Slaughter and May

Competition/European Law Department

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What the team is known for Advises clients on high-value merger clearance matters, including in the context of transactions that would entail further consolidation of the European telecoms or steel sectors. Handles EU and international merger filings for European-, American-, Japanese- or Israeli-headquartered clients from a range of industries. Represents defendant IT, air freight or chemical companies in EC abuse of dominance or cartel investigations, with additional experience in ECJ appeals against cartel fines. Key individuals in Brussels also assist clients with cases before the UK competition regulator.

Strengths"The lawyers are very sophisticated, have good relationships with the regulators and a client-focused approach," states one client, going on to explain: "They are able to guide me and lead me to a place where I can reach a conclusion on my own."

Interviewees report that "the firm works seamlessly across Brussels and London. Anyone in their Brussels team can also work on a UK matter, and vice versa."

Work highlights Advised Tata Steel on obtaining clearance for a global joint venture with thyssenkrupp.

Notable practitioners

Anna Lyle-Smythe
assists buyers and sellers with EU-level merger clearance mandates. She is dual-qualified in Belgium and in England and Wales, and advises on CMA investigations and represents defendants in follow-on damages claims brought in the UK courts. Market commentators note her growing prominence within the firm.

Sources note
John Boyce
's success in building a strong standalone competition practice in Brussels that regularly attracts roles in important EC-level mandates. He often acts on EU merger cases for clients in a range of sectors, as well as representing clients in cartel investigations. Interviewees praise his skill in negotiations in merger control procedures and add that he is "a very decent guy to work with."

Jordan Ellison
is picked out as an increasingly important presence in the firm's competition practice. He advises on high-profile abuse of dominance investigations and assists with merger control issues arising from planned joint ventures. "He is extremely energetic and bright," notes one interviewee. Another source reports: "He can dedicate himself completely to a matter on short notice," and adds that Ellison is "very flexible in terms of addressing the client's needs." Ellison is also UK-qualified and advises on filings to the CMA.