When you are choosing a legal partner, we believe you will always be in the best position if you select a law firm that understands your world. When it comes to antitrust and competition law, you need experts on hand that can provide strategic advice based upon extensive experience. Your competition lawyer needs to understand the issues that will affect you now, and in the future.
We take the time to gain an overview of your goals and to understand how these fit into your wider commercial ambitions. We combine first-class legal expertise with a deep understanding of evolving policy, providing you with practical advice on how to promote and protect your business interests.
What is antitrust and competition law?
Antitrust and competition law exists to ensure that markets are competitive. Infringements of competition law and antitrust violations can have significant financial and reputational consequences for companies. They can also affect individuals if criminal sanctions and director disqualification orders are imposed.
Amongst other aspects, antitrust and competition law:
- prohibits arrangements that restrict competition (e.g. under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the Chapter I Prohibition of the Competition Act 1998), including price fixing cartels;
- prohibits conduct which is an abuse of a dominant position (e.g. under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the Chapter II Prohibition of the Competition Act 1998);
- enables authorities to intervene in mergers and joint ventures, potentially blocking deals, or ordering that these are undone;
- applies to distribution arrangements, including in relation to e-commerce and online sales;
- applies to the licensing and enforcement of intellectual property rights, including patents;
- enables authorities to investigate markets and sectors, potentially imposing market or sector-wide remedies to address any identified competition concerns; and
- prohibits certain forms of State aid, preventing support from public bodies giving companies advantages over their competitors.
Antitrust and competition law can be complex, with its application evolving constantly as markets emerge and develop. New products and services are always raising novel questions and issues to consider. Developments may present opportunities but they also present challenges and compliance risks.
Working across our offices, our team is at the forefront of legal developments. We have a proven track record of enabling businesses to achieve their commercial goals in compliance with antitrust and competition law.
Clients worldwide trust and value our expertise and see the team as an extension of their own in-house legal function (with the added benefit of external counsel legal privilege).
Antitrust and competition law services
Antitrust and competition law specialists with practical experience
[The team] excels at advising on cartels, contentious matters, …merger control issues, and on the competition law aspects of distribution agreements and other commercial arrangements. The Legal 500 (UK)
Our work across a wide range of sectors and matters enables us to provide our clients with the advice they need, when they need it. Examples of previous past engagements include:
Dawn raids and investigations
Advising an energy supplier in an investigation by a national authority into a suspected market sharing cartel. This included attending the dawn raid and defending the client throughout the investigation, including before the authority at Oral Hearings. Our work on this matter was "Highly Commended" at the British Legal Awards.
Competition law and antitrust litigation
Advising Thai Airways in defending a multi-million pound action for damages brought before the High Court of England and Wales following the European Commission’s cartel decision in respect of air cargo. The team received Global Competition Review's annual "Cartel Defence" award for its work on this matter.
Advising a technology owner on antitrust and competition law issues in relation to patents declared essential to standards (SEPs). This included defending a complaint alleging an abuse of a dominant position made to the European Commission with regard to the enforcement of SEPs.
Advising companies across a range of sectors on merger control issues in relation to key strategic acquisitions and investments. This includes advising The Estée Lauder Companies on a USD 1.45 billion acquisition, and advising a provider of electrical and digital solutions on its USD 1.2 billion acquisition of a technology company.
Distribution and e-commerce
Advising brand owners and OEMs upon competition law and antitrust issues in relation to the distribution of products within the UK and EU. This includes luxury goods, pharmaceutical products, and automotive spare parts.
Advising a key government department on State aid issues arising from the planned award of a major long-term contract with a value exceeding GBP 1 billion.
Recognition for antitrust and competition law expertise
[The team] stands out for representing claimants and defendants in follow-on damages claims. [The team also] assists clients with the competition aspects of corporate transactions, such as merger control matters [and] advised clients on dawn raids and sector investigations.Chambers & Partners (UK)
Chambers and Partners (UK) recommends and ranks partner Bernardine Adkins as a Band 1 leading individual. Commentators describe her as "fantastic, very practical and very friendly".
The Legal 500 (UK) recommends partner Bernardine Adkins for EU and competition law, as well as for competition litigation.
The Legal 500 (UK) recommends partner Samuel Beighton, and ranks him as a "Next Generation Partner" for EU and competition law.
Our Competition and Antitrust team has recently been shortlisted in the Competition Team of the Year category for The Lawyer Awards 2020, The Legal Business Awards 2020 and The British Legal Awards 2020.
Contact the team
Partner, Head of Antitrust, Competition and Trade Law (Birmingham / London / Brussels)
Bernardine has over 25 years' experience in antitrust and competition law. Providing strategic advice and support, Bernardine is utterly client-focused and brings first class technical ability to every matter on which she is engaged.
Partner, Antitrust and Competition Law (London / Brussels)
With a background in competition law economics, Samuel's practice addresses all aspects of UK and EU antitrust and competition law. Samuel works closely with clients to enable them to grow and protect their business interests.
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Contact us today
For advice on competition & antitrust, contact a member of our team.
Contact the team