Competition

Technical, commercial and strategic, our competition team understand clients’ business objectives and we help clients successfully navigate through the most complex of antitrust issues. We recognise that straightforward, practical, focused, timely and business-friendly advice is all that counts. We aim to deliver exactly that on a broad range of local and multi-jurisdictional antitrust matters.
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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.

Based in London and Paris, 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.

“Quick, pragmatic, competent advisers with great attention to detail... Very client-focused. Highly committed to getting the best service for the clients.”
The Legal 500 UK 2023

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.

Criminal investigations

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).

Competition compliance

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).

Commercial agreements

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).

Complaints

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.

Latest news & insights

06 Nov 2023

From Insights

End of antitrust exemption for liner shipping consortia: what will be the consequences for future cooperation between carriers?

The European Commission recently announced that it will not extend the European Union legal framework exempting liner shipping consortia from EU antitrust rules, known..

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25 Oct 2023

From Insights

A "green" light or a cautious approach? CMA publishes its "Green Agreements Guidance"…

On 12 October 2023, the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published the final version of its 'Green Agreements Guidance' ("Guidance"), aimed at providing great..

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24 Oct 2023

From Insights

Working hard and rarely competing - labour markets continue to be a target…!

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the latest developments on antitrust enforcement in labour markets.

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12 Oct 2023

From Insights

A cloud of suspicion – UK's CMA to probe the hyperscalers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google…

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the Competition & Markets Authority's ("CMA") recent decision on 5 October 2023 to accept a market investigation refer..

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31 Aug 2023

From Insights

Levelling the playing field or just greater complexity – the implications of the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the EU's Foreign Subsidies Regulation

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21 Jul 2023

From Insights

State of the Union – second NSIA Annual Report published

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the second annual report ("Report") published by the UK's Cabinet Office on the National Security and Investment Act 2..

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20 Jun 2023

From Insights

Signalling the way forward: What the Hitachi and Thales provisional merger decision could mean to the rail industry in the UK

In August 2021, Hitachi Rail, Ltd ("Hitachi") announced it had agreed to acquire Thales SA's Ground Transportation Systems Business ("Thales" and together with Hitachi..

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13 Jun 2023

From Insights

AI, machine learning, big data laws and regulations 2023 | France

In recent years society has been confronted with the increasing development of new technologies.

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30 May 2023

From Insights

Digital Decade: Digital Markets Act and Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill

Regulators have grown increasingly hostile to the market dominance displayed by the largest digital platforms, believing this state of affairs to be at risk of (if not..

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12 May 2023

From Insights

Here at last – new laws proposed on digital markets, competition powers and consumer rights

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill that was proposed to the UK Parliament on 25 April 2023 and is expe..

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21 Apr 2023

From News

Stephenson Harwood to represent claimants in pivotal 'limitation issue' competition case

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP will next week represent more than 1,900 companies in a pivotal 'limitation issue' case at the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal.

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10 Mar 2023

From Insights

CMA expands its action against greenwashing

On 26 January 2023 the UK Competition and Markets Authority announced that it was opening an investigation into environmental claims made in relation to a wide range o..

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07 Mar 2023

From Insights

UK aviation and competition authorities publish joint warning letter to airport operators following concerns of suspected anti-competitive practices

On 26 January 2023, the Competition & Markets Authority ("CMA") and the Civil Aviation Authority ("CAA") published a joint open 'warning' letter reminding UK airport o..

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17 Feb 2023
02 Feb 2023

From Insights

Uncharted waters – emerging trends in collective proceedings orders

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on recent trends and developments in collective proceedings orders ("CPOs") in England & Wales.

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25 Jan 2023

From Insights

Time to reap the benefits? The UK's new subsidy control regime comes into effect

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the UK's new subsidy control regime under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 ("SCA") which came into full effect on 4 Januar..

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