Stephen Smith > Bristows LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Bristows LLP

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Stephen has 20 years’ experience advising across a broad range of EU and UK competition law matters.

Stephen’s practice includes distribution agreements, merger control, cartels and anti-trust investigations, abuse of dominance and competition litigation.

Stephen has represented clients before the European Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK and on appeals both to the European courts in Luxembourg and to the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal. He advised the Société Co-opérative de Production (SCOP), the company operating Eurotunnel’s MyFerryLink business, in its landmark appeal. The case was the first ever jurisdictional challenge under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act to reach the Supreme Court in the UK. More recently, Stephen advised the owners of the Evening Standard and the Independent in the Competition Appeals Tribunal on their successful jurisdictional challenge against the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Support’s attempt to intervene in the sale of a minority stake to overseas investors.

Stephen is recognised by his clients as adept at providing pragmatic, commercial advice and his experience spans diverse sectors including life sciences, financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications and technology. He has also has experience of working inside a regulator, having worked at OFCOM, the UK’s communication regulator, earlier in his career.

Stephen is fluent in French and is a former Chair of the Law Society’s Competition Section, where he remains a member of the Committee.


Advocaat bij de Balie te Brussel
Admitted in Republic of Ireland (non-practising)
Qualified 2001
Partner 2011


French, German


Committee Member of the Law Society’s Competition Section (past Chair)


Aylesbury Grammar School;
University of Cambridge, MA (Hons) Modern and Medieval languages 1997;
Guildford College of Law 1999

Lawyer Rankings

London > Corporate and commercial > EU and competition

Bristows LLP’s competition skills in the life sciences and TMT sectors would be difficult to match, with their work including fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), patent licensing and related contentious issues, among others. The group has carved out a notable reputation for handling complex issues arising at the intersection of IP and competition law; this also involves the management of a specialised blog – The Clip Board. The team is also able to turn to its Brussels-based colleagues for EU law issues. Deputy Judge of the High Court Pat Treacy heads the practice. Stephen Smith and Sophie Lawrance are also key members in the team.

London > Dispute resolution > Competition litigation

The ‘brilliant‘ competition litigation group at Bristows LLP stands out for its excellent record handling competition law claims that interface with IP issues. The team is routinely instructed by clients active in the technology, life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors. The department is led by Pat Treacy (‘astute tactician in litigation‘), who splits her time between London and Brussels. Clients also laud the expertise of ‘excellent communicatorSophie Lawrance and ‘world-class adviserStephen Smith.