Stephen has over 20 years' experience and has been involved in a significant number of landmark competition and regulatory cases at EU and UK level. He specialises in all aspects of EU and UK competition law, including merger control, cartels and abuse of dominance cases, market investigations, competition disputes and strategic advice. Stephen advises clients across a broad range of sectors including financial services, media (particularly broadcasting), telecoms, energy, pharmaceuticals and professional services.
As a competition litigator, Stephen has conducted complex competition disputes (both regulatory appeals and private enforcement). He has conducted cases before national competition authorities, in the European courts and the High Court of England and Wales, as well being involved in numerous cases in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) since its inception. Stephen is a qualified solicitor advocate and has appeared as counsel in the CAT and the European Court of Justice. He is also a member of the CAT Users Group.
Stephen also advises clients on the application of economic regulation and on contentious regulatory matters particularly in relation to telecoms and all forms of media. His cases are often complex and invariably involve highly technical expert evidence.
Stephen speaks and publishes extensively on competition law issues, particularly in relation to competition litigation issues, and was closely involved in the consultation on the revised CAT Rules published in September 2015.
Stephen's experience includes advising:
- Sky on the merger control and media plurality and broadcasting standards aspects of Twenty-First Century Fox's proposed £11.7 billion acquisition of Sky
- Pilkington on the European Commission flat glass and car glass cartel investigations, subsequent appeals to the General Court and the European Court of Justice, and in defending a series of follow-on damages actions
- Sky on a wide spectrum of regulatory litigation, including in respect of Pay TV (including BT's most recent appeal in the Competition Appeal Tribunal) and telecommunications (wholesale broadband price controls, Ethernet and VULA)
- Reckitt Benckiser on multiple follow-on and stand-alone private damages actions arising out of the (then) UK Office of Fair Trading's abuse of dominance infringement decision relating to Gaviscon
Stephen is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in Australia and a solicitor/solicitor advocate in England and Wales. Prior to joining Herbert Smith he conducted competition litigation in Australia, which also involved appearing as counsel.
Stephen is a member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal Users group.