Samuel R Beighton
Samuel draws upon his expertise in EU and UK competition law to achieve commercial solutions for clients.
His practice addresses all aspects of EU and UK competition law, including defending complaints and investigations by competition authorities into suspected competition law infringements; securing merger control clearances; and resolving disputes in respect of actual or alleged competition law infringements. In addition, Samuel has a specific interest in the interface between competition law and IP rights, particularly as regards issues arising in relation to patents declared essential to standards.
Samuel speaks and writes regularly on EU and UK competition law, and has contributed to, as well as edited, publications including:
- Cartels (1st edition), published by Chambers & Partners - contributing author
- Merger Control - Jurisdictional Comparisons (1st, 2nd and 3rd editions), published by Sweet & Maxwell - contributing author
- Private Antitrust Litigation - Jurisdictional Comparisons (1st and 2nd editions), published by Sweet & Maxwell (1st ed.) and Thomson Reuters (2nd ed.) - contributing author and general editor.
Samuel is a member of the Competition Policy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union, and a member of the Competition Section of the Law Society of England and Wales.
A graduate of the University of Birmingham (BA Hons, First Class, 2004), Samuel has obtained post-graduate qualifications from King's College London in EU competition law (PgDip, Merit, 2009), and in economics for competition law (Master of Arts, Merit, 2017).
In addition to being admitted to practise as a solicitor of the senior courts of England and Wales, Samuel is admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland.
- Representing a manufacturer of galvanised steel tanks in relation to the UK competition authority's investigation into suspected breaches of competition law, with this civil investigation running in parallel to a criminal prosecution brought by the authority.
- Representing Thomas Vale Construction plc in relation to the largest ever competition law investigation undertaken by the UK competition authority, including acting on the successful appeal of the magnitude of the financial penalty imposed, overcoming previous case law to secure a reduction of approximately 85%
- Representing a trade association within the UK energy sector in relation to an investigation by the UK sector regulator into suspected breaches of competition law within the energy sector. The investigation was closed without any finding of infringement.
- Representing a manufacturer of fast moving consumer goods in relation to an investigation by the UK competition authority into suspected "hub and spoke" cartels within the UK grocery sector. The investigation was closed without any finding of infringement.
- Advising The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. on merger control issues in relation to various acquisitions of competitors, including its $1.45 billion acquisition of Too Faced.
- Advising ProStrakan Group plc (now Kyowa Kirin International plc) on its £230 million acquisition of a global competitor, including securing clearances in Germany and the UK.
- Advising Origin Enterprises plc on numerous acquisitions of competitors active in the agrochemical sector, including securing several clearances in the UK.
- Advising AstraZeneca on the sale of certain assets to Sanofi, including securing clearance in Spain.
- Advising Euroclear SA/NV on various merger control issues in relation to its global collateral processing joint venture with DTCC.
- Advising Premier Foods plc on the sale of a business division to a competitor. The transaction was initially notified to the European Commission, before being referred to the national competition authority in the UK, where clearance was secured at Phase 1.
- Advising a major manufacturer of construction equipment on the acquisition of a competing business, including securing clearances in Germany, Poland, and the UK.
- Advising a leading provider of precision instrument technologies on its acquisition of a global competitor, including securing clearances in Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
- Advising various private equity funds on merger control issues in relation to investments, including securing clearances in Austria and Germany.
- Acting for a major participant in voluntary telecommunications standardisation in relation to various competition law issues arising in the context of patent litigation before the High Court of England and Wales.
- Acting for a major French-domiciled producer in defending a multi-million pound action for damages and a Part 20 action for damages, both brought before the High Court of England and Wales following an infringement decision adopted by the European Commission.
- Acting for Seiko Epson Corporation in defending various counterclaims alleging infringements of EU competition law in the context of patent litigation brought before the High Court of England and Wales.
Competition / IP interface
- Acting for a major participant in voluntary telecommunications standardisation in successfully defending a complaint made to the European Commission by an international telecommunications company. The complaint alleged various breaches of EU competition law in the context of licensing negotiations for patents declared essential to standards including allegations of breaches of FRAND commitments.
- Acting for a leading biosimilar company in relation to making a complaint to the European Commission alleging certain patent-related abuses of dominance by a major pharmaceutical company.
- Advising a manufacturer of aircraft seating on EU competition law issues in the context of a patent litigation action brought before the High Court. Acting for the same manufacturer in relation to making a complaint to the European Commission, alleging various breaches of EU competition law arising from the assertion of a specific patent.
- Advising an international provider of monetary instruments on EU competition law issues arising in the context of a patent licensing agreement to settle ongoing litigation, including before the European Patent Office.