Competition policy is central to an increasingly global market place. Its impact goes to the very heart of the way industries are structured and how they operate. Related developments, notably the ever closer working relations between the major competition law enforcement agencies around the world and the regulatory environment created by the liberalisation of a number of major industry sectors across Europe, are reinforcing its importance.
Through our network of international offices, our EU, Competition and Regulatory International Practice Group is able to provide clients with a comprehensive and integrated service. As leading advisers in this complex field, our expertise spans the whole spectrum of EU and competition issues, notably:
- investigations and complaints, including complex multi-jurisdictional cartel work
- compliance, including advice on compliance programmes
- merger control
- advising on commercial agreements
- public procurement
- state aid.
We also have broad regulatory experience, advising government and regulatory bodies, private sector investors and operators across a range of regulated sectors (notably transport, water, energy and TMT).
Many of the most challenging competition law issues lie at the interface with intellectual property law, and we have been actively involved in a number of leading cases in this area.
We represent clients before the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Commission, national courts and enforcement agencies.
Investigations and Complaints
We advise on investigations by and complaints to the EU and national competition authorities, ensuring that the legal and economic issues relevant to our clients' circumstances are properly considered. We help clients put in place effective compliance programmes as well as providing guidance and training on how to handle on-site investigations (dawn raids). Much of the cartel work which we undertake involves complex multi-jurisdictional issues and in a number of jurisdictions increasingly requires consideration of potential criminal liability. We have hands-on experience of cutting edge abuse of dominance cases, frequently involving a deep understanding of the interface between intellectual property rights and competition law.
This is a growing part of our practice, reflecting the significant developments which are taking place both at the EU and national level. Our focussed industry sector approach, coupled with our expertise in competition law and commercial litigation, makes us well placed to assist clients involved in competition litigation, be they standalone actions or actions by way of follow-on to a decision of a competition authority. Our practice includes representing clients before the European Court of Justice and Court of First Instance (now General Court).
We handle EU and national merger filings as well as coordinating multi-jurisdictional filings, where our role is to ensure that the appropriate clearances in all applicable jurisdictions are obtained within the desired transaction timetable.
We advise on the application of competition law to all kinds of commercial practices and agreements including joint ventures, distribution and licensing agreements, where our aim is to offer practical solutions to competition law problems and to ensure that important commercial provisions can be enforced.
We advise a variety of regulated companies, particularly in the transport, water, energy and TMT sectors. We also advise regulators in several sectors, including transport and postal services, and we participate in policy formulation through our work on policy bodies and consultations.
We advise on the obligations imposed on public bodies and utilities and on the remedies available to potential contractors.
We advise on the application of the EU rules, presenting complaints and handling investigations.