DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Monckton Chambers

Competition/European Law

30 ranked barristersBand 1UKGlobal 2021 View ranking table
DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Monckton Chambers

Competition/European Law

30 ranked barristersBand 1UKGlobal 2021 View ranking table

Chambers Review

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Monckton Chambers is renowned for its superb ability in complex competition law mandates across a breadth of key areas. Members regularly appear before the CAT, the UK appellate courts and the ECJ, representing clients on both sides of infringement decision appeals and follow-on damages claims. The set stands out for the frequency with which its members represent major parties in disputed merger control proceedings in the technology, chemicals and supermarkets sectors. Members further advise key UK public bodies, including acting as standing counsel to regulators, in addition to defending both UK and European competition authorities in disputed cartel investigations. The set has seen members active in many of the leading cases, including those seeking to develop the law on collective actions, such as Merricks v Mastercard, in which Paul Harris QC acted as lead counsel for the main claimant.

Client service:

"John Keegan is a strong relationship manager and a good advocate for his members." "It's always delightful dealing with the clerks at Monckton." "Senior clerk David Hockney is very pleasant to deal with," and "as a whole the clerks are excellent across the board – both the senior and junior clerks are really responsive and engaged."

Strengths:

Alan Bates
Has a strong track record in administrative appeals against decisions made by UK or EU competition regulators. He has notable experience of directly defending the EC or acting for companies seeking to defend successful outcomes from complaints to UK sector regulators. Bates further assists recipients of tax benefits with challenges to EC findings of illegal state aid. He also attracts attention for his work on class actions in the cartel damages field.
"He is great to work with and is someone you can rely on." "He has an eye for detail and can stand back and see the broader landscape of the case."
Recent work: Represented Whistl in making an abuse of dominance complaint to Ofcom relating to Royal Mail, and in resisting the defendant's appeal against Ofcom's decision to uphold the complaint.

Strengths:

Alison Berridge
Attracts instructions both from solicitors and directly from UK regulators to advise on merger control or behavioural investigations.
"She is a very clever competition lawyer who knows the job of a solicitor inside out, which enhances her practice." "She is a very flexible, helpful and sensible person to work with."
Recent work: Represented Comparethemarket.com in the CMA's investigation into its 'price parity' and 'most favoured nation' agreements with insurers.

Strengths:

Alistair Lindsay
Stands out as a merger control specialist, and is noted for his former experience of having worked within a major City law firm. He also assists with abuse of dominance matters and other competition law questions.
"He is extremely intelligent, very logical and gives very well-reasoned advice." "He has a really measured way of explaining very difficult issues."
Recent work: Acted for Asda in matters relating to its proposed merger with Sainsbury's.

Strengths:

Anneli Howard QC
Widely recognised as a superb choice to handle a wide range of competition law cases. She is often chosen to work together with leading silks on either the defendant or claimant side of important follow-on damages claims, and appears unled in standalone private enforcement actions.
"She is superb."
Recent work: Represented HTC in defence of a patent infringement claim, and in bringing a counterclaim, relating to Philips' standard-essential patents for mobile phone technology.

Strengths:

Anneliese Blackwood
Represents private clients and government departments as claimants in competition damages claims, both at a UK level and before the EC. She also advises clients on CMA investigations into abuse of dominance.
"Not only was she good on the law but she also really got to grips on the economics of the case."
Recent work: Acted for Royal Mail, BT and Dawsongroup in damages claims following the European Commission’s trucks cartel decision.

Strengths:

Ben Lask
Often defends competition regulators in CAT or CJEU appeals against their decisions, and has recent experience in cases relating to price-fixing cartels or vertical restraints. He also advises on the claimant side of cartel damages claims.
"He is really impressive," and "holds his own against silks."
Recent work: Acted for the European Commission in the defence of an appeal against its decision on EURIBOR manipulation.

