Ability to clearly articulate issues and solutions in plain language. Jennifer Marsh and Georgie Rigg provide exceptional support and advice.’

    Key clients

    Securitas AB

    Gucci

    Fiskars Group

    DDW The Color House

    Maytronics Ltd

    SharkNinja

    International Molybdenum Association (IMOA)

    K&N Filters

    GN Audio / Jabra

    Work highlights

    • Advising Securitas on its $3.2bn acquisition of Stanley Black & Decker’s electronic security business.
    • Advising SharkNinja on its distribution and commercial strategy during the pandemic and a period of rapid expansion for the brands.
    • Advising Fiskars Group on its distribution and commercial strategy across Europe.

    Mayer Brown International LLP

    Leveraging its sizeable global network and close ties with the wider disputes practice, Mayer Brown International LLP‘s competition team handles numerous cross-border matters for a varied roster of corporate clients. Practice head David M. Harrison is a highly active adviser who variously advises on transnational mergers and investigations instigated by both domestic and foreign regulators. The ‘excellentJulian Ellison – based between Brussels and London – is noted for the breadth of his capabilities, ranging from state aid to cartel inquiries.  Counsel Sarwenaz Kiani – who joined the team from Baker McKenzie in October 2021 – divides her time between the firm’s London and Düsseldorf offices.

    Practice head(s):

    David Harrison; Julian Ellison

    Other key lawyers:

    Sarwenaz Kiani

    Testimonials

    ‘There is real strength in depth in the EU and competition field, with several partners having been involved in important market investigations and high-value competition disputes.’

    ‘Julian Ellison is excellent – a go-to authority on EU and competition law.’

    Key clients

    GeoPost

    Extra MSA Limited

    Aurelius

    CDK Global Inc.

    Marlin Equity Partners

    Unilever

    Work highlights

    • Represented CDK Global, Inc. in the sale of its CDK international segment to Francisco Partners for $1.45 billion.
    • Advised AURELIUS on its acquisition of McKesson UK in a corporate carve-out from the US healthcare company McKesson Corporation.
    • Advised Marlin Equity on various M&A transactions including separate investments in Rydoo and Learning Pool, and ongoing confidential transactions

    Ropes & Gray LLP

    The team at Ropes & Gray LLP  was recently strengthened by the arrival of Annie Herdman, a reputed antitrust lawyer who joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in March 2022.

    Sidley Austin LLP

    Sidley Austin LLP fields a 'very commercial, expert and creative' London team that regularly works on a sweep of multi-billion-dollar, cross-border deals, cartel investigations, and market studies. The 'excellent' Patrick Harrison is a dual-qualified (English and Belgian) advisor whose recent engagements include big-ticket transactions in broadcasting and payment services sectors. Also dual-qualified in English and Belgian law, Vincent Brophy possesses over two decades' experience handling merger control and investigations, while counsel Rosanna Connolly also advises clients on strategic transactions, including in cases taken before the CMA, the EC, and other national competition authorities.

    Practice head(s):

    Ken Daly

    Other key lawyers:

    Patrick Harrison; Vincent Brophy; Rosanna Connolly

    Testimonials

    ‘The team has unparalleled knowledge of our industry and business. Highly regarded by both legal and business teams. Very commercial and provide expert competition law advice with creative solutions.’

    ‘Patrick Harrison is an excellent partner.’

    Key clients

    Mastercard

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

    Magna International Inc.

    F. Hoffmann La Roche

    Ryanair

    MTS Systems Corporation

    Cubic Corporation

    Siris Capital

    Regal Beloit Corporation

    Macquarie Principal Finance

    Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Partners LLP

    Viterra BV

    Work highlights

    • Represented Arthur J. Gallagher in its acquisition of certain reinsurance, specialty, and retail brokerage operations of London-based WTW. Following the termination of the acquisition, subsequently represented AJG in its acquisition of WTW’s treaty reinsurance business.
    • Advised Mastercard in relation to the first investigation under the UK’s Competition Act 1998 (CA98) by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR); advising Mastercard again in the PSR’s new investigation into scheme and interchange fees.
    • Advised Viterra BV on merger control and foreign direct investment filings, as well as on other antitrust-related aspects, in relation to its acquisition of a competitor’s grain and ongredients business.

    Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

    Praised as 'a strong practice which is particularly well-placed for merger work', Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's London office regularly works in collaboration with the firm's wider network of offices on a steady stream of market-leading transactions. Antonio Bavasso - a 'very capable, experienced, and charismatic' partner who heads up the European antitrust and foreign investments group - advises a diverse roster of blue-chip clients on merger control cases, including before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the Court of Appeal, and the EU General Court.  Lauded for his 'wide knowledge and commercial understanding' Étienne Renaudeau specialises in obtaining antitrust approvals on high-profile, cross-border deals, with recent highlights including multi-billion-dollar acquisitions in the tech and chemical sectors. At the counsel level, Josh Buckland is recommended for his proficiency in media, IT, and telecoms matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Antonio Bavasso

    Other key lawyers:

    Étienne Renaudeau; Josh Buckland

    Testimonials

    ‘Étienne Renaudeau is a very hard-working and experienced advisor.’

    ‘Very practical advice delivered without the lengthy memos that a lot of other firms send you. Hard-working and direct.’

    Étienne Renaudeau particularly stands out for his wide knowledge and commercial understanding.’

    ‘Antonio Bavasso is a great hire and very capable, experienced, and charismatic. Josh Buckland is also very good.’

    ‘A strong practice which has hired aggressively in recent years and is particularly well-placed for merger work.’

    Key clients

    Blackstone

    The Bridgepoint Group

    The Carlyle Group

    CBRE

    EQT

    HuwsGray

    KKR

    Liberty Global plc

    Microsoft

    News UK & Ireland Ltd

    WPP plc

    Work highlights

    • Advised Liberty Global plc in antitrust review of its £31bn deal with Telefónica SA to merge VirginMedia (the U.K. Subsidiary of Liberty Global) and O2. The deal was cleared unconditionally after phase II review.
    • Acting as antitrust counsel for PPD Inc. in its $17.4bn acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
    • Acting as antitrust counsel for Nexi S.p.A. in its acquisition of payment provider SIA (closed January 2022). Cleared subject to commitments in Phase II review.

    Stephenson Harwood

    Stephenson Harwood‘s ‘quick and pragmatic’ team is well-versed in the full scope of transactional, behavioural, and advisory competition matters. The team is particularly noted for its capabilities in cartel investigations, advising on multi-jurisdictional inquiries in the financial services and transport sectors. The highly active practice chair Marta Isabel Garcia is praised by clients for the breadth of her EU and UK competition expertise, ranging from merger control to UK NSI regime compliance. Senior associate Bryony Roy’s experience is concentrated in financial services, life sciences, technology and industrial gases.

    Practice head(s):

    Marta Isabel Garcia

    Other key lawyers:

    Bryony Roy

    Testimonials

    ‘Quick, pragmatic, competent advisers with great attention to detail.’

    ‘Very client-focused. Highly committed to getting the best service for the clients.’

    ‘Marta Garcia will go the extra mile for the client and  dig into every point.’

    Key clients

    Alaris

    Covanta

    Work highlights

    • Advised Alaris Holding on all merger control and foreign direct investment aspects of its acquisition of Linwave.
    • Assisted EQT Infrastructure in the merger control and foreign direct investment analysis of EQT Infrastructure’s acquisition of Green Investment Group’s ownership stake in entities which held stakes across four waste-to-energy facilities in the UK.

    Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

    Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP  made a key hire for its City base in summer 2021 with the addition of 'star performerJenine Hulsmann from Clifford Chance LLP; she is one of a series of additions described as 'a real declaration of intent' by the US firm. The team routinely works alongside colleagues in Washington DC on major matters, including high-stakes M&A deals, competition investigations and appeals.

    Practice head(s):

    Jenine Hulsmann

    Other key lawyers:

    Chris Chapman; Niklas Maydell; Nafees Saeed; Neil Rigby; Chris Thomas

    Testimonials

    ‘Weil are building a top-tier practice in competition law in London.  Their recent recruitment of Jenine Hulsman and Chris Chapman from Clifford Chance is a real declaration of intent. They are involved in some of the major ongoing pieces of competition law work in London.’

