Competition

“Advises on all aspects of UK and EU competition law.”

The Legal 500 UK 2014
Blake Morgan’s Competition team provides expert advice across the full spectrum of UK and EU competition law to protect your business from potential commercial and legal threats.

Main areas of practice

Competition law has a significant impact on businesses. It applies not only to mergers, state aid and public procurement, but also to day-to-day commercial agreements and practices.

Whether you are experiencing operational issues, minimising risks of anti-competitive behaviour, are being investigated by a regulator, are being sued or are embarking on a programme to sue, our highly experienced competition specialists will help protect your enterprise.

We can also provide excellent advice to show you how the law can be used to your commercial advantage.

Significant experience

Examples of how are Competition team specialists have successfully helped clients, across a wide range of industry sectors, include advising:

  • A recruitment agency alleged by the Office of Fair Trading to have been involved in a cartel. The case ran for 5 years and included a successful appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which resulted in the OFT's guidance on fixing penalties in cartel cases being re-written.
  • A client accused by the OFT alleging anti-competitive behaviour via price-fixing. This is one of the most serious offences. We reviewed the client’s re-selling arrangements and considered market share file without penalties. In addition, we developed a competition compliance policy with our client and advised on staff training, definitions and established whether they were dominant in their market. We responded to the OFT’s letter, co-operating throughout the investigation and achieved closure of the OFT.
  • The operator of a UK passenger train franchise on competition aspects of regulated network access, commercial agreements and procurement, competition compliance generally, the effect of the Enterprise Act and an OFT Competition Act investigation.
  • A well-known international publisher on sector dominance issues.
  • A distributor in dispute with a manufacturer supplier who objected to its products being sold by a particular discount retailer. The manufacturer had threatened to suspend supplies to our client unless it stopped supplying the discount retailer. We advised our client on legal rights before a meeting and drafted a letter to the manufacturer. Full supplies to our client were re-established and they have continued to supply the discount retailer.
  • A client on a joint venture company in salad growing with a Spanish company. There was to be an exclusive agreement to supply all of the salad grown to our client. We highlighted the potential anti-competitive nature of the arrangements, and established that a suitable EU exemption was available and subsequently advised on the arrangements.
  • On the structuring of a worldwide development, an IP licensing arrangement and the impact of EU law for a major manufacturer for the pharmaceutical industry.

“The team’s expertise and understanding of the way in which the Co-operation and Competition Panel were likely to approach the merger business case was extremely helpful in developing the strategic approach the Trust undertook.”

Jan Fowler, Former CEO Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Helpful case on legal privilege in regulatory investigations

News

The doctrine of legal privilege prevents an investigator from seeing documents which have been created for the purpose of obtaining and giving legal advice.

2 Travel Group PLC recovers damages pursuant to section 47A Competition Act 1998

News

We highlight a claim brought by 2 Travel Group plc against Cardiff City Transport Services Limited for damages pursuant to section 47A of the Competition Act 1998.

OFT gives its reasons for the decision to refer anticipated acquisition of Gala Casinos Limited by Rank Group Plc to the Competition Commission

Sarah Rees comments on the recent decision by the OFT to refer the anticipated acquisition of Gala Casinos Ltd by Rank Group Plc to the Competition Commission.

Regulation of land use by OFT

We look at restrictive covenants and exclusivity agreements that benefit the major supermarkets, which can now be challenged through the regulator.