Strengths:

Ben Rayment
Advises competition regulators on appeals against their decisions, and supports private sector clients throughout CMA behavioural investigations, handling any subsequent follow-on damages actions for either claimants or defendants. He further stands out for his ability to take on smaller domestic commercial claims that raise competition law arguments.
"He has a phenomenal memory for facts and details." "He is becoming a real authority in the area of competition litigation claims." "Ben is a very cerebral barrister who really knows the law inside out and is a really safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Defended Daimler in two class action applications brought before the CAT by UK Trucks Limited and the Road Haulage Association.

Strengths:

Daniel Beard QC
Highly sought-after silk who earns superb praise for his oral advocacy skills in complex competition cases. He handles diverse matters spanning competition damages claims, merger control advisory topics and appeals against CMA or Ofcom decisions, acting for both claimants and defendants. He also advises on CJEU appeals against EC findings of illegal state aid.
"He is absolutely top of his game for competition." "One of the leading stars of the Bar: whenever he's on his feet he advocates in a very calm, measured way." "Daniel is fiercely bright, and brilliant at cutting through noise to get at the heart of matters."
Recent work: Represented DAF in the defence of numerous claims for damages following the European Commission's decision in relation to the trucks cartel.

Strengths:

Fiona Banks
Represents both claimants and defendants in competition and cartel follow-on damages actions. She also acts for clients on challenges to regulatory decisions, and assists with advisory mandates.
"A really bright and energetic junior." "She is astute, provides excellent drafting and is very responsive, so it's been a pleasure to have her in the team." "Banks is incredibly user-friendly, diligent and thorough in going through material."
Recent work: Acted for multiple retailers in interchange fees follow-on claims against Visa and Mastercard.

Strengths:

George Peretz QC
Has a broad EU and competition law practice that extends from state aid cases to abuse of dominance and the defence of EC cartel decisions in CJEU appeals. He also has proven experience of intervening in CMA merger control investigations and applying for judicial review of Ofcom decisions that affect competition in the UK media sector.
"He is very knowledgeable – probably the leading QC on state aid." "A highly respected competition counsel who provides advice of the highest quality."
Recent work: Defended the European Commission in an appeal against its decision on the 'pay for delay' agreements.

Strengths:

James Bourke
In-demand junior who is often paired with leading competition silks on high-profile cases. He defends private enforcement actions and handles appeals against EC or CMA decisions. Bourke attracts attention for his previous experience working in the EC and at a major City firm.
"James is fantastically responsive and super hard-working." "You're getting serious bang for your buck with James."
Recent work: Represented the European Commission as an intervener in support of the CMA's appeal in relation to fines it imposed on Pfizer and Flynn for abuse of market dominance.

Strengths:

Jon Turner QC
Enjoys an outstanding reputation for his competition litigation practice. He represents claimants and defendants in market-leading follow-on or standalone damages claims, including key cases on behalf of major IT or retail sector clients. He acts either for private companies or for the CMA in administrative appeals of competition decisions, and has proven experience in cases heard before the CAT, the UK senior courts or the CJEU.
"An exceptional lawyer and advocate; arguably the best competition barrister in the UK." "Jon is the absolute pinnacle – always top of the list." "He is unbelievably clever, measured and calm."
Recent work: Represented Whistl in resisting an appeal against Ofcom's finding of abuse of dominance by Royal Mail, in respect of last leg delivery.

Strengths:

Josh Holmes QC
Has a broad competition law practice, advising clients on state aid, abuse of dominance and cartel matters, and has quickly established a reputation as an important competition law silk. Holmes acts on the defendant side of follow-on damages claims, earning praise for his ability to assess quantum in complex cases. He also assists public sector clients with the defence of regulatory decisions at the CJEU or in UK administrative appeals. He has experience of handling diverse cases relating to the pharmaceutical and telecoms sectors.
"Josh is very pragmatic, sensible and extremely easy to work with." "He gets up to speed really quickly," and "has the dynamism and energy to get right to the bottom of things." "He is exceptionally quick to grasp detail and adept at explaining difficult concepts clearly."
Recent work: Represented Ofcom in an appeal brought by Royal Mail against a fine imposed for abuse of dominance in respect of last leg delivery.

