Our Competition Department advises on all aspects of EU and UK competition law. We combine in-depth knowledge with a commercial and solution-orientated approach.
We have recognised expertise in advising on the competition and regulatory implications of mergers and acquisitions, as well as the full range of behavioural competition matters (abuse of dominance, cartels and other restrictive agreements).
We are experienced in competition litigation before the English courts; see our separate page on competition disputes. We also advise on utilities regulation and other EU law matters, such as state aid and public procurement.
In addition to advising clients on EU and UK competition law, we regularly co-ordinate the provision of merger control and behavioural competition advice to clients in respect of other key jurisdictions around the world, in conjunction with leading overseas law firms.
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Knowledge of the relevant legislation and case law is important, but so too is an awareness of our clients' commercial objectives and a familiarity with the approach of the various regulators. We provide pragmatic advice based on a proper assessment of legal risk against the achievement of our clients´ commercial objectives. We maintain strong relationships with the various EU and UK regulators and are able to advise on what is and what is not achievable in practice with each regulator.
Our recent work includes acting for:
- Breedon Aggregates on the UK merger control clearance for its acquisition of leading competitor, Hope Building Products, including advising on required remedies to obtain clearance.
- Pace plc on the multiple merger control clearances required in respect of its takeover by leading competitor Arris.
- a global investment bank on a number of ongoing European Commission investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices.
- Immediate Media on the UK merger control clearance for its acquisition of a group of specialist print and internet titles from Future Publishing. This transaction involved the first Phase I remedies decision by the new CMA under the amended statutory regime.
- agricultural supplier ForFarmers on the UK merger control clearance for its acquisition of the feed and forage business of Countrywide.
- Micro Focus International plc, the FTSE 100 software group, on the merger control clearance for its merger with Attachmate Group.
- McColl's Retail Group in respect of the OFT (now CMA) investigation into pricing practices in the tobacco sector.
- Automotive parts supplier Stadco on the EU merger clearance for its acquisition by Magna International.
- UK and Irish television and radio broadcaster UTV Media, in relation to the merger clearances required for its divestments of a local radio business and of its UTV television business.
- a leading supplier of commercial equipment on a CMA investigation of vertical pricing practices in its sector.
- an EU based pharmaceutical company in respect of a CMA investigation of anti-competitive agreements.
- a leading player in the payments sector on a series of complaints to the European Commission and other major competition authorities worldwide in respect of alleged abuse of dominance by one of the major players in the industry.
- Headland Foods and Chamonix Private Equity on the Competition Commission's (now CMA) investigation into the completed acquisition by Kerry Foods of Headland's frozen ready meals business.
- a leading industrial company on its leniency application to the CMA in respect of potential cartel activity.