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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is 'a polished outfit' and 'formidable adversary',  noted for its pedigree in handling high-profile competition litigation cases, including MasterCard's appeal before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The key practitioners are Mark Sansom, Bea Tormey, Rod Carlton and Alastair Chapman. Telecoms competition litigation expert Deba Das was promoted to partner in April 2018, while former team leader, Jon Lawrence, took up a pupillage at Brick Court Chambers in July 2017.

For some, Hausfeld is the 'best' claimant firm in the market, leading in claim funding and specialising in European damages claims. In addition to a London office comprising experienced competition litigators, the firm has built a strong network across the EU, which it is able to leverage in multi-jurisdictional claims. The practice is led by the 'commercially aware' Anthony Maton, who is acting alongside the 'deeply experienced' Scott Campbell for Veolia, Suez and Wolsley before the English High Court and the Dutch Transport Association in the Netherlands in a major claim arising out of a cartel involving medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers. Laurent Geelhand and the 'first-class' Anna Morfey represented Groupe PSA and BMW in an automotive bearings cartel claim against various European and Japanese bearing manufacturers. Nicola Boyle has 'an excellent legal mind' and currently acts for a group of UK and European corporate clients in relation to claims against MasterCard and Visa pertaining to interchange fees. 'Great lawyer' Lesley Hannah is another key contact.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'one of the pre-eminent firms for competition litigation' and is 'at the forefront of the leading cases', particularly in the telecoms field. The group takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating competition litigation with the competition, regulation and trade teams, as well as the wider dispute resolution department. It stands out for its experience in regulatory appeals and private enforcement claim defence in the EU, UK and in other jurisdictions. 'A great tactician with an unparalleled strategic sense', practice head Stephen Wisking is instructed by Google on separate High Court claims brought by Kelkoo and Connexity seeeking damages for abuse of dominance following similar claims raised by the European Commission. In 2017-2018, Wisking continued to advise Sky on a variety of regulatory litigation matters, including in a judicial review of Ofcom's decision brought by campaign group Avaaz, in the context of 21st Century Fox's £11.7bn public offer to acquire the client. The 'experienced and determined' Kim Dietzel is representing Schunk in follow-on litigation relating to procedural aspects of the section 47A Competition Act regime. Adam Johnson is recommended for his experience in claims concerning automotive manufacturing and banking and finance sectors. Senior associate Andrew North is another key contact.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is noted for the 'sophisticated approach' it provides to defendants in early regulatory investigations and damages actions. The team is led by 'leading light' Nicholas Heaton, who has 'earned a reputation as an undoubted leader in the field' on the basis of his significant experience. He is currently co-ordinating the multi-jurisdictional defence for Air Canada in the £5bn damages claims in the air cargo cartel case and defending Safran in a high-value claim arising from the power cable cartel. Ruth Grant and 'intellectually tough' counsel Paul Chaplin  continues to represent British American Tobacco in a longstanding series of damages claims brought by two Georgian tobacco producers, Tbilisi Tobacco and Omega Tobacco. Christopher Hutton is recommended for his expertise in matters arising out of the financial services sector.

The 'superb' competition litigation team at Linklaters LLP is 'at the heart of interchange litigation' and particularly excels in its work for defendants. Following the retirement of Michael Sanders in April 2017, the team is led by the firm's 'leading competition litigator', Tom Cassels. The group also greatly benefits from the 'greatest competition law mind in the solicitors field', Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, who is a former European Commission judge and president of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Highlights included acting for Hutchison 3G UK as an interested party in judicial review proceedings commenced by the client against Ofcom, Vodafone, O2 and BT with respect to Ofcom's decision to impose competition measures in the Public Sector Spectrum Release auction process. In another stand-out matter, the group is representing Visa Europe and Visa UK in multiple claims brought by various retailers concerning interchange fees. 'Good at coordinating across multiple jurisdictions', Counsel Elizabeth Jordan, who is handling a number of the firm's major cases, is 'bound for greatness', according to one client.

