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Competition, Regulation and Trade

Navigating a dynamic environment of evolving regulation and global enforcement


Competition and antitrust laws are constantly evolving – increasing in complexity (both at national and supranational levels) with private enforcement rising significantly in recent years. Similarly, regulation is ever-increasing and ever-more complex, whether adopted at the national, supranational or international level.

Our team is at the forefront of these developments, and ideally placed to navigate the legal challenges that arise in this constantly evolving area.

We advise clients in a wide range of industries across the full spectrum of competition, regulation and trade-related issues:

  • Our competition law team has a distinguished track record of delivering results for clients in the most challenging cases, navigating EU and national competition laws across Europe and globally;
  • Our regulatory law team has extensive experience in a diverse range of economic regulatory frameworks as well as expertise in the interface of regulatory practice and competition law, meaning we are well-placed to help clients who are subject to industry-specific regulation. Furthermore, our teams across Europe and Asia have increasingly been advising clients on how the changing landscape in foreign investment regulation globally may impact their businesses directly and indirectly; and,
  • Our international trade and WTO law team is dedicated to assisting clients in minimising the risks and maximising the opportunities deriving from the ever increasing regulation of international trade in goods and services.

Furthermore, our in-depth knowledge of regulators, courts, policymakers and their workings from former secondees, officials and judges means we are well-equipped to deliver clear, pragmatic and bespoke advice to our clients, helping them to achieve their strategic objectives.

The global nature of many our clients’ businesses is complemented by our international footprint and cross-border capability. Across our global network, we can provide a comprehensive and integrated cross-border service to our local and international clients.


Recent Experience


In a landmark criminal cartel prosecution brought by the ACCC and the CDPP regarding an institutional placement by Australian and New Zealand Banking Group in 2015 – this is the first time the ACCC has alleged cartel conduct in relation to trading in securities


On the merger control aspects of the sale of the European Business of LSG Group to airline caterer gategroup (including securing conditional Phase I clearance before the European Commission)


In connection with its appeals against a decision by the French Competition Authority fining a group of French banks for collusion in relation to interbank fees on cheques


In connection with its appeal before the National Court against a decision by the CMNC fining Europac €5.3 million following an investigation into paper and cardboard producers in Spain


In competition law proceedings commenced by the ACCC involving the interaction of Visa’s rules and dynamic currency conversion


Advising a Japanese electric and electronics equipment company in the administrative proceedings and subsequent appeals before the EU courts in the Power Cables cartel case

Our solutions



Competition enforcers across the globe are working to identify, investigate and sanction cartels and other anti-competitive behaviour...
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Competition disputes

Competition Litigation

Competition disputes are now firmly part of the antitrust landscape, with private enforcement of competition law – both multimillion follow...
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Economic regulation

Economic Regulation

Major infrastructure owners and service providers in industries such as energy, telecommunications, rail, water, aviation and ports are...
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EU law and litigation

EU Regulation

The EU is at the origin of an ever-increasing amount of complex regulation, which can be general or sector-specific. EU laws are constantly...
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Foreign investment regulation

Foreign Direct Investment

Public interest scrutiny in the M&A process is on the increase globally, against the backdrop of amplified protectionist rhetoric and...
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International trade and WTO

International Trade and WTO

Our international trade group is dedicated to assisting clients in maximising the opportunities and minimising the risks deriving from the...
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Merger Control

Merger Control

Merger control regimes have multiplied across the globe, with effective merger control strategy and its execution key to the timing and...
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State Aid and Subsidy

State Aid and Subsidy Control

State aid and subsidy control have become increasingly prominent as Governments continue to take a more interventionist approach to...
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Global Elite – Ranked amongst the Top 25 competition practices globally

Global Competition Review 2021 (ninth consecutive year)
Having lawyers with a deep understanding of local law systems is the most advantageous point of their firm and enables them to provide multi-jurisdictional law advice in quite an effective way.
Chambers Global 2021 – Global-wide: Competition/Antitrust
Discussing a European competition mandate, one client comments that "the team are very knowledgeable on both the EU and UK legal requirements to help us clarify the issue we are dealing with."
Chambers Global 2021 – Global-wide: Competition/Antitrust
We use Herbert Smith Freehills when matters are particularly complex and important, and for the toughest matters, especially those involving the ACCC.
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Australia: Competition/Antitrust

Insights and updates

20th March 2023
In our chapter of the Asia-Pacific Antitrust Review 2023 we provide a snapshot of broad...
9th March 2023
As part of the ACCC’s annual CEDA address, Gina Cass-Gottlieb reflected on her first 12...
22nd February 2023
High adoption of emerging technologies, and a regulatory landscape struggling to keep up.
24th January 2023
The EU's controversial extension of its carbon market regime to foreign producers takes shape

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