Awards

EU & Competition

EU & Competition

Ranked in Who's Who Legal Competition: Future Leaders 2018, 2019 and 2020

Ranked in Who's Who Legal Competition: Future Leaders 2018, 2019 and 2020

Marta Isabel Garcia Partner

An EU and UK competition law expert, Marta is well-known for advising clients on global multi-jurisdictional merger control, cartel and behavioural investigations. Clients highly value her practical and commercial approach to complicated antitrust issues, and her real ability to provide global insights to increasingly global antitrust issues. Marta also advises on foreign direct investment rules.
  • Profile
  • Services
  • Sectors

Marta joined us from international law firm Clifford Chance LLP and prior to this she was at Baker & McKenzie LLP (which included a year-long secondment to their Brasilia office, the capital of Brazil). 

Marta has significant experience advising companies on merger control issues arising in all different types of corporate transactions both in the UK and EU as well as globally. She regularly advises on jurisdictional and substantive merger control issues, due diligence, data room procedures and clean teams, gun-jumping and information exchange. 

Marta also has extensive experience advising and defending companies involved in international cartels and abuse of dominance investigations by the European Commission, the European courts and the UK competition authorities.  

She assists companies on all stages of investigations, from any unannounced inspections through to internal investigations/audits, leniency/immunity applications, preparation of defences, settlements and appeals before the courts.

Marta also advises more generally on competition compliance and commercial agreement matters, including the review of commercial arrangements such as distribution, agency, R&D, specialisation, selective distribution and franchising systems, joint ventures and strategic alliances.

Marta also advises on foreign direct investment rules, in particular, the UK's new National Security & Investment Act and public interest regime under the Enterprise Act.

She has worked with companies across various industries (in particular, shipping, rail, consumer goods and retail, life sciences, energy, financial services and banking, insurance, real estate and funds and asset management) and her work has taken her across the globe (i.e. Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa).    

Marta is renowned for her extremely knowledgeable, technical yet straightforward and practical approach which is appreciated by clients.

"Marta Garcia will go the extra mile for the client and dig into every point."
The Legal 500 UK 2023

  • Investment funds
  • Shipping
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Competition

Fund management investments

Advising a leading independent fund management company offering investors access to high quality infrastructure assets on the competition and merger control aspects of two major toll road concession projects.

Asset management and wealth management

Securing for a large UK bank a Phase I European Commission clearance (as well as clearances in Brazil, USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan) on the sale of part of its wealth management and exchange traded funds business to one of the leading asset management companies worldwide.

Private equity

Advising a large Asian private equity house on the merger control aspects of an acquisition of a stake in one of the world's largest razor manufacturers.

Leniency

Advising a private equity house and one of its portfolio companies on a complex cartel investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority, and securing a Type A immunity marker.

Investigations

Advising a company in respect of the Payment Sector Regulator's first ever investigation into an alleged breach of the competition rules on cartel activity, including advising during the dawn raid.

More: Investment funds

Compliance policy and dawn raid guidelines

Preparing, rolling out and delivering for a large international shipping company on its antitrust policy and dawn raid guidelines across the Asia region and advising on competition law aspects of pooling/alliance arrangements more generally.

Trade associations and competition law

Advising an offshore, marine and underwater solutions trade association on general competition law issues, including membership criteria and participation, collection of statistics, information exchange as well as standardisation processes.

Pooling arrangements and information barriers

Preparing an information barrier policy for a large international shipping company which is part of a large LNG pooling arrangement.

More: Shipping

Radio frequency and microwave technologies

Advised Alaris Holdings Limited on the public interest regime under the Enterprise Act 2002 and the application of the National Security and Investment Act 2021 in respect of its acquisition of Linwave Technology Limited, a supplier of radio frequency and microwave component products with various end-use applications.

Agriculture

Advised a global agricultural company on the sale of a 50% shareholding in one of its subsidiary companies to an investment firm successfully securing FDI clearances in the United States, Spain, Romania and Australia. Merger control clearances were also secured in this matter from COMESA and in Serbia and Egypt.

Cyber security

Advised Kroll on the implications of its acquisition of Redscan, a UK-based cyber security firm, under the NSIA and the public interest regime under the Enterprise Act 2002, ensuring the transaction was completed successfully.

More: Foreign direct investment

Cartels

Defending a company in the agricultural processors sector in multiple cartel investigations before the European Commission and appealing European Commission adverse decisions to the European Courts successfully reducing the level of the fines.

Acting for an international bank in a European Commission cartel investigation, including applying for leniency before the Commission and various NCAs; and advising on the roll-out of a global competition law compliance programme.

Advising a private equity house and one of its portfolio companies on a complex cartel investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority, and securing a Type A immunity marker.

Leniency

Successfully obtaining full immunity for a company in the chemicals sector for alleged cartel behaviour, including representing the company on an intervention appeal before the European courts.

Dawn raid

Providing on-site dawn raid assistance to a chemicals company (tar pitch, naphthalene, creosote) under investigation by the European Commission for alleged cartel activity.