'Intellectually superb and relentless in pursuing the highest possible standards', the team at Slaughter and May, which is led by the 'esteemed' Richard Swallow, has 'an enviable' reputation in competition litigation. Predominantly acting for defendants in some of the most high-profile claims, the group works closely with the global competition department, which is headed by Philippe Chappatte. Highlights included handling the principal UK actions and European follow-on litigation for British Airways in a major global multi-party litigation, following on from the air cargo cartel investigation. In another standout matter, it is representing Koninklijke Philips in a damages claim brought by in the English High Court by iiyama, arising from the European Commission's CRT and CRT Glass cartel decisions. It is also acting for MAN in various damages actions in courts and tribunals in the UK concerning the European Commission's truck cartel investigation.  Also recommended are the 'brilliant and meticulous' Jonathan Clark, 'tactically shrewd' Isabel Taylor, 'tough litigator' Sarah Lee and Camilla Sanger, who was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Allen & Overy LLP's 'strong' competition litigation team utilises the its cross-sectoral expertise (which spans litigation, IP and financial services) predominantly to advise clients on the defence of claims. It has a particular specialism in anti-trust litigation. Alasdair Balfour and 'tough and pragmatic' Jonathan Hitchin are advising 441 Trust Company - a trust company representing 441 European banks - in proceedings, currently at appeal, brought against Visa by several UK retailers in relation to interchange fees. In another highlight, Dominic Long defended Huawei against claims brought by Conversant Wireless for a declaration by the UK Courts that it had offered fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms in respect of its standard essential patents (SEP) portfolio in the first case of its kind; Nicola Dagg is advising on the FRAND aspects of the case. 'Highly rated in this field', global co-head of antitrust Antonio Bavasso represented 21st Century Fox in a judicial review of Ofcom's fit and proper decision pertaining to its acquisition of Sky and continues to advise the client in relation to the on-going phase 2 public interest review connected to the deal. 'Sensible strategist' Mark Friend leads the London antitrust group and is a veteran of the competition space.

The 'top-notch' antitrust and competition team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is 'a market leader' in follow-on damages claims, for which it stands out for its 'impressive record' in high-profile cases at trial. The team is led by Edward Coulson, who is 'quick to understand the economics of a case' and 'brings with him a wealth of experience' in competition litigation. Antitrust and competition head Andrew Hockley is noted for his approach to teamwork, which informs his 'strong overall strategic perspective'. Together, the duo are advising Royal Mail group on its landmark High Court claim against DAF, in relation to the defendant's participation in a price fixing cartel in medium and heavy trucks; successfully securing orders for disclosure of the European Commission's file and key documents in the case and persuading the Court of Appeal not to grant DAF's application for permission to appeal. They are also representing BT group in a similar claim against the same defendant. In another highlight, Joby Davies is acting for National Grid in its claim for damages due to overcharges paid for the purchase of high voltage power cables against 20 defendants across eight countries. Chris Bryant and senior associates Rachel Ziegler and Clare Reeve are key practitioners with significant experience in the space.

Clifford Chance LLP's team draws on the firm's global presence, its wider commercial litigation and investigations expertise and specialism in financial services competition investigations to defend clients involved major UK and EU competition litigation. Practice head Elizabeth Morony is instructed on matters across industry sectors, focusing on antitrust litigation and cartel investigations. Contentious antitrust expert Luke Tolaini has significant experience in cross-border matters; he is currently leading Pfizer's appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against its decision to impose an £84.2m fine for excessive pricing, in an abuse of dominance case. His other matters include representing Xelia and Alpharma LLC in pay-for-delay litigation. The group is also advising a global bank on its defence of a claim brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation against a number of banks relating to alleged manipulation and collusion of LIBOR. Matthew Scully  is another key contact, Samantha Ward was promoted to partner in May 2018 and handles litigation arising from the technology sector.

Mishcon de Reya LLP has established 'a stellar reputation' in the competition litigation space, principally for acting in high value damages claims. The group is led by the 'creative and strategically excellent' Rob Murray, who is currently representing Microsoft in its cartel damages claim against Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Sanyo and LG Chem arising from a global battery cartel. He also represented Sainsbury's against MasterCard in its claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, recovering £70m in damages for the client in relation to interchange fees. In another interchange case, 'strong and effective' litigator Sarah Houghton (noted for her 'strong management skills') is instructed by John Lewis on separate High Court claims against MasterCard and Visa. Andrij Jurkiw is acting for Argos in its High Court follow-on claim against Samsung and LG Display pertaining to a global cartel affecting LCD panels. Managing associate Natasha Pearman is recommended for her expertise in complex competition issues relating to IP.

Stewarts Law LLP is 'one of the leading competition damages firms in the field' and its team is particularly noted for the 'steel determination' with which it manages large pieces of litigation for claimants pursuing damages arising from cartel infringements and abuses of dominance. The team is co-led by 'excellent strategist' Kate Pollock and 'resourceful' Kenny Henderson, who has vast cross-sectoral experience in competition disputes. Ian Gatt QC is recommended as 'a very far-sighted thinker'. The group represented multiple claimants, including Arcadia Group, Asda, Next and B&Q , in separate actions against Visa Europe and Visa concerning interchange fees. It also represented iiyama in separate claims against Schott and Samsung Electronics regarding CRT and LCT panel cartels respectively; in cases currently pending trial. The 'meticulous' Inge Forster is another key contact with 'good procedural knowledge'.

