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Brick Court hosts an enviable bench of competition law barristers at all levels of seniority, receiving instructions in the most significant cases of the day. Individuals act on both sides of major infringement actions involving the CMA or the European Commission, and represent both claimants and defendants in follow-on damages claims. The barristers have been involved at the centre of novel attempts to bring large-scale collective actions in the UK courts, following decisions in respect of the trucks cartel, forex rigging and other prominent matters. Members appeared (electronically) before the Supreme Court on behalf of both Mastercard and the representative claimant Walter Merricks, in a case to establish whether such a claim could be brought on behalf of over 46 million consumers affected by the setting of rates for interchange fees. They have also been involved in some of the key FRAND cases of recent years. The barristers act for the CMA, claimants, and corporate defendants in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and financial services.
"There is a great clerking service at Brick Court, which is very diligent in reacting to situations." "Tony Burgess is really good to deal with – he's pragmatic and friendly." "An incredibly strong team of clerks: they provide great support and prompt assistance."
Aidan Robertson QC
Handles claimant-side cartel damages claims as part of his wider competition and state aid practice. He earns praise from interviewees for his considerable technical knowledge and for his experience in high-profile cases. Interviewees further note his work acting for both claimants and defendants in abuse of dominance and restraint of trade cases.
"He brings a huge amount of gravitas and experience to his cases." "He has a phenomenal depth of knowledge on competition matters." "Concise, thorough and deeply knowledgeable."
Recent work: Advised Vattenfall in a damages claim against Prysmian relating to the power cables cartel.
Colin West QC
Has been involved in a number of leading competition law cases, frequently acting for claimants from the technology and financial sectors. He advises on cartel damages cases and the overlap between competition law and IP law, and has experience in standalone claims relating to potential abuse of dominance through the failure to negotiate licences for standard-essential patents.
"Colin is technically terrific and very impressive." "He is a very balanced advocate and excellent competition specialist."
Recent work: Acted for iiyama in a follow-on damages claim against Samsung regarding the liquid crystal display cartel.
Daniel Jowell QC
Particularly active on the defendant side of follow-on damages cases brought in the UK, and has had key roles in the defence of participants in the trucks, cathode ray tubes and smart card chip cartels. He has further experience acting for corporates seeking commercial damages from major IT sector companies found to have abused a dominant position, in addition to a prominent role in litigation relating to the financial services sector.
"He has a superb intellect, and is user-friendly and responsive." "Amazing in court, great in hearings and incredibly thorough."
Recent work: Defended Micron against claims for damages relating to the European Commission's DRAM cartel decision.
A highly sought-after junior handling varied matters including follow-on damages actions, challenges to EC cartel decisions and cases relating to the obligation on telecoms sector patent holders to license standard-essential patents. He has further experience in standout cases on the legality of reverse payment patent settlements in the pharmaceutical sector. Piccinin attracts significant attention for his economics background, which enables him to contribute to the economic analysis of complex competition claims.
"He is one of the barristers you want when you have particularly tricky issues." "He is really on it and has lots of bright, creative ideas."
Recent work: Defended Volvo in numerous claims following the European Commission's decision in the trucks cartel investigation.
Acts as standing counsel to the CMA, and has much experience of defending CMA decisions in appeals heard by the CAT. He also defends EC decisions in appeals brought before the CJEU by companies in the pharmaceutical sector. Bailey often acts on the defendant side of UK private enforcement actions, including standalone cases brought by online distributors against leading cosmetics manufacturers.
"He has an encyclopedic knowledge of competition law." "He's not only extremely bright, but wears it lightly in a very user-friendly way." "David is really top-draw and very experienced: a fountain of knowledge."
Recent work: Represented L'Oréal in defence of a damages action relating to its selective distribution of luxury brands online.
David Scannell QC
Earns praise for his drafting and analytical skills in complex competition law cases. He has acted in CAT cases that are referred up to the CJEU for clarification on the application of competition law to 'pay for delay' agreements in the pharmaceutical sector, and is further noted for handling follow-on damages claims and advising companies on ongoing CMA investigations.
"He is one of the most knowledgeable competition lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of working with."
Recent work: Represented GSK in an appeal against the CMA's decision and fine imposed in respect of the 'pay for delay' agreements.
Has notable experience in the developing area of collective actions on behalf of consumers affected by cartels or other anti-competitive behaviour. She has acted on behalf of the representative claimants in relation to the interchange fees litigation and the trucks cartel.
"She is really superb – a star of the future." "Emma is an experienced lawyer and has great judgement."
Recent work: Represented the Road Haulage Association in collective proceedings resulting from the trucks cartel. This case sought to determine applicable rules on costs and funding arrangements for collective proceedings.
