Healthcare & Competition


Our award-winning EU, trade and competition team is an integrated part of the cross-firm, sector-focused healthcare team.

The team's knowledge of the healthcare regulatory environment, as well as the complexities of competition law, is coupled with years of experience in both the private and public healthcare sectors.

Our team operates at the juncture between competition, public policy and economic matters, achieving results cost effectively and within challenging timetables.

Healthcare mergers

The EU, trade and competition team will guide you through the merger process, from an initial consideration of whether merger is strategically the best option for you, jurisdiction and preliminary analysis, to notification and investigation by the relevant body. The team is experienced in engaging early with competition regulators to manage the transaction and achieve results in a timely and efficient way.

The team is accustomed to marrying legal arguments with complex econometrics including how the efficiencies of a transaction can be demonstrated and to what extent clinical and financial circumstances will be taken into account by regulators.

Unique in the market, we are able to articulate the regulatory landscape in which our healthcare clients operate to enable the authorities to better understand the specific dynamics of their situation.


The team's experience includes:

  • Advising West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust on the competition aspects of their proposals to identify the right strategic partner to allow them to achieve FT status
  • Supporting an NHS Trust on a draft merger notification to the Competition and Markets Authority together with an accompanying economist's report prepared by another party to the anticipated merger
  • Giving guidance to various NHS Trusts on permissible information exchange in relation to anticipated mergers
  • Acting for a leading speciality pharmaceutical company on its acquisition of a pharmaceutical speciality company active in the same product segment, including obtaining clearance from the Bundeskartellamt and notifying the transaction to the Competition and Markets Authority
  • Helping a leading medical devices manufacturer in relation to two acquisitions in the same sector, one of which was examined by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (on its own initiative). We secured unconditional OFT merger clearance in relation to this acquisition, while at the same time obtaining OFT comfort in relation to the second acquisition
  • Advising a leading diagnostics provider in relation to various transactions, including obtaining merger clearance worldwide in respect of a global consumer diagnostics joint venture and merger clearance in Germany in respect of a hostile acquisition of a competitor
  • Providing legal support to Numark plc in relation to its takeover by Phoenix Pharmahandel GmbH, including notification of the transaction to the Office of Fair Trading

Healthcare and competition law

Our EU, trade and competition team regularly advises on anti-competitive practices and conduct, both in contentious and non-contentious contexts including behavioural and regulatory issues.

The team can help you to understand when and how the competition rules will apply to you, whether you are a private sector or NHS organisation, and whether you are seeking to improve the local health economy or further individual business goals. The team is knowledgeable about provider licence conditions as to choice and competition as well as the competition law rules.


The team's experience includes:

  • Acting for Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in relation to its intervention in Competition Appeal Tribunal proceedings reviewing certain decisions of the Competition and Markets Authority contained in its report: 'Private healthcare market investigation: Final report'
  • Advising a number of NHS Trusts on the risks and boundaries of collaborative and partnering arrangements including alliancing contracts
  • Assisting a leading Foundation Trust in London to understand and complete enquiries made by the Competition Commission on its investigation into the UK private healthcare market
  • Supporting a leading pharmaceutical company in relation to a revised structure for their wholesale pharmaceutical supply operations
  • Advising a hospital trust on proposed exclusivity provisions in a joint venture arrangement
  • Acting for companies including Eisai Europe, AstraZeneca, Prostrakan Group and the Cambridge Antibody Technology in relation to agreements between companies at different levels of the supply chain
  • A leading supplier of products to the NHS as to competition issues regarding arrangements with NHS Supply Chain