Competition disputes are now firmly part of the antitrust landscape, with private enforcement of competition law – both multimillion follow-on cartel damages claims and standalone litigation – having risen massively in recent years.
We are at the forefront of these developments and ideally placed to deal with the substantive, procedural and tactical challenges in this rapidly evolving area. We help clients set strategy, manage risks and conduct disputes, working with them to achieve successful resolutions, whether in court or by settlement.
Appeals of antitrust, merger and economic regulatory decisions are also increasingly common, given the high stakes involved. We guide clients across multiple jurisdictions through the decision whether to launch an appeal, and conduct complex and often highly technical challenges to the decisions of competition and economic regulators, both on behalf of addressees and third parties. We have a significant track record of delivering excellent results for clients in such business critical disputes.
Our Competition Disputes practice is integrated within our Competition, Regulation and Trade team and the wider Dispute Resolution team, providing clients with a seamless service taking a cartel case, for example, from leniency application to dawn raid to appeal to damages action, and managing the interplay between public and private enforcement.
The practice is supported by our innovative and cost-effective Belfast-based document review and management function, with advanced facilities for reviewing and analysing the large volumes of documents found in major contentious cases. This means we offer an additional edge in competition litigation, particularly where relevant cases progress towards the disclosure stage.
Advising on three appeal procedures before the EU General Court against fines totalling €300 million imposed on it by the European Commission in the hydrogen peroxide, methacrylates and sodium chlorate cases, successfully securing a colossal reduction in a cartel fine from €219.1 million to €113.3 million in the methacrylates case
Advising on multiple follow-on and stand-alone private damages actions arising out of the (then) UK Office of Fair Trading's decision, in which it found that Reckitt Benckiser abused its dominant position in relation to the supply of Gaviscon, including claims brought by around 200 individual health trust claimants and a number of competitors
Advising on various follow-on damages actions in the English High Court and CAT arising out of the European Commission's cartel decision concerning animal feed phosphates
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Advising on its complaint against the takeover of bmi by IAG and its appeal in the EU General Court against the European Commission's decision authorising the IAG/bmi acquisition, as well as on its class action settlement covering US and UK consumers related to cartel investigations into long-haul passenger fuel surcharges
Advising on defending damages claims in the English High Court arising out of the European Commission refrigeration compressors cartel decision
Advising on its defence of follow-on damages claims in the UK and Germany arising out of the European Commission car glass and flat glass cartel decisions, as well as on related EU litigation (appeals against the Commission infringement decision and fine and in relation to the confidentiality of the decision)