Competition/European Law: London
Freshfields retains its position as "one of the premier firms for competition work," and garners praise from all sides for its expertise across the board. The firm is highly regarded for its global presence and is highlighted for the number of "really outstanding individuals" it offers. The team's recent high-profile representation of Tesco has showcased its extensive capabilities, as has its work advising Pearson on OFT and EC investigations into the e-book sector. Practitioners have also been involved in complex matters for clients such as Sara Lee and the London Stock Exchange that have drawn on the team's notable merger control experience. Clients also underline the group's impressively dedicated client service. "Their technical skills are par excellence and their personal engagement really helped us out when the chips were down."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market commentators characterise David Aitman as an outstanding practitioner whose experience and expertise classify him as a market leader. His recent work includes advising a consortium headed by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings on its acquisition of Northumbrian Water Group.
Jon Lawrence is held in extremely high regard by peers and clients for his "fantastic litigation nous." His leading capabilities in follow-on damages claims are exemplified by recent work representing ABB in defending a £230 million action brought against members of a gas insulated switchgear cartel.
Deirdre Trapp remains a leading figure and is highly praised for her "superb, solutions-driven" approach to a range of competition matters. Her recent work includes advising Deloitte on the Competition Commission investigation concerning UK audit services. Sources comment that "what really makes her stand out, apart from her outstanding skills as a legal adviser, is her complete understanding of our business as a whole."
Sources commend John Davies for his dedication and expertise in merger control matters, considering him to be "the kind of person you want to have as your lawyer." His work advising Solvay on the EUR3.4 billion acquisition of Rhodia underlines his experience.
Paul Lomas is praised as "an outstanding litigator" who brings an "incredible wealth of experience" to the table. He recently represented Tesco in successfully challenging OFT claims over the pricing of dairy products. Sources praise his strategic approach and highlight his ability to "analyse difficult situations and put them across in a reassuring manner."
Market sources hold Rod Carlton in high esteem for his commitment to client service, with sources commenting that "he is very prepared to go the extra mile." He advised the UK government on competition issues surrounding a proposed restructuring of Royal Mail. His recent work also includes acting for HSBC with regards to an OFT market study.
Simon Priddis is highly praised for his "excellent technical knowledge" and is considered "an outstanding lawyer - the combination of his legal skills and experience of working at the OFT is very valuable." His recent work draws on his extensive antitrust expertise and includes representation of the London Stock Exchange during the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext.
William Robinson is a recognised force in the contentious field and is commended for his understanding of UK and EU competition matters. His experience was exemplified by his representation of JTI in a judicial review concerning the display of tobacco goods. He also represents Air Transport Association of America in challenging the inclusion of the aviation industry in an EU carbon emissions trading scheme.
Market commentators praise Bea Tormey's "practical experience" of competition matters and highlight her work on investigations and disputes. She assisted Emirates in defending a claim brought by British Airways in damages proceedings related to an air cargo cartel.
Alastair Chapman is a new addition to the table, drawing praise for his "proactive and pragmatic" approach to a range of competition concerns. His recent work includes representing ICAP during an investigation initiated by the Competition Commission.
Alexander Potter also debuts in the table this year, impressing sources with "his client service and knowledge of our company's businesses." He advised Sara Lee on the merger control elements generated by various corporate transactions.
Along with Nicholas French he draws on the time he spent as co-head of the firm's Chinese competition practice. French is praised for his ability to "work in a collaborative manner and get the best out of everyone." His wide-ranging experience includes advising UGL on its acquisition of DTZ's trading operations via a pre-pack sale.
Linklaters remains a highly respected force in the market, with sources confirming that it is "our first-choice firm for major strategic matters." The London team has contributed to a further level of growth in the firm's global competition footprint, leading to new mandates from Europe, China, the USA and Latin America. The group's wide-ranging expertise spans all areas of competition law, its capabilities attracting such prominent clients as Johnson & Johnson and Glencore. Recent instructions have called on the group's experience in complex merger control and market investigations. Highlights include advising KPMG on investigations conducted by the OFT and the Competition Commission.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "phenomenally hard-working" Michael Cutting is praised by peers and clients for his wide-ranging experience and tactical capabilities. His work for Centrica and Anglian Water highlights his knowledge of the utilities sector.
Gavin Robert is acknowledged for his commercial mindset and expertise in the natural resources and healthcare sectors. He advised Johnson & Johnson on merger clearance at both European and global levels of its USD23.1 billion acquisition of Synthes.
Market commentators attest to Christian Ahlborn's renowned expertise in the state aid arena, considering him to be "practical and user-friendly." He also draws on his experience as an economist. He works with Glencore on competition aspects of the proposed merger with Xstrata.
Paula Riedel is singled out for her commercial nous and practical approach, earning respect for her involvement in a comprehensive range of matters. Recent work includes advising RBS on state aid matters and representing Hastings in the disposal of a stake in South East Water.
Michael Sanders is considered a "top litigator" for his involvement in a number of key contentious matters. His expertise in damages proceedings has been instrumental in working with clients such as Air France, KLM and Martinair.
Eamonn Doran is praised by market sources for his committed approach to client service and ability to "very quickly get you a good picture of the whole case." He advised AXA on the OFT's market study into the private healthcare market.
Sources are "confident of getting a good service" from Nicole Kar and she is held in high regard for her merger control and cartel expertise. Recent highlights include advising Tarmac on the OFT's aggregates, RMX and cement market study. She is "steady, intelligent" and "not afraid to tread on toes to get advice to where it needs to go."
Christopher Bellamy is a pre-eminent figure and credited for bringing strategic expertise and global experience to the team. He has worked with clients from the luxury goods and pharmaceutical sectors, and sources comment that "his name will immediately command respect."