    ‘Weil’s all-star European antitrust team provides highly relevant, commercial and strategic advice. The team at all times takes into account all aspects potentially influencing a situation thereby fully leveraging the wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds of its lawyer’s bench. Both global multinationals and financial investors regularly rely on Weil’s advice in highly complex international antitrust and litigation matters. The natural choice for many when risk management and transaction certainty are essential.’

    ‘Jenine Hulsmann is a star performer.  A lawyer of extraordinary versatility – equally at home in a complex Phase 2 merger case as she is in heavy competition litigation. She mixes deep technical expertise with wonderful strategic and tactical sense.’

    ‘Chris Chapman is a rising star in this area.  A wonderfully precise and concise lawyer – every word counts.  One to watch for sure.’

    Key clients

    Advent International

    Lone Star Funds

    Meta

    Cinven

    Brookfield Asset Management

    Hilton Worldwide

    Blackstone

    Bain Capital

    Cobham

    Sanofi S.A.

    Ontario Teachers’ Pensions Plan Board

    Microsoft

    Work highlights

    • Serving as lead global antitrust counsel Microsoft in its $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Inc., before the European Commission, coordinating the regulatory process across several jurisdictions worldwide.
    • Advised Lone Star Funds and their portfolio company MBCC Group, the former BASF Construction Chemicals business, on the sale of MBCC Group to acompetitor in the construction chemicals industry, Sika for a consideration of €5.2 billion.
    • Advised Advent International as a lead investor in the consortium acquiring high-profile cybersecurity firm McAfee in a transaction valued at more than $14 billion on an enterprise value basis after repayment of debt.

    Winston & Strawn LLP

    Winston & Strawn LLP regularly handles highly technical competition matters – both behavioural and transactional – for a diverse roster of blue-chip corporations. Hailed by clients as ‘an excellent lawyer with a sharp, analytical mind‘, practice chair Peter Crowther possesses wide-ranging expertise in EU and CMA investigations, particularly in the sports, telecoms, and electronics sectors. Associate Freya MacCormack is also recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter Crowther

    Other key lawyers:

    Freya MacCormack

    Testimonials

    ‘Peter Crowther is an excellent lawyer with a sharp, analytical mind.’

    ‘The Winston team in the UK has been very strong, reliable and responsive. They have a deep bench of talented associates to assist, and the partner leadership is excellent, and very attentive to our needs as a client.’

    ‘Peter Crowther has assisted us in extremely complex, sensitive and challenging issues. He always brings practical, business-focused advice while also understanding the very complicated legal issues that are involved. He is always available and responsive.’

    Key clients

    Hitachi Metals Ltd.

    XL Catlin

    Professional Footballers’ Association

    Liberty Specialty Markets

    Silgan Holdings, Inc.

    Motorola Solutions

    Work highlights

    • Advising the PFA on the legality of salary caps under competition law.
    • Advising Motorola Solutions on the CMA market investigation into the supply of land mobile radio services.
    • Advising LSM in relation to the application of international trade sanctions to LSM’s business.

    Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

    Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s London competition team is regularly involved in cases in competition law enforcement, representing a number of luxury brands in connection with the overhaul of the UK and EU competition rules on vertical agreements. The team is also the UK representative member of the pan-European Anti-Trust Alliance of Competition law firm practices, which aims to provide an integrated offering to clients across compliance, cartels and advisory work on a multi-jurisdictional level. Team head Paul Stone  advises on all aspects of EU and UK competition law and has specialised in this area for over 20 years.

    Practice head(s):

    Paul Stone

    Testimonials

    ‘Paul Stone has been my go-to UK and EU competition and telecoms lawyer for a decade. In that time period, in related litigation for me, CRS (led by Paul) has a 100% track record.’

    ‘CRS is a full service law firm where each team I have encountered has been excellent. The common theme is that each group feels and acts like in-house counsel and takes time to understand their client as well as just the subject they are advising on or litigating. While they would never second guess their client, it makes the experience easier and more efficient by taking that time upfront.’

    ‘The CRS EU & Competition team distil the complexities of competition law into digestible, solution-oriented and commercial advice, taking into account the aims of the relevant project. This practical, risk-based analysis is welcomed by our business leads.’

    ‘Paul Stone is an excellent competition lawyer. He is extremely commercial in his approach and we highly value his speed and efficiency both in identifying the key issues and proposing solution(s).’

