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Firms in the Spotlight Competition litigation

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

Ronald Fletcher Baker has an established track record of success in even the most complex cases. Litigation and Dispute Resolution has been a focus of the firm since its inception in 1948, and our highly experienced team is widely recognised for its skill in this area. The firm deals with a broad range of commercial …

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Competition litigation in London

Hausfeld & Co LLP

As a boutique litigation firm working on the claimant side, Hausfeld & Co LLP stands at the pinnacle of the market. Able to ‘operate seamlessly across jurisdictions’, the firm’s London competition disputes team is spearheaded by Scott Campbell, who has worked on some of the largest cartel damages claims in England and Wales. In addition to his work on damages claims and investigations, Campbell assists clients with managing their litigation costs and risk. He is supported by a host of exceptional partners including Nicola BoyleAnna MorfeyLesley Hannah and Anthony MatonLucy Rigby is also noted by clients as ‘an outstanding junior partner’. The team has recently acted in a varied range of complex competition litigation work, including the high-profile ‘App Stores claims’ and automotive cartels cases, and is handling a class action on behalf of millions of UK rail passengers.

Practice head(s):

Scott Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Boyle; Anna Morfey; Anthony Maton; Lesley Hannah; Lucy Rigby; Wessen Jazrawi; Lianne Craig; Tim Brown; Aqeel Kadri; Tom Bolster

Testimonials

‘Hausfeld are the absolute leader in this field. They have strength in depth throughout the firm, and have extensive experience of the most important and highest value cases.’

‘Nicola Boyle is one of the most impressive solicitors I have ever worked with. She is commercially and legally astute, and is a fantastic team manager. The complete solicitor.’

‘Lucy Rigby is an outstanding junior partner who is going places. She is extremely calm under pressure and always makes the right decisions.’

‘Luke Streatfield is another partner to watch – he is brilliant to work with and achieves fantastic results.’

‘Lesley Hannah has already established herself as one of the top practitioners in this area and is excellent.’

‘They have the largest competition litigation team in the UK, with the ability to seamlessly operate across jurisdictions through their sister offices in the UK and EU. The competition litigation landscape in the UK has never been busier, and Hausfeld’s entrepreneurialism, bravery and ability to work collaboratively with key players in the field (counsel, experts, funders, other firms, and opponents) has been a key factor.’

‘Lucy Rigby is the First Lady of collective redress; percipient, poised and a powerhouse in any negotiation.’

‘Anna Morfey, Lesley Hannah and Nicola Boyle are class acts. They consistently spearhead the most significant competition disputes and are a dream to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Representing two individuals in the ‘App Stores claims’ against Apple and Google, respectively, determining the collective redress landscape as they are filed among the first at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Acting in a wide range of automotive cartels matters (Occupant Safety Systems, Thermal Systems, Bearings) on behalf of some of the largest European car manufacturers.
  • Acting across a number of Trucks claims.

Slaughter and May

Fielding a pre-eminent competition litigation practice, Slaughter and May regularly acts on some of the largest private enforcement actions before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and High Court, as well as appeals before both national courts and the CJEU. Pooling cross-disciplinary expertise, the firm is praised for its ‘sheer quality’. Disputes and investigations practice head Richard Swallow has extensive experience of multi-jurisdictional competition litigation, having advised high-profile global clients such as Volkswagen and JPMorgan Chase. The team also benefits from ‘brilliant tactician’ Damian Taylor and ‘excellent litigator’ Jonathan ClarkCamilla Sanger, who has built up a large contentious antitrust practice, is also recommended along with 'formidable strategist' Holly Ware and Elizabeth Jordan.

Practice head(s):

Richard Swallow

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Clark; Camilla Sanger; Damian Taylor; Holly Ware; Tim Blanchard; Peter Wickham; Elizabeth Jordan; Nick Ames; Isabel Taylor

Testimonials

‘Slaughter and May have undoubtedly developed one of the very top competition litigation teams in the City.’

‘Richard Swallow is the doyen of the team, an outstanding practitioner. Of particular note amongst the other partners are the brilliant tactician Damian Taylor, the formidable strategist Holly Ware and the excellent litigator Jonathan Clark; Camilla Sanger is building a large practice in this area and senior counsel Liz Jordan is a future star to watch out for.’

‘The competition litigation team at Slaughters is unique for the sheer quality of its lawyers across the board. Their junior associates up to senior partners are consistently outstanding, more so than any other firm in the field. The team is also unique in encouraging their lawyers to become involved in multiple types of litigation, meaning that associates tend to have a wider experience of litigation than associates at equivalent firms.’

‘Damian Taylor is outstanding. He is one of the sharpest partners in the competition law world and brings with him the experience of a heavyweight commercial litigation practice. He has an excellent ability to plan a long-term strategy in long-running, complex litigation.’

‘All very versed and experienced in the field of competition litigation.’

‘Intellectually first rate, extremely hardworking and devoted to the highest levels of quality.’

‘Camilla Sanger: charming and shrewd. Isabel Taylor: hugely experienced in merger law. Peter Wickham: newly made partner and deservingly so.’

Key clients

Koninklijke Philips N.V.

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

First MTR South Western Trains Limited

MAN

Louis Dreyfus Company Brasil SA

Deutsche Bank, A.G.

Volkswagen AG (and other group entities)

Infineon Technologies AG

Illumina

Google

Vodafone

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Work highlights

  • Advising Philips in respect of follow-on claims in the English High Court arising out of the CRT and CRT Glass cartel decisions.
  • Acting for JPMorgan Case Bank N.A. on cross-border investigations in relation to alleged misconduct in the G10 spot FX market and defending subsequent civil claims in the High Court and Competition Appeals Tribunal.
  • Advising First MTR South Western Trains Limited in respect of proposed collective proceedings brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal under s. 47B of the Competition Act 1998.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Representing clients in a range of contentious issues, from regulatory investigations to damages claims before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has a team of ‘exceptional quality’. With a strong defence practice, acting for major clients including BT and Royal Mail, the team has also created a dawn raid preparation package and offers in-house forensic accounting services. ‘Excellent strategist’ and solicitor advocate Edward Coulson, who regularly appears before the High Court, heads up the London competition litigation team, which sits within the wider global competition practice, led by Andrew Hockley , who is primarily based in Sydney. Associate Andrew Leitch is developing a strong reputation, particularly in cartel investigation work.

Practice head(s):

Edward Coulson; Andrew Hockley

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Leitch; Benjamin Blacklock; Alexandra Hildyard; India Fahy

Testimonials

‘Excellent case management, knowledge and advice. All aspects are absolutely first class. A great team of people to work with.’

‘Edward Coulson – charming, cool, an excellent strategist and a lovely team leader.’

‘The quality of this team is exceptional. All of the team members show tremendous devotion to the case, grip on the detail and collaborative approach.’

‘Ed Coulson, Ben Blacklock and Alexandra Hildyard stand out for their ability to cut through the detail and see the big picture.’

‘Alexandra Hildyard is a total stand-out. She is a master of the complex detail of a case.’

‘Andy Hockley – extremely tactically aware, and sophisticated industry knowledge. Ed Coulson – on top of all the detail and a committed fighter for his clients. Ben Blacklock – very thorough, very bright lawyer destined for the top. Andrew Leitch – a pugnacious litigator.’

‘Andy Hockley: great judgment and client handling. Ed Coulson: tough litigator not afraid of a fight. Ben Blacklock – Intellectually brilliant and highly dedicated. Destined for great things.’

