Competition law compliance is a high priority for businesses worldwide. Competition authorities are increasingly cracking down on cartels, abusive and other anti-competitive practices as well as strictly enforcing their merger control rules. In the present day, no company or employee can afford to ignore the civil and criminal sanctions that may be applied under the competition rules. Nor can companies consider themselves immune from the possibility of third party private damages actions.
Our competition team have expertise across the full spectrum of competition law and advise an international client base across a range of industry sectors.
In particular, we have extensive experience of:
- Cartels – including dawn raids, investigations, whistleblowing, leniency and settlement agreements.
- Abuse of market power – including the negotiation of commitments.
- Merger control – including national and multi-jurisdictional filings worldwide.
- Compliance – including advising on compliance programmes as well as conducting audits/mock dawn raids.
- Commercial agreements – including assisting with the review and drafting of distribution, selective distribution, franchising, agency and other arrangements to ensure compliance.
- Complaints – including advising on third party interventions.
- Market investigations – including advising on consumer and industry wide transparency issues and solutions.
- Private actions and litigation – pursuing or defending against complaints and actions.
- Public procurement and state aid.
“The kind of top-class client service that is hard to find.”
Chambers UK 2009
Cartel investigations (including leniency & appeals)
Acting for a defendant in the European Commission's freight forwarding cartel investigation and gaining one of the best leniency deals granted by the European Commission; acting in the subsequent appeal to the EU Courts.
Advising in relation to the investigation by the UK's Office of Fair Trading (predecessor to the Competition & Markets Authority) into criminal offences associated with price-fixing in the airline industry.
Dawn raids (including mock-dawn raids and audits)
Providing on-site dawn raid and audit assistance to clients in various industries (including oil, gas, chemicals, construction, leisure and shipping) alleged to be involved in cartel behaviour.
Abuse of market power
Defending a global financial information services provider on a high profile European Commission investigation involving exclusionary abuse of dominance allegations and agreeing commitments.
Unconditional merger control clearances
Securing for a large UK bank Phase I clearances from the European Commission, Brazil, USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan on the sale of its wealth management and exchange traded funds business to a global asset management company.
Conditional merger control clearances
Advising one of the largest global financial information services provider on the sale of its business to a major competitor securing a conditional and simultaneous Phase II clearance from the European Commission and US Department of Justice, as well as clearances in various other jurisdictions worldwide (including Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Turkey and others).
Preparing, rolling out and delivering competition compliance policies, guidelines and training to organisations in various sectors (e.g. shipping, pharmaceuticals, rail, energy, retail/consumer) across different regions worldwide (e.g. Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa).
Regularly advising clients on various restrictions arising in distribution, selective distribution, franchising, agency, strategic alliances, R&D and specialisation agreements (e.g. exclusivity, resale price maintenance, active/passive sales, territorial restrictions, parallel imports, grant backs, no-challenge & termination clauses).
Advising clients in various sectors (in particular, health, financial information services and consumer) on how to bring complaints and preparing submissions to antitrust authorities against competitors, customers and suppliers engaged in anti-competitive/abusive practices.
Private actions and litigation
Advising a leading Indian real estate developer in one of the first test UK civil cases about alleged manipulation of the LIBOR benchmark.