EU and competition in London
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s team handles all aspects of competition law, such as high-value mergers, cartel investigations, abuse of a dominant position, and issues regarding state aid. Team members’ experience spans a wide range of sectors including consumer goods, financial services, pharmaceutical and healthcare, retail, energy, and TMT, among others. As part of a cross-departmental team, Deirdre Trapp and James Aitken advised energy company SSE on the competition law aspects of its widely reported merger with Npower. John Davies and Michelle Davis led a team assisting Comcast Corporation with the global merger control and public interest aspects of its £30bn public bid for Sky. Davies left the firm in March 2019 and currently serves as a senior adviser at a global advisory firm. Simon Priddis splits his time between London and Brussels and manages the practice, where Rod Carlton and Alex Potter are also key figures.
- Handled the competition law aspects of SSE’s merger with Npower.
- Assisting Comcast Corporation with the global merger control and public interest aspects of its £30bn public bid for Sky.
Linklaters LLP’s ‘impressive’ competition group handles significant high-value mergers and advises clients on complex investigations conducted both by the competition market authorities as well as by regulated sector authorities. Particular sectors of focus for the team include mining, energy and infrastructure, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, retail, financial services, energy, utilities, fintech, and private equity. In the pharmaceutical space, the team worked closely with the firm’s offices in Belgium and the US in obtaining unconditional clearance across multiple jurisdictions for client Takeda in relation to its recommended £46bn offer for Shire; with recently promoted counsel Anna Mitchell leading a London-based team on this matter. On the retail side, UK practice head Nicole Kar and Simon Pritchard acted for Sainsbury’s on its proposed merger with Asda. Christian Ahlborn is dual qualified in the UK and Germany and led a team advising E.ON on all competition law aspects of its planned asset exchange with RWE. Bringing years of competition law experience handling complex cross-border issues, Sir Christopher Bellamy QC chairs the practice globally and advises high-profile clients, such as Novartis and Visa Europe. Natura Gracia specialises in state aid, utility regulation and public procurement matters. Former partner Michael Cutting departed to accept a position at the Competition Appeals Tribunal.
‘Linklaters’ competition team is helpful, extremely professional, exceptionally hardworking and very commercial. The team is also great at making complex legal concepts and processes easier for the client to understand’
‘A very good and technically excellent team’
‘The group’s strong technical knowledge is coupled with the unique ability to get to the commercial point as well’
‘The team takes into account the in-house perspective, and provides hands-on advice which does not remain in the purely theoretical legal sphere but is also highly practical and pragmatic’
‘Nicole Kar, Simon Pritchard and Helen Crossley all have fantastic strengths as individuals and blend well as a team. Their attention to detail, experience and stamina are exceptional’
‘Christopher Bellamy is a real asset to the Linklaters group’
‘Nicole Kar has a strong presence and strong leadership skills’
‘Simon Pritchard’s strength lies in his ability to handle highly technical issues in an excellent manner’
‘A true standout, Natura Gracia is absolutely brilliant’
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
Advent International Corporation
ION Investment Group
Thames Water/ Anglian Water
- Assisted Sibanye Gold with obtaining unconditional Phase I clearance by the CMA of its high-profile acquisition of Lonmin, a UK publicly-listed producer of platinum group metals.
- Advising E.ON on all competition aspects, including multiple filings with the European Commission and national European authorities, required for the client’s planned exchange of assets with RWE Aktiengesellschaft (RWE).
- Acting for KPMG LLP in relation to the CMA’s market study into the statutory audit market in the UK, which was launched on 9 October 2018.
- Advised Advent International Corporation on the merger control aspects of the recommended cash offer of £1.2bn for Laird by AI Ladder, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of funds managed by Advent.
- Advised Intu Properties on the CMA review process regarding a failed £3.4bn merger bid with Hammerson.
Slaughter and May’s competition group provides full-service competition law advice on high-profile merger control cases, contentious and regulatory issues, and state aid matters. The London team works seamlessly with the firm's sole continental European office in Brussels, advising on high-profile matters including Vodafone's proposed £18.4bn acquisition of Liberty Global’s telecoms business in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. The group is also representing clients in a number of Phase II merger cases before both the CMA and the European Commission; among multiple examples, one noteworthy highlight is advising Tata Steel on its proposed joint venture with thyssenkrupp, aiming at the creation of a leading European steel enterprise. Another stable source of work for the team comes in the form of instructions from clients in the consumer protection space. Practice head Philippe Chappatte leads a team advising two parties in the CMA consumer law investigation into accommodation booking sites, while Bertrand Louveaux is leading on handling competition law aspects of client GlaxoSmithKline’s divestment of Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition brands to Unilever. Claire Jeffs has been leading a team assisting Google with the European Commission’s Article 102 investigation into its AdSense for Search advertising services. Isabel Taylor has particular expertise in state aid law. Special adviser Jackie Holland stands out for her significant experience in the public and private sectors.
‘An absolutely impressive first-class team. Everyone is extremely collaborative, working well as a team and also excellent at interacting with local counsel’
‘There’s a great depth of knowledge within the team across all areas of competition law and a consistently high level of quality’
‘Multiple factors set the team apart— the exceptional client service, its tremendous strength in depth, and team members’ great industry knowledge’
‘The team has unrivalled technical knowledge and adopts a hands-on approach towards managing complex regulatory and competition issues’
‘Bertrand Louveaux is clearly an outstanding competition lawyer. Extremely sharp, very experienced and commercially aware’
‘Clients get the special feeling that they are working with the entire team, not just separate individuals’
‘Bertrand Louveaux is a fantastic communicator with real gravitas: when he talks, people listen’
‘Philippe Chappatte and Claire Jeffs are exceptional’
IAG British Airways
Marsh & McLennan Companies
McGraw Hill (Platts)
Royal Dutch Shell
Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Serving as lead legal advisers to Google in the European Commission’s Article 102 investigation into its AdSense for Search advertising services.
- Advising Booking.com and Agoda on the CMA’s consumer law investigation into the online accommodation booking sector.
- Advised price-reporting agency Platts in relation to the European Commission’s investigations into multiple companies’ practices in producing, distributing and trading ethanol.
- Advising Vodafone on its proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s telecoms business in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. The transaction is currently subjected to Phase II review by the European Commission.
- Advised European energy group innogy on the competition law aspects of a proposed joint venture, aiming at combining the British energy retail operations of innogy’s subsidiary Npower with SSE.
At Allen & Overy LLP, the antitrust group advises on a full range of issues including merger control, cartels, market investigations, behavioural cases, and state aid. Demonstrating the depth of the department's expertise, the team acted for 21st Century Fox on its long-running £27.7bn takeover bid for Sky, which encompassed advice on merger control, regulatory controls, and contentious issues. Apart from its traditional client roster of large corporations and financial institutions, the department also receives instructions from governments and public-sector bodies. The London team has a strong track record handling complex cross-border work, with its expertise complemented by the strength of the firm's Brussels competition team in particular. Global antitrust group co-chair Antonio Bavasso , who is described by clients as a 'strategic thinker', advised 21st Century Fox in relation to its $71bn acquisition by the Walt Disney Company— a transaction that involved securing multiple merger clearances internationally. Also of significance is the team’s strong presence in the financial services sector, with Mark Friend and Philip Mansfield leading a team acting for BNY Mellon on the first investigation opened by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) using its competition enforcement powers. Friend leads the London-based practice, where Alasdair Balfour, counsel Thomas Masterman and Dominic Long are also recommended.
Mark Friend; Antonio Bavasso
‘Allen & Overy’s team has unquestionable expertise in EU competition law, it engages and communicates clearly, and produces high-quality deliverables’
‘The strength of the firm’s development program for associates results in a team which is efficient across all levels, from partner to junior level’
‘Team members are very commercially minded and adopt a practical approach to achieving clients’ key goals’
‘Antonio Bavasso has wide-ranging expertise and a unique ability to grasp how the issues at stake fit into the bigger picture in light of his clients’ interests’
‘Mark Friend stands out for his sharpness and commercial acumen. He is an immensely experienced practitioner possessing particular in-depth knowledge of both competition law and judicial review procedures’
‘Alasdair Balfour is very practical and constructive’
‘Counsel Thomas Masterman is a standout in this area’
21st Century Fox
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
The Blackstone Group
Brookfield Asset Management
Lloyds Banking Group
Marks & Spencer
Mubadala Investment Company
EMI Music Publishing
The Gym Group
- Advised 21st Century Fox on the merger and UK regulatory aspects of its £27.7bn takeover bid for Sky, as well as on the subsequent £11.6bn sale of the client’s 39% stake in Sky to Comcast.
- Representing Qatar Petroleum in an ongoing EU investigation into alleged territorial restrictions of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply agreements.
- Represented BNY Mellon in relation to the first investigation opened by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) using its competition enforcement powers.
- Advised BTG on competition issues arising out of its acquisition by Boston Scientific.
- Advising Fox Networks on an investigation by the European Commission into alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the sports rights business.
Representing large corporates at both UK and EU levels, Ashurst fields a strong team working across all competition law disciplines. In addition to providing advice on high-profile investigations conducted by the CMA and the European Commission, the team also assists clients with investigations carried out by sectoral regulators exercising their concurrent jurisdiction. As evidenced by the department’s work highlights, the group has built particularly strong sector-specific expertise in financial services, but also has experience in pharmaceuticals, technology, retail, and energy. Team members' skillsets are complemented by their ability to draw on the expertise of the firm’s in-house economist group, which is another unique characteristic setting the group apart in the market. Practice co-heads Nigel Parr and Euan Burrows have established a reputation based on solid contentious and non-contentious work. ‘Great leader’ Duncan Liddell has been singled out by clients for his work advising companies on investigations alleging anti-competitive behaviour. Ross Mackenzie and counsel Charles Hammon are also recommended.