Fergus Randolph QC
Acts for claimants in follow-on damages actions against cartelists in the financial services, air freight and electronics sectors. He also handles standalone competition claims either for defendants or for injured parties seeking to block anti-competitive conduct by commercial partners.
"He possesses deep competition knowledge and is a fantastic team player who is unflappable under pressure." "He's a brilliant lawyer and a very easy person to work with."
Recent work: Represented Arcadia in a damages claim against Mastercard and Visa regarding anti-competitive behaviour.
Helen Davies QC
Advises on a wide range of contentious CMA proceedings, including Phase 2 investigations, as well as cases before the European Commission. She acts either on the claimant or defendant side of cartel follow-on damages claims and standalone private enforcement actions.
"She is on top of her game and always my first choice." "She is a big hitter and a forthright barrister who gives very clear guidance," and is a "very good performer on her feet."
Recent work: Represented Prysmian in a claim arising from the power cables cartel litigation.
Plays a supporting role in many of the UK's most important cartel damages cases, and has acted for both claimants and defendants in high-profile follow-on claims. He has experience of handling appellate work before both the English and EU courts.
"Hugo is an excellent barrister: he takes a prominent role and has lots of experience." "He's excellent, hard-working and works well with others."
Recent work: Acted for Volvo and others in follow-on damages claims resulting from the European Commission's decision in the trucks cartel case.
James Flynn QC
Flynn acts for claimants and defendants in follow-on damages actions and competition litigation cases, and has several clients from the pharmaceutical and technology sectors. He also has experience in high-profile commercial litigation that tests the law on FRAND terms for the licensing of standard-essential patents. He is particularly well regarded for his actions before courts at a European level.
"James is encyclopedic in his knowledge of competition law, and is measured and calm. He inspires confidence." "He is very sensible and has very good judgement."
Recent work: Represented GSK before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in appealing the CMA's largest fine arising from the 'pay for delay' agreements.
Attracts praise for her contributions to varied matters ranging from high-value cartel follow-on damages claims through to smaller commercial disputes that raise competition law arguments. She has further experience in standout cases on behalf of the CMA, defending appeals against decisions on excessive pricing in the pharmaceutical sector.
"She has a hugely impressive ability to be completely across the detail and also to sit back and see the bigger picture." "She's an extremely hard worker, who is very user-friendly and completely committed."
Recent work: Acted for ABB in the defence of a damages claim relating to the power cables cartel.
Marie Demetriou QC
Routinely involved in the biggest competition cases of the day, and receives stellar feedback from an array of sources. She is standing counsel to the CMA and has experience in key cases that test the law around restrictions on online sales. She also advises on both sides of cartel damages claims, and has appeared on behalf of proposed class representatives for claimant groups.
"Marie is an amazing advocate: succinct, precise, and judges are very receptive to her." "She makes points very clearly and is easy to understand." "She is so talented and just a joy to work with." "Marie is super clever and a fantastic advocate."
Recent work: Acted for Walter Merricks in a Supreme Court appeal concerning the refusal of the CAT to certify a collective action against Mastercard.
Mark Hoskins QC
Has an outstanding practice in the field of competition damages, and has acted in significant claims concerning financial services providers, power cable suppliers and truck manufacturers. He has also further defended CMA decisions on abuse of dominance in the pharmaceutical sector.
"Hoskins is the best barrister I know at reducing things to the most concise and effective arguments." "He is one of the best competition silks at the Bar: he is understated, and an incredibly effective advocate who picks the points he wants to pursue, simplifies them and pursues them."
Recent work: Acted for Mastercard in a Supreme Court appeal concerning the refusal of the CAT to certify a collective action against it.
Mark Howard QC
Has a strong competition litigation practice and is particularly active in the financial services and technology sectors. He represents clients in follow-on damages claims and price-fixing cases., Represented Huawei in a Supreme Court appeal relating to the enforcement of FRAND licensing in standard-essential patents.
Acts for claimants and defendants in competition damages claims, and also assists defendants with EC investigations. He represents clients from the banking and retail industries, among others. Schaefer has acted for several retail sector claimants in competition damages claims against financial services companies, and is further noted for assisting defendants in sensitive cases.
"He's extremely clever and really stands out for his ability to remember tiny details." "Max is ferociously bright, has outstanding drafting skills and is an excellent team player."
Recent work: Acted for 12 major retailers in follow-on damages and freestanding claims arising from alleged anti-competitive behaviour by various Mastercard entities in setting interchange fees.
Maya Lester QC
Acts for key financial services clients on CJEU cases that seek to overturn EC cartel decisions or that raise procedural issues relating to the disclosure of findings from investigations. She also defends follow-on damages claims and assists with appeals against decisions made by UK regulators. Lester has a number of clients in the energy and technology industries.
"Maya is absolutely incredible to work with."