The 'technically strong' team at Ashurst is instructed by both claimants and defendants engaged in the spectrum of competition litigation. It particularly stands out its 'practical approach' and 'exceptionally detailed knowledge of the latest Government policies and ongoing law proceedings'. Group head Euan Burrows is defending Pirelli against High Court proceedings arising from the power cables cartel. Nigel Parr is representing Intel in its appeal before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice against the General Court's decision to uphold a historic abuse of dominance claim. Duncan Liddell successfully advised Virgin Media on appeals before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in relation to the dark fibre access remedy aspect of Ofcom's 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review. Tom Connor and associate Max Strasberg are further key practitioners.

Boutique IP firm Bristows LLP stands out for its 'exceptional strength' at the overlap between IP and competition law, for which the 'seriously clever' team is noted for its 'creative' approach to competition damages cases. The group is led by 'extremely knowledgeable' Pat Treacy, who is ably supported by Sophie Lawrance and Stephen Smith. The group continues to defend Google in a High Court action brought by Foundem following the European Commission's decision concerning the client's online search function. In another highlight, it represented Samsung in relation to the competition law aspects of a major dispute with Unwired Planet and Ericsson involving FRAND value for essential patents. Life sciences competition law expert Marie Manley departed to Sidley Austin LLP in February 2018.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP stands out for its representation of major defendants and claimants in follow-on and standalone damages claims, appeals against competition authority decisions, government investigations and criminal litigation. The firm often coordinates complex European competition litigation matters from the London office, which has significant experience in the space. Jonathan Kelly is defending LG Display in a follow-on claim for damages by iiyama arising out of the European Commission's LCD infringement decision. Possessing 'an ability to see the crux of issues' and provide 'meaningful advice', Maurits Dolmans is acting alongside Kelly for NVIDIA in connection with a damages claim against Qualcomm before the English High Court for an alleged instance of abuse of dominance. Sunil Gadhia and Francisco Enrique González-Díaz in Brussels successfully defended Sony against High Court damages proceedings regarding lithium ion batteries brought by Microsoft Mobile, initially obtaining a stay of the claim, which was later unsuccessfully appealed by the claimant. James Norris-Jones joined the team from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in April 2018.

DLA Piper's 'excellent' defendant-focused team continues to advise clients on major follow-on and standalone competition litigation matters, including multiple pay-for-delay cases. The team is led by 'hugely experienced' Sam Szlezinger, who specialises in UK and EU competition law. Possessing 'excellent strategic judgement' and 'superb litigation skills', Sarah Smith is acting for Merck in its ongoing appeal in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the CMA's antitrust decision regarding the drug paroxetine. Smith is also representing Lupin in a General Court appeal against the European Commissions' antitrust decision in the perindopril investigation. On the claimant side, Alexandra Kamerling represented the Origin Group in a private enforcement action against XL Farmcare UK and others in relation to alleged breaches of competition law, leading to an out-of-court settlement.

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright advises claimants and defendants on the full range of competition law proceedings before UK and EU courts and in regulatory appeals before the Competition and Markets Authority. Providing 'strong leadership', practice head Peter Scott is noted for his 'conscientiousness' and experience in high profile competition disputes. Scott represented The Law Society in its defence of a fast-track claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, brought by Socrates Training, alleging that the client's accreditation scheme breached competition law. In another stand out case, alongside Mark Simpson, he is currently representing Vodafone, as an indirect purchaser, in its High Court claims against multiple suppliers of smart chips; a case listed for trial in 2019. 'Highly competent' senior associate James Flett is another key figure on the team.

The 'very clued-up litigation team' at Pinsent Masons LLP handles a 'good spread' of contentious competition matters, including follow-on damages actions, appeals of decisions  by competition authorities and procurement litigation. Alan Davis leads the team and is regularly involved in proceedings before the EU and UK courts; recent work includes acting for CST Industries in proceedings before the Competition and Markets Authority and the Competition Appeal Tribunal lodged by Balmoral Tanks in relation to the judgment in a historic civil cartel investigation. The 'excellent' Ben Lasserson stands out for his 'decisiveness' and is currently representing a number of claimants in cartel damages cases.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP's team handles both follow-on and standalone competition disputes, leveraging the firm's specialism in heavyweight litigation, often with a US angle. It is most noted for acting on the claimant side, but it is also instructed by a number of defendants. The group is co-led by 'determined litigator' Kate Vernon and Boris Bronfentrinker, who is noted as 'innovative in formulating claims and finding arguments to run'. Highlights for Vernon included representing the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation in a High Court claim against English and European banks for alleged collusionto the setting of the USD LIBOR rate between 2007 and 2011; the first standalone competition claim in relation to USD LIBOR in the English courts. Bronfentrinker is currently advising Daimler on all aspects of its defence strategy in relation to hundreds of threatened claims arising from the European Commission's decision finding that manufacturers of trucks infringed competition law. Of Counsel Nicola Chesaites is another key practitioner and has played a leading role in a number of significant matters.

