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Competition Law

In an area of increasing risk and complexity, the consequences of failing to comply with the competition rules are serious. Businesses face the possibility of multi-million pound fines and damages actions and employees face the prospect of criminal sanctions and director disqualification. Our expert competition lawyers guide you through these risks and provide straightforward, practical and commercial advice.

We routinely deal with all aspects of competition law, advising national and multinational companies and the government sector. In the past year, our competition lawyers have advised clients on issues such as Competition Act investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the application of multi-jurisdiction merger control rules to corporate acquisitions, UK merger control clearance, distribution strategies including internet restrictions and dawn raid procedures.

What we do...

  • Clients – we advise national and international clients, including private and public sector bodies.

  • Sector expertise – we have detailed knowledge in a number of key sectors meaning we can understand the specific issues facing particular sectors including automotive, retail, distribution, health and agriculture.

  • Application of competition law to commercial agreements -  including supply, distribution, intellectual property and joint venture arrangements.  We advise on the availability and application of EU block exemptions as well as assisting clients in relation to developing areas such as online trading controls

  • UK, EU and multi-jurisdictional merger control – advising on all aspects of merger control from initial jurisdictional analysis to seeking UK and EU clearances and coordinating multi-jurisdictional filings.

  • Competition authority investigations, dawn raids, leniency and immunity applications – we handle investigations from beginning to end including providing rapid response dawn raid teams, handling detailed information requests, making leniency/immunity applications and responding to statements of objection.

  • Public procurement – we advise on all aspects of public procurement including challenges, pan-governmental framework procurements broadband telephony frameworks, construction and related procurements, town centre regeneration projects, shared service waste projects and social care and health projects.

  • Appeals against competition authority decisions – we have brought successful appeals against competition authority decisions and quantum of fines.

  • Market investigations – we advise on how to deal with competition authority market investigations including handling written and oral submissions.

  • Competition law complaints and disputes – we advise clients on how to proceed where they consider themselves to be the victims of anti-competitive behaviour including bringing reasoned complaints to the competition authorities and advising on the merits of private court actions for damages.

  • Compliance programmes including competition law audits – we have considerable experience of developing and implementing competition law compliance programmes for clients across a wide range of sectors including initial risk assessments, drafting compliance manuals/guidance notes and running interactive training sessions.

  • State aid – we advise on all aspects of state aid including assisting both providers and recipients of aid.

Recent experience

Related resources

Brexit resources

Brexit overview: intellectual property and Brexit

We can how help you understand the potential issues that any changes will have on your business.

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Brexit resources

Brexit overview: competition law and Brexit

We can how help you understand the potential issues that any changes will have on your business.

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Managing robust public procurement exercises

The Cabinet Office has issued further guidance in relation to applying exclusions in public procurement, managing conflicts of interest and whistleblowing.

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State aid in a post-Brexit world: the CMA’s role

The position relating to State aid post-Brexit is beginning to become clearer as the 29 March deadline draws closer.

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