‘This is a fantastic competition law team to work with. They are knowledgeable and hardworking and they always fight hard in their client’s best interest. There is a great sense of camaraderie amongst the team which makes them more efficient and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

easyJet

Royal Mail Group Ltd

Morgan Stanley

National Grid

Scottish Power

BT

Tesco

Heathrow Airport Limited

Dawsongroup

Associated British Foods

BFS

Enterprise

Flex

Work highlights

  • Defending Morgan Stanley in a stand-alone high-value damages action brought in the English High Court by 175 institutional investors, led by Allianz, in relation to its alleged participation in a foreign exchange cartel.
  • Advising Royal Mail plc, BT Group plc, Dawsongroup plc, ABF, BFS and Enterprise in landmark High Court claims against DAF, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco and Scania for their participation in the EC truck cartel, for which the participants were fined €3bn – the highest fine ever awarded.
  • Defending Royal Mail in a damages claim issued by Whistl UK Ltd in the High Court. The claim alleges abuse of dominance against Royal Mail in respect of pricing to the supply of bulk mail delivery services in the UK.

Clifford Chance LLP

With a solid and experienced competition litigation team, regularly handling significant antitrust claims and cartel investigations, Clifford Chance LLP sits ‘at the top of the pile’ according to clients. Some significant recent mandates include representing Fortnite creators Epic Games in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Google, handling abuse of dominance issues under TFEU provisions, and matters relating to the UK Competition Act. The group also represents noteworthy clients such as EE and Pfizer, and acted for the latter in an appeal before the Supreme Court. Members of the team have backgrounds in public law, criminal law, technology and regulatory investigations, supplementing the practice. Elizabeth Morony heads up the antitrust litigation team and conducts both claimant and defendant litigation, while Luke Tolaini is described by as the team’s ‘star operator‘, and Ben Jasper is a key name to senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Morony

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Ward; Luke Tolaini; Matthew Scully; Ben Jasper

Testimonials

‘Clifford Chance are unquestionably at the very top of the pile when it comes to competition litigation. The roster of recent and ongoing cases is astonishing.’

‘Luke Tolaini is their star operator. He can turn his hand to any litigation but has successfully leveraged his white collar litigation practice into competition litigation. Extraordinary tactical sense and a nose for a winning point. Ben Jasper is a partner in all but name. His output is astonishing and in every case he quickly ends up more expert in the area of law than all of the expert lawyers in the case – a phenomenon.’

‘Superb team. Collaborative, measured. Well resourced.’

‘Sam Ward – clever and conscientious.’

Key clients

Cinven

EE

Epic Games

Pfizer Inc. and Pfizer Limited

Xellia and Alpharma LLC

Work highlights

  • Defending EE in a high-profile claim brought on behalf of the administrators of Phones 4 U, the now-defunct mobile phone retailer, for breaches of competition law and for breach of contract.
  • Acting for Epic Games in a claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Alphabet/Google, relating to Fortnite, one of the most popular computer games in the world used by millions of consumers worldwide.
  • Representing Pfizer in relation to the CMA’s re-investigation into phenytoin, its successful representation before the Court of Appeal relating to the CMA’s original decision, and an appeal before the Supreme Court in relation to the recovery of Pfizer’s costs of its successful appeal before the tribunal.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

‘One of the leaders in the sector’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP prides itself on taking its competition clients through the full life cycle of a case – from investigation to appeal. Its clients include household names such as Google and Virgin Atlantic, which benefit from the firm’s QC-led advocacy unit, ensuring quality representation in court. Experienced litigators Stephen Wisking and Kim Dietzel jointly oversee the competition practice, which regularly works on multi-jurisdictional matters and is known for its ‘technical ability’.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Wisking; Kim Dietzel

Other key lawyers:

Andrew North; Natalia Rodriguez; Suzy Campbell; Joe Williams

Testimonials

‘Excellent attention to detail and strategic vision. Second to none in familiarity with litigation in this area. One of the leaders in this sector.’

‘Stephen Wisking is an excellent and engaged partner with a superb knowledge base and great client handling skills. Andrew North is also an excellent litigator with good client rapport.’

‘Kim Dietzel – great grasp of the issues combined with a relentless approach makes Kim a formidable asset to have on your side.’

‘This is the stand out competition litigation team in the city. The quality of people – both partners and associates, is exceptional. Technical ability and sheer dedication.’

‘Stephen Wisking – quite simply the best competition litigator in the City – exceptional judgment and encyclopaedic knowledge of subject.’

Key clients

Iveco Group, CNH Industrial, and Stellantis

MUFG Bank

Google

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Aquind

The Computer & Communications Industry Association

Daimler

Work highlights

  • Advising Iveco Group, CNH Industrial, and Stellantis as UK competition litigation counsel in relation to follow-on damages claims stemming from the European Commission’s settlement decision in Trucks, one of the most high-profile competition infringement and follow-on damages cases in Europe.
  • Advising MUFG in respect of two applications before the Competition Appeal Tribunal for a collective proceedings order relating to claims following-on from a European Commission decision.
  • Advised the Computer & Communications Industry Association as intervener in Meta’s appeal of the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s prohibition of its purchase of Giphy.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP acts in high-profile damages claims, abuse of dominance claims, behavioural matters and collective actions. The latter includes the firm’s work defending Korean Air against one of the largest cartel damages actions ever brought in Europe. Practice head and seasoned litigator Nicholas Heaton has particular expertise in defending cartel damages claims and coordinating defence strategies across multiple jurisdictions. Alice Wallace-Wright, who has ‘excellent strategic judgment’, is one of the key leads in maintaining the firm’s relationship with major client Vodafone.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Heaton

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Hutton; Angus Coulter; Alice Wallace-Wright

Testimonials

‘The team combines top level competition law expertise with excellent litigation judgment on the fine strategic calls. They know which work streams justify expending client resources, leading to an efficient and well judged service in the client’s best interests.’

‘Angus Coulter has tremendous judgment in spotting the points which will matter at the end of the day and seeing them from all angles.’

‘Alice Wallace-Wright already shows the ability to manage major matters and has excellent strategic judgment.’

Key clients

On the Beach

Korean Air

Vodafone

Work highlights

  • Advising Vodafone on claims by the administrators of Phones4U alleging an anti-competitive conspiracy by the three biggest UK mobile operators (Vodafone, O2, EE) and their then-parent companies.
  • Advising On the Beach on its abuse of dominance claim against Ryanair in the High Court.
  • Representing long-standing client Korean Air in claims brought in the English High Court, the Amsterdam District Court (and Amsterdam Appeal Court) and the Cologne District Court (Germany) arising from the Commission’s Air Cargo decisions.

Linklaters LLP

Handling complex cases before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court, and with expertise in dealing with class actions, the competition litigation team at Linklaters LLP is ‘among the strongest litigation teams in the City’. The ‘impressive’ and ‘wise’ Tom Cassels leads the practice, bringing to bear his extensive experience in acting on high level cases. He is supported by Harriet Ellis, Nicole Kar and the highly rated Sarina Williams, who is ‘making a great impression on the market’.

Practice head(s):

Tom Cassels

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Kar; Sarina Williams; Harriet Ellis; Jonathan Ford; James Hennah

Testimonials

‘Tom Cassels is very impressive. His strong intellect, ability to read the room (and clients), understated manner and willingness to delegate to others are a powerful combination enabling him to set the strategic direction and get a lot done.’