Nigel Parr; Euan Burrows
‘All team members have an abundance of knowledge in their field of competition law. Discussing clients’ needs is seamless when dealing with any member of the team. They recognise a sense of urgency in a calm manner, and communicate complex issues in an easy-to-understand way that facilitates a more efficient decision-making process’
‘Duncan Liddell is always easy to reach, regardless of his busy schedule; communicating in a direct but polite manner with all parties involved, he provides elegant direction and articulate advice’
‘Ross Mackenzie and counsel Charles Hammon both respond and act quickly, making the effort to understand the specifics of the client’s particular sector and the complexities of the market’
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
Lloyds Banking Group
Liberty House Group
- Advised CareTech Holdings on competition law aspects of its £372m acquisition of Cambian Group, successfully securing an unconditional Phase I clearance by the CMA.
- Advising Morrisons as one of the third parties to the CMA’s Phase II review of the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda.
- Advised KeolisAmey, a joint venture between international public transport operator Keolis and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey, in relation to the acquisition of the Wales and Borders Franchise.
- Acted for Synnex on its $2.8bn acquisition of Convergys, securing a Phase I clearance of the merger by the European Commission.
- Advising the Liberty House Group on the competition and merger control aspects of its proposed acquisition of certain assets being divested by the ArcelorMittal Group.
Due to its team members’ extensive experience handling investigations conducted by the CMA and the EU Commission, Baker McKenzie’s ‘efficient and practical’ competition department continues to gain new mandates in this space. A team led by recently appointed practice co-head Keith Jones represented Willis Towers Watson on the regulator’s investigation into the market for investment consultancy and fiduciary management services. In another highlight, fellow department co-head Luis Gomez advised Jones Lang LaSalle on the CMA's cartel investigation into the building and fit-out sector. On the merger control side, the London-based team’s proven ability to act alongside colleagues across multiple foreign jurisdictions allows it to represent clients in a number of significant cross-border matters. One example is the advice provided to Unilever by a team led by Samantha Mobley in relation to the client’s acquisition of Quala, a leading Latin American consumer goods company. Nicola Northway is highly recommended for investigatory work, as well as for her expertise in the financial services sector. The department's sector-specific focus also includes professional services, technology, telecoms, and healthcare.
Keith Jones; Luis Gomez
‘Smart, efficient, client-focused, and commercially minded’
‘A very internationally focused practice, which is able to draw on the expertise of specialist teams across the globe’
‘The team offers invaluable project management support in handling large and often complex cases and transactions’
‘Everyone works hard at presenting advice in the most client-friendly manner; the presentation is also tailored to the particular audience within the client’s corporate structure’
‘Luis Gomez is an intellectual heavyweight who is also very experienced in matters before the CMA. He is a real pleasure to work with – he makes his points clearly and succinctly and is good at building relationships with clients’’
‘Keith Jones has a very deep industry understanding, a great legal brain, and a highly practical approach to legal issues’
‘Samantha Mobley goes the extra mile – she is always quick, responsive and available’
‘Nicola Northway leverages her prior in-house experience to advise in a way that resonates with clients’
British American Tobacco
Willis Towers Watson
- Acted for Willis Towers Watson on the CMA’s market investigation in relation to investment consultancy and fiduciary management services.
- Represented a manufacturer of musical instruments in a live CMA dawn raid. Currently advising on the resulting investigation into the market’s pricing practices in the UK.
- Advising Unilever in relation to its acquisition of Quala, securing a clearance at Phase I in Mexico, and at Phase II in Colombia and Ecuador.
- Assisted a leading food wholesaler with its acquisition of a products supply company, and secured a Phase I clearance of the transaction by the CMA.
- Advising Platinum Equity LLC on its £4bn bid to acquire Husky Injection Molding Systems.
Active both UK- and EU-wide, Clifford Chance LLP’s antitrust team provides full-service competition law advice on merger control issues as well as high-profile investigations. In the investigatory space, the group is able to adopt a holistic approach to assisting its clients, relying on the expertise of the firm’s competition litigation team. Team members’ combined experience spans a wide range of complex matters in industry sectors such as consumer goods, retail, financial services, energy, infrastructure, telecoms, media, and others. Of note is the team’s recent work in the telecoms space, in which a team led by Jenine Hulsmann obtained an unconditional clearance from the European Commission of the merger between Tele2 Netherlands and T-Mobile Netherlands. In the financial services sector, Alex Nourry and practice head Greg Olsen have taken lead roles for high-profile clients such as Thomson Reuters and Mastercard International, respectively. The group is also increasing its presence in the pharmaceutical and the technology sectors, where Nelson Jung is a key figure.
‘Highly experienced, very responsive and personable‘
‘Very good at managing a global project and keeping clients informed‘
‘Alex Nourry is very experienced and highly recommended‘
Elliott Advisors UK
Thomson Reuters Corporation
- Successfully represented Tele2 in obtaining unconditional approval from the European Commission for the merger of its Dutch business with T-Mobile Netherlands, following a complex Phase II investigation.
- Advising Thomson Reuters on merger control aspects of the sale of a 55% majority stake in its Financial & Risk business (now known as Refinitiv) to The Blackstone Group.
- Advising Motor Fuel Group, backed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, on merger control aspects of the acquisition of MRH, the UK’s largest petrol station and convenience retail operator.
- Advising MasterCard International on the European Commission’s ongoing antitrust investigation of MasterCard’s inter-regional multilateral interchange fees and cross-border acquiring rules.
- Advised NEX Group on its $5.5bn sale to US exchange operator CME Group. The group assisted the client with obtaining an unconditional Phase I clearance of the transaction in the UK.
Attracting praise for its expertise by peers and clients alike, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has 'extensive competition law experience'. The team is active across a number of industries such as aviation, telecoms, transport and regulated infrastructure, but also has a particular strength in financial services and consumer products, with Susan Black particularly recommended for the latter sector. Black heads up the firm's consumer products practice group. The London and Brussels offices work closely together on competition matters, with the London team also working in conjunction with colleagues across the firm’s global network in Europe, Africa and the Asia Pacific. This international breadth means the firm is able to handle complex cross-border merger filings, antitrust investigations, and private enforcement actions. The department’s longstanding client base includes notable blue-chip clients such as Sky, British American Tobacco, and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Mandates include a team led by global practice head Stephen Wisking advised Sky on the merger control and regulatory aspects of its £29.7bn acquisition by Comcast, as well as on the merger control and media plurality issues of 21st Century Fox’s competing bid for Sky. Also highly recommended are Veronica Roberts, Kim Dietzel and Tim Briggs.
‘The team provides a first-rate legal service and clear and unambiguous answers‘
‘A standout team due to its high responsiveness, professionalism, and deep knowledge of the area‘
‘The team is highly practical and willing to listen to the client’s points of view‘
‘The team is fantastic — very knowledgeable and experienced‘
‘Team members focus on what the risk areas for a client are realistically, as opposed to simply theoretical risks; they then develop useful, well-informed solutions that are easy to implement‘
‘Tim Briggs is flexible in addressing the needs of the clients, and very knowledgeable about the area, particularly with regard to competition and regulatory matters relating to the water industry‘
‘Susan Black is a fantastic, really engaged competition lawyer who provides good commercial advice‘
‘Veronica Roberts is a true standout lawyer. She has a pleasant manner and provides razor-sharp legal analysis‘
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Northern Ireland Electricity Networks
Severn Trent Water
- Advising Sky on the merger control and regulatory aspects of its £29.7bn acquisition by Comcast, as well as on the merger control and media plurality and broadcasting standards aspects of 21st Century Fox’s competing bid for Sky.
- Acting for Sky on the £4.7bn acquisition by Stars Group of online betting and gaming business Sky Betting &Gaming.
- Advised Hammerson on its proposed £3.4bn acquisition of its principal UK rival, Intu Properties.
- Advising Virgin Atlantic Airways on the competition law aspects, among others, of its innovative consortium rescue and takeover of Flybe.
- Advised Uber on all antitrust and merger control aspects of the combination of its ride-sharing business in Russia and other neighbouring countries with Yandex.Taxi.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Following the 2018 merger that created Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, the firm’s antitrust and competition group has broadened its network and its ability to offer clients cross-border advice. Indeed, the practice is handling an increasing amount of complex cross-border matters in the merger control and regulatory space. While the team acts across a wide range of sectors, it has particular expertise in regulated sectors including utilities, aviation, energy, rail and water. In the financial services arena, the team acts for a number of financial institution clients on competition and regulatory investigations. The department is headed up by ‘first-class practitioner’ Andrew Hockley. The 'trustworthy’ James Marshall stands out due to his prior competition enforcement experience gained at the CMA, and is particularly adept at handling work in the regulated sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Genuinely client-friendly expert antitrust advice with a focus on practical solutions‘
‘A strong understanding of the application of competition law to matters in the regulated sectors‘
‘Excellent responsiveness, flexible approach to client support, and deep cross-sectoral expertise‘
‘All team members are very solution-orientated; rather than simply presenting the particular legal challenge, they seek to understand the client’s business and work to find effective strategies that are practical and commercial‘
‘Andrew Hockley has the valuable ability to get right to the point. He works well with in-house legal teams, translating complex legal issues into more digestible information.’
‘James Marshall has an excellent manner and provides speedy and practical advice. He has a calming influence in stressful situations and is able to put business people at ease‘
‘James Marshall is able to quickly get to the crux of the matter while still remaining willing to roll up his sleeves and understand the detail, where necessary‘
Transport for London
- Advising Heathrow Airport on multiple complex competition and regulatory matters, ranging from commercial agreements and compliance advice, to CAA interactions, price control and business-critical antitrust investigations and cases.
- Advising BT on multiple high-profile and complex competition and regulatory issues, including corporate transactions, various product and service-supply arrangements, and issues regarding an Ofcom investigation.
- Advising National Grid on interconnector regulation and competition law compliance.
- Advising Playtech plc on the CMA’s enforcement investigation into the online gambling sector.
While Hogan Lovells International LLP’ antitrust, competition and economic regulation group handles a large volume of merger control, investigations and behavioural antitrust work domestically, it also uses its global network to provide seamless full-service advice to clients across a number of other jurisdictions. A recent work highlight in this regard is the team’s cross-border work for US-based telecoms equipment manufacturing company Arris International; in which a team from the UK and US advised Arris on the merger control aspects of its $4.7bn acquisition by CommScope Vision. The London-based team is active in a number of sectors subjected to recent scrutiny by the UK and EU regulators, such as financial services, TMT, and life sciences and pharmaceuticals. The department has notable experience in the media space: Angus Coulter led a team on advising British newspaper group Reach’s £200m acquisition of multiple newspapers, while Suyong Kim and Mark Jones took the lead handling competition law and media plurality concerns for News Corporation. Currently a part of the firm's management team, Susan Bright stands out for her extensive cross-border experience.
