EU, competition & anti-trust

EU, competition & anti-trust

"Simon Barnes has a strong competition law practice, advising clients on merger control matters as well as representing them in CMA investigations. He is also highlighted for his "pragmatic approach" and "great business acumen.""

Chambers UK 2017

The consequences of 'getting it wrong' with regard to competition law can be drastic.

Businesses risk fines of up to 10% of group turnover, damages claims by third parties, obligations to alter business conduct and, of course, reputational damage. There can also be significant sanctions for individual members of staff.

Our EU and competition law team works closely with businesses to help them minimise the risk of competition law infringements. If they do arise, though, we are on hand to help manage matters effectively.

Clients value our ability to develop and implement effective competition law compliance initiatives for their staff. Like them, we recognise that a 'one size fits all' approach to compliance training rarely works.

Instead, we offer a range of compliance services that can be tailored to meet the needs of the business, and which deliver key compliance messages in a way that is relevant and accessible to the intended audience.

Our clients regularly call on us for competition law advice relating to their commercial arrangements. We pride ourselves on understanding our clients' businesses and the markets in which they operate. This enables us to provide practical, commercial advice on day-to-day and strategic issues.

In our experience, many competition law 'issues' can be managed effectively, without undue interference with the business' commercial activities. However, if and when the competition authorities become involved, we have significant experience in handling such matters, including investigations before the Competition & Markets Authority and the European Commission.

Work highlights

  • Advising Saint-Gobain Group in the UK on compliance issues, including annual training of several hundred customer-facing staff
  • Advising Experian Plc on a range of merger control and compliance issues, including the Office of Fair Trading study into car insurance information sharing
  • Advising several of the main players in the white goods sector on compliance issues, including removal of the Domestic Electrical Goods Order.
  • Advising a leading Midlands based car manufacturer on changes to its dealer agreements to comply with pending removal of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption.
  • We have recently developed a competition law e-learning product, which we are rolling out to a number of clients (either as a standalone product or alongside Shoosmiths' other e-learning products).