‘James Hennah is highly recommended. He is a pleasure to work with and fully on top of the details of the case and the bigger strategic picture. He has held the case we are currently working on well and we have a lot of confidence in him.’

‘Harriet Ellis is also impressive. She is very bright, listens to clients carefully to understand their needs, and provides clear and compelling advice.’

‘This team is amongst the strongest litigation teams in the City, particularly in relation to large scale competition damages litigation. They have great experience of handling claims with an international element.’

‘Linklaters have strength and depth of experience in competition litigation and their team continues to be one of the best in the City.’

‘Tom Cassels is a gentle giant of competition litigation, who leads his cases with a steady hand and understated acuity – a wise and experienced sage that any client should be pleased to have on their side.’

‘Sarina Williams is already making a great impression on the market now that she is a partner. She is an excellent lawyer, and has an extraordinary ability to manage large teams of associates who produce great work on tight timeframes and multiple fronts.’

‘They are well resourced and experienced and have v good people. Good culture and v responsive.’

Key clients

Visa Europe Limited, Visa UK Limited, Visa International Service Association, Visa Inc.

Telefónica S.A. and Telefonica O2 Holdings Limited

Sucocitrico Cutrale LTDA

Société Générale

Kelkoo

DENSO

BGL Group Limited/Comparethemarket.com

The Association of Football Agents UK Limited

Scotia Gas Networks, Northern Gas Networks and Wales & West Utilities

HG Capital

Accord

Department for Transport

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Visa in its defence against large numbers of retailer damages actions relating to interchange fees.
  • Acting for one of the world’s largest orange juice manufacturers, Sucocitrico Cutrale, in respect of an alleged purchasing cartel concerning the orange market.
  • Advising two companies of the Telefonica group in their defence of a claim brought by the administrators of Phones 4U.

Macfarlanes LLP

Steered by seasoned competition expert Malcolm Walton, Macfarlanes LLP is routinely engaged in high-stakes disputes arising from regulatory investigations, collective damages proceedings, and precedent-setting appeals. Cameron Firth enjoys a stellar reputation in the market – and the pharmaceuticals sector especially – on account of his broad capabilities in merger control matters, dawn raids and inspections, and contentious matters before the English and EU courts. Simon Day is similarly well regarded for his expertise in group litigation, handling numerous individual and collective damages actions for clients in the transport, automotive, and banking sectors. Emma Radcliffe, who was promoted to partner in May 2021, is noted for her proficiency in investigations before both the European Commission and the CMA, as well as follow-on claims at the High Court and in the CAT. Senior counsel Caja Griesenbach maintains a keen focus on jurisdiction challenges.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Walton

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Firth; Simon Day; Emma Radcliffe; Caja Griesenbach

Key clients

ZF Friedrichshafen

Daimler Truck AG

MAHLE Behr

Flynn Pharma

Teva

NatWest Markets

Genius Sports

Prysmian

Work highlights

  • Representing Flynn Pharma in connection with the CMA’s first ever stand-alone unfair pricing case.
  • Acting for Prysmian in six different sets of proceedings, each following the findings by the European Commission that there was a decade long cartel in the market for high voltage underground and submarine power cables.
  • Advising Genius Sports Group on a series of cases with implications for the global markets for sports betting data rights.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

With a standout practice for claimant side competition litigation, Mishcon de Reya LLP is the go-to firm for a number of large UK businesses including Asda, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Practice head Sarah Houghton is acting in a claim against BT for a Chapter II Competition Act breach that affected over two million customers, and Ben Lasserson, who ‘goes the extra mile’, has been advising on follow-on damages claims in relation to the Trucks Cartel. The competition litigation team also provides an excellent ‘quality of service’ and continues to develop, with associates Zachery O’Brien and Gwen Ballin-Reeler praised at the junior end.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Houghton

Other key lawyers:

Ben Lasserson; Zachery O’Brien; Gwen Ballin-Reeler

Testimonials

‘We have been very impressed with the quality of service from the team. Much more collaborative and responsive than many of their competitors.’

‘Ben Lasserson goes the extra mile for his clients and is a tenacious and thoughtful practitioner.’

‘Sarah Houghton leads the team. She and her team are a match for anyone on the claimant side in UK competition litigation.’

‘Zachery O’Brien is a managing associate worthy of mention – calm, extremely knowledgeable.’

‘Very good profile in competition litigation and burgeoning reputation in collective claims.’

‘Sarah Houghton – she has excellent strategic vision. She has excellent client handling skills sometime in difficult situations and great judgment.’

Stewarts Law LLP

The specialist competition litigation practice at Stewarts Law LLP possesses a ‘dynamic’ team with a number of experienced partners including ‘amazing’ practice head Kate Pollock and cross-border disputes expert Inge Forster. The firm’s major clients include UK household names Asda and Marks & Spencer. The competition litigation team also uniquely contains in-house economist Mark Lewis.

Practice head(s):

Kate Pollock

Other key lawyers:

Inge Forster; Stuart Carson; Mark Lewis; Zach Sananes; Nick Haworth

Testimonials

‘Stewarts is a dynamic team led by ambitious and highly regarded individuals.’

‘Very strong experience at partnership level.’

‘All the partners with whom I’ve worked have been very knowledgeable, practical, hands-on and good with clients.’

‘The team is fantastic. They are real grown-ups. They are sensible, pragmatic people.’

‘Kate Pollock is amazing. She is super-impressive, but never takes herself too seriously.’

‘Stuart Carson and Mark Lewis demonstrate real ambition when developing and critically evaluating new cases and are so easy to work with.’

‘Stewarts are a market leader in competition damages. They have a deep understanding of how to bring a case in the UK and the EU. They invest heavily in identifying cases and working with experts early on to identify whether they are viable.’

‘There is a strong firm ethos and collaboration. Lawyers have a sense of pride in working for Stewarts.’

Key clients

Centrica plc, British Gas

ASDA Stores Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited

Gemalto NV, Thales Dis France SA and others

Vattenfall AB and others

iiyama UK Limited

LafargeHolcim Ltd and others

Marks and Spencer plc

QVC

Card Factory plc

Ingram Micro Inc.

American Golf (Trading) Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented major retailers including Asda in the Supreme Court on liability issues.
  • Acting for Thales/Gemalto in a substantial pan-European smart card chip cartel claim.
  • Representing the Swedish-state owned energy giant Vattenfall in its High Voltage Power Cables cartel.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's London competition litigation group is led by Mark Friend, working in tandem with global practice co-head Philip Mansfield. The practice has a strong emphasis on the financial services sector, as well as acting for clients in regulated sectors such as energy and transport. Recent work has included high-stakes cases concerning cartels, damages claims and CMA investigations.

Practice head(s):

Mark Friend; Philip Mansfield

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Hitchin; Dominic Long; Arnondo Chakrabarti; Kristina Nordlander

Key clients

Micron

Scania

441 Trust Company

Rangers FC

Work highlights

  • Defending Scania in multiple private damages actions before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, This is part of one of the largest-ever European cartel cases, in which a group of truck makers was found to have colluded over 14 years to share information as to prices and the introduction of new emissions standards to customers in the market for medium and heavy trucks.
  • Acting for Visa Europe Member Representative – a trust company representing 441 European banks – on various claims that have been brought against Visa by many well-known UK and European retailers with regard to Visa’s default multilateral interchange fee.
  • Represented Scottish Power before the CMA, in an appeal brought by a group of energy network companies against licence modifications made by Ofgem to implement the network price controls for the period 2021-26.