Rachel Hetherington enters the table this year and is cited as "a responsive associate" who is "very quick at picking up difficult points." She has provided assistance on the team's work for Glencore.
Simon Pritchard, who joins from Allen & Overy, is highly regarded by market sources and brings a real depth of expertise through his experience of working at the OFT. He is highlighted for his ability to "constantly look for solutions to meet business expectations and realise commercial objectives." He represented Shell in its acquisition of 253 Total petrol stations.
Market commentators continue to hold this group in extremely high regard, praising its dedicated approach to a diverse range of matters and ability to "work for clients in an incredibly focused manner." Its respected competition litigation team offers expertise in contentious work such as follow-on damages actions, cartel liability defence and appeals. Recent highlights include representing ASDA in the OFT's dairy investigation, ultimately securing a reduction in the value of the fine levied. On the transactional side, the group retains a leading position advising clients on the merger control elements of high-profile and complex deals. Here it again acted for ASDA, securing clearance from the OFT on the acquisition of Netto. Other highlights include advising the Telegraph Media Group on the aborted News Corporation acquisition of the remaining shares of BSkyB.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Philippe Chappatte heads the group and is held in high esteem by clients for his pragmatic and solutions-driven approach. His respected position is exemplified by work covering a range of matters. This includes advising new clients Comet and esure on OFT market investigations, and counselling Chi-X Europe as a complainant in the since-blocked merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext.
Bertrand Louveaux is praised by market commentators as being "adept at dealing with technical and demanding cases" and can draw on a "perfect background" in both economics and law. Recent highlights include advising Thomas Cook on a merger with Co-Op Travel and the Midlands Co-Op.
Michael Rowe is singled out by sources for his expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Major highlights include advising Unilever on an investigation conducted by the Commission into the detergent sector.
Isabel Taylor commands respect practice for her work with key clients such as Royal Mail and Bupa. Alongside Philippe Chappatte she represented Chi-X Europe in its USD305 million acquisition by BATS Trading.
Allen & Overy's acclaimed worldwide strength in competition law draws significantly on the talents of the firm's London-based practitioners. The group is acclaimed for the breadth of its experience and it includes experts in merger control, litigation and behavioural matters. Clients comment that individuals "constantly go above and beyond what would be expected of external counsel" and note that "the advice we receive is always incredibly practical and strategic." Highlights from the last year include advising News Corporation on its now-withdrawn offer to acquire the shares in BSkyB that it did not already own. The group is also noted for its experience in appearing before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and in representing clients in a range of litigious matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market sources say Antonio Bavasso has "a good ability to think outside the box" and characterise him as "knowledgeable, assiduous and creative." His reputation is summarised by an impressive roster of work that includes representing Twentieth Century Fox in the Competition Commission's high-profile inquiry into movies on pay TV. He also represented the company in an EU investigation into digital cinema.
London practice head Mark Friend is highly respected as a "thorough, customer-focused and pragmatic" antitrust expert. He is highlighted by sources as being "extremely experienced in all aspects of merger control." His recent work includes successfully obtaining clearance in several jurisdictions for Berkshire Hathaway's acquisition of Lubrizol.
Philip Mansfield garners praise from commentators for his strengths in both contentious and non-contentious matters. His work regularly takes him before a range of antitrust authorities, from the Commission to MOFCOM. He advised Hitachi on several cartel investigations including those related to automotive parts and to the LCD market.
Alasdair Balfour recently joined the practice from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Balfour is highly recommended for his "ability to see to the core of a problem and explain issues simply." His experience spans all areas of competition law, with a particular focus on litigation, cartel investigations and merger control. Recent work includes representing a Japanese auto parts manufacturer in a Commission market investigation.
Although this practice is renowned for its contentious expertise it also brings strong transactional capabilities, its ever-growing client base benefiting from this breadth of experience. Key highlights from the last year include representing the lead appellant, Imperial Tobacco, in a much-publicised, successful appeal against a decision by the OFT that resulted in over £163 million of fines being dropped. The team also represented Crest Nicholson before the CAT in its appeal against the OFT's construction cartel decision, leading to an 80% reduction in the original fine imposed. The firm's significant global presence is an added boon to clients.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nigel Parr heads the team and is widely acclaimed for a heavyweight practice that spans the full range of contentious and non-contentious work. "He is very commercial and pragmatic at getting to the heart of the arguments." Parr was involved in several impressive highlights such as the successful Imperial Tobacco appeal. Sources also comment that "he has very in-depth technical knowledge of competition law."
Euan Burrows was also a key figure in the Imperial Tobacco appeal and is praised as a "standout lawyer" who "knows the ins and outs of competition law." Highlights from the last year include advising RSA Insurance in an OFT investigation into the private motor insurance market.
Duncan Liddell is highly respected by commentators for his ability to "take a list of what you want to achieve and then work efficiently towards that goal." He draws on particularly strong experience in the media sector, as underlined by his work representing Virgin Media in appeals regarding Ofcom's pay TV statement.
Ben Tidswell brings experience as a litigator to his competition practice and continues to impress sources with his expertise. Recent work includes representing Telefónica O2 before the CAT in challenging a decision by Ofcom.
Neil Cuninghame focuses on a wide spectrum of merger control and behavioural work where he represents key clients such as Danisco A/S and Lloyds Banking Group. Highlights from the last year include advising Cerberus, Focus DIY and its administrators on the sale of 30 stores to Kingfisher.
Ross MacKenzie impresses with his excellent client service. He worked with Nigel Parr on an appeal by Intel to the European General Court over Morrisons' proposed acquisition of Iceland Food.