Audits (including mock dawn raids)

Conducting antitrust audits (including mock dawn raids) for and advising a leading construction company allegedly involved in anti-competitive and abusive practices and devising a compliance strategy.

Abuse of market power

Defending one of the largest global financial information services providers in relation to an exclusionary abuse of dominance investigation by the European Commission, including the negotiation of commitments.

Merger control

Advising one of the largest Japanese food and drink companies in the world on its acquisition of a leading soft drinks manufacturer, successfully obtaining clearance in Spain, Portugal and Ukraine.

Advising a leading player in the UK transport market, operating rail and bus franchises across the UK on its rolling stock joint venture with a leading global Japanese player in the rail sector to run the East Anglia rail franchise and successfully securing a Phase I clearance from the European Commission.

Advising a leading global energy provider of diversified services on all merger control aspects of its divestiture of a petroleum storage facility in the UK to one of the largest petroleum refiners in the world, including securing an informal clearance from the Competition & Markets Authority's Mergers Intelligence Committee.

Commercial agreements

Advising clients on a host of antitrust issues in commercial agreements, including acting for a large real estate investment management company on lease restrictions in commercial agreements following the repeal of the UK's Lands Agreement Exemption.

Advising a leading provider of health and social care in the UK on all merger control aspects of its acquisition of a large portfolio of care homes implementing a "fix it first remedy" in order to secure a Phase 1 clearance from the Competition & Markets Authority.

Advising a US healthcare company on the competition law risks resulting from the proposed acquisition of another healthcare provider in the UK, respectively two of the largest private providers of in-patient mental healthcare services in the UK; resulting in an extended Phase 1 Competition & Markets Authority merger review with significant divestments.

Complaints

Advising a large US private hospital provider on a complaint to the UK competition authorities against a leading medical insurance provider for alleged unfair discrimination in the application of certain selection criteria.

Market investigations

Advising various large home warranty providers on the legality of the set up and development of an industry code following the UK's Office of Fair Trading's (predecessor to the Competition & Markets Authority) investigation into the home building sector.

Advising a leading bank on all aspects of the European Commission's Market Study into Syndicated Loans.

Private actions and litigation

Part of a team advising a leading Indian real estate developer in one of the first test UK civil cases about alleged manipulation of the LIBOR benchmark.

Compliance

Developing and rolling out tailored competition compliance policies and guidelines for companies in various sectors (eg tobacco, pharmaceutical, shipping) across the globe.

Criminal liability

Advising individuals in relation to criminal cartel investigations by the UK competition authorities in various sectors, including the airline and financial services industries.

Advising on the extradition of a UK trader involved in a US Department of Justice cartel and market abuse manipulation investigation (including advising on the dual criminality principle).

Investigations

Advising a company in respect of the Payment Sector Regulator's first ever investigation into an alleged breach of the competition rules on cartel activity, including advising during the dawn raid.

Audit

Advising a leading construction company on allegations brought by a former employee in relation to competition law infringements, carrying out an audit and advising on ways to mitigate any risks to the company as well as advising the client on the roll-out of a company-wide competition law training programme.

More: Competition

  • Art and cultural property
  • Rail and road
  • Consumer
  • Life sciences
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Banks and banking
  • Insurance
  • Real estate
  • Professional services

Restrictive clauses

Analysing restrictive clauses in a draft loan agreement for a painting as between a UK museum and a foreign museum, including advising on UK export controls.

Buyer premium for an auction house

Analysing the proposed buyer premium to be used by an auction house in relation to the buyer premium used by other competing auction houses.

More: ​Art and cultural property

Rail franchises/concessions/awards

Advising several incumbent and prospective UK rail franchise operators on the merger control and competition aspects arising in relation to bids and awards of UK rail franchises, direct awards and concessions, including dealings with both the European Commission (including referral requests) and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

Compliance training

Delivering competition compliance training to a large global company that designs, manufactures, maintains and supplies equipment and components for railway systems worldwide.

Consultation responses

Advising a local government body on abuse of dominance issues as part of a consultation response relating to a key section of privately owned UK transport infrastructure.

Merger control

Advising a leading player in the UK transport market, operating rail and bus franchises across the UK on its rolling stock joint venture with a leading global Japanese player in the rail sector to run the East Anglia rail franchise and successfully securing a Phase I clearance from the European Commission.

More: Rail and road

Alleged vertical and horizontal antitrust breaches

Advising a manufacturer of electronic products in relation to a complaint concerning alleged vertical resale price maintenance and cartel concerns in the UK and across Europe; and advising on ways to terminate the infringing conduct and mitigate the alleged antitrust risk.

Joint ventures and merger control

Advising on all merger control aspects of a joint venture between a leading UK fresh product supplier and a leading UK foodservice supplier, as well as, successfully securing a Phase 1 clearance from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

Commercial agreements

Advising companies across various consumer segments (e.g. food & drink, electronics, tobacco, golf, pens, etc.) on a variety of competition law issues arising in commercial agreements (e.g. exclusivity, active/passive sales, online sales restrictions, MFN clauses, non-competes, selective distribution and spare parts restrictions, true agency criteria, etc.)