Angus Coulter; Suyong Kim
‘Always, practical, down-to-earth and fast-moving‘
‘Excellent commercial and strategic advice coupled with first-rate technical knowledge of how competition law operates‘
‘The team is highly responsive and capable, and also willing to be a source of advice, as well as a sounding board when needed‘
‘Both partners and associates are very responsive and provide pragmatic and commercial advice‘
‘It is not easy to find a competition lawyer who is as knowledgeable and practical as Mark Jones‘
‘Suyong Kim provides high-quality advice and is attentive to detail‘
- Advised leading newspaper publisher Reach on significant consolidation in the UK newspaper sector, which involved the £200m acquisition of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell: newspapers The Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Sunday Star, and magazines Star, New! and OK!.
- Advising Arris International on its $7.4 bn acquisition by CommScope Vision. Work includes advising on all aspects of the multi-jurisdictional merger control filing and review process.
- Represented News Corporation on a Phase II merger investigation by the CMA regarding the takeover of Sky.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP has a particular strength in merger control reviews of high-value transactions. The team has a strong presence in the private equity space, but recent work highlights also demonstrate its involvement in other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, technology, chemicals, consumer goods and financial services. Notably, the London-based group cooperates with its US counterpart, but is also able to rely on the significant ‘best friends’ network it has developed internationally. Paula Riedel heads the department, where Sarah Jordan and Sally Southwell are also highly recommended. The team is growing: most recently, November 2018 saw Thomas Wilson join from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Associate Annie Herdman is noted.
‘Unmatchable expertise in merger control matters’
‘A strong team that does exceptional work’
‘Besides its full dedication to providing high-quality services, Kirkland & Ellis’ team is also committed to understanding the client’s industry’
‘With high-quality work comparable to Magic Circle firms’, the team has achieved a good balance between complex UK and EC merger work’
‘Paula Riedel is very persuasive and strong in legal arguments but at the same time, she also remains calm and understanding’
‘Sarah Jordan has a great strategic mind coupled with good business orientation’
‘Paula Riedel and Sarah Jordan are friendly and experienced’
‘Sally Southwell and Thomas Wilson are emerging talents’
‘Sally Southwell is an outstanding lawyer’
The Boeing Company
Vista Equity Partners
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
SK Capital Partners
- Advising GlaxoSmithKline on its agreement with Pfizer to combine the companies’ healthcare businesses into a new world-leading joint venture, valued at $12.7bn.
- Advised Accuride Corporation, a US-based supplier of wheel-end components and steel and aluminium wheels, on the antitrust aspects of its acquisition of Mefro Wheels.
- Acting for Bristol-Myers Squibb in relation to its $74bn acquisition of Celgene.
- Advising Bain Capital on multiple matters across Europe, the US and Asia, including the client’s acquisitions of Reifen Krieg and DSM Pharmaceuticals.
- Advised Valeo Foods, a portfolio company of CapVest, on the £127m acquisition of Tangerine Confectionery.
Macfarlanes LLP advises clients in sectors including financial services, pharmaceuticals, broadcasting, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail and gambling. It is also worth noting that the team has significant experience in advising on the intersection of intellectual property and competition law. Headed by Malcolm Walton, the department assists clients with issues such as multi-jurisdictional mergers, contentious work, sectoral enquires and investigations by UK, EU and global authorities. ‘Strategic thinker’ Cameron Firth is also highly recommended and is noted for his involvement in the CMA’s recent investigations into the pharmaceutical market.
Other key lawyers:
Cameron Firth; Stephen Kon; Christophe Humpe; Fiona Beattie
‘The team is strategic, business-oriented, and very impressive in analysing complex situations‘
‘Macfarlanes stands out for its in-depth knowledge of the industry, commercial and strategically aware advice, and excellent technical legal and drafting skills‘
‘Team members understand the need for speed and concision in providing legal advice. They are also extremely flexible and consistent in their delivery, as well as very knowledgeable of the industry and the client’s business. They are capable of proactively spotting less foreseeable consequences relating to taking a certain course of action‘
‘Cameron Firth and Fiona Beattie are both very experienced and give clear, decisive guidance. They are pragmatic and sensitive to commercial factors, but also do not shy away from giving difficult advice when needed‘
‘Stephen Kon and Christophe Humpe certainly stand out in this field‘
Hain Celestial Group/ Hain Daniels Group
Royal Bank of Scotland
Associated British Foods
Hogg Robinson Group
Oaktree Capital Management
PRS for Music
- Advised Hogg Robinson Group on the merger control aspects of its £410.6m acquisition by American Express Global Business Travel.
- Advising RBS on its engagement with various competition authorities around the world in relation to a number of high-profile, global antitrust investigations in the financial services sector.
- Advising private equity firm Better Capital PCC on the sale of Northern Aerospace to Gardner Aerospace Holdings.
- Advised Spectris and Macquarie Capital on the merger control aspects of Spectris’ sale of its EMS Brüel & Kjær environmental monitoring business into a joint venture with Macquarie Capital.
- Advising Total Produce, Europe’s leading fresh produce company, on the worldwide merger control aspects of its proposed acquisition of a 45% equity stake in the Dole Food Company from Mr. David H. Murdock.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s antitrust and competition department has an abundance of experience handling investigations by the CMA. Of particular note, department co-head Peter Scott, supported by recently promoted partner Caroline Thomas, is representing PwC in the CMA’s high-profile market study into the statutory audit market. The team is strong in the merger control space, where Mark Tricker took the lead advising PayPal on the CMA’s Phase II-investigation of PayPal’s $2.2bn acquisition of financial technology company iZettle. Adjusting to recent market trends and the regulator's areas of focus, other growing streams of work for the group involve instructions regarding competition law concerns resulting from Brexit, digital markets and blockchain. Practice co-head Ian Giles is highly recommended.
Peter Scott; Ian Giles
‘One of the strongest teams on the London market, particularly due to its team members’ strength in communication and in-depth industry knowledge‘
‘Impressive quality assurance across the firm’s international offices‘
‘Keen to use new and innovative solutions‘
‘Ian Giles stands out for his deep industry expertise, commercial acumen, and the ability to nurture relationships with clients‘
‘Ian Giles is particularly impressive – always follows up with clients, addresses issues proactively, and delivers results even before the agreed deadlines. Working with him is simply a very positive experience‘
Coca-Cola European Partners
Delta Air Lines
Guardian News and Media
- Acting for PwC on the CMA’s high-profile market study into the UK statutory audit market.
- Acting for PayPal on the CMA’s Phase II-investigation of PayPal’s high profile $2.2bn acquisition of iZettle.
- Acting as sole competition advisers to Coca-Cola European Partners in the UK.
- Advising Delta Air Lines on its partnership with Air France-KLM Group; work includes securing the required regulatory clearances.
- Advising Mercer, a leading investment consultancy, on matters relating to the CMA’s market investigation concerning the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services to- and by institutional investors and employers in the UK.
As recognised by the market, Pinsent Masons LLP’s competition, EU and trade department has ‘outstanding’ expertise in the consumer protection space, which makes it a suitable destination for multinational companies active across a number of industries, including technology, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and retail. Notably, the group receives instructions from high-profile clients in the financial services and insurance sectors. On the merger control side notable work highlights include advising Post Office on its acquisition of Payzone, as well as handling the £14.6bn acquisition of Discovery by client UKTV, a joint venture formed by BBC Worldwide and Scripps. ‘Clear thinker’ Alan Davis serves as head of the practice, where Angelique Bret and Guy Lougher are also noted. The team is experiencing growth at senior level, as Taylor Wessing LLP’s former department head Robert Vidal joined in May 2019.
‘Clear and well-explained advice‘
‘Good commercial awareness and knowledge of competition law‘
‘Pinsent Masons offers exceptional expertise in the increasingly important field of consumer law enforcement‘
‘Alan Davis is a very talented lawyer; he is incisive and intelligent, has encyclopedic knowledge of competition law, and has the rare ability to explain this complex area of the law in a commercial way‘
‘Angelique Bret is the standout practitioner in this area, offering a depth of experience and focused commercial advice‘
‘Guy Lougher is very good technically and has a calm manner in working with clients‘
Motor Fuel Group
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
- Acted for Post Office on the acquisition of Payzone Bill Payments from Payzone UK.
- Advised FP McCann on the last-remaining criminal cartel investigation under the previously applicable cartel offence regime.
- Advised Motor Fuel Group on the merger control aspects of the acquisition of MRH (GB), involving the purchase of 490 petrol stations across the UK.
- Acted for UKTV, a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps, on the £14.6bn proposed acquisition of Scripps by Discovery.
- Advised Apogee on its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard.
Led by the ‘highly competent’ Bruce Kilpatrick, the competition team at Addleshaw Goddard provides full-service advice on merger control, competition litigation, antitrust enforcement, market investigations, and state aid. Sector-specific expertise include financial services (including payment systems), consumer protection, and regulated utilities with a particular emphasis placed on water, energy and telecoms. The group is also adept at handling cross-border work; acting in a number of jurisdictions. One key mandate saw the firm secure merger clearance for client GVC Holdings’ £4bn acquisition of gambling company Ladbrokes Coral. Newly promoted partner Al Mangan and Rona Bar-Isaac are also noted.
Bruce Kilpatrick; Mark Molyneux
‘A feature setting the team apart from other firms is its ability to seamlessly integrate and provide highly technical advice in a simple and pragmatic manner‘
‘Bruce Kilpatrick is an extremely capable lawyer, with top-drawer knowledge of even the most technical aspects of competition law‘
Road Haulage Association
The Co-operative Group
British American Tobacco
William Jackson & Son
- Advising The Co-operative Group in relation to the CMA’s funerals market study.
- Secured merger clearance in a number of jurisdictions for GVC Holdings; GVC acquired Ladbrokes Coral for £4bn.