This prominent practice draws on a cache of global experience and delivers noteworthy strength in matters such as market investigations, merger control and cartels. The team continues to grow, reflecting its increasing client roster, and it has been involved in a large number of leading competition cases. Examples of this work include advising NBC Universal on the investigation conducted by the Competition Commission into movies provided on pay TV. An additional highlight is the advice provided to AXA UK on a range of matters including the OFT market study into motor vehicle insurance. Clifford Chance is also noted for its expertise in state aid, concerning which it represents such clients as Arriva and the Association of British Bookmakers.
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Top-drawer" competition litigation head Elizabeth Morony attracts praise as a real force in cartel investigations. She is respected for her expertise and "real understanding of how things work." Her recent work includes representing Morgan Crucible in a damages claim brought by Deutsche Bahn and others against members of a carbon and graphite products cartel.
Alex Nourry heads the London antitrust practice and is highly respected for his expertise in a broad range of sectors including communications, IT and pharmaceuticals. Highlights from the last year include acting for Princes on its £182 million acquisition of Premier Foods' canning work.
Market commentators are full of praise for "easy-to-get-along-with" Greg Olsen and his expertise in merger control matters. Recent examples of his work include advising RBS on the sale of its worldwide aircraft-leasing business and acting for LCH.Clearnet Group on its prospective acquisition by the London Stock Exchange Group.
Luke Tolaini is held in high regard for his expertise in competition litigation. Recent highlights include acting for Barclays Bank in the investigation conducted by the OFT into professional service loans. He also works with a number of high-profile names on strategic responses to allegations of anti-competitive behaviour.
Jenine Hulsmann receives detailed praise from sources attesting to her experience across a range of matters. She advised Survitec on OFT clearance of the acquisition of both Zodiac SOLAS and Cosalt.
Oliver Bretz splits his time between Paris, Brussels and London, yet his position as a leader in the UK marketplace remains unanimously high. His recent work includes advising Barclays on the investigation undertaken by the OFT into travel money and credit card charges.
The group offers an excellent command of behavioural issues and competition litigation whilst retaining a strong merger control practice. Clients applaud its "strength across the board" and the team's dedicated attention to client service. Additional benefits include the firm's strong international network, and its "ability to handle large-scale litigation involving complex economic and legal arguments." It has been involved in a range of key highlights for BSkyB, including both the Competition Commission's investigation into films on pay TV and merger clearance issues around the aborted merger with News Corporation. The group also represented Virgin Atlantic in the attempted takeover of bmi and a complaint against BA's own attempts to acquire bmi.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephen Wisking is an "incredible advocate" who is considered a leading practitioner in competition law. His truly glowing feedback reflects the esteem in which he is held, with sources confirming that "he really leads in a way that has been effective for us as a business." His recent work includes representing BAA in its appeal before the CAT against the Competition Commission's divestiture decision regarding Stansted airport.
Practice head James Quinney is "exceptionally knowledgeable, diligent and thorough," and impresses sources with his expertise in non-contentious matters. His recent work includes advising Apache on obtaining EU merger control clearance for its acquisition of Exxon's North Sea interests. He also handles competition disputes.
Susan Black is held in high regard for her strong competition capabilities and she continues to work on a range of matters. Her recent work includes acting for Smiths News on obtaining clearance from the OFT for its acquisition of Dawson Holdings.
Veronica Roberts brings expertise as a respected solicitor advocate to her wide-ranging competition practice. Her highlights include advising Zurich Insurance on the OFT investigation into information exchange in the motor insurance market.
Elizabeth McKnight is praised as being "incredibly strong both analytically and strategically." Her recent work includes advising BSkyB on News Corporation's high-profile proposed bid for its shares.
Senior partner Jonathan Scott is considered "the voice of experience" who is praised for his "common sense and technical expertise." He remains a key figure in the group, advising clients such as Yell, Northern Foods and Virgin Atlantic.
Dorothy Livingston acts as a consultant to the group and is admired for her "long-standing experience." She continues to work with clients from a range of sectors, and is particularly highlighted for her expertise in the banking industry.
"Technically superb" Kim Dietzel is applauded as someone who "will become a big star - she has a very precise mind and there is never a word out of place." She has worked with key clients such as Virgin Atlantic in the last year.
Like Dietzel, Andre Pretorius is seen as someone who "will be a real force in the future." Sources comment that "he is good at looking at complex problems and bringing out the important points." His practice encompasses all aspects of competition law, including cartels and merger control.
This experienced group is recognised for its comprehensive competition practice and proactive approach to a range of matters. Commentators note that "strategically and tactically they really help us" and characterise the group as being "responsive to client needs" and "seeking to do a first-rate job." Recent work highlights include acting for Mersen before the CAT in defending follow-on damages claims. It also advised Morrisons in a successful appeal against the OFT tobacco decision. On the merger control front, the group acted for Kingfisher on achieving clearance for the acquisition of Focus DIY stores.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Suyong Kim wins acclaim for her commercial awareness and approach to client service. Sources comment that she is "constantly thinking about ways to further our cause," and highlight her extensive experience. Her work for Morrisons and its subsidiary, Safeway, resulted in the successful overturning of an OFT fine for tobacco price fixing.
Market commentators are full of praise for John Pheasant, highlighting his extensive experience in the field. He is characterised as being "extremely responsive and very client-oriented."
Global practice co-head Susan Bright is highly regarded by market sources as an excellent practitioner whose experience runs the gamut of competition law. Her recent highlights include working with the firm's Washington, DC office to advise Alberto Culver on its acquisition by Unilever.
Lesley Ainsworth is considered to be "extremely responsive, with a huge amount of experience." She stands out for her strong merger control and market investigation capabilities.