Ashurst

The team at Ashurst handles a significant volume of CMA-instigated cartel investigations for a litany of major corporate clients, most notably in the financial services, pharmaceuticals and transport sectors. The group is also noted for its capabilities in abuse of dominance cases, state aid disputes, and follow-on litigation arising from contested merger reviews. The London practice is jointly chaired by dual-qualified (English and Irish) global head Nigel Parr, a veteran adviser with wide-ranging expertise, and EMEA head Euan Burrows, an acclaimed litigator who underpins the team’s position in transport and infrastructure matters. Duncan Liddell’s recent highlights include high-profile defence-side actions for clients in the financial services sector, and Steven Vaz is recommended for his knowledge of the UK NSI regime.

Practice head(s):

Euan Burrows; Nigel Parr

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Liddell; Steven Vaz

Key clients

Ryder Limited

Intel

Royal Mail Group

Lloyds Banking Group

Transport for London

UK Department for Transport

UEFA

Bank of America

Work highlights

  • Representing Ryder Limited before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in the largest individual damages claim in the UK arising from the Trucks Cartel.  
  • Acted for Intel in the remittal to the EU General Court following its successful appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice of the General Court’s decision in 2014.
  • Representing Imperial Brands PLC and other companies of the group in its challenge before the EU General Court against the highly contentious Commission State aid decision on the Group Financing Exemption laid down in the UK Controlled Foreign Companies rules.

Bristows LLP

Lauded by clients for its ‘experienced, thoughtful and brilliant‘ capabilities at the intersection of IP and competition litigation, Bristows LLP is particularly well regarded for its technology and life sciences acumen. The ‘fantasticSophie Lawrance draws superlative praise from various blue-chip clients, which turn to her for representation in consumer technology and pharmaceutical sector proceedings. ‘Exceptional‘ practice co-chair Stephen Smith is an experienced advocate who acts for companies in a range of settings, before a number of regulatory agencies, while senior associate Edwin Bond focuses chiefly on technology, pharmaceuticals, and consumer electronics cases. Pat Treacy is now a senior counsel and part-time deputy High Court judge.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Smith; Sophie Lawrance

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Bond

Testimonials

‘The Bristows team is probably the best in the business when it comes to competition litigation in a pharmaceutical or broader IP space. The patent and competition lawyers work seamlessly together. The competition litigators are experienced, thoughtful and brilliant. These are the people you want on the most difficult or important cases.’

‘Sophie Lawrance is one of the finest competition lawyers in the City. Her analysis is always spot on. She is a fine advocate – both in writing and orally in regulatory hearings. And she can always be relied on to give accurate advice, which she then distils into the right tactical move for the clients to achieve their aims.’

‘Bristows have a particular understanding of both competition and litigation matters which give them an edge when engaging in litigation. They understand the complexities of the relationship between competition law and judicial review which is rare in the field.’

‘Steve Smith is an exceptional competition litigator. He has a wealth of experience which he brings to bear in litigation, quickly understanding both the legal issues and client needs. Steve is honest and pragmatic in his assessments, allowing clients to understand the risks as well as providing high quality analysis and drafting.’

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

‘Sophie Lawrance has a fantastic understanding of all issues on the competition law/intellectual property interface. Always a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Sophie Lawrance gives excellent concise advice. She and her team are very responsive and user friendly.’

Key clients

Abingdon Health Plc

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

British Generic Manufacturers Association

Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA

CityFibre

Google

IPCom GmbH Co KG

Morningside

Philips

Samsung Electronics Co Limited

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

ZTE Corporation

Work highlights

  • Representing Google in UK litigation brought by comparison shopping site Foundem. The claim is for damages estimated by the claimant to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
  • Advising CityFibre in its appeal in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against a decision by UK telecoms provider Ofcom approving a BT Openreach discounted pricing structure on its full fibre to the premises rental and connection products.
  • Advising Abingdon Health as an interested party in judicial review proceedings brought by the Good Law Project against the Government for alleged breaches of procurement law and the granting of state aid.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is well-versed in the full scope of follow-on, standalone, and collective proceedings, acting for a stellar mix of multinationals in proceedings before the CAT, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal. Leveraging decades of experience in competition litigation, Jonathan Kelly‘s ‘great strategic mind‘ makes him a key port of call for a range of consumer electronics conglomerates, transport companies, and investment banks. ‘Fantastic‘ counsel Paul Stuart is roundly praised by clients for the depth of his expertise in disputes before both the European Commission and the CMA. Paul Gilbert, as well as associates Lanto Sheridan and Alexandra Hackney are also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Kelly; Paul Stuart; Lanto Sheridan; Alexandra Hackney; Paul Gilbert

Testimonials

‘The Cleary team is an absolutely top class competition litigation team. It is brimming with brilliant lawyers who combine deep knowledge of competition law with well-honed litigators’ instincts. They regularly outmanoeuvre their opponents in damages litigation and are laser-focused on the points that matter to their clients.’

‘The team has real strength in its depth, and is one of the best at allocating work efficiently to the right member of the team for the right job.’

‘Paul Stuart is a real star. Intelligent, measured, and clear-eyed in his analysis, he often spots opportunities to seize the advantages that elude others.’

‘Extremely professional and smart, with extensive knowledge of competition law and of the pharmaceutical sector.’

‘Paul Stuart is fantastic – smart, responsive, pleasant.’

‘Incredible depth of knowledge and experience brings a powerful combination of clever law and pragmatic, commercial advice with a strong strategic approach. Whole team, from trainees to partners, all provide great advice and support.’

‘Jonathan Kelly possesses a great strategic mind.’

‘Paul Stuart is clever, commercial, and strategic.’

Key clients

Giphy

Goldman Sachs

Google

“K” Line

LG Display

Lundbeck

NSK

NVIDIA

Work highlights

  • Acting for Goldman Sachs in defence of damages claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal arising out of alleged FX manipulation.
  • Acting for LG Display in the High Court and Court of Appeal in successfully setting aside service of contribution claims by Samsung arising out of settled damages claims relating to the EU Commission’s LCD infringement decision.
  • Acting for Japanese transportation company “K” Line in defence of collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal arising out of competition law infringements in the maritime car carriers sector.

Latham & Watkins

Sitting within the wider disputes group, Latham & Watkins‘ competition litigation team acts for some of the world’s foremost multinationals and financial institutes on high-stakes contentious proceedings, appearing before the CMA and the European Commission in cases at the CAT and the various English courts. Seasoned international trial lawyer Martin Davies is sought out by a number of the firm’s leading clients for his capabilities in collective and class actions. Oliver Browne‘s recent engagements include cartel claims and damages actions for major technology and consumer goods conglomerates. Associate Greg Bonné is noted for his expertise in CMA matters.

Practice head(s):

Martin Davies

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Browne; Greg Bonné

Testimonials

‘Latham & Watkins are an emerging force in competition litigation (especially in relation to financial services cartels), and are very well regarded in this area.’