- Advising on the competition and regulatory aspects of Santander’s groundbreaking re-branding of its debit-card portfolio from Visa to Mastercard.
- Advised British American Tobacco on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of Twisp Proprietary, the leading South African vaping business.
- Advised Telereal Trillium on its joint venture with The Blackstone Group, aiming to acquire joint control of the commercial real estate business of Network Rail, which required clearance by the European Commission.
Akin Gump LLP’s competition department acts for an enviable spread of clients including multiple financial institutions, large hedge funds and institutional asset managers. Apart from its strong presence in the banking and the financial services sectors, the group stands out for its in-depth expertise in regulated markets such as TMT, energy and utilities. The team advises on behavioural competition issues, state aid, and cross-border merger control matters. Certainly noteworthy, the team’s global network and its strong position in the London market allow it to take the lead on multi-jurisdictional matters involving teams based in the US, across Europe, and Asia. Davina Garrod heads the practice, where counsel Scott Pettifor is also a key figure.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very responsive and always produces high-quality results’
‘A very dedicated, smart and business-minded team – this applies from partner down to junior associates’
‘Davina and her team are very safe hands for clients’ competition law referrals’
‘Counsel Scott Pettifor has very detailed knowledge of competition law in both the UK and across Europe’
‘Davina Garrod has in-depth understanding of the law beyond her home jurisdiction an deals well with external pressures’
Wil. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA
Apollo Global Management
Strategic Value Partners
- Assisting Sberbank of Russia with matters concerning the merger control aspects of the ongoing restructuring of Agrokor; Sberbank will be the largest post-restructuring shareholder in the restructured Agrokor Group.
- Advised Singapore Airlines and CAE International Holdings on the formation of a joint venture that will develop and operate a commercial-flight centre in Singapore. The team’s work included obtaining the required merger control approvals in the EU and coordinating with local counsel in the other filing jurisdictions.
- Advised UBS O’Connor on merger control and media plurality issues in more than 20 jurisdictions in relation to each of Disney’s bid for Fox, and Comcast’s (and Fox’s and Disney’s) bid for Sky.
- Advised Neuberger Berman on antitrust risks associated with the UK CMA’s and US DOJ’s merger investigations into the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s acquisition of the NEX Group.
Bristows LLP’ ‘quick and efficient’ team is recognised by clients and peers alike as a market leader in advising on the junction between competition law and intellectual property law. A stable stream of instructions comes from pharmaceutical-sector clients, which the group advises on complex issues arising during investigations by the authorities; this includes assisting clients with restructuring their business as a result of the CMA’s investigations into the pharmaceutical sector, initiated back in 2017. Demonstrating the team's ability to adjust well to market trends, the group is also handling a significant number of mandates in the consumer goods space. Other notable sectors of focus are technology and life sciences. Pat Treacy heads the department, where clients also single out the expertise of Sophie Lawrance and Stephen Smith.
‘A great, very dedicated team which offers straightforward, intelligent solutions‘
‘Bristows has an in depth knowledge of the TMT sector‘
‘The team is helpful and responsive, and stands out for its pragmatic approach to legal advice‘
‘Pat Treacy, Stephen Smith and Sophie Lawrance are all a pleasure to work with‘
‘Stephen Smith is very impressive and really takes the time to understand his clients’ commercial objectives‘
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
British Brands Group
Edgewell Personal Care
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
A Nelson & Co
- Advising Sound United on the EU Commission’s investigation into resale price maintenance in the context of e-commerce across the EU.
- Advised GlaxoSmithKline on its overhaul of pharmaceutical distribution in the UK, moving away from a direct-to-pharmacy model to a reduced-wholesaler model.
- Advising Napp Pharmaceuticals on all competition matters arising in the course of its day-to-day operation.
- Providing strategic competition law advice to the British Brands Group. Work includes providing support during consultations, advisory work in respect of potential breaches, as well as broader competition compliance matters.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Traditionally, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s competition law group has demonstrated a strength in cross-border merger control work. The department has been particularly active in the media sector, advising The Walt Disney Company on antitrust issues regarding the client’s $71.3bn acquisition of assets of 21st Century Fox. Another notable instruction came from the Qatar Investment Authority, the largest shareholder of Sainsbury’s, which the team advised in relation to the proposed merger of Sainsbury’s with Asda Group, which was blocked by the CMA in April 2019. Apart from its merger control work, the group is also adept at handling complex investigations. Maurits Dolmans, Nicholas Levy and counsel Paul Gilbert are noted as strong perforners in the group.
CMS’ competition and trade team advises on a broad range of matters including competition enforcement issues, merger control advice at both UK and EU level, state aid, and regulatory matters. Of recent note in the investigations space, the team acted for insurance company Aon on a high-profile investigation by the CMA into the investment consulting market. While the group traditionally places particular strategic emphasis on the pharmaceutical, healthcare and financial services sectors, team members’ experience spans a variety of other fashionable industries as well, such as consumer products, life sciences, utilities, and TMT. The department is jointly headed by Brian Sher and Caroline Hobson, while Graeme Young is also recommended. Former practice head Cyrus Mehta is now a consultant at the firm.
Brian Sher; Caroline Hobson
‘The department stand out for its quick availability, wide range of experience and in-depth knowledge‘
‘All team members are very collaborative, commercial, practical and knowledgeable‘
‘CMS’ collaborative team provides practical and precise advice in a timely manner‘
‘A top-notch team with an unmatched capacity and a lot of experience on a wide range of complex competition and competition litigation matters‘
‘Caroline Hobson is excellent — she takes the time to get to know the company she is advising‘
‘Caroline Hobson is an excellent lawyer, who is great to work with‘
‘Graeme Young gets to know the client’s business, the market and the environment in which the company operates; this effort combined with his intricate knowledge of EU law enables him to provide well-reasoned and pragmatic advice‘
‘Brian Sher has expert knowledge of the application of competition law to the pharmaceutical industry‘
Northern Ireland Water
Hospital Corporation of America
Thomson Reuters Corporation
- Advising Aon on the CMA’s high-profile market investigation into the investment consulting market.
- Successfully advised Cox Automotive UK and Auto Trader Group on the potential creation of a leading online-auction platform for UK-based wholesale vehicles.
- Assisted Comcast Corporation with its high-profile bid to acquire 21st Century Fox.
- Advising EDP Renováveis on the EU merger control aspects of Scotland’s largest windfarm project.
- Providing state aid advice to Portsmouth City Council on an investigation by the European Commission regarding an illegal subsidy.
Due to its wide-reaching international network, the work of Dentons’ competition department certainly demonstrates a cross-border element. The group has particular strength in handling multi-jurisdictional merger control issues. On one such occasion, a team advised Total Marketing SA on the global merger control aspects of its acquisition of the Sahel petrol station business in Saudi Arabia. In another highlight, the team demonstrated its ability to handle complex work at an EU level as well, by advising Avis Budget Group on its £80m acquisition of Olympic Commercial and Tourist Enterprises — a transaction which necessitated a notification to the European Commission. The group acts across a wide range of sectors such as transport, TMT, financial services, energy, and real estate. Recently promoted partner Christopher Graf and counsel Rebecca Owen-Howes are key figures in the practice, which is led by department head Adrian Magnus.
‘The team provides clear and well-reasoned, yet concise advice on complex legal issues in a very efficient manner‘
‘Adrian Magnus is an expert in this complex field and displays a clarity of vision when it comes to advising and guiding clients through the specifics of competition law‘
Avis Budget Group
Royal Mail Group
John Lewis & Partners/ Waitrose
World Fuel Services
Total Marketing Services
Sita Information Networking Computing
Transport for London
- Handled the competition aspects of Total Marketing Services’ acquisition (executed jointly with Saudi Aramco) of the Sahel petrol station business in Saudi Arabia; also, advising on the formation of a joint venture to operate the newly acquired business.
- Advising Avis Budget Group and Koç Holding on the merger clearance of their joint venture’s acquisition of Olympic Commercial and Tourist Enterprises.
- Handling competition law issues for a telecom infrastructure-sharing joint venture.
- Advising Amalgamated Metal Corporation on the merger of Ausurus Group and Metal & Waste Recycling.
- Advised Avis Budget Group on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of Turiscar Group.
Apart from its ‘solid’ competition law expertise, DLA Piper’s full-service team is also able to draw on the expertise of the firm’s litigation and arbitration team, when needed. The team has a proven track record of successfully handling merger control issues at both national and international level; one recent example is advising private equity company Grovepoint on the disposal of its subsidiary, Payzone, to the Post Office. Led by department heads Sam Szlezinger, Alexandra Kamerling and Sarah Smith (all of whom are recommended by clients), the practice is well-placed to handle other matters such as competition investigations, compliance audits, regulatory work, state aid, and commercial agreements. In terms of industry-specific expertise, team members are adept at advising clients in sectors such as the media, sport, pharmaceuticals, energy, manufacturing, retail, and banking.
Sam Szlezinger; Alexandra Kamerling; Sarah Smith
‘The team stands out for its breadth of experience‘
‘Strong merger expertise‘
‘Sarah Smith is intellectually fierce, calm under pressure, and has a great manner with clients‘
‘Alexandra Kamerling is a well-known academic specialist in this field; she also fights hard for the interests of the clients‘
‘Sam Szlezinger is very experienced and simply amazing‘
John Swire & Sons
Axalta Coating Systems
Metal & Waste Recycling
- Advising Heineken UK on its acquisition of Punch Taverns; the team obtained clearance by the CMA at Phase I.
- Advised global coatings company Axalta on its acquisition of IVA, the wire-enamels business of Superior Essex in Europe and Asia.
- Acted for Nisa Retail on its £143m merger with The Co-operative Group.
- Advised longstanding client John Menzies on the Phase II review of its acquisition of Airline Services; the transaction was cleared by the CMA.
- Acting for Discovery Communication on a number of matters. Work included providing advice on: a joint venture with ProSieben in Germany; a joint venture with Formula E; multiple transactions; ad hoc advice on commercial agreements; and the implications of various media mergers taking place across the EU. Assistance was also provided with regard to the client’s interventions in matters before the European Commission.