Competition litigator Nicholas Heaton earns detailed praise from market commentators. He is perceived as "extremely hard-working - he goes the extra mile and it pays off." His recent work includes defending Alstom against two separate damages claims brought by National Grid and EDF. The claims follow on from the Commission's gas insulated switchgear cartel decision.
SJ Berwin is commended for its ability to span all areas of competition law, drawing as it does on significant experience in often complex and multi-jurisdictional matters. The expanding team garners praise for its "strategic and dynamic" approach, as well as its commitment to "showing a real understanding of our business and sector." Examples of the group's recent work include acting for Associated British Goods in a range of acquisitions that required merger clearance, and advising Cemex UK on the OFT aggregates market investigation. SJ Berwin also offers a cross-disciplinary dawn raids training programme.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephen Kon heads the group and is held in extremely high esteem as one of the market's leading competition lawyers. He is considered "an experienced hand who provides excellent practical guidance" and possesses "fantastic commercial awareness that is second nature to him." He acted for Macquarie Bank on its acquisition of Utility Metering Services from National Grid.
Cameron Firth is praised by sources as a "very pragmatic and co-operative" solicitor who delivers "extremely commercial advice." Highlights from the last year include advising HTC on matters such as Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
Philipp Girardet provides "concrete, helpful advice" on a range of competition law matters and brings experience of working at the OFT to his respected practice. Sources laud him for his "hands-on approach" to client service. He played a key role in advising Universal Music Group on its £900 million acquisition of EMI's recorded music division.
Commentators praise Simon Holmes for his expertise across all aspects of merger control advice. Sources comment that working with him "is like working with someone in your own team." He represented government funded body WRAP in multiple competition concerns.
Sources are full of praise for Tom Usher and consider him to be "very responsive and practical." Clients emphasise his commercial awareness, characterising him as "a strategic thinker." Highlights from the last year include advising Dixons on an investigation into the electrical goods market.
Elaine Gibson-Bolton is praised as being "knowledgeable, responsive" and highly organised. Highlights include advising Telefónica UK on its Court of Appeal challenge to findings by Ofcom and the CAT regarding 080 numbers.
Former managing partner Ralph Cohen adds expertise in antitrust and EU law. He works with clients such as Marks & Spencer on a wide range of competition matters, illustrating the breadth of his expertise.
Clients highlight the group's range of expertise, pinpointing its strengths in contentious matters alongside its transactional experience. It also earns acclaim for its commercially aware approach. Recent work includes its high-profile representation of Shell UK in appealing the OFT tobacco decision. It also advised Itochu on the £637 million acquisition of Kwik-Fit. The group has continued to take on new clients such as Virgin Media and Cargill, and is praised by sources for its "excellent worldwide coverage" and ability to "pull together a composite yet integrated team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Pike receives glowing reports from market sources for his work as a competition litigator. He is particularly highlighted for his expertise in EU law and ability to "really help clients get the best commercial outcome."
Thomas Cassels is held in high regard by market commentators for his expertise in contentious competition matters. His strategic approach to litigation is underlined by clients and his expertise covers a range of sectors. He acted for Sorin Group on a potential standalone claim regarding abuse of dominance in the EU and the USA.
Practice head Samantha Mobley is highly acclaimed for her command of a wide range of competition matters. Sources comment that she is "incredibly helpful and experienced." Rio Tinto turned to her on the sale of its USD340 million talc business to Imerys.
Keith Jones is praised for his ability to "think up practical solutions to issues" and is characterised as a "strategic thinker." His practice covers both merger control and competition litigation, and advises BAT on a range of antitrust matters.
Market sources value Luis Gomez for his "experience, skill and enthusiasm for the subject." He advised Cargill on its EUR1.5 billion acquisition of Provimi.
Berwin Leighton Paisner continues to command an impressive presence across the UK, Brussels and Moscow, offering strength in all key facets of competition law. Highlights include advising a major wire harness manufacturer affected by the European Commission's investigation into automotive components supply. Lawyers also advise National Grid Electricity Transmission on its £300 million gas switchgear cartel follow-on damages action. Sources comment that the "exceptionally responsive" team is "constructive, productive and business-oriented."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Harrison heads the group and brings experience of having practised extensively in Brussels. He is praised as being "tenacious and very focused on doing the best for his client." His recent work includes advising Agility Logistics on a freight forwarding investigation conducted by the Commission.
Clients applaud Andrew Hockley's high level of client service, considering him both "approachable and technically superb." His major work from the last year includes advising the Rontec consortium on a major transaction that was cleared by the OFT.
Adrian Magnus enters the rankings amidst praise for his communication skills and awareness of the needs of clients. His recent work includes advising Sports Direct International on the investigation conducted by the OFT into the sports retail sector.
DLA Piper draws strong praise from sources for its expertise in contentious competition matters. The firm is a recognised global force and it has generated numerous examples of cohesive, integrated working practices when pulling teams together across multiple offices and jurisdictions. Recent work includes representing three construction companies in appeals before the CAT which resulted in fine reductions of around 80%. The team also acted for the FA Premier League and Media Protection Services in the landmark ECJ cases against Karen Murphy and QC Leisure/AV Station. The team has an impressive presence among clients from both the media and sports sectors and in litigating before the ECJ.
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Incredibly knowledgeable" practice head Mike Pullen continues to impress sources with his expertise in competition disputes. Sources praise him for his commercial mindset and for being "lateral in his thinking," and note that he remains unfailingly responsive.
Martin Rees is held in high regard by commentators for his wide-ranging expertise in cartel investigations and appeals. His recent work includes representing Humber Oil Terminals Trustees in complex High Court litigation regarding a takeover attempt by ABP.