Key clients

Meta

GRAIL LLC

Renesas

Work highlights

  • Representing Meta in its acquisition of GIPHY and related UK litigation before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.
  • Representing GRAIL in the EC’s review of its acquisition by Illumina, a landmark case concerning the application of the referral powers under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation.
  • Representing Renesas Group in defending a follow-on damages claim for circa £400m in connection with the European Commission’s Smart Card Chips cartel decision.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP‘s ‘extremely skilled and responsive‘ contentious practice is exceptionally active in pharmaceutical sector matters, acting in a number of multi-party appeals before the CAT and the High Court. The team is also noted for its capabilities in the retail, media, and transport sectors. The competition group is headed up by Frances Murphy, an ‘experienced, tenacious and perceptive‘ practitioner whose recent key engagements include significant retail sector antitrust appeals before the Supreme Court. Joanna Christoforou is recommended for her expertise in big-ticket cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, and consequent court proceedings. Senior associate Leonidas Theodosiou is noted for his extensive international capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Frances Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Christoforou; Leonidas Theodosiou

Testimonials

‘The team are extremely skilled and responsive, and bring a real depth of experience in this complex and challenging area. I would not use anyone else. They have their own e-discovery systems for swift and cost-effective data analysis and are willing to adapt their teams and work to the client.’

‘Frances Murphy is simply the most experienced, tenacious and perceptive lawyer for Competition Litigation that I have met. Head and shoulders above the rest in terms of cutting to the chase and dealing with the key issues in a pragmatic and powerful way.’

‘The firm is focused, dedicated, incredibly hardworking, and the team assembled under Frances Murphy is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Frances Murphy is the head of the Competition Team. She is extremely bright and personable, clam under pressure, measured in her advice and expert at striking the balance between firmness and flexibility.’

‘Frances Murphy possesses great knowledge and great interpersonal skills to understand a case and individual.’

‘Frances Murphy has been superb and extremely reassuring in what is a pressure situation for myself and colleague.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited

Advanz Pharma Corp. (ex Concordia Inc.)

Focus Pharma

AMCo Pharma

McDonalds Restaurants Limited

Abellio East Anglia Limited and Others

Richemont/Pret a Porter

Work highlights

  • Secured a win for Sainsbury’s by way of a very favourable settlement of its long-running dispute with Visa over the card provider’s unlawful multilateral interchange fee scheme.
  • Leading appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against an infringement decision including acting on behalf of Concordia/Advanz in relation to the alleged excessive and unfair pricing of the thyroid drug Liothyronine under Chapter II / Article 102.
  • Representing McDonald’s in claims against Visa and Mastercard before the High Court. The claims are that the payment schemes are anti-competitive and have caused McDonald’s material financial loss.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright fields an ‘exceptionally dedicated and hardworking‘ team which has contentious capabilities spanning the worlds of financial services, telecoms, energy, utilities, and aviation. The antitrust and competition department is jointly chaired by EMEA head Ian Giles, a noted aviation expert, and Mark Simpson, a specialist in consumer markets. Caroline Thomas is noted for her broad TMT acumen, while Susanna Rogers‘ regulatory focus is especially concentrated in the electricity sector, where she regularly submits appeals to the CMA. The ‘highly impressive’ Helen Fairhead, who was promoted to partner in January 2022, acts for both claimants and defendants in banking and telecoms matters. Senior associates Jason Logendra and Amanda Town are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Ian Giles; Mark Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Susanna Rogers; Helen Fairhead; Caroline Thomas; Jason Logendra; Amanda Town

Testimonials

‘Broad experience, exceptionally dedicated and hardworking, cutting no corners to achieve the best result for the client. I have been particularly impressed by the extent of technical expertise within the team, and the ability to turn around high-quality work at very short notice.’

‘Susanna Rogers is a delight to work with. She has a very detailed understanding of substantive and procedural competition law and is quick to identify the points that matter in a case. An exceptional ability to guide clients through difficult multi-party litigation – seeking to achieve common ground between different parties, whilst pushing back where necessary.’

‘Jason Logendra is highly committed, efficient and experienced. He is incredibly assured and commands the trust of his clients.’

‘Great agility in managing multi-defendant litigation, which can be as challenging as dealing with a claimant.’

‘Helen Fairhead is one of the most impressive partners in the competition space I have seen, despite having become a Partner recently. She is excellent at communicating clearly and concisely with clients, ensuring witnesses are properly prepared, making sure that the work required to prepare evidence and for trial is done properly and thoroughly, and in anticipating the dynamics of multi-defendant litigation. She has excellent strategic insight into litigation. Helen is also a ruthlessly efficient manager and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Caroline Thomas provides excellent insight and strategic direction in litigation, and is a trusted and firm hand on the tiller. She is also adept at managing sometimes difficult clients, and has excellent judgment on key strategic decisions.’

‘Amanda Town is a very capable and impressive senior associate. She managed a complicated and at times difficult disclosure process with ease, and very efficiently. Hardworking and highly intelligent.’

‘Mark Simpson is an all rounder – tactically astute, good with clients, good on the law.’

Key clients

HSBC

Vodafone

BP

Shell

Delta Air Lines

Reckitt Benckiser

Carlsberg

Stena

BMW

Bombardier

Orange

PayPal

Easyjet

Centrica

EirGrid

Thales

Coca Cola

Liverpool Victoria

Standard Chartered Bank

Electricity North West Limited

IFPI

Paypoint Plc

Laing O’Rouke

SONI Limited

National Grid

Stark Limited

Bristol Water

Energy Networks Association

Work highlights

  • Advising HSBC on defending claims by 171 fund claimants before the Competition Appeal Tribunal claiming damages arising out of conduct investigated by various authorities (including the European Commission) concerning the alleged fixing of Forex rates and related spreads.
  • Representing Orange SA in its defence of claims brought in the High Court against the mobile network operators by the Administrators of Phones4U.
  • Advised National Grid Electricity Transmission plc and National Grid Gas plc on appeals to the Competition and Markets Authority against Ofgem’s RIIO-2 price control determination, including successfully arguing for removal of the outperformance wedge.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP regularly handles claimant and defence-side follow-on damages actions and standalone antitrust actions for a varied roster of heavyweight corporate clients. Global practice head Alan Davis has ‘excellent command‘ of contentious competition law, most keenly concentrated in follow-on damages and abuse of dominance claims. The ‘outstanding’ Angelique Bret is praised for depth of her consumer law expertise, while Robert Vidal heads up the team’s dedicated life sciences and pharmaceuticals desk. Totis Kotsonis possesses decades of experience in state aid-related judicial proceedings in the EU courts and the English High Court.

Practice head(s):

Alan Davis

Other key lawyers:

Angelique Bret; Robert Vidal; Totis Kotsonis

Testimonials

‘Pinsents have a rich collegiate approach and always seem available to answer any questions we have.’

‘Totis Kotsonis is not afraid to challenge legal assumption held by both the client and third parties, and always provides a workable solution.Very personable, responsive and can be relied on for his expertise.’

‘The Pinsent Masons team are one of the very top law firms advising on competition litigation matters in the UK. The team have outstanding knowledge of all aspects of competition – what sets them apart from other law firms in the UK is that the partners are truly experts in their field across all aspects of competition litigation. They also have a particularly strong reputation in the technology, science and digital markets, and are very much leaders of their field in this area.’

‘Alan Davis combines an excellent command of legal matters combined with a very personal approach. His team work extremely seamlessly to achieve excellent outcomes for clients.’

‘In my opinion, Totis Kotsonis is the top lawyer in the UK advising on subsidy control matters. He stands out for providing very innovative advice in this area, which is completely new in the UK competition framework, and where there are, as of now, no precedents that can be relied upon.’

‘Angelique Bret is an outstanding figure within the team. She advises on new areas such as consumer protection, and has an excellent reputation in this area.’

Key clients

Google

Post Office

E.ON

Tesco PLC

Allianz Plc

TEVA

FP McCann

Balfour Beatty

Sun Pharma

Therabody Inc.

