Competition enforcers across the globe are working to identify, investigate and sanction cartels and other anti-competitive behaviour including abuse of market power/dominance. Infringements of competition law carry massive risks: huge fines, significant reputational damage, criminal prosecutions and multi-million damages actions.
We partner with clients worldwide to defend their interests when facing investigation, regularly dealing with multiple regulators across borders. We provide support on a wide range of activities, from advising on leniency/immunity and settlement strategy, carrying out internal investigations, responding to dawn raids, to handling data/document requests.
Our advice is clear, pragmatic and tactical, in order to avoid/minimise potential fines and reputational damage, always anticipating the impact of early steps on investigations in other jurisdictions and future damages actions. We also have extensive experience in dealing with the interplay with personal criminal liability and probes by other regulators (eg financial services regulators).
Our expertise and resources include:
- full-service coverage from our integrated team, taking a behavioural case from leniency application to dawn raid to appeal to damages action
- formidable breadth and depth of experience in non-cartel antitrust investigations in respect of both anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance/misuse of market power, including representing clients in investigations at the cutting edge of competition law (eg those concerning geoblocking, information sharing, online and other innovative distribution models, access pricing, and patent life-cycle management)
- extensive contentious expertise acting for third parties seeking to challenge the conduct of a competitor or supplier, whether through complaints and advocacy to a competition authority or court action (see also our Competition Disputes page)
- strategic advice across a range of sectors on commercial agreements and market conduct, including how to structure arrangements to ensure competition law compliance and in applying for pre-authorisation in relevant jurisdictions.
We also work to design and implement internal compliance programmes for our clients, offering a number of options ranging from targeted training sessions, inter-active case studies and mock dawn raids to a detailed online e-learning programme. For more information on our online compliance programmes, please contact any member of our team.
Advising in connection with the European Commission's cartel investigation into high voltage underground and sub-sea power cables, and in relation to its on-going appeal before the EU General Court
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Advising on the UK Office of Fair Trading's investigation into anti-competitive behaviour in respect of passenger services on the London to Hong Kong route
A leading financial institution
Advising on the high-profile investigations by the European Commission and the UK Financial Conduct Authority into suspected manipulation of foreign exchange (forex) rates
Advising in the largest and most complex cartel investigation by the Federal Cartel Office into alleged price fixing between branded goods manufacturers and supermarkets in Germany and Austria
Advising on the investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission into alleged misuse of market power and associated litigation in the Federal Court
Advising on the European Commission's investigation into pay TV services