Sources attest to Alexandra Kamerling's strength in matters such as merger control and market investigations. She works with clients on the competition angles of cross-jurisdictional transactions.
Kate Vernon is praised for her pragmatic approach and ability to "quickly understand and advise on several different areas at once." Her recent work includes acting in an Ofcom pay TV appeal on behalf of both the Premier League and the English & Welsh Cricket Board.
The London practice plays a central role in this firm's worldwide competition law network and is widely acclaimed for its expertise in co-ordinating large cartel investigations. The team also offers experience across a range of matters including merger control filings and state aid. A major highlight saw the group representing ArcelorMittal in its appeal of the Commission's pre-stressing steel decision. The innovative work completed by the team on this case resulted in a fine reduction from EUR276 million to EUR45.7 million and signalled changes to related EC policy. The team also works with clients such as Aviva, RTL Group and the Association of Commercial Television in Europe.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Kallaugher is commended for his depth of experience and knowledge of competition law. He is particularly noted for his strengths in handling transport concerns and he has been active on a range of cases including cartel investigations and merger control filings. Kallaugher works from both London and Brussels.
John Colahan is widely acclaimed as a "very knowledgeable" figure whose detailed, dedicated approach has won admirers. He represented Global Crossing in obtaining clearance before the OFT and the US Department of Justice for a merger with Level 3.
Marc Hansen is praised for his "meticulous attention to detail" and recognised as an expert in cartel matters. His continued involvement in high-profile, multi-jurisdictional investigations has continued apace in recent months, including in European Commission probes into the automotive wire harnesses and prestressing steel sectors.
Omar Shah offers "good, practical advice and a clear manner of communication." His practice extends to merger control, state aid and antitrust matters, and he is highlighted by clients for his expertise in how competition law varies between jurisdictions.
This group is an acknowledged presence in the London marketplace, neatly combining an array of contentious and non-contentious expertise into one team. It has continued to be successfully involved in a range of high-profile matters, including acting for ASDA in a tobacco-pricing appeal that resulted in the OFT's decision and fines being dropped. The group also represented PayPoint in a dispute with Camelot regarding an abuse of dominant position claim. This challenge was successfully resolved in PayPoint's favour and represents another key win for the team.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice leader Martin Coleman is held in high regard as a "sound, experienced competition lawyer" who brings an accomplished range of experience to the fore. Along with Peter Scott he acts for PwC in the Competition Commission investigation into the auditing services market.
Sources confirm Michael Grenfell as being a solicitor who "thinks out of the box" and is "imaginative, hard-working and a pleasure to work with." Examples of his work from the last year include acting for BMW in obtaining Commission clearance for its acquisition of ING Car Lease.
Peter Scott is "an incredibly bright young litigator" who is praised for his "great ability to get to the essential point in double quick time." Since joining the competition group in 2005 he has gained experience in a wide range of contentious antitrust matters. He advised HSBC Bank in an appeal against the Commission decision on MasterCard interchange rates.
Mark Jones carries a reputation for being "unbelievably client-friendly." He also brings "good insights into the regulator's mindset" thanks to a spell at the OFT.
Addleshaw Goddard serves clients through a network of practitioners based in London, Leeds and Manchester, demonstrating strengths in merger control work, cartel and market investigations and follow-on litigation. Sources are quick to highlight the group's dedicated client service and pragmatic approach to multi-jurisdictional matters. Recent work includes acting for Sainsbury's in reference to its position of immunity in the OFT tobacco investigation.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market commentators are extremely impressed with Bruce Kilpatrick, considering him to be "pragmatic, client-focused and able to give high-level advice." He worked on several key matters in the last year, including counselling King Sturge on the competition aspects of its acquisition by Jones Lang LaSalle.
Rona Bar-Isaac is widely acclaimed as a rising star in this area. Clients enthuse that she is "extremely thoughtful" and has "a thorough and detailed understanding of European competition law."
Sources heap praise on this team for its industry expertise of the pharmaceutical and tobacco sectors. Sources comment that the team "completely knows our business," paying credit to its client-centred approach. Highlights from the last year include acting for South African company Sasol Polymers in a market investigation and representing AT&T during the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market sources applaud the "incredibly pragmatic" Tim Frazer for his expertise in all aspects of competition law. Clients value his ability to be highly responsive whilst still delivering "exceptionally high-quality advice."
Susan Hinchliffe is respected for her expertise in both transactional and advisory matters, offering a particular focus on merger control work. A recent example of her abilities was her representation of GE Oil & Gas in its USD1.3 billion acquisition of Wellstream.
Cleary Gottlieb is traditionally recognised for its leading Brussels practice but has since been developing real capability in London. The group counts erstwhile employees of the OFT and the Competition Commission among its ranks, and it advises on all facets of competition law including market investigations, merger control and market dominance. Its client base includes such names as HarperCollins, The Walt Disney Company and IBM. Recent highlights include assisting in securing clearance from the Commission and the US Department of Justice for Google's USD12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Maurits Dolmans is a distinguished practitioner who continues to attract praise since his move to London. He is commended by sources for his ability to "think creatively about all of the issues on the table" and for his excellently comprehensive knowledge base.
Paul Gilbert is a former OFT deputy director of competition policy who has impressed commentators with his expertise. The last year has seen him work with key clients such as Google and News Corporation.
CMS is applauded for its expertise in behavioural matters and state aid, and for its experience in complex merger control filings. It has a strong presence across Central and Eastern Europe in particular, offering on-the-ground expertise in a range of jurisdictions including Poland and Hungary. The group is also highlighted for a sectoral approach that has created a strong focus on life sciences, energy, projects and consumer products. As well as acting as a panel firm to key names such as National Grid and Royal Mail, the team's expertise has enhanced the firm's relationship with clients including Nuffield Health. Sources comment that "the whole team is hard-working, knowledgeable and really knows what clients need."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Susan Hankey is highly regarded for her expertise in both the energy and consumer product sectors and her wide experience in competition law. Her recent work includes advising Integrated Dental Holdings on its merger with ADP.