Recent work: Advised Cooperative Group on an investigation by the Groceries Code Adjudicator.
Richard Gordon QC
Receives praise for his handling of administrative appeals made on competition law grounds against decisions made by UK regulators. He regularly acts for energy sector companies acting either as appellants or interveners in challenges to Ofgem decisions.
"Very able and very nice to deal with."
Robert O'Donoghue QC
Attracts considerable attention both for his academic contributions to discussions around abuse of dominance and for his direct involvement in several leading abuse cases, including those involving major pharmaceutical and IT sector companies. His wider experience takes in claimant-side follow-on damages cases and matters concerning the appeal of CMA decisions on reverse patent settlements or the restriction of internet sales.
"Robert has unparalleled knowledge of abuse of dominance and is extremely thoughtful and authoritative." "He is easy to work with, friendly and a very good team member." "He's very lively and sharp and quickly appreciates the dynamics of cases." "He is very responsive and a very good advocate; he is practical, down to earth and has the ear of the court."
Recent work: Acted for Ping Europe on the challenge to an internet sales restriction adopted by the CMA.
Represents clients before both English and EU courts in all areas of competition law, handling matters concerning not only cartel damages claims, but also abuse of dominance and merger control cases. Recently, she has represented purchasers of subsea power cables and manufacturers of trucks or electronics products in proceedings, some of which have raised complex questions as to jurisdiction.
"Sarah is incredibly quick, helpful and a persuasive advocate." "She is a superstar – brilliant on her feet, knows the law and writes clearly and concisely."
Recent work: Defended Panasonic in competition damages litigation arising from the European Commission's decision in the CRT cartel investigation.
Sarah Ford QC
Represents a number of clients in follow-on damages claims arising from cartel cases, and has played a key role on the defendant side of cases that have major implications for the quantification of damages. Her work also includes the private enforcement of principles of abuse of dominance against leading IT companies, and cases that test the meaning of FRAND terms for the licensing of standard-essential patents.
"She is a fantastically sensible, calm and a measured advocate." "She always intervenes at the right time and is very eloquent." "Very thoughtful, a great advocate and incredibly easy to work with." "Her style and analysis is very crisp."
Recent work: Represented ABB in a EUR200 million competition follow-on damages claim arising out of the Commission decision finding a cartel in the supply of high-voltage power cables.
A former economist who is best known for her work on the claimant side of private damages claims, including both follow-on and standalone cases on behalf of leading retail sector clients or IT companies.
"She is absolutely first-class and really understands how the market operates." "She's always very bright, responsive and able to produce high-quality work in a short period of time." "Sarah is intensely clever."
Recent work: Acted for Sainsbury's in a Supreme Court appeal which upheld previous decisions regarding multilateral interchange fees.
Handles regulatory appeals against CMA or Ofcom decisions on behalf of companies in the pharmaceutical, telecoms and sports equipment sectors. He has recently been involved in follow-on damages claims, acting for the largest claimant group in the trucks cartel litigation.
"He is extremely hard-working, his drafting is excellent and his advocacy is really good too." "He gets to grips with cases and complex matters incredibly quickly."
Recent work: Represented Ping in litigation before the Competition Appeal Tribunal regarding internet sales restrictions.
Acts predominantly for companies accused of anti-competitive behaviour, in appeals of CMA and European Commission decisions, as well as follow-on damages claims. He has acted in major cartel cases such as the trucks litigation.
"He is very responsive, extremely user-friendly and clearly super clever." "He is a very bright, keen, hard-working and intelligent junior."
Recent work: Advised Flynn Pharma in its appeal before the Court of Appeal regarding the CMA's imposition of a fine for excessive pricing of the drug phenytoin.
Tony Singla QC
Has acted for defendants in relation to some of the UK's most important cartel follow-on damages claims, and has advised on key cases that raise questions as to the private enforcement of EU cartel decisions by claimants based outside the EU. He also has experience in proceedings that seek to clarify the threshold for the certification of collective claims. Singla acts for both claimants and defendants and has a number of clients from the technology sector.
""Really excellent. He is so bright." "Brilliant."
Recent work: Represented Toshiba in a cartel damages claim relating to the cathode ray tube cartel.
Victoria Wakefield QC
Represents claimants in a number of high-profile competition litigation cases and challenges to anti-competitive legislation. Her time as a junior barrister saw her advise on claimant-side follow-on damages claims, appeals of EC decisions affecting pharmaceutical companies and challenges to new regulations in the sports sector.
"She is extremely bright and hugely experienced." "She is insightful, and is good at explaining things to lay clients." "She has a great manner with the CAT: very engaging, cheerful and a breath of fresh air in hearings."
Recent work: Acted for Lupin in an action to annul the European Commission's decision in relation to the 'pay for delay' agreements.