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Brick Court Chambers

Competition/European Law

27 ranked barristersBand 1UKGlobal 2022 View ranking table

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Brick Court Chambers 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. Notably, 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 and forex cartels and other prominent matters. Members appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of both Mastercard and the representative claimant Walter Merricks, as part of a case seeking 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. The barristers have also been involved in some of the key FRAND cases of recent years. They act for the CMA, claimants and corporate defendants in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

Client service:

Brick Court's clerking team has undergone a significant expansion in recent years. Each member of both clerking teams – headed by Paul Dennison and Tony Burgess – is able to advise on any aspect of chambers' practice. Clients say: "Paul Dennison is very responsive, pragmatic and extremely engaging." "Tony Burgess is fantastic: very commercial, practical, sensible and available." "Luke Carvalho is very responsive and makes sure that clients are kept up to date with the counsel." "The clerks are practical and always offer strategic solutions to things."

Strengths:

Aidan Robertson QC
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.
"I think he is brilliant academically and a good team player. He is happy for you bounce ideas off him." "Encyclopedic knowledge of all aspects of competition law; he is a careful, thoughtful and meticulous barrister. You know you will get the right answer."
Recent work: Acted for Vattenfall in a follow-on damages claim against NKT and Prysmian concerning the power cables cartel of which the defendants were part.

Strengths:

Charlotte Thomas
Charlotte Thomas has amassed notable experience covering some of the more visible cases in the competition field. Her practice takes in the representation of claimants, defendants and regulators in damages claims and investigations. Of particular note is her involvement in the proposed Michael O'Higgins forex cartel claim.
"A pleasure to deal with: knowledgeable, charismatic and personable. She instils a lot of confidence." "Very diligent, dedicated, very strong and detail-oriented."
Recent work: Acted for Michael O'Higgins, the proposed class representative in litigation against various banks, following the European Commission's foreign exchange cartel fines.

Strengths:

Colin West QC
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.
"He writes brilliantly and thinks deeply about the issues." "Very bright and very approachable; he is also hard-working and efficient."
Recent work: Acted for Conversant Wireless in a Supreme Court appeal concerning FRAND licensing of telecoms standard-essential patents.

Strengths:

Daniel Jowell QC
Daniel Jowell QC is 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 tube 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 is imaginative and thinks of creative ideas." "He is down to earth, pragmatic, commercial and easy to deal with. He has good strategic judgement." "Versatile and innovative, quick to get to the nub of the issue and identify the optimal solution."
Recent work: Acted for MAN as one of the main defendants in mass damages claims and class action proceedings following the European Commission's 2016 Trucks Cartel decision.

Strengths:

Daniel Piccinin
Daniel Piccinin is a highly sought-after junior handling varied matters including follow-on damages actions, challenges to EC cartel decisions and cases relating to FRAND licensing. 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.
"His legal analysis is exceptionally strong, with an unparalleled understanding of the economic issues which arise in competition law cases. He has proven himself to be consistently user-friendly and hard-working. He is a rising star at the Bar without question." "In the remote hearings, he came across extremely well: clear and easy to follow." "His general drafting skills and unparalleled knowledge of law are extremely impressive. He is never afraid to express a view and has very good judgement."
Recent work: Acted for Visa throughout the Interchange Fee litigation, including before the Supreme Court in Sainsbury's v Visa and others.

Strengths:

David Bailey
David Bailey acts as standing counsel to the CMA, and has much experience of defending CMA decisions in appeals heard by the CAT and the Court of Appeal. 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.
"David is just an encyclopedia of competition law." "You know if there is a technical point then he will grasp it with impressive speed."
Recent work: Acted for the CMA in litigation arising from its GBP90 million fines imposed on Pfizer and Flynn for excessive pricing to the NHS.

Strengths:

Emma Mockford
Emma Mockford 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 also has ample experience covering more traditional follow-on damages claims, as well as CMA appeals.
"Always thinking of good strategic insights." "Emma has a calm analytical style and is easy to work with." "She is on the ball and responsive; she has good attention to detail and is great at seeing the bigger picture."
Recent work: Defended Servier in the NHS 'pay for delay' abuse of dominance claim.

Strengths:

Fergus Randolph QC
Fergus Randolph QC has acted 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.
"Knows his stuff and appears well in court." "He is incredibly good-natured and is willing to work collaboratively."
Recent work: Acted for La Gaitana in a claim against BA and other airlines involved in the Air Cargo Cartel.