David Marks is able to draw on extensive experience of the life sciences sector and is respected by sources for his broad competition capabilities. He acted for Takeda on the merger control dimensions of its EUR9.6 billion acquisition of Nycomed.
John Markham is praised as "knowledgeable, approachable and clear in providing advice." His practice encompasses a focus on the consumer products and pharmaceuticals sectors, though he is also experienced in the communications arena.
Sources deliver positive verdicts on this team for its extensive expertise in behavioural and contentious matters. Recent work includes defending Recolight, Philips Electronics UK, GE Lighting, Osram and Havells Sylvania UK against a standalone claim for damages in the High Court. The team's nationwide network is also seen as a boon to clients.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ros Kellaway is held in high regard as a leading practitioner. She represents the Dairy Crest Group in the OFT investigation into dairy product pricing.
Stephen Rose has a particular focus on merger control filings that often require expertise across a range of jurisdictions. His recent work includes advising SPX on the competition aspects of its £750 million acquisition of Clyde Union Pumps.
Andrew Chandler is noted for his expertise in cartel investigations and highlighted by clients for his ability to immerse himself in their industry. His recent work includes acting with Ros Kellaway on advising Pentland Brands on a range of competition law matters.
Senior associate Aysha Fernandes is another new entry into the rankings, and is held in high regard by clients for her commerciality. Her practice covers all major areas of competition law.
Macfarlanes offers a highly focused approach to merger control matters, behavioural advice and competition litigation, and is highlighted by clients for its excellent client service. Examples of its recent work include advising Kingspan on the competition issues raised by its acquisition of CRH. The team also continues to advise generic medicine producer Pinewood Healthcare on its complaint to the OFT regarding Reckitt Benckiser and Gaviscon. This resulted in the largest-ever abuse of dominance fine being handed down by the OFT and the first such fine since 2003.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Marc Israel is highlighted as being someone who "gives service oriented, high-quality advice." Recent highlights include advising BATS Global Markets on obtaining Competition Commission clearance for its acquisition of Chi-X Europe.
Malcolm Walton is a new entry to the table and is highlighted for his knowledge base. He offers strength in the pharmaceutical sector.
Market commentators recognise that Nabarro offers a "client-focused, responsive service," highlighting the high level of expertise offered in cartel cases and behavioural advice. Its recent work demonstrates the range of its capabilities, including acting for Kent Messenger on the proposed acquisition of seven regional newspapers. The team is also noted for its strengths in the healthcare sector, where it is advising a client on an investigation into the provision of private healthcare. Clients include GlaxoSmithKline and Thomson Reuters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Cyrus Mehta delivers "good technical knowledge of the law and an understanding of our business and the overall commercial picture." He is known for his strengths in cartel investigations, representing Corringway Conclusions in its successful appeal of the OFT's construction cartel decision and fine.
Market sources are full of praise for Brian Sher as an adviser who "delivers insightful advice" and "excellent judgement." His recent work includes advising LCH.Clearnet Group on its third party role in the Commission investigation into the proposed NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Börse merger.
Sources note that this practice is "aware of both the competition law and commercial positions, providing effective and comprehensible advice." It has well-honed merger control expertise, yet is also able to guide clients in investigations and litigation. Highlights from the last year include its continued defence of client Areva against damages claims brought by National Grid following the European Commission's gas-insulated switchgear cartel decision. The group also represents Paramount Pictures in the Competition Commission investigation into premium movie rights.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthew Readings generates praise for his dedicated approach and expert understanding of merger control matters. He acted for Parmalat on the EUR3.4 billion hostile takeover proposal from Lactalis.
James Webber spans all aspects of competition law and continues to impress a range of sources. He has worked on several key matters in the last year, including advising Anglo American on its defence of a hostile bid from Xstrata.
Chris Bright is a new addition to this table, noted for his experience as a former employee of the Competition Commission. He has worked with clients such as General Healthcare Group in the last year.
Clients place particular value on this team's strong commercial awareness, an ever-present strength whether working on merger control matters, cartel investigations or follow-on damages claims. Its major work from the last year includes advising Japanese company Nippon Electric Glass on the investigation conducted by the Commission into CRT glass. The team also advised Hynix on various matters including an appeal to the Luxembourg General Court against a Commission decision.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Contentious expert Tony Woodgate offers experience of the life sciences and pharmaceuticals arena. Recent examples of his work include advising ED&F Man on the Phase II investigation surrounding Südzucker's acquisition of a 24.99% stake in the company.
Charles Bankes is praised by sources for his "very expert, firm and commercially sensible advice" and understanding of the energy sector. His practice encompasses merger control procedures, cartel investigations and competition litigation.
Travers Smith's broad-based approach to behavioural and merger control matters means that clients benefit from its experience across a range of industries. It is also praised for offering high levels of client service. The team has been involved in high-profile mandates including advising on the inquiry into the sale of Headland's frozen ready meals business to Kerry Foods. Bridgepoint Capital and Bridgepoint Development Capital also consult the practice on transactional matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Margaret Moore wins accolades for her ability to "get straight to the heart of the issue." Her recent work includes advising Pinewood Shepperton on Peel Acquisition's proposed takeover, a deal that was fully cleared by the OFT.
Market commentators are full of praise for Nigel Seay, emphasising his proactive approach and responsiveness. He focuses on an array of competition concerns.