As a boutique firm specialising exclusively in competition law, Euclid Law provides wide-ranging advice on complex matters such as market investigations and studies, competition law compliance matters, multi-jurisdictional mergers, and contentious issues. Practice head Oliver Bretz and Marie Leppard are advising the European Commission on a market study regarding anti-competitive practices in syndicated lending. The group has a demonstrable strength in assisting clients with contentious matters, having recently represented prominent Australian start-up Unlockd in successfully obtaining an injunction against Google, aiming at preventing Google from banning the client from the Google Play app store and advertising inventory. Team members have extensive experience across a number of sectors including financial services, healthcare, energy and natural resources, residential construction, consumer goods, media, travel, and e-commerce. Sarah Long has a strong background and understanding of competition law policy and is recommended. Brussels-based Damien Geradin is also a key figure.
Oliver Bretz; Damien Geradin
‘A team of brilliant lawyers‘
‘A highly competent team‘
Johnson & Johnson
Royal Dutch Shell
- Acted for Unlockd on its successful high-profile injunction application against Google in the High Court.
- Advising a large bank in relation to the European’s Commission investigation into the Forex manipulation.
- Advising a large bank on the alleged manipulation of the precious metals market.
- Advised AXA UK in relation to the CMA’s investigation into price-comparison sites.
- Advised Abhaya on the CMA’s investigation into generic pharmaceuticals.
Acting nationally and internationally, the competition, EU and trade team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides full-service legal advice to clients on matters concerning market studies and investigations, competition litigation, merger control, distribution arrangements, regulatory issues, state aid, and competition law compliance. Established as a standout in the merger control space, the team also handles reviews regarding foreign direct investment. Of recent note, a team led by Peter Harper convinced the CMA to grant a Phase I clearance to client Tayto Group in relation to its acquisition of The Real Pork Crackling Company. Among other high-profile matters, practice head Ros Kellaway provides competition law advice relating to Brexit. Bringing ‘a great deal of experience across multiple sectors’, Lesley Farrell is also noted. Currently serving as a consultant at the firm,Stephen Rose retired from the partnership in October 2018. Rod Lambert joined from Brodies LLP in April 2018 and splits his time between Brussels and London.
‘Excellent client skills‘
‘With Eversheds, clients feel very confident that they are getting sound legal advice which also reflects their own priorities‘
‘Ros Kellaway is a highly experienced competition lawyers exercising good judgement coupled with a high level of commitment to protecting clients’ interests‘
CPL Industries Group
Transport for London
Volkswagen Group UK
- Acting for CPL Industries Group on a CMA’s investigation
- Advsing Next on a range of competition law issues, primarily focusing on the client’s distribution arrangements.
- Providing strategic and day-to-day competition advice to Pentland.
- Providing strategic and day-to-day competition law advice regarding all aspects of the operation of Volkswagen’s UK business.
- Acted for the UK’s largest crisp and snack manufacturer Tayto Group on the CMA’s investigation into the client’s acquisition of The Real Pork Crackling Company.
At Latham & Watkins, recent work highlights involve the full spectrum of competition law work such as merger control advice, state aid, compliance counselling, reviews and investigations, and market investigations conducted by the CMA in particular. The team’s strong expertise in the area make it a desirable destination for a number of financial-sector clients. The group has also carved out a reputation in the TMT industry, in which it boasts a list of high-profile clients such as Viasat. John Colahan advises on matters in the consumer goods as well as in the medical products and pharmaceuticals space. Colahan jointly heads the department with Jonathan Parker, who stands out for his prior work experience at the CMA.
John Colahan; Jonathan Parker
‘The team has great knowledge of UK competition law and its application‘
‘The team is sensitive to in-house counsel’s issues‘
‘John Colahan is a great organiser, who stands out for his extensive knowledge and ability to apply UK competition law to mergers‘
Electro Rent Corporation
Thomas Cook Group
InterXion Holding N.V.
Acco Brands Corporation
- Advising iZettle on the $2.2bn acquisition of iZettle, a Swedish financial technology company, by PayPal; work includes advising on a Phase II-investigation by the CMA.
- Advising the Electro Rent Corporation on its acquisition of Microlease and Test Equipment Asset Management.
- Assisting Rowan Companies with obtaining global merger clearance for its $12bn merger with Ensco, an offshore drilling services provider.
- Representing Valve Corporation in the European Commission‘s investigation into suspected geo-blocking of video games sold by the publishers in the EEA.
- Obtained merger clearances in multiple jurisdictions for a large travel company.
Simmons & Simmons’ EU competition, antitrust and trade department demonstrates a depth of competition law expertise in the field of merger control; Peter Broadhurst is particularly prominent in this space. Led by practice head Charles Bankes, the team is also very active in relation to antitrust investigations by competition law regulators as well as by sectoral regulators such as the FCA and the Office of Rail and Road. The group has a strength in sectors such as TMT, technology, financial services, life sciences, and transport. The department has strengthened its offering in recent years adding Satyen Dhana from CMS as well as supervising associate Ian Hastings from TNT.
‘The team provides easily understandable, commercially pragmatic advice‘
‘Very high-quality work which is testament to its strength in this area‘
‘Satyen Dhana is a strong leader‘
‘An iron fist in a velvet glove, Charles Bankes is absolutely excellent – one of the most knowledgeable competition law partners in London‘
- Acting for a public transport company on the Office of Rail and Road’s market study into the supply of automatic ticket gates and ticket vending machines in the UK.
- Advised Ocean Rig on the merger control filings required for its $2.7bn sale to Transocean.
- Advising a financial services provider on certain competition legal issues arising from residential and commercial real estate projects.
The ‘exceptional’ team at Travers Smith LLP acts across a full spectrum of competition law matters nationally and internationally, providing merger control advice, handling behavioural investigations and assisting clients with contentious issues. Demonstrating the group’s strength on the merger control side, one notable highlight involved the team acting for longstanding client Bridgepoint on the EU merger control aspects of the sale of leading food chain Pret to JAB Holdings; the transaction was cleared unconditionally by the European Commission at Phase I. The department works primarily with clients in the private equity and the regulated sectors, but has also recently handled work in sectors such as investment banking and retail. Nigel Seay heads the department, where Stephen Whitfield is also a key figure.
Other key lawyers:
‘Travers Smith offers a great depth in expertise; the competition team combines strong legal analytical skills with a good understanding of how the CMA operates‘
‘The team’s responsiveness and its ability to work under tight deadlines are exceptional‘
‘Nigel Seay is knowledgeable, strategic, and simply a pleasure to deal with‘
Charlesbank Capital Partners
Micro Focus International
Association of British Insurers
Renesas Electronics Corporation
McColl’s Retail Group
- Advised Breedon Aggregates on UK merger control aspects of a complex asset swap with Tarmac.
- Advised Charlesbank Capital Partners, a leading mid-market US private equity firm, on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of Hearthside Food Solutions (jointly with Partners Group).
- Advised leading infrastructure investor Ancala on the merger control and regulatory implications of its acquisition of Portsmouth Water.
- Advised private equity firm TA Associates on the merger control aspects of its £1bn strategic reinvestment in The Access Group, a leading provider of business management software.
- Advised Micro Focus International, the world’s largest enterprise software supplier, on the merger control aspects of its $2.5bn sale of Suse to Swedish investment house EQT Partners.
As a result of Arnold & Porter’s global recognised strength in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, the firm's London-based competition team is a desired adviser for clients seeking complex advice around the intersection of competition law, intellectual property law and regulatory matters. Practice head John Schmidt is a go-to contact for pharmaceutical-sector clients and specialises in public procurement work. In the merger control space, the group’s strength in handling demanding multi-jurisdictional work was demonstrated through its involvement in an international, US-led team advising Monsanto on its $66bn acquisition by Bayer. The arrival of Jane Wessel to the team (from Shepherd and Wedderburn) has significantly expanded the department’s contentious competition offering.
Other key lawyers:
Boston Scientific Corporation
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
- Acted jointly with the firm’s Brussels-based team in obtaining a merger clearance from the European Commission in relation to client Monsanto’s merger with Bayer AG.
- Advised Boston Scientific as a part of a global team,handling the notifications to competition authorities worldwide in relation to its proposed acquisition of BTG for $4.2bn.
- Advising Mitsui O.S.K. Lines on a number of claims; including defending a complex and high-value follow-on claim for damages from Daimler.
- Advising a tobacco manufacturing company on complex antitrust matters in the EU, the US and worldwide.
- Representing a global pharmaceutical company in a dawn raid and advising the company in the ensuing CMA investigation.
While the core industries of focus for Burges Salmon LLP’s competition department are retail, food manufacturing and transport, it also has a strength in sectors such as financial services, media, healthcare, and regulated utilities. Led by practice head Chris Worrall, who splits his time between Bristol and London, the group has carved out a significant reputation for merger clearance work. Of recent note, the team assisted The Co-operative Group with obtaining a clearance of its £143m acquisition of Nisa Retail. Other areas of expertise include investigations and compliance advice, antitrust litigation, state aid, and public procurement. Laura Claydon is no longer a partner at the firm. Legal director Noel Beale is a key figure on the team.
Other key lawyers:
The Co-operative Group
The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)
Canal & River Trust
Cardiff City Transport Services
Transport for Wales
- Successfully advised The Co-operative Group on its £143m acquisition of Nisa Retail; successfully obtained Phase I merger control clearance for the transaction by the CMA.
- Advised Yeo Valley on the UK merger filing relating to the sale of its liquid milk, butter and cheese business.
- Acted for Transport for Wales on the merger control and procurement aspects relating to the award of the Wales and Borders rail franchise.
- Advising Ofwat on certain aspects of its 2019 price review methodology. Continuing to provide additional legal advice concerning elements of this programme.
- Advised longstanding client Arora Group on the CMA’s investigation into airport parking practices at Heathrow.
Fieldfisher’s competition, regulatory and trade group acts on the full spectrum of competition law issues including merger control, litigation, market investigations, state aid, and public procurement. Team members have wide-ranging experience across industries such as energy, regulated sectors, transport, life sciences, and financial services. Practice head Charles Whiddington splits his time between London and Brussels. John Cassels heads the firm’s regulatory group and specialises in competition law. Nicholas Pimlott is a key contact for telecoms clients.
