Cartels and abuse of dominance

We advise on a wide variety of competition enforcement matters and investigations, including cartels, abuse of dominance, resale price maintenance, market studies and market investigations / sector inquiries - both before the UK and European authorities.

We have extensive experience acting for companies that have been investigated for alleged cartel behaviour or abuse of a dominant position.

In a number of cases we have ensured 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 benefit of our clients’ names not being associated with anti-competitive conduct, which also materially reduces the risks of any related damages litigation.

We also act for clients who have suffered as a result of anti-competitive conduct and persuaded authorities to take action against third parties.

Our services include:

  • managing dawn raids;
  • managing complex and detailed data collection and information requests;
  • handling leniency applications;
  • managing any damage that may attach to clients’ reputations as a result of investigations;
  • negotiating commitments and settlement agreements;
  • performing advocacy services on behalf of clients (e.g. at so-called “oral hearings”); and
  • appealing adverse decisions (whether to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the UK or the European Courts in Luxembourg).

What people are saying


"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

"’The team is strategic, business-oriented, and very impressive in analysing complex situations'."

The UK Legal 500 2019

"'Macfarlanes stands out for its in-depth knowledge of the industry, commercial and strategically aware advice, and excellent technical legal and drafting skills’."

The UK Legal 500 2019

"'Team members understand the need for speed and concision in providing legal advice. They are also extremely flexible and consistent in their delivery, as well as very knowledgeable of the industry and the client's business. They are capable of proactively spotting less foreseeable consequences relating to taking a certain course of action’."

The UK Legal 500 2019

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

Global Competition Review