Field Fisher Waterhouse is predominantly recognised for its expertise in behavioural matters and competition litigation, yet it is also able to offer strength in other major areas such as merger control. The London-based group is complemented by teams across Brussels, Paris and Germany, and it has continued to grow its client base in the last year. New additions to the roster include Vodafone, BCG and Jaguar Land Rover.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Charles Whiddington is instructed for his "user-friendly" expertise in all aspects of competition law. His recent work has demonstrated his strength in a wide range of areas, including cartel investigations and damages actions.
Nicholas Pimlott brings expertise in diverse areas such as merger control, market investigations and state aid. Recent mandates include advising Everything Everywhere on its appeal to the CAT against Ofcom's decision on call charges.
Philippe Ruttley is held in high regard for his grasp of issues affecting the maritime, energy and aviation sectors. Highlights from the last year include acting for SeaFrance in the public inquiry into alleged abusive pricing at Dover Harbour. He recently joined the team from Clyde & Co.
Along with her colleague Philippe Rutley, "helpful" Solange Leandro arrives at the firm from Clyde & Co. According to sources, she "brings a sound knowledge" on essential competition concerns. Her work has an emphasis on the aviation and maritime arenas, and she is qualified both in the UK and Portugal.
This compact team is rated by clients for its expertise across all aspects of competition law, impressing sources with its business awareness. Its work in the last year includes representing AstraZeneca in the USD1.8 billion sale of its AstraTech business to DENTSPLY International. An additional highlight involved advising Sport Universal/Amisco on the proposed acquisition of Prozone and resulting OFT investigation. It also boasts sectoral strengths in regulated utilities industries such as water.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Departmental head Stephen Tupper is deemed "excellent on detail, commercial and creative." He is highly respected in the industry for his work as founding member of the Competition Law Pro Bono Scheme.
The "highly commercial" Lisa Navarro is a new entry to the rankings this year. She is held in high regard by sources who praise her industry knowledge and "advanced communication skills."
K&L Gates impresses commentators with its strong capabilities in cartel investigations, merger control and compliance. It now offers access to a recently opened Brussels office, a development that enhances the team's European reach. An example of the group's recent work was advising Eurochem on merger control issues arising from its EUR596 million acquisition of BASANT. The practice's client base also includes AOL and Lockheed Martin.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients value Scott Megregian as "effective, practical and easy to work with." His recent work includes acting for Minova on a EUR9.7 million business acquisition from Atlas Copco MAI.
Neil Baylis is a well-regarded and experienced solicitor who commands an all-encompassing practice. His recent work includes representing Linea in the USD440 million acquisition of Donalink, a deal that required merger control filings in a range of jurisdictions, including China.
Market sources applaud this group for its "commercial, pragmatic approach" to issues surrounding merger control, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance cases. Its strong worldwide presence is valued by clients, as is its wide-reaching industry expertise. A key highlight from the last year was its representation of Sisk Group in successfully achieving a 94% reduction in an OFT cartel fine on appeal.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Gillian Sproul is held in extremely high regard by commentators, who commend her ability to "interact in a clear and straightforward manner, backed up by substantial experience."
This group wins acclaim for both its London footprint and significant regional presence. It has built further on its merger control expertise, as is exemplified by its recent work with DCC on three separate deals that were each under review by the OFT. The firm's committed approach is an added boon to clients, with one source stating: "I have found the client service to be extremely responsive and specifically tailored to us." Pinsent Masons also guides clients involved in cross-jurisdictional deals.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "incredibly user-friendly" Alan Davis is noted for his impressive capabilities, earning acclaim for his recent work representing Galliford Try in a successful appeal against an £8.33 million fine imposed on it by the OFT.
Practice leader Guy Lougher has added further depth to the team since his move from the firm's Birmingham office. His breadth of expertise is a particularly strong point of reference among sources.
This team's capabilities in sectors such as shipping, media and life sciences are exemplified by its client base and work. Highlights include representing a key client in a cartel investigation into shipping lines and advising Samsung C&T on obtaining European Commission merger clearance for a joint venture. The group also provided advice to Channel 4 on the Competition Commission investigation into pay TV movies. Satisfied sources comment that lawyers here "understand the industry in which we operate."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marjorie Holmes is highlighted for her deep-rooted experience in the shipping arena. Clients praise her "unique expertise, excellent service and commercial awareness," whilst peers characterise her as a "competition law practitioner with a practical, down-to-earth approach."
Edward Miller is noted for his experience in merger clearances, large cartel investigations and behavioural advice. He recently represented IDEXX Labs in an OFT abuse of dominance investigation that was resolved without any action taken against the client.
This six-member team works closely with the firm's Brussels practice across competition, trade and regulatory law. Sources comment that "the firm operates seamlessly across locations" and add that "client service is excellent." eBay consults the practice on a broad spectrum of issues related to competition law, and the team recently co-ordinated multiple merger notifications for GE SeaCo.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Solicitor advocate David Went can turn his hand to a range of matters, with recent work including advising Western Union on its acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments. This USD1 billion deal required notification across multiple jurisdictions.
Tim Cowen is flagged by sources for his "excellent appreciation of client needs" and for providing commercially strategic legal advice. He draws on experience of having worked in the telecoms sector and for the CAT.
"Proactive and responsive" Davina Garrod
of Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP enters the rankings amidst glowing praise from market sources. She brings a grasp of the financial services sector and is highlighted as an "experienced antitrust lawyer"
who "really understands our business."
heads the group at Bristows, drawing extensive praise from clients for her "pragmatic and commercially aware"
advice. She represented Samsung Electronics in litigation against Apple regarding global competition issues.
remains a highly respected figure since arriving at Winston & Strawn. He is acknowledged for his impressive experience in both disputed and non-contentious matters, and is singled out for delivering "good advice in a timely manner."
of Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP continues to impress sources with his all-encompassing grasp of competition law. His respected practice is enhanced by time spent working at the OFT, and he has a particular focus on the communications, technology and media sectors.