Motor Fuel Group

Bupa Plc

Pay.UK

UK Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising Sun Pharma on its appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union following a European Commission decision to impose fines of €146m, and in relation to follow-on damages claims in the UK worth in excess of £1.25bn.
  • Advising DAF Trucks on defending follow-on damages claims in Scotland relating to the EU Commission decision regarding competition infringement in the trucks sector.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP‘s stellar reputation in collective actions is complemented by its capabilities in follow-on and standalone litigation, where the team is regularly engaged by some of the key players from the financial services, technology, and other IP-intensive industries. Practice head Kate Vernoncontinues to impress’ in class action proceedings, representing clients in litigation before the High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal, and the Supreme Court. In summer 2022 the firm announced the hire of RPC competition head Lambros Kilaniotis – a seasoned consumer class action advocate. Leo Kitchen, who was promoted to partner in January 2022, is a highly experienced adviser, with recent highlights including major multi-jurisdictional cartel damages claims in the financial services sector. Associates Megan Betts and Rebecca Coyle are also noted. Boris Bronfentrinker, Elaine Whiteford and of counsel Michelle Clark have left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Kate Vernon; Lambros Kilaniotis

Other key lawyers:

Leo Kitchen; Megan Betts; Rebecca Coyle

Testimonials

‘Quinn are an exceptionally capable full-service international law firm who excel in providing co-ordinated worldwide litigation for some of the world’s largest companies. They know what they’re doing and are good at doing it.’

‘Kate Vernon continues to impress. Whilst a competition and public law litigator at heart, she continually demonstrates her ability to run complex multi-faceted litigation of which competition and public law is just a part. Using her wide-ranging litigation experience and specialist team members of the highest calibre, she delivers a fantastic result.’

‘Kate Vernon and her team have a tremendously proactive and positive approach to challenging cases, which makes them a joy to work with.’

‘Lambros Kilianotis is a standout performer. He is very intelligent, charming and sensible – the full package.’

‘Lambros Kilaniotos is excellent. He is clever and strategic.’

Key clients

Qualcomm Inc.

Brevan Howard, Allianz and others

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

IBM United Kingdom Limited and IBM Corp.

Ebay Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Qualcomm Incorporated in its defence of a £482.5m competition law damages collective opt-out claim brought by the Consumers’ Association, Which?.
  • Acting for an individual in her proposed class action against Meta Platforms Inc, Meta Platforms Ireland Limited and Facebook UK Limited, seeking redress for 45 million UK users who used the Facebook platform between 11 February 2016 to 31 December 2019 inclusive.
  • Acting for a group of institutional investors (including PIMCO, Brevan Howard, Allianz and BlueCrest, among others), against a total of 14 investment banks . The claims allege that those banks colluded to manipulate the foreign exchange market between 2003-2013.

Simmons & Simmons

Sitting within the wider European antitrust litigation group, Simmons & Simmons‘ London-based team works collaboratively – both between offices and across departments – on a range of high-profile proceedings. Clients operating in various regulated industries turn to ‘incredibly smart’ practice head Patrick Boylan for his capabilities in follow-on damages and opt-out collective actions. Elizabeth Williams is roundly praised for her ‘authoritative‘ advocacy in TMT and financial services litigation, with recent highlights including high-value damages actions arising from EC cartel investigations. Managing associate Eleanore Di Claudio is recommended for competition class action cases.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Boylan

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Williams; Eleanore Di Claudio

Testimonials

‘Very good and efficient practice. I have found them to be proactive and easy to work with. The team is good at anticipating the next stages in the litigation and ensuring good co-ordination between the defendants.’

‘A strong competition litigation team that is made up of experienced litigators and a sophisticated competition law team. They are one of the most user-friendly teams in the market – proactive, organised, committed and strategic.’

‘Elizabeth Williams is very measured, authoritative, calm and sensible. A very reassuring presence with a very pleasant manner.’

‘Elizabeth Williams has an amazing handle on the detail of a case, and is also an excellent strategist. A future superstar for sure.’

‘One of the most diverse firms that I know – I absolutely adore working with a group of super smart women on a wide range of cases.’

‘Collaborative team that brings together the best lawyers from throughout their business, alongside funders, experts, QCs to really deliver the best for clients, at a competitive price too.’

‘Patrick Boylan is incredibly smart with a strategic flair, which makes him formidable whilst being exceptionally pleasant to work with.’

Key clients

BP

LGE

Capcom

Roland

BT

Arbor Education Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending BT in novel opt-out collective proceedings which the claimant representative claims to be worth £589m.
  • Acting for LG Electronics in defending a damages action relating to the European Commission cathode ray tube cartel decision.

Travers Smith LLP

Praised for its ‘friendly, professional, and responsive‘ approach, Travers Smith LLP‘s cross-departmental team handles numerous follow-on damages matters for clients in a range of industries, including the shipping, manufacturing, transport, and financial services sectors. ‘Brilliant‘ contentious co-chair Caroline Edwards regularly helms high-stakes defence cases, most prominently in relation to class action trucks proceedings, alongside regulatory investigations specialist Huw Jenkin. Competition head Nigel Seay‘s wide-ranging expertise is especially concentrated in the energy and utilities sectors, while Stephen Whitfield‘s recent highlights include high-level annulment applications taken before the EU General Court. Senior associate Ingrid Rogers is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Seay; Caroline Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Ingrid Rogers; Huw Jenkin; Stephen Whitfield

Testimonials

‘Caroline Edwards is a brilliant competition litigator who well deserves her reputation at the top of the market.’

‘The team is able to understand complex commercial issues and understand the client’s business in detail. They always strive to go the extra mile, and I am very impressed not only by the partners, but also by their senior and junior associates.’

‘Caroline Edwards is one of the best commercial litigators I have met. She combines solid legal knowledge with excellent client handling skills.’

‘Huw Jenkin is very detail-oriented, and is able to handle complex economic issues.’

‘Friendly, professional, and responsive.’

‘Travers’ competition team has real strength in depth and have expertise across the main sectors, and energy in particular.’

‘Nigel Seay’s experience in the energy sector is superb.’

Key clients

Nomura International plc

Toyoda

Wallenius Wilhelmsen

JTEKT Corporation

Schott Glass

Work highlights

  • Acting for and advising Nomura in respect of its application to the EU General Court for annulment of the European Commission’s Decision finding anti-competitive behaviour in the primary and secondary European Government Bond markets.
  • Acting for a European truck manufacturer defending multiple damages claims brought before the English courts (both as individual claims and as collective proceedings) arising from the European Commission’s Trucks decision.
  • Acting for Wallenius Wilhelmsen in respect of proceedings brought against it (and related group companies and other defendants) in the English courts by VW following the 2018 European Commission decision in respect of the supply of roll-on roll-off vehicle shipping services.

White & Case LLP

Working in close collaboration with its various European colleagues, White & Case LLP‘s London office enjoys a strong reputation among a varied roster of manufacturers, consumer goods companies, technology multinationals, and pharmaceutical conglomerates. The team is particularly active in follow-on litigation arising from cartel investigations, routinely appearing before the CAT, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court. The practice is jointly chaired by ‘extraordinary litigator’ Charles Balmain and the ‘gifted’ Marc Israel, a specialist in multi-jurisdictional proceedings. Working between the firm’s Brussels and London offices, Genevra Forwood is noted for her capabilities in state aid litigation, while Alexandra Rogers‘ ‘encyclopaedic knowledge‘ encompasses cross-border cartel defences in areas such as power cables, ball bearings, and Euribor derivatives. Counsel Raif Hassan is praised as an ‘ascendant figure‘ in damages actions.