    Key clients

    ITV

    Consultant Eye Surgeons Partnership Limited (CESP)

    Gamma Telecom

    Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain (TRA)

    YouView

    Celesio

    discoverIE

    IFS

    Meggitt

    Battery Ventures

    Walpole Institute

    Work highlights

    • Advising ITV on a broad range of competition matters, including in relation to a variety of commercial arrangements such as procurement contracts, supply arrangements, strategic joint ventures, and business acquisitions.
    • Advising Walpole and its members in relation to the ongoing revision by the EU Commission of the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption and the recommendations by the CMA for a new UK block exemption.
    • Acting for Gamma in relation to a broad range of competition law matters, including Ofcom market reviews, regulatory statements, and other competition law investigations.

    Mishcon de Reya LLP

    Proficient in a range of cross-jurisdictional merger control filings and CMA-driven investigations, Mishcon de Reya LLP is noted for its capabilities in the online and fast-growth tech sectors. The practice is headed up by contentious specialist Sarah Houghton , while the prolific transactional partner  Neil Baylis is a highly experienced adviser to a range of financial services institutes, gaming companies, and trade associations, to name a few.  Managing associate Gwen Ballin-Reeler’s recent instructions encompasses tech, retail, and agriculture.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah Houghton

    Other key lawyers:

    Neil Baylis; Gwen Ballin-Reeler

    Key clients

    Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC

    Ladbrokes Limited

    International Lithium Association

    EuroChem Group AG

    Avia Partners

    Community Eyecare Group

    European Subsea Cables Association

    Fastned

    Highway Care

    Global Radio

    Iceland

    Radiocentre

    George Pragnell

    Zircon Industry Association

    Preiskel & Co LLP

    Preiskel & Co LLP is praised by clients for the depth of its behavioural competition capabilities in the tech, media, and telecom sectors. The ‘creative and engaged‘ practice chair Tim Cowen is particularly noted for his expertise in a range of CMA and European Commission-instigated abuse of dominance claims, acting for both defendants and complainants. Associate Raluca Sterian is also noted.

    Practice head(s):

    Tim Cowen

    Other key lawyers:

    Raluca Sterian

    Testimonials

    ‘They have a deep understanding of the tech and telecoms industries with both technical and practical knowledge.’

    ‘Tim Cowen is always creative and engaged, and ready to explore new approaches.’

    Key clients

    Movement for an Open Web Limited

    London Cremation Company

    Connexity Inc

    ICOMP

    Unite the Union

    Tobii Dynavox

    Tobii Group

    Work highlights

    • Advised Movement for an Open Web Limited in respect of a complaint to the CMA and other regulators against Google for abuse of dominance.
    • Advised the London Cremation Company (LCC) in relation to a CMA sector investigation into funerals.
    • Advising Connexity in relation to its High Court Claim for damages against Google.

    Shoosmiths LLP

    Shoosmiths LLP is entrusted by a diverse roster of well-known corporates for assistance across a range of competition matters, ranging from merger clearance and anti-competitive conduct investigations to remedy implementation strategies. Competition law head Simon Barnes, who works between the firm’s London and Reading offices, is praised for his ‘exceptional’ client service.

    Practice head(s):

    Simon Barnes

    Testimonials

    ‘Able to communicate complex competition law issues in a simple manner to the business, non-lawyers.’

    ‘Simon Barnes is an exceptional lawyer: communicable and provides a calm assurance on complex legal issues.’

    ‘As ever at Shoosmiths, what makes this practice different is its people and their approach. Lawyers are helpful, approachable and personable as well as having the requisite technical skills. Advice is pragmatic, not handed down from an ivory tower. Costs are also reasonable.’

    ‘Simon Barnes is my go-to competition lawyer. He is very knowledgeable and up-to-date with the law. He can unpick often knotty competition law problems, and find practical solutions. What I particularly appreciate is that he explains his thinking as he goes along, which increases my understanding.’

    ‘Simon Barnes provides pragmatic advice in a very technical area.’

    ‘Often competition lawyers provide vanilla, generic advice at a helicopter level without truly understanding the relevant facts and dynamics at play. Simon takes the time to understand the detail of the operations in order to provide targeted and relevant advice in context.’