Strengths:

Julian Gregory
Offers a broad competition law practice, advising on merger clearance, follow-on damages claims, pricing and state aid cases. He frequently acts for claimants in competition litigation.
"He is extremely knowledgeable and very insightful."
Recent work: Acted for a paper manufacturer in a cartel damages claim against MAN and other HGV manufacturers.

Strengths:

Julianne Morrison
Popular choice for key UK sector regulators seeking to defend challenges to the exercise of their competition law enforcement powers, appearing both as sole counsel and as a key part of counsel teams. She also has experience in competition damages claims for technology sector defendants and retail sector claimants.
"She's practical and a very high-quality drafter."
Recent work: Defended Google in follow-on and standalone claims brought by Foundem, for abuse of dominance.

Strengths:

Kassie Smith QC
Advises competition regulators and government bodies on their handling of behavioural or merger control investigations, and on wider public reviews of competition law enforcement in overseas jurisdictions. She earns further praise for her handling of commercial damages actions.
"She is very calm and very measured. Clients really like the way she thinks calmly through the issues in difficult situations and comes up with solutions."
Recent work: Acted for Safran as one of numerous defendants in a follow-on damages claim brought by the National Grid, arising out of the European Commission’s decision on the power cables cartel.

Strengths:

Laura Elizabeth John
Has a strong reputation among instructing solicitors and members of the Bar for her experience in follow-on damages claims. She acts for private and public sector claimants on high-value cases, and has clients from a number of sectors, including the energy, healthcare and technology industries.
"She's unbelievably clever, delightful to work with and really, really good at drafting. She's particularly good under pressure – she is unflappable."
Recent work: Acted for Asda in the Supreme Court appeal on interchange fees follow-on claims.

Strengths:

Ligia Osepciu
Benefits from regular instructions across a diverse range of competition and wider EU law topics. She advises on state aid cases, public procurement issues and appeals against decisions taken by UK sector regulators, and is also an expert in follow-on damages cases and IP disputes that raise key competition law arguments.
"She is an excellent junior" who "gets into the details." "Ligia works very hard and is excellent at covering all the bases."
Recent work: Represented Apple in its appeal against the European Commission's decision relating to Irish state aid, in the form of preferential tax treatment.

Strengths:

Mark Brealey QC
A leading practitioner both at domestic and EU level, who acts for both claimants and defendants. He has a broad practice, representing clients in cartel follow-on claims, pricing investigations and FRAND licensing matters, and has attracted recent attention for his success in overturning CMA decisions on excessive pricing in the pharmaceutical sector.
"He has fantastic judgement and really gets to the nub of his cases." "He has the ability to translate very complicated and difficult areas of law into language that lay people can instantly understand."
Recent work: Represented Sainsbury's in a cartel damages claim against Visa and Mastercard relating to the setting of interchange fees.

Strengths:

Meredith Pickford QC
Defends important technology or automotive sector clients, among others, in follow-on damages claims brought in the UK seeking damages for alleged abuse of dominance or cartel conduct. He acts for claimants in cases against financial services companies, and also advises on sensitive regulatory appeals. Interviewees regularly highlight his ability to engage with economics arguments in competition damages claims.
"Meredith is extremely charming and great with clients, and has the strategic ability to stand back and see the bigger picture." "He is cerebral and brilliant at knotty economic issues." "Very strategic and good at reading the courtroom."
Recent work: Acted for Google and Alphabet in a three-day appeal before the General Court of the European Union against a EUR2.42 billion fine imposed for alleged abuse of dominance.

