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Competition and Anti-Trust Law

UK competition law is designed to protect the ‘underdog’ consumer or business from anti-competitive agreements or abuse of dominant market positions. Market leader businesses cannot afford to ignore competition law because of the significant penalties for non-compliance. If your business trades internationally, you also need to be aware of the domestic competition law in the country where you are trading and the EU competition law contained in Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

e.g. London
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How do these lawyers work?

They provide legal advice to companies about compliance with antitrust and competition laws to avoid practices that could be seen as anti-competitive, such as price-fixing, market allocation, or monopolistic behaviors.

What do these lawyers do exactly?

Advising Clients:

They provide legal advice to companies about compliance with antitrust and competition laws to avoid practices that could be seen as anti-competitive, such as price-fixing, market allocation, or monopolistic behaviors.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

They help companies navigate the complexities of mergers and acquisitions, ensuring that these activities do not violate competition laws. This often involves preparing and submitting documentation to regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S. or the European Commission in the EU, and addressing any concerns these authorities may have.

Litigation and Defense

If a company is accused of violating antitrust laws, competition lawyers represent them in court. This can involve defending against government actions or private lawsuits alleging anti-competitive conduct.

Investigations:

They may be involved in government investigations into potential antitrust violations, assisting in the gathering of evidence, preparing legal strategies, and negotiating settlements or remedies.

Policy and Advocacy

Some competition lawyers work on shaping antitrust policy by advocating for changes in laws or regulations, either through lobbying efforts or by participating in discussions and advisory committees.

Compliance and Risk Assessment

They help companies develop and implement internal compliance programs to educate employees about antitrust laws and ensure that company practices are in line with legal requirements. Conducting risk assessments for clients to identify potential areas of antitrust concern and developing strategies to mitigate these risks.

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Where can you do this kind of work?

Many of the big City firms are well-regarded for their expertise in handling various aspects of competition and antitrust law, including mergers, regulatory investigations, compliance, and litigation.

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Here are some of the main players in the field:

  • Allen & Overy - Known for handling a wide range of competition and antitrust matters, especially in the financial services sector. They represent major UK and international banks and companies before EU, UK, and international competition authorities​ ​.
  • Norton Rose Fulbright - Offers extensive services in antitrust and competition, including litigation and regulatory advice. They are consistently ranked among the top firms globally for antitrust matters​ .
  • DLA Piper - Provides comprehensive antitrust services, including advising on M&A activity, defending in antitrust class actions, and managing complex governmental and private antitrust claims​ .
  • Covington & Burling LLP - Renowned for their global antitrust and competition practice, Covington guides clients through complex antitrust laws and is noted for their regulatory insight and litigation expertise​.
  • Slaughter and May - A top-tier firm known for its work on high-profile and complex competition and antitrust cases, including investigations and merger control matters​. 
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - Highly regarded for their competition law practice, they handle significant global antitrust matters and offer expert advice on mergers and regulatory investigations​. 
  • Herbert Smith Freehills - Known for their strength in handling competition litigation and providing strategic advice on competition compliance and regulatory investigations​