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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


On the merger control and regulatory aspects of (i) its £22 billion acquisition by Comcast, (ii) its proposed acquisition by Fox and (iii) Disney's proposed acquisition of Fox


As European coordinating competition litigation counsel in relation to follow-on damages claims stemming from the European Commission's settlement decision in Trucks cartel case


On the merger control aspects of (i) its ridesharing joint venture with Yandex.Taxi and (ii) its US$ 3.1 billion acquisition of Careem


Advising a leading financial institution in connection with high-profile investigations by the European Commission into suspected manipulation of foreign exchange (forex) rates and subsequent litigation


On its $15 billion merger with Vodafone Hutchison Australia in the Federal Court of Australia – considered to be most significant merger litigation case to come before the ACCC in the past 10 years


In connection with its appeal against the European Commission's decision to fine Google €2.42 billion in the Google Search (Shopping) investigation

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 Law and litigation

The EU is at the origin of an ever-increasing amount of complex regulation. EU laws are constantly evolving and must be implemented and...
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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

17th November 2021
A significant new execution risk is coming to UK acquisitions from January.
4th November 2021
For the first time in 27 years, the ACCC has succeeded in obtaining an interlocutory...
20th October 2021
Resolving the simmering post-Brexit dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol is proving as tough as...
3rd September 2021
Uncertainty for business as ECJ presses Germany to bolster watchdog independence and extend scope of...

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