Led by practice head Tobias Caspary, who splits his time between London and Frankfurt, the London EU, antitrust and competition department at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is very active in the merger control space. The group has handled the competition law aspects of a large number of multi-jurisdictional deals, including a number of transactions triggering EU filing procedures. With several dual-qualified lawyers, the practice has a strength in cross-border work and counts private equity firms, financial institutions, asset managers, and public and private companies among its clients.
‘A team of real experts in the field‘
‘Everyone on the team is highly knowledgeable and responsive‘
Jacobs Engineering Group
New Mountain Capital
TPG Specialty Lending
- Advised a large construction company on a $3.3bn acqusition.
- Advised Onex Corporation on its $3bn acquisition of joint control of PowerSchool Group and PeopleAdmin.
- Acted as a lead counsel to an investment banking company on its high-value investment in a joint venture with a high-profile private equity company.
- Acting for Viavi Solutions on the $455m acquisition of the carved-out Test and Measurement business of technology company Cobham.
Gowling WLG’s EU, trade & competition department acts for a wide range of clients, including multinational companies, leading trade associations, and governmental departments. Led by Bernadine Adkins, who splits her time between Brussels and London, the practice excels at advising on cartels, contentious matters, UK and EU merger control issues, and on the competition law aspects of distribution agreements and other commercial arrangements. The team has a particular strength in cartel work, handling everything from dawn raids, investigations by the CMA or by other regulators exercising concurrent jurisdiction, through to follow-on damages claims arising out of decisions confirming competition law infringements. The team is active across sectors including energy, retail, technology, aviation, automotive, and life sciences. Samuel Beighton is another key figure in the department.
Other key lawyers:
Aston Martin Lagonda
Mazda Motors UK
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
- Advised Avison Young on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of GVA Grimley, one of the UK’s leading real estate advisory businesses.
- Advised Eisai on an agreement concerning the transfer of development and marketing rights in Europe for a non-opioid severe chronic pain treatment, including securing the required merger clearances unconditionally in Portugal and Spain.
- Advising Mazda Motors UK on the application of UK and EU competition law to its ‘Mazda MyWay’ project.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s competition team advises on a wide range of behavioural and compliance work, dispute resolution and regulatory issues, but notably, also has a flourishing merger control practice. In addition to traditional instructions in the aforementioned areas of competition work, the department also handles public procurement and anti-bribery matters. Moreover, the team is adept at assuming a coordinating role in complex cross-border work. In one recent highlight, it acted for Platform Specialty Products on the client’s sale of Arysta LifeScience and coordinated merger clearance filings in Latin America, Africa, the US and the EU. Department head Gillian Sproul is highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional work, and so is Lisa Navarro, who is also noted for her strong expertise across sectors such as the water industry, hospitality, medical devices, and chemicals.
Other key lawyers:
‘Specialist knowledge of competition law‘
‘Communication is friendly and clear‘
‘A great team which provides straightforward and clear advice, always bearing in mind the client’s objectives‘
‘Lisa Navarro is a very focused and strategic individual with dedication to providing high-quality client service‘
‘Both Gillian Sproul and Lisa Navarro are great professionals‘
‘Gillian Sproul is excellent at finding a practical way to solve a problem and for explaining things to non-lawyers‘
Platform Specialty Products
Starwood Capital Group
The Stars Group
- Acted as global merger control coordinator for Platform Specialty Products’ trade sale of Arysta LifeScience to United Phosphorus.
- Advised The Stars Group on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of SkyBet.
- Advised AstraZeneca on the merger control aspects of its sale of certain prescription medicine rights in Europe to Grünenthal.
At Jones Day, the competition department handles merger control and behavioural work including market investigations as well as investigations into anti-competitive agreements and practices. Other sources of work come through clients seeking legal assistance with alleged abuses of a dominant position, regulatory work, state aid, and issues arising in relation to certain EU-specific subjects, such as freedom of movement. Sector-specific expertise include electronic commerce, technology, financial services, energy, telecoms, and consumer goods, among others. Matt Evans heads the practice, where competition litigator Nicholas Cotter is another key figure.
Other key lawyers:
Mayer Brown International LLP 's global antitrust and competition practice is active across four continents, with all of the offices working closely together. Headed up by David Harrison, the London-based team works in conjunction with the offices in Brussels and Paris. Team members often cooperate with the litigation and dispute resolution department on contentious competition matters. While the team has a strength in behavioural work, a big portion of instructions comes from clients seeking merger control assistance. Worthy of note in this regard, the group is advising Unilever on a number of issues including the sale of its French baking business to Dr. Oetker. Other notable clients are active in the private equity and investment space, as well as in a wide-ranging spectrum of sectors such as aviation, energy, financial services, retail, and manufacturing. Julian Ellison is another key figure in the practice.
Other key lawyers:
- Advising Unilever on a number of merger control and other competition matters including on the sale of its French baking business to Dr. Oetker.
- Provided merger control advice regarding Moody’s operations.
- Advising Cummins on multiple competition matters, including merger control advice regarding potential transactions.
- Advised Vitruvian Partners on the merger control and competition aspects of its £250m acquisition, through a secondary buyout, of Travel Counsellors from Equistone Partners Europe.
- Advised Francisco Partners on the merger control and competition aspects of its acquisition of software company ByBox from LDC.
Douglas Lahnborg heads the department at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP, which provides merger control and compliance advice to a well-balanced client roster of longstanding and newly-won clients. Another strength of the team lies in its ability to handle complex cross-border work. Of recent note in the multi-jurisdictional merger control space, a team led by Lahnborg handled the merger control and competition aspects of client Haier’s €475m acquisition of Candy.
Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
AXA Investment Managers
- Advised Haier, the world’s largest manufacturer of domestic appliances, on its €475m acquisition of Candy.
- Advised Wrike on merger control aspects regarding the majority investment received by Vista Equity Partners; work included filing in a non-EU jurisdiction.
- Advising a longstanding multinational telecom client on multiple competition law matters.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP’s competition and antitrust department is praised by clients for its in-depth expertise across a number of sectors, such as shipping, life sciences, aviation, media, consumer goods, retail, energy, trade and commodities. The team is jointly led by Marjorie Holmes and Edward Miller; both department heads have extensive experience in investigations conducted by the European Commission and UK authorities, as well as in the merger control space.
Marjorie Holmes; Edward Miller
‘Practical advice coupled with in-depth expertise and a keen focus on understanding the commercial context and the potential risks to a client’s business‘
‘Marjorie Holmes demonstrates confidence and has strong specialist expertise‘
‘Marjorie Holmes is a very good expert in her area — she remains committed and motivated at all times, and provides practical advice‘
‘Consistent with the firm’s traditional strengths, the competition team has niche expertise in the highly complex marine transport field; the team is hired by clients specifically for this expertise in addition to general quality in EU competition matters‘
Acting before all UK and EU competition authorities, Shearman & Sterling LLP advises a number of market-leading household names on merger control issues. On the merger side, the team is acting for a number of oil and gas companies — Engie, Wintershall, Shell, OMV and Uniper, on the competition law aspects of the financing and gas-transportation arrangements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Other steady streams of mandates for the group come through clients seeking advice regarding behavioural competition, competition litigation, and state aid. Due to practice head Matthew Readings’ particular expertise, the team is also very active in the financial services industry. However, other notable sectors of focus also include the chemical, automotive, food, mining and media sectors. James Webber is also a key figure on the team and splits his time between London and Brussels.
Other key lawyers:
‘In terms of its high-quality work, the team holds its own against the Magic Circle firms‘
‘Matthew Readings is great – very determined, exercises great judgement, and is a pleasure to work with‘
American Sugar Refining/ Tate & Lyle
Jaguar Land Rover
Viacom/ Paramount Pictures Corporation
- Advising five oil-and-gas companies on the competition law aspects of the financing and the gas-transportation arrangements for the high-profile Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
- Advising ArcelorMittal on merger control aspects of its $6 bn competitive bid for Essar Steel India, executed jointly with Nippon Steel.
- Advising a global chemicals company on the global competition law aspects of an exclusivity agreement regarding the potential creation of a joint venture.
- Advised Cyprus Cooperative Bank on the merger control and state aid aspects of the sale of some of its assets.
White & Case LLP has a strong offering in merger control matters, as well as in investigations carried out by the regulatory authorities. The group’s global presence is well established not only in large competition-law hubs in the US and across Europe, but also in jurisdictions such as Russia, Japan and China. As a result, the team stands out for its cross-border work, particularly in the pharmaceutical and the financial services space. Marc Israel is recommended and jointly heads the practice with Mark Powell, who splits his time between the firm’s London and Brussels offices.
Marc Israel; Mark Powell
‘White & Case’s competition law team provides pragmatic guidance and comprehensive advice, particularly during the CMA’s enquiry process‘
‘Apart from providing highly professional legal services, the team is also able to place issues into a certain context and explain them to the client‘
‘Marc Israel and his team have the ability to assimilate the specifics of a client’s business in such a way that they can then provide practical and insightful advice quickly‘
- Handled merger control aspects of JLA’s acquisition of Washstation, which included advice during the CMA’s investigation.
- Handled merger control aspects of two significant UK suppliers of powered-access equipment: Nationwide Platforms (owned by Loxam) and UK Platforms.
- Acted for Arjun Infrastructure Partners on its acquisition of a 75% interest in South Staffordshire Water. Work included securing a clearance from the European Commission.
- Advised Vision Capital in connection with a cartel investigation concerning one of its portfolio companies, CPL.
- Advised Exponent Private Equity on the antitrust aspects of its acquisition of Meadow Foods, a leading B2B supplier of dairy products.
The competition and EU law department at Bird & Bird LLP advises clients in relation to dawn raids, investigations, private enforcement claims, and merger control work. One distinguishing characteristic of the group is its ability to act for clients on issues around the intersection between competition law and intellectual property, which allows it to handle work in multiple industries affected by the advancement of technology. The London-based team can draw on the firm’s Europe-wide expertise in state aid, specifically in regulated sectors such as energy, communication and aviation. Practice head Peter Willis stands out for his reputation in the energy sector. Richard Eccles is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Richard Eccles’ legal advice is clear and straightforward. Richard appreciates the need to adopt a tailored approach to his clients’ needs and dissects complex issues of EU competition law with ease‘
Honda Motor Europe
- Advising a large British airline on state aid-related issues, among others.
