Charles Bankes


London | Brüssel

T +44 20 7825 4774
M +44 7921 881 792

General Experience

Charles specialises in EU, competition and regulatory law and has extensive experience of their application within a wide range of industries. He has particularly focused on the utilities sectors.

Charles has extensive experience of EC and UK merger control procedures including at phase II and of complex multi jurisdictional merger control procedures. In recent years he has advised on a range of cartel investigations, including investigations being conducted by regulators around the world. He advised on one of the first cases settled with the European Commission. His litigation experience includes cases before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, follow on damages actions before the High Court and judicial review, including in the Court of Appeal. He also advises on state aid issues.

Charles is a member of the firm’s Brexit team. Click here for more information.

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Recent Work
  • advising a major Japanese company on a substantial European Commission cartel investigation which was successfully settled and on subsequent litigation in the High Court
  • advising Kier on the OFT's investigation into cover pricing in the construction sector and on a subsequent successful appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal
  • advising the Nabucco pipeline project on EU regulatory issues (including the EU's Third Energy Package), competition, procurement and state aid issues
  • advising a number of substantial financial institutions in relation to global investigations by financial and anti trust regulators in relation to benchmakers and other issues 
  • advising infrastructure investors on the EU’s gas and electricity unbundling requirements, including certification procedures before GB, French and Belgian regulators
  • advising Orkla ASA on the competition law issues raised by the creation, together with Norsk Hydro ASA of the largest soft-alloy aluminium extrusion joint venture in the world. This involved notifying the transaction in a number of jurisdictions, including to the European Commission which cleared the transaction subject to remedies
  • advising a party to the Competition Commission’s investigation into private healthcare markets
  • advising parties under investigation by the CMA; and others in receipt of warning letters
  • advising Sovereign Wealth Funds and pension funds on global merger control issues arising from minority investments, including co-ordinating multiple filings.  

Charles qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and became a partner in the firm's London EU and competition practice in 1998. He was seconded to Ofgem between 1999 and 2001 as General Counsel where his work included dealing with a broad spectrum of regulatory, UK and EC competition law issues.

Charles is noted by Legal 500 UK 2015 as being "exceptionally experienced and extremely careful and skilled competition lawyer". Legal 500 also state Charles "impresses with his skilful and effective probing and steering at meetings with regulatory authorities" and is an "outstanding regulatory lawyer".

He is noted in Chambers as being "highly intelligent, charming and cool under pressure" according to satisfied clients, and "has a great understanding of what's required and delivers it well - he is consistently highly effective and very prompt".

Charles is the joint author of "UK Merger Control: Law and Practice" (LexisNexis).