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Simmons & Simmons

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Charles Bankes

Work 020 7628 2020
Simmons & Simmons


Charles specialises in EU, competition and regulatory law and has extensive experience of their application within a wide range of industries. Charles’ practice covers all aspects of competition law including EU and UK merger control and cartel investigations, including appeals. He also has extensive experience of economic regulation in a number of sectors and has advised both regulators and regulated companies.


Qualified 1991; partner EU and competition practice Simmons & Simmons, London 1998; seconded to Ofgem as general counsel (work included dealing with a broad spectrum of regulatory, UK and EC competition law issues) 1999-2001; co-author of ‚ÄėUK merger control: Law & Practice‚Äô (LexusNexis 2006).

London: Corporate and commercial

EU and competition

Within: EU and competition

The practice at¬†Simmons & Simmons¬†has particular strengths in the financial, energy, and TMT sectors.¬†Charles Bankes¬†now heads the team, following the retirement of previous co-head Tony Woodgate in October 2017; Bankes is noted for his strength in utilities sector advice. The team recruited¬†Satyen Dhana¬†from¬†CMS, adding his experience and expertise in the area of the application of competition law to financial services. Dhana ‚Äėcombines considerable knowledge with sound commercial acumen and a keen regard for detail‚Äô. Highlights included advising on the competition law aspects of a ten-year $1bn collaborative investment fund to tackle climate change for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative and assisting SEI with the CMA‚Äôs market investigation into investment consultancy and fiduciary management services.

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London: Dispute resolution

Competition litigation

Within: Competition litigation

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.

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Legal Developments by:
Simmons & Simmons

  • Failure to counter financial crime: Norwich Union Life

    In December 2007, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a fine of £1.26m on Norwich Union Life (part of the Aviva Group), one of the largest life insurance businesses in the UK with around seven million customers. The fine related to failures to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of financial crime. The fine is the latest confirmation of the emphasis being placed on protecting clients and customers from the threat of financial crime.
    - Simmons & Simmons

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