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.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

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.

“thorough high level practice that give clear, considered and decisive advice”
The Legal 500 UK 2016

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.
Lawyer

Marta Isabel Garcia Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2141
M:  +44 7985 716 668 Email Marta Isabel | Vcard Office:  London

Lawyer

Giovanna Kwong Partner

T:  +852 2533 2787
M:  Email Giovanna | Vcard Office:  Hong Kong

Latest news & insights

16 Nov 2018

From Insights

Siemens’ proposed acquisition of Alstom facing in-depth antitrust scrutiny by EU and Australasia regulators

Following the European Commission’s (“EC”) opening of a Phase II investigation into Siemens' proposed acquisition of Alstom in July, the proposed tie-up between the EU..

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06 Nov 2018

From Insights

CMA's tough message - 'Stop cartels'

On 22 October 2018, the CMA launched a nationwide campaign called "Stop Cartels" to educate businesses about illegal competition practices and encourage whistle-blower..

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15 Oct 2018

From Insights

CMA launches Market Study into the audit sector

On 9 October 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") announced that it had launched a market study into the statutory audit market in order to see whether ..

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09 Oct 2018

From Insights

The Loyalty Penalty Super-Complaint: New Challenges for the CMA

On 28 September 2018, Citizens Advice lodged a "Super-Complaint" with the Competition and Markets Authority to ask the CMA to investigate the loyalty penalty: the high..

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30 Jul 2018

From Insights

European Commission opens Phase II investigation into proposed acquisition of Alstom by Siemens

On 13 July 2018, the European Commission ("EC") opened an in-depth Phase II investigation into the proposed acquisition by Siemens of Alstom under the EU merger contro..

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28 Jun 2018

From Insights

A brave new world - increased focus by antitrust regulators on primary and secondary market activities

In the past, competition enforcement in the financial services sector focused mainly on the areas of State aid and merger control, before the swathe of manipulation of..

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27 Jun 2018

From News

Marta Isabel Garcia named in Who's Who Legal: Competition Future Leaders 2018

Stephenson Harwood partner Marta Isabel Garcia has been named in Who's Who Legal: Competition Future Leaders 2018 international ranking, co-published by Global Competi..

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04 Jun 2018

From Insights

Auditing the auditors – Potential review by the CMA?

A new UK Parliamentary report has urged the UK Government to refer the statutory audit market to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

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30 May 2018

From Insights

No duty of equal treatment or fairness owed to those under a Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") investigation

On 16 May 2018 the Supreme Court allowed an appeal by the Competition & Markets Authority against a Court of Appeal judgment that found that the Office of Fair Trading..

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05 Jan 2018

From News

Stephenson Harwood successfully secures CMA merger clearance for HC-One

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has successfully represented HC-One in securing merger clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for HC-One's acqui..

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02 Nov 2017

From Insights

Largest provider of online bidding platforms in the UK changes practices amid complaints alleging anti-competitive behaviour

The UK's main competition law enforcement authority, the CMA has intervened to resolve competition law concerns in the fast-growing online auction house sector. This i..

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02 Nov 2017

From Insights

European Commission takes over FCA aviation insurance broking investigation

In a rare move, in October 2017 the European Commission ("EC") reportedly took over an investigation initiated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") into the..

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21 Aug 2017

From Insights

Hong Kong anti-trust regulator launching its second proceedings against price fixing and market sharing

The Competition Commission has brought proceedings against ten construction and engineering companies on 14 August 2017 for anti-competitive price fixing and market sh..

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05 Jun 2017

From Insights

E-commerce sector inquiry - results are out...

On 10 May 2017 the European Commission published its final report after a two-year inquiry into the e-commerce sector together with accompanying Q&As and a long Staff ..

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26 May 2017

From Insights

Price fixing probe in petrol in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Competition Commission (the “Commission”) believes there are "highly unusual" practices in the local petrol market, which has some of the highest prices ..

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05 Apr 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood successfully secures EU merger clearance for Mitsui & Co. and Abellio Rail JV

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has successfully represented Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) and Abellio Transport Group Limited (Abellio) in securing EU merger clearance ..

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.