Membre (Liste E) de l'Ordre français des avocats au Barreau de Bruxelles
I'm head of the Antitrust team of 10 lawyers, described as 'intelligent and cutting-edge', covering everything EU and competition has to offer.
Tel: +44 (0)870 733 0649
Best brains in ...
Thinking outside accepted orthodoxies to get a commercial result for the client; cartels work and litigation - and just good old 'quick n dirty' telephone advice.
Highlight of your career so far?
In the Land Rover v UPF (UK) Ltd case I covered the antitrust angle of litigation when Land Rover was being held to ransom by the liquidator of a supplier. We used Article 82 in an unusual way - to good effect and got a mandatory injunction awarded in Land Rover's favour and were able to settle the case. It mattered a lot to me as I grew up next to the Land Rover plant in Solihull and it was a privilege to use competition law in a creative way to make a difference.
Most challenging job you've ever done?
Where I was the lead partner in a full-blown Competition Commission investigation acting for both parties, which is both unusual and demanding. It was also highly cost-effective! Acting for one party before the CC usually requires stamina - acting for two was a real stretch. In retrospect, it was also great to challenge ourselves and our support staff.
What about outside the UK?
Part of the 'bread and butter' work in our practice is acting for US and other non-EU corporations covering the non-US side of merger clearances. We are used to turning around a position on 60 jurisdictions in double-quick time and working some funny hours in view of time differences... mind you, we once got a Guam lawyer out of bed...
Dedication to client care? Prove it!
Pulling the CEO of a client out of a bar at midnight to let him know the European Commission had just emailed me to say it wanted to run with his complaint. As the company was about to fold and this would save the day, as it did, he had no objection to being disturbed.
Best example of a creative legal solution?
Our Straight & Narrow online compliance programme. I was sick of reviewing tired old hard copy compliance programmes and so designed the programme. There are now a few other programmes around, but none of them have the 'fun element' of ours - or ease the burden of in-house counsel!
When have you ever given a client a real competitive edge?
In breaking the deadlock on a major piece of litigation by turning the competition law arguments back on the client's adversary. The case settled and our client was paid - luckily shortly before the adversary went bust.
Wragge & Co's food sector specialists consider the most recent statement of policy in this sector, as given by Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the Commission responsible for Competition Policy.
The UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills has announced its plans for the reform of private actions in competition law. The reforms aim to expedite justice by making it substantially easier for consumers and businesses (SMEs in particular) to seek redress for competition law infringements.
The Competition Commission (Commission) has published the issues statement in the proposed merger of The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
In its judgment in Expedia v Autorité de la concurrence last week, the ECJ confirmed that national competition authorities are empowered under European Union (EU) competition law to investigate agreements, arrangements and understandings between companies which have only limited market shares.
Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down its judgment in respect of AstraZeneca's appeal against its €52.5 million fine imposed by the European Commission for abuse of a dominant position. The decision comes some thirteen years since the initial complaint in this matter.
The European Commission has responded to mounting concerns regarding the rising cost of food in the EU by launching its own internal Food Task Force within the Directorate-General of Competition.
On 8 December 2011, the OFT issued its report on the private healthcare market study announcing its proposed decision to make a market investigation reference (MIR) to the Competition Commission. There is now a period of consultation up to 30 January 2012 before the reference decision can be made.
The European Commission is undertaking a review of the current EU competition rules on technology transfer agreements, namely the technology transfer block exemption regulation (TTBER), in order to consider whether they should be modified or replaced when they expire in April 2014.
After announcing plans to establish the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), an independent body to monitor and enforce the revised Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), the Government issued a draft GCA Bill in May.
On 3 August 2010, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced the Government's decision to establish an independent body to monitor and enforce the revised Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).
Make sure you stay clear of the competition minefield. Bernardine Adkins gives a brief guide.
From 6 April 2011, all land agreements will become subject to competition law. Following a consultation which ran from October 2010 to January 2011, the Office of Fair Trading has published the final form of its guidance on how competition law will be applied to land agreements.
On 11 March 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) handed down its judgment in respect of six appeals lodged by 25 companies against the magnitude of the fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) following its investigation into the UK construction sector.