The team at Simmons & Simmons specialises in antitrust litigation, and regularly advises clients on bringing and defending significant actions, both at the EU and national UK level. In a major victory for the client, 'immensely experienced' department head Charles Bankes led a team that successfully defended LG Electronics against a High Court Damages claim brought by iiyama following the European Commission's cartel findings in relation to the markets for cathode ray tubes. Bankes, alongside 'solutions-focused' Patrick Boylan and 'excellent litigator' Stephen Moses, is currently acting for BP in its High Court proceedings against Visa in a high value competition damages claim relating to cross-border and domestic multilateral interchange fees in Europe and the UK. In February 2018, the group was joined from CMS by Satyen Dhana, who has experience in UK and EU competition litigation. Former head, Tony Woodgate retired in October 2017.

Travers Smith LLP's 'extremely strong' litigation team takes a cross-departmental approach to competition litigation; co-led by 'profoundly knowledgeable' competition lawyer Nigel Seay and 'extremely smart' litigator Caroline Edwards. The group predominantly represents defendants in follow-on and standalone damages cases and in appeals against competition authorities. The group continues to advise chip manufacturer Renesas on a major follow-on damages claim brought by Vodafone, following a European Commission cartel ruling in 2014. 'Impressive litigator' Heather Gagen was promoted to partner in July 2017. Stephen Whitfield is another key name.

White & Case LLP's competition litigation practice encompasses defending follow-on damages claims and appeals against EU and UK regulatory decisions. The group is based in the competition department, but draws heavily on the firm's exceptional disputes litigation team. Marc Israel, who joined from Macfarlanes LLP in 2017, heads the competition litigation team and divides his time between London and Brussels, with a focus on multi-jurisdictional matters. Mark Powell leads on EMEA competition matters, and has expertise in competition law as it relates to telecommunications. Charles Balmain continues to act for NTN in defence of follow-on damages claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and other threatened proceedings in the UK and other jurisdictions arising out of the European Commission decision on the automotive bearing cartel. Jacquelyn MacLennan represented Toshiba in an appeal to the European General Court against a Commission decision to fine the client for participating in a global cartel in cathode ray tubes. James Killick is another key contact.

Baker McKenzie's team draws on the firm's international presence to offer claimants and defendants cross-jurisdictional representation in competition litigation, including standalone and follow-on damages claims. The group is led by Francesca Richmond, who advised Eurofoam on the defence of a claim brought by multiple claimants following a European Commission decision that the client was involved in a cartel infringement in various European jurisdictions; leading to a settlement out of court. Keith Jones and senior associate Jennifer Reeves are also recommended.

RPC's competition litigation group is led by 'commercially-minded' Lambros Kilaniotis who has 'a reputation for achieving favourable settlements' in a variety of competition disputes. Promoted to partner in May 2017, Chris Ross specialises in follow-on damages claims for both claimants and defendants. Catherine Percy is currently representing NHS Scotland, the Department of Health and the Regional Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland, in an action for damages brought against Servier arising from potential infringements of EU competition law concerning the cardiovascular drug, Perindopril.

Taylor Wessing LLP's team is noted for its ability to provide 'strategic solutions' to contentious competition matters, including defending clients in national and European cartel investigations, bringing damages actions, dispute resolution and advocacy before European and UK courts. The group has particular expertise in the intersection between competition law and IP rights. Group leader Robert Vidal continues to represent Ranbaxy Laboratories and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries in an appeal against the European Commission's decision to fine the client for entering into anti-competitive settlement agreements relating to Citalopram. 'Extremely knowledgeable' senior counsel Louisa Penny has significant court experience on both the defence and claimant side and stands out for her 'incisive' approach.

Winston & Strawn London LLP's team predominantly represents defendants involved in follow-on completion claims, leveraging the firm's acumen in European Commission cases. It provides the spectrum of competition litigation services, including cartel defence, trade and sanctions advice and regulatory advice. 'Responsive' department head Peter Crowther is noted for having 'a good sense of the commercial considerations of a case'; he is currently advising Sberbank in relation to its application to the General Court to remove EU capital market access restrictions imposed by the Council of the European Union against a number of Russian banks.

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