Cartels and abuse of dominance

Overview

We advise on a wide variety of competition investigations, including cartels, abuse of dominance, resale price maintenance, market studies and market investigations, as well as EU sector inquiries.

We have acted for companies that have been investigated for alleged cartel behaviour and, as a result of the tactics and strategies adopted by us for our clients, have secured significant reductions in the fines that would otherwise have been imposed by the European and UK authorities.

Much of our work involves seeking to mitigate the fines that might be imposed on our clients, as well as any damage that may attach to their reputations as a result of such investigations. In this respect, we have secured that allegations against clients have been dropped whilst actions have continued to be pursued against others (often resulting in fines for those third parties). This has led not only to no fines being imposed but also the very significant, but unquantifiable, benefit of our clients' names not being associated with anti-competitive conduct. We also have experience of securing substantial discounts in the fines imposed by negotiating an "early resolution" under new procedures recently introduced by the Office of Fair Trading.

Many cartels and other types of anti-competitive arrangement have cross-border repercussions. As regulators communicate ever more closely with one another, we regularly work with foreign law firms around the world to ensure that consistent messages are transmitted to all relevant competition authorities.

Our services include:

  • managing dawn raids;
  • managing complex and detailed data collection and information requests;
  • handling leniency applications;
  • negotiating "early settlement" agreements with regulators;
  • performing advocacy services on behalf of clients (eg at so-called "oral hearings"); and
  • appealing adverse decisions (whether to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the UK or the European Courts in Luxembourg).

Recognition

  • "Highlighted by clients for its excellent client service."

    Chambers UK 2013

  • Recognised by Global Competition Review as a world-leading competition practice.

    Global Competition Review

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