Strengths:

Michael Armitage
Attracts attention for his contributions to follow-on damages claims and private enforcement actions. He predominantly represents defendants.
"A very bright barrister, who cuts through to the key issues. He's been involved in quite a few big cases so his ability to call on that experience is invaluable." "He was very knowledgeable on the issues, very calm and great with the clients."
Recent work: Represented NKT as defendants in damages claims following on from the power cables cartel.

Strengths:

Paul Harris QC
Widely regarded as an excellent choice for cases that call for a forceful advocacy style, he acts for clients in a number of cartel litigation cases, appearing for both claimants and defendants. He also assists parties with abuse of dominance and merger clearance matters, and attracts attention for his work on high-profile cases that test the CAT's application of rules on the certification of class actions.
"He is very good at getting his boxing gloves out and going in to fight." "He is good to have on your side when you're backed into a corner."
Recent work: Acted as lead counsel to Walter Merricks, the representative claimant in an application for a collective action against Mastercard following the European Commission's decision on interchange fee rate setting. Represented Mr Merricks in appeals before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, concerning the CAT's decision to reject the claim.

Strengths:

Philip Moser QC
Acts for both claimants and defendants in cartel damages claims. He also assists clients with state aid law and abuse of dominance allegations.
"He is very bright and picks up on situations and case arguments very quickly." "He has a real depth of knowledge and is a really good advocate."
Recent work: Represented Emerald Supplies and other claimants in cartel follow-on damages claims relating to the air cargo cartel.

Strengths:

Philip Woolfe
Plays a supporting role in follow-on damages claims on behalf of both claimants and defendants, having acted on highlight claims in the pharmaceutical and air freight sectors. He has notable additional experience appearing either led or unled in standalone private enforcement cases.
"He is fantastic on the detail and on his feet, and has the gravitas required to hold a court or tribunal's attention." "He knows what arguments will work well with the judge and gets to grips with a case to see exactly how it should be handled."
Recent work: Represented Fiat Chrysler in a cartel damages action against manufacturers of automotive bearings, following a Commission decision.

Strengths:

Rob Williams QC
Known for his former experience working as a solicitor and for his regular selection to handle complex cases for the CMA. He defends the UK competition authority in procedural challenges brought by companies that are subject to dawn raids or that are facing phase II merger control investigations. He also supports claimants or defendants in competition damages claims.
"He's excellent with clients, very thoughtful and responsive, and really is everything you would want from a competition silk." "He is going to be a superstar."
Recent work: Defended J.P. Morgan in damages actions following the EC's decision in the forex rigging case.

Strengths:

Ronit Kreisberger QC
Sought after competition silk who advises on CAT and CJEU appeals against adverse decisions on pay-for-delay agreements in the pharmaceutical sector, and has experience of intervening for competition regulators in high-profile follow-on damages claims. Kreisberger assists with the competition law aspects of disputes in key regulated sectors.
"She is very clear, sensible, user-friendly and strategically astute."
Recent work: Represented Merck before the ECJ in a dispute relating to the CMA's 'pay for delay' findings.

Strengths:

Thomas Sebastian
Well known for his handling of major competition damages claims, including those seeking to enforce EC infringement decisions against trucks, cathode ray tube and power cables manufacturers. He represents both claimants and defendants, and is noted for his advice to regulators and government bodies on appeals against authority decisions, particularly those relating to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Definitely a future star."
Recent work: Represented the European Commission as an intervener in Visa and Mastercard's Supreme Court appeals in the interchange fees case.

Strengths:

Tim Ward QC
Sought after for a number of different competition law matters, assisting claimants and defendants with cartel and abuse of dominance cases. He acts for several important TMT sector companies in defence of follow-on damages claims.
"He is an absolute delight to work with: a real team player, who makes himself available and is very client-friendly." "He obviously knows cartel damages inside out, is very good on his feet and gives sound advice." "Tim is focused, super sharp and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Represented Google in defence of damages claims relating to allegations of abuse of dominance.

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