Strengths:

Gerard Rothschild
Gerard Rothschild has represented claimants and defendants in a number of significant competition matters, including cartel and merger investigations and follow-on damages claims. He has additional experience of complex state aid cases.
"Very analytical and thorough; he has great attention to detail and is able to turn things around extremely quickly. He considers all the angles and potential strengths and weaknesses of the case." "Gerard is tenacious, strategic and has good attention to detail." "Bright, hard-working and a good team player."
Recent work: Acted for Michael O'Higgins, the proposed class representative in litigation against various banks, following the European Commission's foreign exchange cartel fines.

Strengths:

Helen Davies QC
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 on either the claimant or defendant side of cartel follow-on damages claims and standalone private enforcement actions.
"I rate her highly for her good judgement; she rolls up her sleeves and gets to the facts quickly." "She is strategic and gets across the details, and presents very well." "She has brilliant ideas and is a persuasive and tenacious cross-examiner."
Recent work: Acted for HSBC in a damages claim against Allianz Global Investors concerning an alleged cartel.

Strengths:

Hugo Leith
Hugo Leith 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 UK and EU courts. Leith has additionally acted for the CMA in key challenges to its decisions.
"He produces excellent written work and his skeleton arguments are persuasive." "He is one of the brightest juniors around and is very easy to work with." "He is extremely bright and quick at turning things around."
Recent work: Represented the CMA in an appeal by Pfizer and Flynn, challenging large fines imposed for excessive pricing to the NHS of Epanutin, a drug for the treatment of epilepsy.

Strengths:

James Flynn QC
James Flynn QC acts for claimants and defendants in follow-on damages actions as well as CAT appeals, and has several clients from the pharmaceutical and technology sectors. He also has experience in high-profile commercial litigation concerning FRAND licensing. He is particularly well regarded for his appearances before the European courts.
"He is very knowledgeable and easy to work with." "He is a steady influence on the case."
Recent work: Represented GlaxoSmithKline in a CAT appeal challenging the CMA's fine of GBP40 million for 'pay for delay' practices.

Strengths:

Jennifer MacLeod
Jennifer MacLeod 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 considers every angle of the problem and makes sure that no stone is left unturned." "Easy to work with and has a great manner. She is extremely hard-working. I think you really feel in safe hands with her."
Recent work: Represented the CMA in an appeal by Pfizer and Flynn, challenging large fines imposed for excessive pricing to the NHS of Epanutin, a drug for the treatment of epilepsy.

Strengths:

Marie Demetriou QC
Marie Demetriou QC is 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 regarding 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.
"She is a fantastic oral advocate – she has a calm, measured style which is very persuasive." "She is brilliant to work with and so clear in what she says; she comes across very well in court." "Has an incredibly incisive mind and spots the issues."
Recent work: Successfully represented Walter Merricks in a Supreme Court appeal concerning the refusal of the CAT to certify a collective action against Mastercard.

Strengths:

Mark Hoskins QC
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 defended CMA decisions on abuse of dominance in the pharmaceutical sector. He has taken a leading role in the landmark Interchange Fee litigation.
"Mark is at the top of his game. He has laser-like insight: he can cut through information to get to the key issues of the case. A great oral style and excellent on his feet." "Mark has this way of making things simple for his clients." "He is intelligent, user-friendly, engaging and a creative thinker. He has been a great strategic support as well as getting the grasp of the legal arguments."
Recent work: Represented Mastercard in the Supreme Court appeal in the Sainsbury's Interchange Fee claim.

Strengths:

Mark Howard QC
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. He has also acted in a key case on the issue of standard-essential patents.
"He is an extraordinarily capable advocate." "His submissions cut right to the chase."
Recent work: Acted for the appellant in Unwired Planet and another v Huawei and another, a Supreme Court case concerning the enforcement of standard-essential patents.

Strengths:

Max Schaefer
Max Schaefer 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.
"Unbelievably clever – one of the cleverest lawyers I have worked with." "He is razor sharp and thinks deeply about the case."
Recent work: Acted for Asda, Argos, Morrisons and other retailers in claims against Mastercard and Visa relating to the setting of interchange fees.