Practice head(s):

Charles Balmain; Marc Israel

Other key lawyers:

Genevra Forwood; Alexandra Rogers; Raif Hassan; Mark Powell

Testimonials

‘Charles Balmain is an extraordinary litigator who can turn his hand to any litigation subject matter. His vast experience in general commercial litigation gives him an enormous advantage in competition litigation. Wonderful strategic and tactical awareness and a real nose for the pressure points in the case.’

‘Raif Hassan is an ascendant figure in competition litigation. He mixes deep litigation experience with a level of technical excellence across a very diverse range of English and international law topics. One to watch for sure.’

‘Their team comprises both true competition law specialists and litigators with outstanding strategic skills and great knowledge of civil (antitrust) damages proceedings. Very dedicated with a wide international network, hands-on, and easy and enjoyable to work with.’

‘Marc Israel is a very smart, strategic thinker and litigator who is able to quickly and thoroughly understand the relevant issues at stake, even when such issues are governed by foreign law systems. Marc has a pragmatic approach and is a great pleasure to work with. He is always clear and concise.’

‘Alexandra Rogers, Genevra Forewood and Mark Powell all have outstanding knowledge of EU and UK competition law. A fantastic team!’

‘White & Case’s Competition team is a true one-stop-shop: whether based in London, Brussels, DC or Düsseldorf, the team is very flexible, always available, extremely talented and their internal communication is smooth, ensuring consistency in our litigation strategy. The team’s helpful and proactive attitude is a lifesaver.’

‘Alexandra Rogers has an encyclopedic knowledge of our industry and her thoughtful legal analysis, coupled with a great positive attitude, makes her an indispensable pillar of our legal strategy.’

‘Raif Hassan, under the leadership of the gifted Marc Israel, is a very promising litigator.’

Key clients

NTN

Nexans

Autoliv

Ioan Micula, S.C. European Food S.A., S.C. Starmill S.R.L. S.C. Multipack S.R.L, Scandic Distilleries S.A

Google

Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Pfizer

Merck KGaA

Lenovo

Servier

Work highlights

  • Advised NTN in High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal in relation to €100m damages claim by Stellantis N.V.
  • Acting for Nexans in contribution proceedings brought by Prysmian in relation to the National Grid and Scottish Power claims against Prysmian and others.
  • Advising Autoliv in a standalone competition claim brought by PSA in the High Court and subsequently transferred to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

In the wake of a substantial hiring streak, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is fast establishing itself as a significant player in the contentious competition market. The team was significantly bolstered by the arrival of several partners and associates from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in November 2021. The newly recruited practice head, the ‘exceptionally bright’ Boris Bronfentrinker, is praised both for his legal acumen and his tenacity in market-leading cases taken before the English courts, including multi-billion pound class actions in the financial services sector. Reputed by clients as a ‘tough and experienced litigator‘, Elaine Whiteford‘s recent highlights include claimant-side cartel proceedings before the High Court and the CAT. Dual-qualified barrister and advocaat (Belgium) Nicola Chesaites is praised for her capabilities representing both claimants and defendants in collective actions, while Michelle Clark – who was promoted to partner in January 2022 – is recommended for her broad sector coverage and contentious experience.

Practice head(s):

Boris Bronfentrinker

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Whiteford; Nicola Chesaites; Michelle Clark

Testimonials

‘They have a laser-like focus on what is required to secure the best outcomes for their clients and their work ethic is second to none.’     

‘I have worked extensively with Boris Bronfentrinker, Elaine Whiteford, and Nicola Chesaites over the last ten years on an array of competition litigation cases. They all have different and complementary styles, with the common attributes of being very clever, tenacious, and hardworking.’

‘Boris Bronfentrinker is exceptionally bright and hardworking – he has real vision on what is required to win cases, and fights hard to secure the best outcomes for his clients.  No one fights harder.’

‘Elaine Whiteford is brilliant at distilling complex arguments and evidence down to their core essence and presenting them in a way that is compelling to courts and tribunals. Particularly adept at identifying the key weaknesses/strengths in the arguments and evidence.’

‘Boris Bronfentrinker works incredibly hard even by the standards of top commercial law firms, is incredibly engaged on the detail of the case but also at the strategic level really drives a case forward with very good tactical judgment and can get results for clients seemingly against the odds.  The client will feel their position is being defended at all times to the utmost.’

‘Elaine Whiteford combines fantastic attention to detail without losing sight of the strategic objectives of the client, which she puts forth in a very forceful way.’

‘Elaine Whiteford is a tough, experienced litigator who brings to bear both charisma and personal charm.’

‘Boris Bronfentrinker is excellent with clients and is masterful at his craft. You know when you give him a case, he’ll be like a dog with a bone.  You feel in safe hands with him at the helm.’

‘Nicola Chesaites is a powerful legal analyst with a sure instinct for long term and short term strategy.’

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s competition disputes practice draws considerable praise from clients, which turn to the team for its capabilities in regulatory appeals and high-stakes proceedings before the CAT and the High Court. Practice chair Mark Molyneux is a ‘superb strategist‘ who regularly handles high-stakes follow-on damages actions in a range of sectors, while the ‘brilliantBruce Kilpatrick‘s recent engagements include administrative and opt-in collective proceedings before the CAT and the CMA. Rona Bar-Isaac is noted for her ‘calm leadership and excellent judgment‘ in energy sector judicial review challenges. Paul Chaplin, who joined the team from Hogan Lovells International LLP in February 2022, specialises in cross-border group actions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Molyneux; Bruce Kilpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Rona Bar-Isaac; Paul Chaplin

Testimonials

‘They offer proper partner-led teams, who pay attention to both the big picture and gathering and testing the hard evidence necessary to win cases. They are also all charming and have a sense of humour – and give calm and measured advice – always useful as competition litigation is often stressful for clients! All their partners are consistently excellent, but Mark Molyneux and Bruce Kilpatrick are both proper leaders and have a vision of the case strategy.’

‘Fantastic team of lawyers. They have the capability to deal with the full spectrum of competition litigation matters. They are very forward-thinking and integrate superbly with clients.’

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

‘An excellent competition law department and able to operate an excellent service for corporate clients, especially on the claimant piece. Particularly good in the electricity and telecoms sectors.’

‘Rona Barr-Isaac brings a calm leadership and excellent judgment to litigation.’

‘Exceptionally competent yet humble.’

‘Excellent team work and mutual respect on display. All of their partners are of the highest calibre.’

‘Bruce Kilpatrick’s depth of experience across all aspects of competition law, coupled with his brilliant mind, makes him one of the top competition specialists in the UK.’

