Herbert Smith Freehills

Competition/European Law Department

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What the team is known for Highly regarded competition litigation practice that represents defendants both in cartel damages follow-on actions and in standalone claims. Advises on CJEU appeals of EC decisions and intervenes on behalf of major media companies in UK judicial review proceedings. Benefits from long-standing relationships with clients in the telecoms and aviation sectors, which often seek advice on the competition law aspects of commercial agreements or corporate transactions. Advises on price control reviews carried out by UK sector regulators. Has further experience in high-value mergers that are subject to public interest interventions from the UK government.

Strengths"The firm has the volume of resources to deliver on really big projects," states one source, going on to say: "They can marry up a number of complex issues and bring in experts from different departments really well."

"The lawyers are user-friendly, responsive and well organised," notes another interviewee.

Work highlights Assisted Iveco with the defence of follow-on damages claims brought in the UK courts. The firm also advised on proceedings issued in several other EU jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners

Interviewees describe Kim Dietzel as "experienced and tenacious" and say that "she's one of the very sensible voices in the room, so when she says something you know you can trust it." "She's able to make big strategic calls," says one source, adding: "She manages to stay on top of the details as well as running huge cases." She is best known for her handling of commercial litigation in the competition law sphere, having played a major strategic role in the defence of follow-on damages claims across multiple jurisdictions.

Stephen Wisking defends standalone private enforcement actions brought against key IT clients. He has a strong reputation for his varied work in the media and telecoms sectors, which extends from high-profile merger control advisory topics to the defence of administrative appeals that seek to overturn UK regulatory decisions on competition law grounds. "We really value his tactical and strategic nous," says one client, while another highlights Wisking's "intellectual calibre and his insightful way of guiding us through competition law issues."

Interviewees say that Susan Black is "incredibly bright" and has an "absolute mastery of her subject while remaining pragmatic and very engaged with the client's objectives." She is a long-standing presence in the firm's competition practice and advises predominantly on merger control notifications either to the EC or to European national competition authorities.

Veronica Roberts often acts for leading media and telecoms clients on competition law topics arising from their commercial activities in heavily consolidated markets. Interviewees describe her as "commercial, knowledgeable and unflappable" and say that "she understands our business inside and out."