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Brian Sher

Brian Sher

Partner
Co-head of Competition
Lawyer

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
London
EC4N 6AF
United Kingdom
Languages English

Brian is a partner and co-leads the Competition Team. He has practised exclusively in the field of EU and UK competition law and merger control for over 20 years.

Brian has substantial UK and EU merger control experience, having obtained clearances for clients in Phase 1 and Phase 2 proceedings, both unconditionally and with remedies across a number of industry sectors. He advises several leading international corporates on competition issues in their distribution, pricing, technology licensing and competitor collaboration arrangements, in their investigations and inquiries and in related litigation and competition appeals. He advises in related areas including state aid and consumer law. His experience spans a wide range of industry sectors including life sciences and healthcare, technology and media, energy, manufacturing, consumer, retail and financial services. He has been ranked as a leading individual for competition law in Chambers and Partners for the last 14 years.

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"He is very good at walking clients through the maze and helping find practical solutions to problems."

Chambers and Partners

Relevant experience

  • Cox Automotive and Auto Trader Plc on their joint venture to create Dealer Auction, a leading online auction company for the wholesale remarketing of vehicles (CMA phase 1 clearance, 2018).
  • Cox Automotive / sale of its online business to consumer vehicle platform Motors.co.uk to eBay (CMA phase 1 clearance, 2019).
  • GlaxoSmithKline, the lead party, in the UK's first reverse patent settlement investigation and one of the OFT/CMA's longest and most high profile prohibitive competition law inquiries, and on its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and ongoing reference to the Court of Justice of the EU (novel issues at the IP/competition interface).
  • ThirdWay Interiors on the CMA investigation into design and fit-out of office space (case settled with reduced fines, April 2019).
  • Resolution Chemicals on the EU Lundbeck investigation.
  • Brookfield Utilities in a number of Ofcom inquiries.
  • Brookfield (GTC) in its purchase of Inexus (combination of the two leading UK last mile gas and electricity infrastructure operators, unconditional phase 1 clearance).
  • A number of pharmaceutical companies on UK and EU competition investigations.
  • A global pharmaceutical company defending competition counterclaims in pan-European trademark infringement litigation.
  • LCH.Clearnet on a number of EU and UK merger control matters.
  • Dassault Aviation – advising on the UK MoD aspects of its purchase of Alcatel’s stake in Thales.
  • Has co-ordinated numerous international filings and acted for Oracle on the US counsel team in the US Department of Justice litigation against its merger with PeopleSoft (successfully defended).
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Education

  • B.C.L., First Class, Merton College, Oxford University, 1990
  • M.A. (Law), First Class, Merton College, Oxford University, 1989
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Memberships

  • Co-chair of the Joint Working Party of the Bars and Law Societies of the UK on Competition Law.
  • Member of the Law Society's European Group.
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Publications

  • Can a supplier prohibit retailers of its products from using online marketplaces? with K Garyali, January 2017
  • From the Courtroom to the Opinion: AG Wahl resets the standard for rebates in Intel, October 2016
  • Keep Calm - Yes; Carry on - No!  A response to Whish on Intel, Journal of European Competition Law and Practice, April 2015
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Lectures list

  • Originator and chair of the IBC Pharmaceuticals and Competition Law conference, Brussels, now in its fifth year.
  • Annual visiting lecturer on the Kings College, London Competition LLM (in abuse of dominance and rebates) since 2000.
  • "Pay for Delay", Lundbeck and the European Courts, EU Pharma Law Forum, Brussels, May 2017
  • Transparency remedies in EU /UK Law, joint panel of the Cartel and Corruption, Antitrust and Life Sciences Committees, IBA Annual Conference, Washington DC, September 2016
  • Discounts and rebates in the pharmaceutical industry, EU Pharma Law Forum, Brussels, May 2016

Frequent chair and speaker at conferences and events in London, Brussels and North America. Part of UK trade delegation to India, speaking on Competition Law, 2010.

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Expertise

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04/03/2019
Ad­vising the Board on Com­pet­i­tion Law Risk
04/07/2019
CMA an­nounces mar­ket study in­to on­line plat­forms and di­git­al ad­vert­ising 
On 3 Ju­ly 2019, the CMA launched a mar­ket study in­to on­line plat­forms and di­git­al ad­vert­ising. This fol­lows re­peated calls from vari­ous com­mit­tees and re­views for the CMA to scru­tin­ise the sec­tor, giv­en its wider im­plic­a­tions for the di­git­al eco­nomy, in­clud­ing.
14 February 2017
Health Tech 2017: a case for great­er con­nec­tion
25/01/2019
UK State aid re­gime in the event of a no-deal Brexit
On 21 Janu­ary, the UK gov­ern­ment pub­lished a draft Stat­utory In­stru­ment (SI) to trans­pose the ex­ist­ing EU State aid re­gime in­to UK law and, if there is no deal, des­ig­nate the Com­pet­i­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (CMA) as the re­spons­ible State aid en­force­ment au­thor­ity.
21/12/2018
European Com­mis­sion fines a com­pany for an­ti­com­pet­it­ive agree­ments...
On 17 Decem­ber 2018, the European Com­mis­sion fined the cloth­ing com­pany Guess around €40 mil­lion for re­strict­ing re­tail­ers from on­line ad­vert­ising and selling cross-bor­der to con­sumers in oth­er Mem­ber States (geo-block­ing).
06/12/2018
CMA re­tains fo­cus on the di­git­al eco­nomy as it con­sults on plans for...
The CMA has is­sued a con­sulta­tion on its plans and pri­or­it­ies for the com­ing year. Al­though un­cer­tainty over Brexit means that it is con­sult­ing on “pri­or­ity themes” rather than “spe­cif­ic ob­ject­ives”, the CMA con­firms that it will re­tain a strong in­terest in.
03/12/2018
The EU­'s reg­u­la­tion against geo-block­ing enters in­to force
From 3 Decem­ber 2018, all traders who sell cross-bor­der to cus­tom­ers with­in the EU must com­ply with the EU Geo-Block­ing the Reg­u­la­tion (the "Reg­u­la­tion"). [1] Un­less per­mit­ted by EU or Mem­ber State law, traders are no longer al­lowed to block or lim­it ac­cess.
24/10/2018
CMA re­search sug­gests fa­mili­ar­ity with com­pet­i­tion law re­mains low
The Com­pet­i­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (CMA) has launched a car­tel aware­ness cam­paign, after com­mis­sion­ing re­search to meas­ure un­der­stand­ing and aware­ness of com­pet­i­tion law. The re­search covered 1,200 busi­nesses of all sizes and in all sec­tors in the UK, and.
01/10/2018
Ping and Bey­ond: the CAT strikes down an ab­so­lute on­line sales ban
In­tro­duc­tion In Septem­ber 2018, The Com­pet­i­tion Ap­peal Tribunal (CAT) re­jec­ted an ap­peal brought by Ping Europe Lim­ited (Ping) a man­u­fac­turer of golf equip­ment against a de­cision by the Com­pet­i­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (CMA) that it in­fringed com­pet­i­tion law.
07/12/2017
CJEU strengthens sup­pli­ers of lux­ury goods – their third-party plat­form...
In a land­mark judg­ment of 6 Decem­ber 2017 (C-230/16 – Coty Ger­many), the Court of Justice of the European Uni­on (CJEU) has put a pre­lim­in­ary end to the dis­cus­sions on an­ti­trust is­sues con­cern­ing third-party plat­form bans for lux­ury goods - es­sen­tially provid­ing.