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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 public 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.
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.
High level of professionalism.
Matthew Woodford is incredibly knowledgeable about the law and so pragmatic in his advice.
Sources describe Matthew Woodford of Browne Jacobson LLP as 'a very safe pair of hands with whom I feel very secure - his knowledge and work are so strong'.
Competition law expert Matthew Woodford is 'a safe pair of hands when the spotlight is on' and 'explains complex issues well'.
Advising the National Farmers' Union on obtaining the second ever short-form opinion from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in relation to rate recommendations for broadband wayleaves, including the provision of evidence-backed submissions and market research.
Advising a client in relation to an ongoing Competition Act investigation by the CMA including handling detailed section 26 requests for information and liaising with the CMA.
Bringing a successful penalty appeal before the Competition Appeal Tribunal for a client against the OFT’s construction decision.
Advising a supermarket chain on obtaining UK merger control clearance for a store acquisition. This included drafting a detailed submission for clearance together with the provision of market research carried out by independent economists.
Advising two motor vehicle manufacturers on restructuring their selective distribution networks following changes to the block exemption regime as well as a number of UK and multi-national retail brands on internet and selective distribution strategies.
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