- Advising LKAB Minerals, a Swedish state-owned mining company, on its acquisition of UK companies Gurney Slade Lime & Stone Co. and Francis Flower.
- Providing competition law advice to Honda Motor Europe on selective distribution arrangements in the automotive sector.
- Providing merger clearance advice to Earthport regarding a high-profile contested public bid.
The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists clients with merger control issues, market investigations and inquiries, and contentious matters. The department is jointly headed by Paul Henty and Paul Stone, who are both highly praised by clients. The pair have a longstanding client base including telecoms clients, with recent work including handling instructions from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain as well as Gamma Telecom. Other sectors of focus for the team include media, e-commerce, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.
Paul Henty; Paul Stone
‘Very knowledgeable in relation to public procurement work‘
‘Extremely incisive and commercial legal advice‘
‘Approachable and always happy to help‘
‘The team at Charles Russell Speechlys is able to combine a real depth of experience in competition law with a real depth of experience in EU law. This is due to the double-act provided by Paul Henty, who brings personal experience of having worked in Brussels and knowing his way around the Commission, and Paul Stone, who is a very practical competition lawyer‘
‘Paul Stone is bright, attentive and practical‘
‘Paul Henty and Paul Stone are both excellent and complement each other’s sets of legal skills very well‘
Consultant Eye Surgeons Partnership
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain
- Provided legal advice to Thames Valley Combined Authority on state aid-related matters.
- Advising the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain on its procurement practices and any competition-related matters arising as a result .
- Acting for a third party in relation to its concerns regarding the £17.8bn Siemens-Alstom merger.
- Acting for Gamma Telecom on an appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Ofcom’s decision in the Business Connectivity Market Review 2016.
Focusing on behavioural rather than transactional competition work, DAC Beachcroft LLP provides legal advice in regulated and publicly owned sectors such as financial and postal services. A field of particular focus for the team is the interaction between the competition law regime and economic regulation. Moreover, the team has carved out a significant reputation in the public and private health space, in which it advises private and public-sector bodies on general competition and merger control issues. A sizeable portion of instructions from clients also concern state aid matters — a standout example in this regard is the group’s ongoing work for British Business Bank.
Alexandra von Westernhagen
British Business Bank
North East Finance
Development Bank of Wales
Royal Mail Group
The Post Office
The Manchester College
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Advising the British Business Bank on state aid-related matters.
- Advising North East Finance on state aid-related matters.
- Assisted the Development Bank of Wales with obtaining approval from the European Commission in relation to its Rescue & Restructuring Fund for SMEs.
- Assisted the Royal Mail Group with regulatory and competition law advice.
- Advised Heathrow Hub on competition law-related challenges regarding the procedure for expanding capacity at Heathrow by constructing a third runway.
Dickson Minto WS
Advising an enviable client base of notable private equity companies, Dickson Minto WS has built a strong reputation for its 'amazing' merger control work. The 'highly accomplished' Ajal Notowicz is dual-qualified in the UK and the Netherlands. Recent work includes complex competition law advice regarding multiple cross-border acquisitions. Another strength of the team lies in its ability to handle complaints submitted to the UK and EU competition authorities, as well as advising on compliance and commercial agreements. Associate Maria Ziprani is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Dickson Minto punches above its weight and handles significant cross-border merger control work’
‘Dickson Minto’s team is extremely proactive and helpful, and analyses issues in a quick manner’
‘Ajal Notowicz is able to explain complex legal provisions and concepts in a simple and client-friendly way’
‘Ajal Notowicz is easy to work with, straightforward, commercial and unflappable’
‘Ajal Notowicz is able to cut to the chase, which he combines with strong technical knowledge’
- Advised a confectionery manufacturing company on the unconditional clearance of the sale of a high-value M&A transaction.
- Advised a private equity compant on merger clearance issues.
- Advised a large European private equity firm on the competition law aspects of the sale of its portfolio company.
- Advised Acturis on the competition law aspects of the sale of its business to Astorg.
- Advising an American data analytics and risk assessment firm on the UK and EU competition law aspects of a range of confidential commercial and corporate projects.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Handling both domestic and cross-border competition law matters of contentious and non-contentious nature, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s London-based office works seamlessly in conjunction with the firm's other European antitrust and competition teams in Brussels, Munich and Paris. The groups on the wider European and US side also complement each other and cooperate extensively on cross-border matters. Ali Nikpay heads up the UK department and stands out for his prior wide-ranging background in the public and private space, including positions at the CMA and the European Commission. Deirdre Taylor is another key figure in the department and has significant work experience at the CMA as well. As a further demonstration of the team's expertise, Nikpay and Taylor were instructed by Asda, the third biggest groceries retailer in terms of market share, on its proposed merger with Sainsbury’s, the second largest player.
Other key lawyers:
- Acted for Asda on the competition law aspects of its proposed merger with Sainsbury’s.
HFW’s team members advise on a mix of EU law, competition and international trade under the leadership of co-head Anthony Woolich and Brussels-based Pierre Frühling . The group focuses on handling state aid-related matters in the area of EU law, with a particular focus on the energy sector. Other sectors of expertise include infrastructure and mining, construction, retail, consumer goods, agriculture, financial services, sports, pharmaceuticals, and media. Another differentiating characteristic of the team in terms of cross-border work is its experience in Greece and Cyprus. Department co-head Costas Frangeskides is a key contact for clients seeking assistance with contentious competition matters. Daniel Martin is also noted.
Anthony Woolich; Costas Frangeskides;
Other key lawyers:
Crown Commercial Service
Republic of Cyprus
Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation
UCL Company (Pty)
- Advised a large UK power station on state aid matters valued at £800m.
- Advising a large US-based energy corporation on competition law aspects concerning an exchange of information.
- Assisting a Fortune 100 energy business with a wide range of competition issues relating to its entry into the UK market.
- Advising a number of trade associations on competition law compliance issues.
- Advised a leading magazine publisher on competition law aspects of an international retail franchise agreement.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP's 'responsible and competent' team is very active in the sports, automotive, mining and metals, technology, transport and real estate industries. The team provides contentious and strategic advice to a large number of trade associations, as well as selective distribution clients including luxury fashion brands, technology companies, retailers and manufacturers. The 'incredible' Jennifer Marsh heads the department and advises on a full range of UK and EU competition issues, with more recent emphasis placed on appellate work. 'Unique' senior associate Gabriela da Costa has developed a niche in e-commerce and selective distribution matters. In March 2019, former practice head Neil Baylis departed for Mishcon de Reya LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘The competition law team at K&L Gates is outstanding’
‘The team has the rare ability to provide commercially practical and actionable advice’
‘Responses to queries and solutions to issues are always timely and well considered’
‘Jennifer Marsh is a first-class professional’
‘Gabriela da Costa is a most appreciated and trusted adviser to EU-based businesses’
Arena Racing Company
Votorantim Cimentos Group
- Advising Ping Europe on its appeal against a decision of the CMA in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
- Advised Balmoral Tanks on its appeal concerning allegations of unlawful information exchange to the Court of Appeal.
- Advising Kong Company on the design, implementation and enforcement of its authorised partner programme.
- Advising NEP Group on certain merger control aspects concerning its acquisition of SIS Live.
- Obtaining multi-jurisdictional merger control clearances on the purchase of client First Data Corporation by SIA.
Mishcon de Reya LLP handles areas of competition law compliance including merger control, competition and regulatory investigations. The team is active in sectors such as retail, media, technology, sports and, increasingly, the financial services sector. Traditionally standing out for its strength in competition-related dispute resolution matters (a space in which practice head Rob Murray and Sarah Houghton are key figures), the firm has extended its non-contentious offering through the appointment of Neil Baylis, former competition practice head at K&L Gates LLP, who joined in March 2019. Andrij Jurkiw departed to join Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in April 2018.
‘The team is helpful and provides comprehensive legal advice‘
‘The group’s strengths lie in its competition law expertise and its high-quality service‘
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Rugby Football Union
Euro Car Parts
Zircon Industry Association
- Represented Euro Car Parts in Phase I and Phase II merger control investigations before the CMA; work concerned the acquisition of Andrew Page by the client.
- Assisted Mister Men with competition compliance advice; work involved a competition law audit of the Mister Men business, including a review of standard licences and agreements.
- Advised Euromoney on its global competition law compliance programme.
Acting as a central hub for the firm’s global antitrust and competition law practice, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s team in London advises on contentious matters, investigations by the competition authorities, merger control, and state aid issues at national and international level. The group is advising a number of high-profile clients in the healthcare sector. It also has a strong presence in the financial services market, where its work has included advice regarding derivatives and other sophisticated security and debt products, exchange and clearing platforms, and other market infrastructure, and payment schemes. Other sector-specific expertise include construction, consumer, electronic communications, energy, financial services, retail, and aviation. Practice head Frances Murphy is highly recommended for both contentious and non-contentious work. Omar Shah's practice focuses on merger control work. Recently promoted partner Joanna Christoforou is also a key figure in the department.
‘The competition team is highly responsive and produces high-quality work, even with regard to complex and urgent tasks‘
‘The team is particularly good for competition litigation, where the stakes are high and the demands are intense‘
‘Frances Murphy is great— her advice is always simple, direct and practical‘
‘Frances Murphy sees the bigger picture and works with resilience and dedication; she retains her good sense of humour even during stressful trial situations‘
Procter & Gamble
The London Metal Exchange
Court Square Capital Partners
Sumitomo Corporation of Americas
JUUL Labs UK
- Assisted Google’s subsidiary Verily with all antitrust aspects regarding its proposed joint venture with ResMed, including obtaining an approval from the European Commission.
- Advising The London Metal Exchange on competition and public law issues arising out of its decision to impose charge-capping in respect of metal stored in its worldwide warehouse network.
- Advised Yandex on the competition law-related aspects of its joint venture with Uber, aiming at combining the companies’ ridesharing businesses in a number of jurisdictions.
