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Blackstone barristers act across an impressive range of competition matters. Benefiting from a strong background in public law, the set is a superb choice for applications for judicial review of the CMA and other UK regulators' decisions. Members act in leading cases in the technology and financial services sectors, including litigation relating to standard-essential patents, alleged market manipulation and abuse of dominance. They have been instructed in the largest follow-on damages actions in both UK and EU courts, including those concerning forex and interchange fees. They feature prominently in novel collective action cases.
"The clerks at Blackstone are responsive, sensible and pragmatic." Gary Oliver leads the team.
Brian Kennelly QC
Has a superb reputation for his skill in handling competition law cases before both UK and EU courts. He has experience on the defendant side of several of the most important cartel damages cases ongoing in the UK courts, and further earns praise for his advice on a wider range of regulatory or public law cases. Kennelly advises a diverse array of clients including those from the financial services, retail and telecommunications sectors.
"He is an excellent advocate." "He is someone I have always found to be right not just in his law but in his approach to doing things." "He has excellent, measured clarity that lets him take the court with him."
Dinah Rose QC
Widely recognised as a leading public law silk with proven experience of appealing EC, CMA or Ofcom decisions on competition law grounds. She has additional experience on the defendant side of major cartel damages cases. Interviewees highlight her superb advocacy skills.
"She is a force of nature and an effective and passionate advocate."
Regularly works with the CMA or sector regulators on the defence of judicial review proceedings brought on competition law grounds. Neill also advises both public and private sector clients on compliance topics and regulatory appeals.
"She continues to impress with her versatility, sharp intellect and commercial common-sense approach." "Her client skills are excellent, she's very responsive and keeps us updated."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for the CMA in an appeal against Ofcom's control of BT's pricing for wholesale business internet services.
Works with the set's leading silks in a range of commercial damages and regulatory cases. He acts for the EC and for Ofcom on the defence of regulatory appeals brought to the CJEU, the CAT or the Court of Appeal, and further acts for private sector appellants.
"Hanif is incredibly clear in his advice and logical in his thinking, particularly when unpicking convoluted work."
Recent work: Represented Thai Airways in relation to air cargo cartel follow-on damages claims.
James Segan QC
Assists clients from the technology and sporting industries with competition law issues, including cartel cases. He is also active on the interface between competition law and IP law, handling patent infringement matters. Segan stands out for his work in cases concerning the FRAND licensing of standard-essential patents.
"James has outstanding clarity of thought, his preparation is faultless and his advocacy style and judgement under pressure in court are amongst the best."
Recent work: Acted for Huawei in FRAND litigation against Conversant Wireless Licensing.
Has a broad competition law practice and is praised for his expert handling of private cartel damages claims, frequently advising the defendants. He also assists clients with CMA investigations. Pobjoy has played a key role in the defence of cartel damages claims on behalf of trucks manufacturers and financial services sector companies, amongst others.
"He is really responsive, very hard-working, very clever and very good with clients." "He provides very well thought-out advice, is considered, quick and on the ball."
Recent work: Acted for Visa in a Supreme Court appeal relating to follow-on damages claims brought by supermarkets, in respect of the interchange fees.
Has experience on both the regulator and appellant side of competition law-based reviews of Ofcom decisions. She also stands out for her work on CJEU appeals of cartel decisions made by the EC.
"Jessica is an absolute delight and utterly terrifyingly brilliant."
Recent work: Acted for HCA in an appeal against the CMA's market investigation decision in the private healthcare market.
Kieron Beal QC
Best known for his work on behalf of large claimant groups pursuing follow-on damages claims, having handled notable cases against financial services companies or manufacturers of cathode ray tubes. He has further experience in cases that examine the extent to which cartel damages claims can be caught by arbitration clauses in commercial contracts.
"He is very user-friendly, client-focused, practical, responsive and has a very sharp mind."
Recent work: Acted for ITV in an application for annulment in respect of an EC decision finding that the UK's general finance exemption under the CFC Rules constituted state aid.
Enters the rankings having demonstrated impressive strength in competition litigation in the financial services sector. He has notable experience acting in collective action cases.
"Paul is an excellent junior."
Recent work: Acted for UBS in resisting an application for a collective action following the European Commission's forex decision.
Thomas de la Mare QC
Often identified as a strong choice for cases that test novel points of competition law or that allow for a creative approach, he acts in cartel damages claims, including key cases that establish a precedent for opt-out collective proceedings orders or that highlight the role of arbitration as a tool for the resolution of competition disputes. He also handles regulatory appeals on behalf of clients in the telecommunications and sports sectors.
"Tom is an effective advocate on his feet and innovative in his arguments."
Praised both for his client-handling skills and for his contributions to a number of complex commercial cases. He advises on the claimant side of key cases that test UK law on the certification of collective proceedings. He also has a strong caseload of telecoms regulatory appeals.
"He is good to work with and you can really engage with him on a very collegiate basis." "The way he presents is clear and user-friendly." "I think he is absolutely excellent." "Tristan is extremely highly sought after and very experienced."
Recent work: Represented Tempus Energy in an application for judicial review of the implementation of the UK capacity market mechanism.