Strengths:

Maya Lester QC
Maya Lester QC acts for key financial services clients seeking to overturn EC cartel decisions, and in cases 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.
"Decisive, with a superb grasp of the detail and wider strategic objectives." "Her written work is really a thing of beauty; her drafting is sublime." "Maya is very enthusiastic, very committed and hard-working. She is client-friendly and collaborative. She is very practical and rolls up her sleeves."
Recent work: Acted for Brugge in two follow-on damages claims brought by National Grid and Scottish Power, relating to the power cables cartel.

Richard Gordon QC
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.

Strengths:

Robert O'Donoghue QC
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 appeals of CMA decisions on reverse patent settlements or the restriction of internet sales.
"He is lively and sharp-witted, and quickly appreciates the dynamic of the cases. He has impressive tactical awareness." "Robert has an excellent way of getting the clients on board and explains the issues in a simple way." "He has encyclopedic knowledge of competition law and as a result he can generate creative arguments." "He is good at seeing the big picture and is a strategic."
Recent work: Acted for Xellia and Zoetis in a CAT appeal brought together with GlaxoSmithKline, concerning a landmark 'pay for delay' fine imposed by the CMA.

Strengths:

Sarah Abram QC
Sarah Abram QC represents clients before both English and EU courts in all areas of competition law, handling matters concerning cartels, abuse of dominance and merger control. 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.
"She brings all the technical brilliance to the team. She really rolls up her sleeves: she is incredibly proactive, responsive and always prepared to go the extra mile. Very positive and a delightful person to be dealing with, she brings real energy and positivity to the chain."
Recent work: Acted for Vattenfall in a follow-on damages claim against NKT and Prysmian concerning the power cables cartel of which the defendants were part.

Strengths:

Sarah Ford QC
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.
"Sarah is very strategic, hard-working, pragmatic and good at coming up with easy ways of doing things." "She is very calm, unflappable, thoughtful and strategic about her advice." "She gets across the detail and prepares well for the hearings." "Her judgement is fantastic."
Recent work: Acted for Unwired Planet in a Supreme Court appeal against Huawei Technologies concerning FRAND licensing in standard-essential patents.

Strengths:

Sarah Love
Sarah Love is 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.
"Sarah has a fantastic command of the detail and drafting. She is always one step ahead." "She spots the technical points that others do not see." "She can extract from the submission very clear points and is able to run through them in front of the judges. She has a great oratory style and a really close knowledge of the factual background of the cases, and she can delve into everything."
Recent work: Acted for Sainsbury's in the Supreme Court appeals brought by Visa and Mastercard in the course of the Interchange Fee litigation.

Strengths:

Tim Johnston
Tim Johnston 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 enthusiastic, full of ideas and someone who thinks carefully and deeply about topics. He is also an articulate and compelling speaker." "He was a pleasure to work with: able to work to very tight deadlines and to provide helpful advice." "His drafting is exceptional and he turns things around quickly, and he produces powerful, persuasive documents."
Recent work: Acted for Pfizer in two Court of Appeal hearings relating to the quashing of a CMA decision and the award of costs.

Strengths:

Tom Pascoe
Tom Pascoe acts predominantly for companies accused of anti-competitive behaviour, in appeals of CMA and European Commission decisions and follow-on damages claims. He has acted in major cartel cases such as the trucks litigation.
"A smart and strategic thinker." "He writes really well and is clever and nice to deal with."
Recent work: Defended MAN in several follow-on damages claims relating to the trucks cartel.

Strengths:

Tony Singla QC
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.
"He is very smart, switched on and very well versed in competition issues. Clearly a good advocate too." "He is a rising star."
Recent work: Acted for Iveco in various follow-on damages claims relating to the trucks cartel.

Strengths:

Victoria Wakefield QC
Victoria Wakefield QC represents claimants in a number of high-profile competition litigation cases and challenges to anti-competitive legislation. As a junior barrister she advised on claimant-side follow-on damages claims, appeals of EC decisions affecting pharmaceutical companies and challenges to new regulations in the sports sector. Wakefield is now a key authority on the developing subject of representative actions within competition law.
"She picks up on issues that other people don't and is skilled at distilling those issues for the client." "Very impressive on her feet and a good strategist." "She is commercial, easy to deal with and user-friendly."
Recent work: Successfully represented Walter Merricks in a landmark Supreme Court appeal relating to a putative collective action against Mastercard concerning interchange fees.

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

UK

Competition Law


Aidan Robertson QC
Band 2
Colin West QC
Band 2
Daniel Jowell QC
Band 1
Fergus Randolph QC
Band 2
Helen Davies QC
Band 1
James Flynn QC
Band 1

6 of 27 results