    Key clients

    Hoyer

    Mercedes-Benz

    Honda

    Scania

    BAT

    Ageas

    Asahi

    Hovis

    Stellantis

    Mattel

    Work highlights

    • Advised Hoyer Group on securing UK merger control clearance for its acquisition of DHL’s UK fuel delivery business.
    • Represented a major automotive business in the CMA’s investigation into suspected anti-competitive conduct in relation to the recycling of end-of-life vehicles.
    • Supported an international consumer good brand on rolling out bespoke e-learning for nearly 2,000 staff across Europe.

    Stevens & Bolton LLP

    Based in Guilford, Stevens & Bolton LLP’s competition team acts for clients across the retail, food and beverage, technology and life sciences sectors on merger control and state aid matters, in addition to CMA investigations. Practice leader Gustaf Duhs is praised for his ‘excellent expertise in competition law and quick thinking’.

    Practice head(s):

    Gustaf Duhs

    Other key lawyers:

    Robert Eriksson

    Testimonials

    ‘Gustav Duhs is an excellent generalist and a pleasure to work with.’

    ‘Efficiency, professionalism, great communication between other departments and collaboration.’

    ‘I appreciate Gustaf Duhs’ excellent expertise in competition law and quick thinking. He is very much to the point and very responsive.’

    ‘Strong commercial and competition advice.’

    ‘Gustaf Duhs is always available at the drop of a hat, intelligent, commercial and charming.’

    ‘A personal, competent and swift and responsive team that is there for you when you need them. They stick to the key material points and understand the clients’ wishes and desires.’

    ‘Robert Eriksson and Gustaf Duhs worked together seamlessly and the whole team were very dedicated.’

    ‘Responsive and always see the broader picture.’

    Key clients

    VX Fiber Ltd

    CANCOM SE

    Blatchford Limited

    Kia Motors UK

    SecurMed UK Ltd

    British Generic Manufacturers Association

    Work highlights

    • Advising CANCOM on merger control risks associated with the €400m sale of CANCOM to a subsidiary of Telefónica S.A.
    • Advising a global engineering product supplier on UK merger control and the application of the National Security and Investment Act 2021, in relation to a multi-jurisdictional merger with a competitor.
    • Advising one of the UK’s leading trade associations in the life sciences sector on competition law compliance with regard to a shared data platform for regulatory filing purposes.

    Taylor Wessing LLP

    An array of blue-chip corporate clients turn to Taylor Wessing LLP for its capabilities in multi-jurisdictional merger control matters. Dual-qualified (English and Italian) Paolo Palmigiano’s deep expertise in regulated sectors ensures that he is consistently sought out by both public and private sector entities. Senior counsel Louisa Penny’s broad focus encompasses TMT, consumer goods, retail, and life sciences.

    Practice head(s):

    Paolo Palmigiano

    Other key lawyers:

    Louisa Penny

    Testimonials

    ‘In-house expertise with a pragmatic approach.’

    Watson Farley & Williams LLP

    Noted for its ‘unique expertise in the aviation and maritime sectors’, Watson Farley & Williams LLP advises its roster of clients on matters pertaining to merger control regulations, abuse of dominant position and agreements with third party suppliers. Practice leader Solange Leandrohas strong international experience’ and provides ‘commercial and succinct advice’ on EU and UK competition compliance matters. Senior advisor Philippe Ruttley is another key member of the team.

    Practice head(s):

    Solange Leandro

    Other key lawyers:

    Philippe Ruttley

    Testimonials

    ‘WFW is excellent in cross-border deals.’

    ‘Solange Leandro has strong international experience, especially in the EU and UK market, and is highly skilled in cross-border deals.’

    ‘A unique expertise in the the aviation and maritime sectors. Top-notch expertise, responsiveness, clear advice and very nice to work with.’

    ‘Solange Leandro is an exceptional lawyer.’

    ‘Great strength in depth.’

    ‘Solange Leandro and the whole team at WFW provided us with excellent support in getting our change of control notification approved by competition authorities smoothly and within a very short timeframe.’

    ‘Excellent international experience. Hands on, practical advice across numerous jurisdictions.’

    ‘Solange Leandro works tirelessly to ensure that clients’ queries and needs are fulfilled. She provides commercial and succinct advice.’