Clients comment that Ajal Notowicz
of Dickson Minto WS is "on top of the details"
and provides "a clear commercial view,"
adding that he "excels at the task in hand."
He advised Cavendish Square Partners on the successfully cleared merger of social housing service providers Keepmoat and Apollo.
heads the group at Gates and Partners and is applauded for his expertise in the interplay between competition and aviation law. Flybe Group sought his services regarding a joint venture with Finnair and in a complaint against Gatwick Airport.
leads the team at Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, earning acclaim for his "in-depth knowledge"
of a wide number of industries. He represented Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group in its high-profile anti-dumping case against the Council of the European Union.
Market commentators highlight Hill Dickinson LLP's Philip Wareham
for his "wealth of experience"
in European competition law. He maintains his strong focus on the health and shipping sectors, with recent work including acting for DFDS Seaways in the Dover Harbour inquiry.
of Hausfeld & Co LLP is praised by sources as "the leading UK practitioner in the private enforcement of competition rights."
He is noted for his work representing claimants in cartel damages actions and is highlighted by clients for his "creative approach."
"Articulate, approachable" Howard Cartlidge
of Olswang is valued by clients for "submitting exceptionally well-researched and well-written advice to our company."
He counsels clients such as Microsoft and the British Horseracing Authority.
of Kirkland & Ellis International LLP applies a broad-based understanding of competition law to assisting his clients. He has particular strength in the financial services and transport sectors, and represented Lafarge in the Competition Commission's review of a projected £1.8 billion joint venture with Anglo American.
Market sources highlight Douglas Lahnborg
of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP as "proactive"
and able to provide "strategic, commercially sound advice."
He remains respected for his grasp of both UK and European competition law.
The ranking of Stephen Smith
of RPC (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP) is supported by excellent feedback from commentators. Clients value his "experience, depth of knowledge and the practical and innovative ways in which this is communicated."
His expertise extends to all key areas of competition law, including merger control and antitrust investigations.
The "extremely responsive" Emanuela Lecchi
is commended for her work heading the competition practice group at Watson, Farley & Williams. She works with clients such as Cable & Wireless Communications and Three UK, and is noted for her expertise in the communications, energy and finance industries.
of SNR Denton is characterised by sources as "pragmatic, commercial and technically strong,"
impressing with his ability to combine competition law knowledge with industry expertise. He advised Total on acquiring OFT clearance for the sale of its downstream business to Rontec.
The "clear, solution-focused" Diarmuid Ryan
of Squire Sanders is noted for his extensive experience in merger control, behavioural investigations and other key areas of competition law. He "makes sure his advice reflects the real commercial needs of us as a client."
of Weil, Gotshal & Manges is applauded for his strong commercial capabilities and ability to provide an in-depth understanding of merger control and joint venture concerns. He advised Sanofi on the competition elements of its USD20 billion takeover of Genzyme.
leads the competition team at Taylor Wessing LLP and is held in high regard by sources for his strengths across the board. A major highlight from the last year was his role in the successful defence of Ricoh against a claim brought in the High Court.
His colleague Louisa Penny
garners praise for an effective approach that is "adaptable to client needs."
She offers experience in cartel investigations, behavioural advice and merger control clearance and has worked with clients such as Provimi Holding in the last year.
of Bird & Bird is widely acclaimed by commentators for his excellent command of all aspects of competition law. He is deemed "thorough, detailed in his analysis and keen to engage with the customer."
He represented the Football Association in a pay TV appeal before the CAT.
also of Bird & Bird is highly valued by clients for his pragmatic approach and broad-based expertise. His experience in the energy arena, where he works with key clients such as National Grid, is strongly highlighted by sources.
leads the London competition practice at Jones Day and is highly praised for her "great business focus and commercial awareness,"
as well as the depth of her expertise. Her recent work includes representing Apple in the OFT and Commission investigations into the e-book trade.
of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is a first port of call for clients on competition litigation and investigations. He also handles merger control work, as seen by his representation of China National Agrochemical Corporation in the acquisition of shares in Makhteshim Agan Industries.
"Charming, capable" Simon Neill
splits his time between Osborne Clarke's London and Bristol offices. His recent work includes acting for Everything Everywhere on its joint venture with Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK. "He isn't afraid to challenge other partners or companies to put his views across,"
notes one source.
of Keystone Law "quickly gets to the heart of the issue, anticipating all the angles and identifying solutions to achieve clients' objectives reasonably and proportionately."
She provides strategic advice on competition compliance and other regulatory matters to clients from a broad cross-section of industries.
of Charles Russell LLP attracts praise for being "prompt, clear and concise in the advice he delivers."
He has a thorough understanding of the media and communications sectors, as exemplified by his recent work advising ITV on the competition elements of its acquisition of Jersey-headquartered Channel Television.
oversees the team at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and is held in high regard as a "friendly," "easy-to-deal-with"
solicitor "who really knows his stuff."
He advised Technicolor on a Commission cartel investigation.
of Speechly Bircham LLP draws warm acclaim from market commentators. His expertise in competition law is extensive, as is his understanding of the technology and media sectors. Clients note that "he knows us well so we don't need to teach him all over again."
of Bond Pearce LLP enters the rankings this year backed by praise from market commentators. He provides "clear, commercial, good-value advice"
to clients in the postal, energy, defence and retail sectors.
has joined Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP after leaving Freshfields. He continues to impress sources with the depth of his experience across a mixture of competition concerns.