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Competition Litigation

Experts in complex competition litigation across multiple jurisdictions


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.

Furthermore, the growth in collective redress and other group litigation mechanisms, through the introduction of an "opt-out" class action regime in the UK in October 2015, is increasingly gaining momentum.

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.

We are consistently instructed on the largest, most high profile competition litigation cases. Our cross-practice team 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

COMPETITION NOTES - Find the latest developments on our blog.


Tier 1 for Competition Litigation

The Legal 500 UK, 2020
Highly knowledgeable partners who understand the law and are great at determining the litigation strategy; the team is also strong at associate level.
The Legal 500 UK, Competition Litigation
They are particularly strong in competition disputes matters, which includes both private litigation and government investigations.
The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020, Australia: Competition
Commentators report that Herbert Smith Freehills is "one of the strongest firms for competition litigation.
Chambers UK, 2019
One of the pre-eminent firms for competition litigation" and is "at the forefront of the leading cases.
One source commented - The Legal 500 UK, 2019

Recent Experience


On appeals before the EU courts stemming from the European Commission's decision in the Power Cables cartel case


On its defence of follow-on damages claims in the UK and Germany stemming from the European Commission's car glass and flat glass cartel decisions, as well as on related EU litigation


On multiple follow-on and stand-alone private damages actions stemming from the (then) UK OFT's decision, in which it found that Reckitt Benckiser abused its dominant position in relation to the supply of Gaviscon


In multiple litigation matters concerning the claimed monopoly right by the national postal utility over letters and small parcels


On an appeal brought by two trade associations before the Spanish National Court challenging the CMNC's decision to close their investigation regarding the cooperation agreement entered into between the two retailers for the joint negotiation of commercial conditions with large suppliers


Our People

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Competition, Regulation and Trade

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

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

State Aid

There has been a significant increase in State aid enforcement and litigation over the last few years. Most recently, State aid enforcement...
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