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Craig Pouncey

Craig Pouncey

Managing Partner

Craig has been managing partner of the Brussels office since 2005.



His practice encompasses a broad range of sectors from telecoms and media (he is acknowledged as the leading expert on UK newspaper mergers) and telecoms, to manufacturing industries, music, e-commerce and financial services.

He is particularly active in the Asia-Pacific area, advising clients from the region on a variety of issues including recent high profile EU Commission cartel investigations, as well as on the merger control issues raised by inward investment plans. He liaises closely with partners across the Herbert Smith Freehills network in providing the co-ordinated multi-jurisdictional advice which is increasingly critical for companies operating internationally.

Craig speaks and writes on a variety of competition topics: recent publications have dealt with the specific merger control issues raised by Chinese SOE acquisitions, minority share-holdings and private equity transactions. He speaks fluent French.

Craig has advised:

  • Chiquita before the European Court of First Instance in high-level litigation seeking damages against the European Commission for failure to comply with the outcome of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute
  • Carnival Corporation on the European Commission’s merger clearance of its £3.5 billion hostile bid for P&O Princess Cruises
  • The Government of Antigua and Barbuda in its WTO action against the United States’ ban on cross-border gambling and betting services
  • Aberdeen Journals, a subsidiary of Northcliffe Newspapers, in connection with proceedings brought by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) under the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act 1998, in which the OFT found that Aberdeen Journals had engaged in predatory pricing; and two subsequent appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal


Craig studied at King's College London and the universities of Paris and Nice, before qualifying as a Barrister in 1985. He joined Herbert Smith in 1987 and has been based in Brussels since 1994, when he became a partner.