More: Consumer

General competition compliance

Advising a specialist oncologist pharmaceutical company on general competition compliance matters (especially, parallel trade and territorial restrictions) as well as preparing its first ever antitrust policy and dawn raid guidelines.

Merger control

Advising one of the leading consumer healthcare providers in the world on its proposed acquisition of another direct global competitor (one deal was ultimately abandoned).

Advising a leading provider of health and social care in the UK on all merger control aspects of its acquisition of a large portfolio of care homes implementing a "fix it first remedy" in order to secure a Phase 1 clearance from the Competition & Markets Authority.

Licensing, trade mark and collaboration arrangements

Advising numerous pharmaceutical companies on licensing and collaboration arrangements under various EU block exemptions and EU guidelines on issues, such as R&D, trademark, specialisation and agency agreements; exclusivity; territorial restrictions; parallel trade; non-competes; grant-backs and no-challenge and termination clauses.

Competition law risk

Advising a US healthcare company on the competition law risks resulting from the proposed acquisition of another healthcare provider in the UK, respectively two of the largest private providers of in-patient mental healthcare services in the UK; resulting in an extended Phase 1 Competition & Markets Authority merger review with significant divestments.

More: Life sciences

Merger control

Securing a Phase I European Commission clearance for one of the largest global energy and utilities companies on its acquisition of a UK facilities management business.

Advising a leading global energy provider of diversified services on all merger control aspects of its divestiture of a petroleum storage facility in the UK to one of the largest petroleum refiners in the world, including securing an informal clearance from the Competition & Markets Authority's Mergers Intelligence Committee.

Competition compliance training

Preparing, rolling out and delivering competition compliance training to one of the largest mining companies in the world across Africa, South America and Europe.

Distribution

Advising one of the largest thermal coal manufacturers worldwide on general competition law compliance issues, in particular, distribution and territorial restrictions.

More: Energy and natural resources

Multi-jurisdictional mergers

Advising a large US investment bank on the international merger regulatory aspects of a highly valued minority equity investment by a Japanese bank successfully securing clearances in Germany, Japan, Canada and South Korea.

Stock exchanges and clearing houses

Advising and securing for a UK clearing house Phase 1 clearances in the UK, Spain and Portugal (following a referral request back from the European Commission) in relation to the acquisition of a stake in the clearing house by a leading stock exchange.

Strategic alliances

Advising two global banks on the compatibility of various strategic alliances and collaboration agreements in the financial sector with EU/UK competition law.

Leniency

Acting for an international bank in a European Commission cartel investigation, including applying for leniency before the Commission and various NCAs; and advising on the roll-out of a global competition law compliance programme.

Market investigations

Advising a leading bank on all aspects of the European Commission's Market Study into Syndicated Loans.

More: Banks and banking

Co-(re)insurance arrangements and compliance

Advising a UK insurance provider on the legality of co-(re)insurance arrangements on the ad hoc subscription market from an EU/UK competition law perspective.

Information exchange and trade associations

Advising a leading EU insurance industry trade association on information exchange and joint compilation of studies projects under the EU Insurance Block Exemption.

Merger control

Securing for a large Swiss insurance company a Phase I European Commission clearance on the acquisition of a leading life assurance company.

Advising a leading global provider of customer engagement and loyalty programmes on all merger control aspects related to its acquisition of a competitor's customer book for retail card protection-related and ID theft protection-related products and services.

More: Insurance

Market investigations and codes of conduct

Advising various large home warranty providers on the legality of the set up and development of an industry code following the UK's Office of Fair Trading's investigation into the home building sector from a UK abuse of dominance perspective.

Lease restrictions

Advising a large real estate investment management company on lease restrictions in commercial agreements following the repeal of the UK's Lands Agreement Exemption.

Bare assets v enterprise

Advising a leading real estate investment firm on when acquisitions of bare assets as opposed to clear cut enterprise entities may potentially give rise to merger control issues (i.e. buildings, shopping centres, etc.).

Merger control

Advising a leading real estate investment management company on the merger control aspects of its joint venture with a leading shopping centre provider and securing a Phase I European Commission clearance.

More: Real estate

Abuse of dominance

Defending one of the largest global financial information services providers in relation to an exclusionary abuse of dominance investigation by the European Commission, including the negotiation of a settlement.

Merger control

Advising one of the world's largest financial information services providers in relation to the sale of its business to a major competitor, successfully securing conditionally and simultaneously clearances from the European Commission at Phase II and the US Department of Justice, as well as numerous other jurisdictions worldwide (including Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Turkey and others).

Auditing firms

Advising a UK auditing firm on all merger control aspects relating to an acquisition of a competitor.

More: Professional services

Awards

EU & Competition

EU & Competition

Ranked in Who's Who Legal Competition: Future Leaders 2018, 2019 and 2020

Ranked in Who's Who Legal Competition: Future Leaders 2018, 2019 and 2020

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