- Advising Sanofi-Aventis on a range of complex competition issues, including its supply arrangements in Europe.
- Advising AstraZeneca UK on a range of complex competition issues, including new and novel means of supplying and pricing medicines for use in hospitals and GP surgeries and for dispensing by pharmacies.
At Squire Patton Boggs, the London-based department operates seamlessly as part of the firm’s fully integrated global practice. The group provides legal assistance with merger control matters, contentious issues, behavioural and market investigations by the UK authorities and the European Commission, state aid, and public procurement. The team has expertise in all types of competition dispute resolution work, including arbitration. Martin Rees focuses on behavioural work and merger control advice; the same applies to Diarmuid Ryan’s practice, which also encompasses state aid law. Francesco Liberatore specialises in technology-driven sectors and has developed a niche in communications law.
The competition department at Stephenson Harwood handles a wide spectrum of competition law matters, such as merger control, behavioural investigations, state aid, commercial agreements, and licensing and other IP arrangements. The team often works in conjunction with other departments, particularly in industries of strategic importance for the firm including financial services, rail, shipping and healthcare, in which it has been expanding its presence with new mandates. Marta Isabel Garcia heads up the practice, where consultant Bryony Roy is also noted.
Marta Isabel Garcia
Other key lawyers:
‘The competition team provides excellent, commercial advice – not only do they know the law, they do a terrific job of applying it to transactions in a pragmatic manner’
‘The team’s expertise and knowledge are excellent and lead to the desired results‘
‘What makes the team unique is that all partners and associates are very quick, client-focused, and dedicated to achieving favourable results‘
‘Marta Garcia is a first-rate lawyer – she makes herself available at short notice to meet transactional demands‘
‘Marta Isabel Garcia is an absolute expert in her field due to her vast knowledge and experience. She is realistic about the evidence and the facts at hand and manages the expectations of her client very well‘
MOL (Europe Africa)
- Advised T3 Micro and MGA Entertainment on issues relating to potential resale-price maintenance practices.
- Provided training and advice to MOL (Europe Africa), the European and African subsidiary of shipping company MOL, on information exchange in the specific context of joint ventures.
- Advising Incyte Corporation on a variety of distribution and marketing issues in relation to the sale of its pharmaceutical products across Europe, aiming at ensuring that all practices are compliant with competition laws.
At Winston & Strawn LLP, the competition law department advises high-profile clients on competition aspects of corporate transactions, as well as on contentious matters before the European Commission and national authorities. Led by practice head Peter Crowther, the team is also very active in the regulatory space. Due to its expertise in international trade law, the group is adept at handling cross-border matters as well, and has particular experience in matters with Japan and Russia. Sector-specific expertise include petrochemicals, insurance, pharmaceuticals, retail, and publishing.
Sberbank of Russia
Liberty Specialty Markets
Apollo Syndicate Management Ltd.
- Advising XL Catlin on competition law issues.
- Advised Sberbank on issues regarding EU capital market access restrictions imposed by the Council of the European Union against a number of leading Russian banks.
- Represented Hitachi Metals in its appeal before the General Court against a decision taken by the European Commission.
- Advises Liberty Specialty Markets on the application of international sanctions to its business.
Constantine Cannon LLP
While Constantine Cannon LLP has carved out a reputation for its representation of claimants in contentious matters, the boutique firm is also active in relation to a wide spectrum of issues concerning merger control, compliance and antitrust counselling. Due to its lawyers’ expertise in matters regarding payment systems, the group frequently handles regulatory work in the financial services sector. The team also receives instructions from clients in other sectors, such as telecommunications, healthcare, transport and aviation. James Ashe-Taylor heads the practice, where Richard Pike is also a key contact.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team manages the work process for a multitude of commercia clients very well‘
‘An excellent competition team, which is particularly strong in class action matters‘
‘An experienced and knowledgeable team with a strong commercial vision‘
‘A go-to firm for competition litigation matters‘
Hutchison 3G UK (Three)
Brookfield Utilities UK No.2
- Advised Hutchison 3G UK (also trading as ‘Three’) on issues arising from the PSSR 5G spectrum auction; work included advice on the spectrum’s effect on competition between mobile operators.
Lawyers in the antitrust and competition team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP handle merger control issues arising in relation to multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions. The group assists clients with obtaining clearance for mergers and acquisitions from the European Commission as well as from the relevant national authorities. Led by practice head Timothy McIver, the team in London works in close cooperation with the firm's New York office. Of recent note, the group assisted Discovery Communications with securing clearance for its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Sector-specific expertise covers a wide spectrum including private equity, financial services, technology, chemicals, energy, natural resources, aviation, and communications.
AmTrust Financial Services
The Carlyle Group
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Hamilton Insurance Group
The Hanover Insurance Group
- Advising Discovery Communications on its €14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, a leading developer of lifestyle content.
- Advising Solenis on its joint venture with BASF Corporation, aiming at merging the companies’ paper and water chemicals businesses.
- Advised AIG on its $5.56bn acquisition of Validus.
- Assisted Clayton Dubilier & Rice with obtaining a clearance in the European Union and Turkey for its acquisition of a joint controlling interest in Belron,
- Advising AmTrust Financial Services on a take-private acquisition by Enstar Group and Madison Dearborn Partners.
Osborne Clarke LLP
Osborne Clarke LLP receives instructions from clients in relation to merger control matters and joint ventures, distribution issues, procurement, state aid and anti-subsidy regulation, and various behavioural issues. Significant sectors of expertise include transport, technology and media, retail, and insurance. Worthy of note is also the group's capacity to handle cross-border issues across jurisdictions such as Germany and Switzerland, as well as countries in Asia Pacific and the Americas. Simon Neill leads the practice and splits his time between Bristol and London. Clients also recommend legal director Katherine Kirrage.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team remains responsive and committed to delivering high-quality services, even when the task at hand is demanding‘
‘Team members are proactive and adopt a commercial approach. They are able to see things from the client’s perspective‘
‘An excellent, high level of service all round‘
‘Simon Neill has a bright mind; he is responsive, provides practical solutions-focused advice, and goes the extra mile to deliver his advice on time. This is combined with an easy-going personal style and a great sense of humour‘
‘Katherine Kirrage is friendly, very responsive to any queries and provides high-quality practical advice‘
Maple Syrup Group
The Publishers Association
- Advised Ebiquity on the £26m disposal of its advertising intelligence business to Nielsen; work involved advising on the CMA’s investigation of the transaction, among other matters.
- Advising Maple Syrup Group on its proposed £80m merger with Top Online Partners; the merger is currently undergoing a Phase I review by the CMA.
- Advised Cytora on the competition law aspects of its use of predictive analytics to process Big Data in the home insurance market.
- Providing competition compliance advice to members of The Publishers Association.
The London-based competition department at Ropes & Gray LLP assists clients with a wide range of competition law issues at multiple levels: the European Commission; the Competition and Markets Authority; UK authorities responsible for the regulated industries; as well as the UK High Court. Team members' sector-specific expertise include healthcare, technology, financial services, and private equity. The group advised Medtronic on the CMA review of its preferred partnership with Animas Corporation, among other matters. Practice head Ruchit Patel is recommended and stands out for his experience handling cross-border matters.
- Advised Medtronic on the CMA review of its preferred partnership with Animas Corporation.
The competition and competition litigation team at RPC functions in an integrated manner and, as a result, obtains instructions from clients on both contentious and non-contentious issues. In the non-contentious space, the team advises on merger control, investigations, commercial agreements, and competition law compliance. The firm's practice covers a wide range of sectors including retail, media and telecoms, insurance, financial services, healthcare, and the public sector. Highly praised by clients, Lambros Kilaniotis heads the department, where associate Melanie Musgrave is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Melanie Musgrave; Chris Ross
‘RPC’s competition team is professional and quick‘
‘A strong team that is focused on delivering results for its clients‘
‘Lambros Kilaniotis has a strong litigation background and stands out for his significant experience‘
‘Lambros Kilianotis is an excellent competition litigator exercising fine judgment‘
‘Lambros Kilaniotis is an impressive and savvy competition lawyer; he is pragmatic, good to work with, and an excellent tactician‘
‘Melanie Musgrave is excellent — she is practical, professional and courteous‘
‘Melanie Musgrave combines strong legal expertise with a focus on achieving client objectives‘
Paine Schwartz Partners
- Advised a large retail company on the merger control aspects of a £90m acquisition.
- Advised Meadow Foods on obtaining clearance by the CMA for its acquisition of Roil Foods.
- Advised Paine Schwartz Partners on the merger control aspects of the sale of its strategic stake in Meadow Foods to Exponent Private Equity.
- Providing competition advice to RSA in relation to its commercial arrangements.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Acting on high-profile, multi-jurisdictional merger control issues and investigations, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has carved out a significant reputation for its work on complex matters in the financial services sector. Practice head Juan Rodriguez and Axel Beckmerhagen are key figures in the team. A specialist in contentious matters relating to antitrust, Theodore Edelman is also noted; Edelman splits his time between New York and London.
Taylor Wessing LLP’s financial services and competition department advises on a broad range of issues including investigations and sector inquires, merger control, public procurement, as well as state aid. Senior counsel Louisa Penny has experience across a number of sectors such as pharmaceuticals, media and entertainment, sport, telecoms, real estate, and life sciences. May 2019 saw the departure of department head Robert Vidal, who joined Pinsent Masons LLP.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s regulatory, public law and competition team provides contentious and non-contentious advice across sectors such as transport, energy and natural resources. Standing out for its more recent work in the merger control space, the group advised Rheinmetall on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of a majority stake in a BAE Systems’ subsidiary. Practice head Jeremy Robinson is praised by clients for his niche expertise in competition law relating to the aviation industry.
‘The team is efficient and provides swift and pragmatic advice at short notice‘
‘Great client service‘
‘Jeremy Robinson is a leading expert in his field and a first point of contact for aviation-specific competition law matters‘
Polar Air Cargo
- Advised Rheinmetall AG on its proposed acquisition of a majority stake in a BAE Systems’ subsidiary in the UK, which is active in military vehicle design, manufacturing and support.