The European Commission has published the stakeholder submissions it received on its consultation on horizontal cooperation agreements. Of the 100-plus responses received, the key areas of controversy have been around intellectual property rights.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced this morning that Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to pay a penalty of £10.2 million for an abuse of dominant position in the market for the NHS supply of alginate and antacid heartburn medicines.
On 14 September 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union gave its much awaited judgment in Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd and Akcros Chemicals Ltd v European Commission.
Are your land agreements facing an uncertain future?
Last week, the Labour Party, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats rolled out their manifestos ahead of the general election on 6 May 2010.
Each manifesto alludes to the GSCOP which came into force on 4 February 2010 through The Groceries (Supply Chain Practices) Market Investigation Order 2009.
The Groceries (Supply Chain Practices Market Investigation) Order 2009 (GSCOP) came into effect on 4 February 2010. The Order requires certain supermarkets to have written terms with the majority of their suppliers of goods for resale in place.
On 4 February 2010 the Groceries (Supply Chain Practices Market Investigation) Order 2009 (the Order) comes into effect.
Wragge & Co has provided comments on the European Commission's consultation on the draft vertical restraints block exemption and draft guidelines on supply and distribution agreements.
Ian Norris, former CEO of Morgan Crucible, has failed in his latest attempt to avoid extradition to the US and faces spending the rest of his retirement at President Obama's pleasure.
As the European Commission announced today its largest-ever fine of €1.06 billion on chip maker Intel Corporation, the US is gearing up to take a more aggressive tack towards redressing monopolistic practices.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has applied the so-called 'failing firm' defence for the first time since issuing a restatement of its position in December 2008.
Recent changes to German competition law have heralded in Spring for corporate and antitrust lawyers engaged in multi-jurisdictional mergers.
At a conference in Brussels today, the European Commission delivered its preliminary findings on the Pharmaceutical Sector Inquiry.
Only this month, the European Commission imposed its highest total and individual fines yet on an illegal market-sharing cartel which took place in the car glass manufacturing sector.
As today's headlines show, there's yet more evidence that the competition authorities will stop at nothing to bring the perpetrators of anti-competitive behaviour to justice.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has finally used the sharpest instrument in its cartel-busting toolkit, with the first prison sentences being passed against three British businessmen (a combined term of over eight years) under the cartel offence.
On 5 June 2008, the Competition Commission (CC) published its provisional findings regarding competition in the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) industry.
The Competition Commission's (CC) final report on competition in the grocery market has been published today, following a three-year investigation. The verdict is largely a clean bill of health for the supermarket chains.
The House of Lords has today confirmed that Ian Norris, former chief executive of Morgan Crucible, will not be extradited to the US on the charge of price-fixing.
In a public presentation yesterday,1 Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner responsible for competition, has announced that the European Commission is preparing an assault on anti-competitive practices in the energy sector.
As an incentive to airlines to reduce the escalating greenhouse gas emissions from international flights, the European Commission is proposing to fix the number of emission allowances for each operator.
Wragge & Co has been crowned 'Litigation and Regulatory Team of the Year' at the 2011 British Legal Awards. The judges named the firm the winner from a shortlist comprising Freshfields, Herbert Smith, Rosenblatt Solicitors, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Taylor Wessing.
Wragge & Co's corporate experts have advised agricultural services group Origin Enterprises on its £19 million acquisition of the fertiliser activities of Carrs Milling Industries PLC, CM Fertilisers Limited.
Today the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has handed down judgment in the Office of Fair Trading's biggest-ever case, which concerned 'cover pricing' in the construction industry.
Wragge & Co LLP has advised De Rigo, Italian parent company of Dollond & Aitchison, on creating the UK's second largest optical chain. De Rigo and Alliance Boots have agreed to merge Dollond & Aitchison and Boots Opticians.
Wragge & Co LLP has boosted its Life Sciences practice with the appointment of Dr Luke Kempton as a partner. With significant expertise in life sciences litigation, Luke will be a major force in driving forward the life sciences practice.
With the OFT breathing down our necks, it would be wise not to get caught out on competition rules because you didn't know they existed.
Construction companies accused by the OFT will be wondering how bad things are going to be for them. Here's the answer.
Make sure you stay clear of the competition minefield. Bernardine Adkins gives a brief guide.