The legal and regulatory environment in which today’s companies operate is increasingly complex as regulators get both more interventionist and collaborative. Penalties are becoming more severe and small markets can have a wider impact than initially be foreseen; sanctions can be criminal and fines can be personal.
We advise on the whole range of UK, French, German and EU competition law issues and devise innovative and successful legal solutions to the problems that our diverse client base presents. We work on matters including mergers, joint ventures, state aid, licensing and distribution, litigation, UK and EC regulatory investigations, trade, third party challenges to restrictive practices, parallel importation problems and public procurement. We have the expertise to design and implement competition law compliance programmes to suit your organisation.
In the unfortunate event of challenge by either authorities or private parties, we have a wealth of experience in robustly defending clients before both the courts and the competition regulators. We are able to assist during cartel cases, advising on audits and raids and helping our clients secure immunity or conduct litigation.
Our open working practices mean we form strong relationships with you and your in-house legal team, so we become trusted advisers and can provide the innovative solutions you need.
Our joined-up approach means that you can access specialist advice on all competition and regulatory issues, and feel assured that you are receiving top quality guidance from commercially-minded experts.
Our teams in London, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Paris, Hamburg and Munich currently support clients operating across various sectors, including technology, telecoms, life sciences, energy, transportation and the public sector.
London office - Charles Whiddington
Brussels office - Claudio Mereu
Hamburg office - Michael Adam
Düsseldorf office - Christian Bahr
Paris office - Olivier Lantrès
Notable deals / highlights
We are currently advising on all aspects of nine international EU cartel investigations, including LIBOR/TIBOR, automotive parts, maritime car carriers, liner shipping, chemicals (Italy), online hotel bookings (UK) and tour operations (Belgium).
We are instructed on what EU Competition Commissioner recently described as the landmark abuse of dominance case of the next year.
We are one of only three advisers from across the whole of the EU appointed this year to advise the European Commission's Competition Directorate on its competition enforcement activities and on its contribution to EU competition legislative proposals and policies.
We advised Vodafone on the competition compliance and merger clearance aspects of its ground-breaking joint venture with other mobile operators Everything Everywhere and Telefonica UK, to establish a mobile marketing and mobile wallet platform in the UK. We both advised on the merger notification to the European Commission through pre-notification and on competition compliance in connection with pre-clearance information sharing being the parties.
We advised Interconnector (UK), a company engaged in the operation of subsea gas pipeline and terminal facilities, on the impact of the wave of energy regulatory changes (Third Energy Packages, REMIT, network codes). This includes unbundling of ownership, shareholder rights, shipper contracts, congestion management, third party access and tariffs across two countries.
We have been advising the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on numerous competition and EU law matters including the lobbying for changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, competition compliance/membership issues, and potential competition law leverage in negotiations with the financial services sector.