Key clients

NKT group of companies

Office Depot Europe

The Road Haulage Association Limited

Co-operative Group Limited

Stats Perform

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Allergan plc (member of the AbbVie Inc Group)

SSE

BMW dealers

Work highlights

  • Advising the Road Haulage Association in relation to the RHA’s collective proceedings application on behalf of more than 15,000 claimants for damages of over £1bn.
  • Advising more than 55 BMW/MINI dealerships in the defence of a series of group actions for over £100m being brought in the Competition List of the High Court on behalf of over 44,000 potential claimants.
  • Acting for SSE plc in a successful judicial review challenge to decisions concerning electricity transmission system charges for generators.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter is well-versed in both claimant and defendant-side competition disputes, working with a mix of leading international brands, retailers, and logistics companies on high-profile contentious matters. Jane Wessel is roundly praised for the depth of her expertise in competition damages actions, most recently acting against the trucks cartel on behalf of Dutch and English corporate clients. The ‘outstandingJohn Schmidt is recommended for his capabilities in abuse of dominance claims, particularly in the pharmaceuticals and consumer goods sectors. Senior associates Alastair Brown and Zeno Frediani are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jane Wessel

Other key lawyers:

John Schmidt; Alastair Brown; Zeno Frediani

Testimonials

‘Small, but excellent, team in London who goes the extra mile to deliver for clients. Very deep experience on both claimant and defendant side matters gives them a unique ability to see both sides of the matter, identify areas where the other side may take an approach, and effectively plan ahead to maximize return from strategy.’

‘John Schmidt and Jane Wessel are outstanding. Both have extremely deep experience, care deeply for their cases and clients, and aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and dive into cases directly.’

‘Jane Wessel is superb with clients and managing multi-party competition litigation.’

‘The team is proactive, collaborative, and good at strategising.’

‘Jane Wessel possesses great grasp of the law and tactics.’

Key clients

Heineken

Diageo

Morrisons Supermarkets

AB Inbev

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd

Teva

Sanofi

Philip Morris International

Adrestia Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Representing the claimants in respect of Heineken’s pan-European trucks fleet for damages arising out of the EU trucks cartel.
  • Representing MOL, a Japanese transportation and logistics company, on the “RoRo” cartel follow-on litigation.

CMS

Drawing on its considerable domestic and international resources, CMS is well-placed to handle a strong mix of follow-on damages claims, competition enforcement proceedings, and tribunal appeals. ‘Litigation guruBrian Sher is especially well regarded for his pharmaceuticals sector capabilities, while Kenny Henderson is praised for his ‘phenomenal tactical and strategic awareness‘ in high-value abuse of dominance actions and interchange fee claims. Caroline Hobson departed to Cooley (UK) LLP in early 2022.

Practice head(s):

Brian Sher

Other key lawyers:

Kenny Henderson

Testimonials

‘The key strength of the team lies in its thoroughness. They are inexhaustible in their work, chasing down every point on behalf of their clients.’

‘Brian Sher is a pleasure to work with and an exceptionally able pair of hands. I have seen how he inspires the trust and respect of his clients. In short, he is one of my favourite solicitors in London, and I have no doubt that he is a favourite of other clients too.’

‘Kenny Henderson is a star performer. He has unrivalled litigation experience across a range of subject matters which he can effortlessly leverage into competition litigation. Phenomenal tactical and strategic awareness – always two steps ahead of the other side.’

‘Brian Sher is a litigation guru in the area of competition law and pharmaceuticals.’

‘Brian Sher is willing to get stuck into the weeds of complex arguments. Good at managing teams across different disciplines.’

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline

Thomson Reuters

Equinor

SSE

CEMEX

CityFibre

RWS

Cadent Gas

Garda World Security Corporation

Arora Group

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Microsoft

Work highlights

  • Acting for Microsoft as defendant in an action brought by a second-hand software reseller claiming damages and injunctive relief for infringement of the Chapter II Prohibition Competition Act 1998.
  • Acted for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners in a claim for abuse of a dominant position brought by a wholesale supplier of soft drinks and fast food.
  • Advised Cadent Gas on its successful appeal to the CMA against Ofgem’s RIIO-2 price control decision.

DLA Piper

Led by the ‘fantasticSarah Smith, DLA Piper is sought out by a number of high-profile clients for its capabilities in a range of competition disputes. Sam Szlezinger regularly acts for media, sport, pharmaceuticals and energy sector players before the European Commission and the CMA, while Alexandra Kamerling‘s recent engagements include merger control work and cartel and market investigations. Matt Evans, Jones Day‘s former UK competition head, joined the team in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Smith

Other key lawyers:

Sam Szlezinger; Matt Evans; Alexandra Kamerling

Testimonials

‘I found the DLA Piper team to be very collaborative. They were always part of the solution, never part of the problem.’

‘Sarah Smith is a fantastic partner. She is go-getting and commercial, whilst also never taking herself too seriously. I really enjoy working with her.’

‘Sarah Smith is technically excellent and committed to her clients.’

‘Strong team with depth at partner and associate level. Strong capabilities in UK merger control.’

‘Sarah Smith is a strong lead partner with an excellent knowledge of the UK system.’

Key clients

Merck

Lupin

Heineken

Premier League

Generali

Flybe

Football Dataco

Bacardi

Discovery Communications

Formula 1

Work highlights

  • Advised Merck KGaA on its appeal of the CMA’s paroxetine decision and the European Commission’s citalopram decision (where, in combination, fines totalling approximately €200m were imposed on the allegedly infringing parties).
  • Acting for Flybe Limited, commencing litigation in the General Court of the European Union.
  • Acting for Football DataCo in its long-running dispute with Sportradar in relation to the conditions under which live league match data can be collected from Premier League, EFL and Scottish Football League matches.

Milbank

Milbank‘s disputes group is entrusted by some of the world’s leading corporations and financial institutions for the strength of its defendant-side competition practice. Recently, the team has continued to act for multinational payment service providers in high-value proceedings at the High Court and the CAT, as well as handling third-party cartel defence work in the industrials sector. Julian Stait is recommended for his capabilities in cross-border competition matters and cases before the English courts. Special counsels Emma Hogwood and Cormac Alexander are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Julian Stait

Other key lawyers:

Emma Hogwood; Cormac Alexander; Andrea Hamilton

Key clients

Visa

Rabobank

Brugg Kabel AG and Kabelwerke Brugg AG Holding

Work highlights

  • Acting for Visa in defending abuse of dominance claims before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Acting for various Visa entities before the High Court and Competition Appeal Tribunal with respect to alleged infringements of English and European competition law from the setting and implementation of multilateral interchange fees.

RPC

The practice at RPC is praised by clients for its contentious capabilities, fielding a cross-practice team that advises across the worlds of insurance, retail, TMT, financial services, and healthcare. While practice head Lambros Kilaniotis is leaving to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, Chris Ross handles defendant and claimant-side matters in the food packaging, transport, and payment services industries, while of counsel Melanie Musgrave focuses most keenly on financial services matters.

Other key lawyers:

Chris Ross; Melanie Musgrave

Testimonials

‘The team are really fantastic. They are a delight to deal with; they never waste your time; and they can be trusted in all circumstances to do the best possible job.’

‘RPC field a very strong team in this area, punching well above their weight particularly in disputes related to sports and betting.’

‘While incredibly critically minded, the RPC team always see and maximise the positive potential in a case.’

‘Chris Ross stands out for identifying every possible angle in the case for the client.’

Key clients

Frasers Group plc (formerly Sports Direct)

Google

LINPAC (now part of Klöckner Pentaplast)

St James Holdings Limited

LINK Scheme

NHS Scotland & DHSSPS and RHSCB in Northern Ireland

Telefonica UK

Soft Construct (Malta)

Work highlights

  • Advising Google on its defence of collective proceedings pursued by an individual on behalf of millions of UK consumers in relation to Play Store fees.
  • Advised St James Holdings Limited in relation to its claim against the Premier League in connection with the sale of Newcastle United Football Club to a consortium company.
  • Advising Google on its ongoing global dispute with Epic Games (Fortnite) regarding Play Store billing.