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Competition/antitrust

Our competition team has grown substantially in recent times, which has allowed us to strengthen and enhance our existing practice across the board, offering our clients a comprehensive range of advice and expertise. We cover all aspects of EU and UK competition law including merger control, antitrust litigation, cartels and investigations, state aid, compliance and other behavioural advice.

Having been involved in some of the most ground-breaking cases that have shaped the way in which competition law is enforced in the UK today, our insight and expertise gives assurance to our clients when navigating these sensitive matters.

The team now has over 20 lawyers, including those based in our office in Brussels. Some of the sectors in which we have particularly strong expertise are pharmaceuticals, financial services, media & telecoms, consumer and betting & gaming. In relation to the pharmaceuticals sector, we are involved in a significant proportion of cases currently before the CAT.

Our clients look to us for guidance on business critical matters. For instance, we regularly advise clients in relation to “dawn raids”, where they are being raided by the regulatory authorities. Some of the areas we typically provide advice to clients include:

  • cartels and anti-competitive agreements;
  • abuse of dominance;
  • competition complaints to regulatory authorities;
  • competition investigations, including leniency applications;
  • market studies and investigations;
  • competition litigation, including appealing regulatory decisions, standalone action and follow-on claims;
  • merger control, including advising interested third parties and opposing mergers;
  • state aid;
  • public and utilities procurement;
  • compliance programmes, training and audit;
  • joint ventures, strategic alliance and collaborative arrangements;
  • competition issues in distribution, licensing and franchising; and
  • regulated industry matters.

What people are saying

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"They have great in-depth experience of competition law damages claims both in the UK and at European level. A very commercial team."

Chambers UK 2022

"They are easy to work with, and have the right mix of experience levels on the cases. The advice is always well balanced between the purely legal and the commercial."

Chambers UK 2022

"Great in depth knowledge amongst solicitors in this specialist field. Adept at handling large scale competition law litigation including cartel damages claims and before the European courts."

The UK Legal 500 2022

"Key strengths are the combination of deep industry/commercial knowledge with exceptionally sharp legal minds. You can trust the Competition team to cut through and give practical and detailed advice and work incredibly efficiently and effectively."

The UK Legal 500 2022

"Macfarlanes has forged a unique combination of commercial litigation and competition expertise. They combine a deep knowledge of competition law with the experience of heavyweight commercial litigators."

The UK Legal 500 2022

"Interviewees say that the lawyers are ‘sure-footed in their client handling’ and praise their ‘creative thinking; if there's a hurdle they are able to think of ways to get over it’."

Chambers UK 2020