Picture of Caroline Hobson

Caroline Hobson

Partner
Co-head of Competition

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

Caroline co-leads the CMS UK Competition Team advising on a wide range of EU and UK competition law and regulatory issues. Caroline has particular experience in the consumer products, financial services and life sciences sectors. She has advised on numerous merger notifications to the Competition and Markets Authority, European Commission and in multi-jurisdictional cases, as well as advising clients on Article 101/Chapter I cartel investigations and Article 102/Chapter II dominance issues. She advises extensively on competition law risk management and compliance strategies and has attended raids conducted by the EU and UK competition authorities.

Caroline is currently advising Aon in relation to the CMA’s investment consultants market investigation, Arora Group on its participation as interested party in the judicial review claims against the Government’s decision to designate the Airport National Policy Statement and confirm Heathrow as the location for the new South-east runway, various parties in ongoing CMA and EU merger notifications; and a number of parties in different sectors subject to CMA consumer enforcement actions.

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Relevant experience

  • Eurostar on merger control approvals following the sale by the UK Government of its stake in Eurostar.
  • A leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in a European Commission investigation into the supply of medicines.
  • A multi-national pharmaceutical client in the European Commission's pharmaceutical sector inquiry.
  • A principal infringing party in the Office of Fair Trading's construction cartel investigation into bid rigging in England.
  • Sports World in a Chapter I investigation by the Office of Fair Trading concerning price fixing of replica football kit.
  • A multi-national personal care manufacturer in the OFT's UK Brands inquiry.
  • Post Office on a wide range of competition and procurement issues, including the procurement aspects of a significant IT outsourcing project involving the appointment of a number of ‘tower’ providers.
  • British Telecommunications plc v NHS Scotland 2014 (procurement challenge concerning the award of a significant ICT contract).
  • An energy company on issues arising from the EU Syrian sanctions regime, including the submission of a licence application to HM Treasury.
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Education

  • 1996 - LPC College of Law, Guildford
  • 1995 - BA (Hons) Cantab Law 2:1, Murray Edwards College, (formerly New Hall College), Cambridge
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Memberships

  • Procurement Lawyers’ Association
  • Law Society’s Competition Section
  • Competition Law Association 
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Public Procurement

Caroline Hobson is a partner in CMS London specialising in competition, procurement and sanctions matters.

Caroline has a broad public procurement practice and works very closely with the CMS Outsourcing and Projects teams.  She acts for public bodies and utilities and has significant experience of advising contracting authorities on all aspects of running compliant tender processes. She also works closely with suppliers to support them through bidding processes and challenging procurement decisions. Caroline advises clients from a wide range of sectors, with particular experience of advising on procurement issues in the ICT, life sciences & healthcare and infrastructure sectors.  

Being a competition lawyer, Caroline is also able to use her skills to combine procurement advice with advice on competition law risks, which can be particularly valuable to suppliers who may have dominant positions and require compliant pricing strategies, or those suppliers who are competing for contracts in which significant interaction with competitors may be required.

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Relevant experience

  • Post Office Limited on a large IT infrastructure and transformation project.
  • National Grid on a range of competition and procurement issues arising from projects and outsourcings.
  • Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers on the procurement rules applying to NHS tenders including acting for a number of manufacturers seeking to bring procurement challenges.
  • Medical device trade association, Advamed, on the research and drafting of a white paper entitled “Good Practices for the Procurement of Innovative Medical Technology” advocating how better procurement practices in the sourcing of medical devices can drive innovation and better value for public health authorities.
  • British Telecommunications plc v NHS Scotland 2014 (procurement challenge concerning the award of a significant ICT contract).
  • Construction, engineering, ICT and business services clients in their participation in various public sector procurements from reviewing tender documentation, assisting with tender strategies, to considering the procurement issues raised by post-contract award variations.
  • Clients in the satellite sector on the application of the procurement rules to procurements by EU authorities.
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Education

  • 1996 - LPC College of Law, Guildford
  • 1995 - BA (Hons) Cantab Law 2:1, Murray Edwards College, (formerly New Hall College), Cambridge
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Memberships

  • Procurement Lawyers’ Association
  • Law Society’s Competition Section
  • Competition Law Association 
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Sanctions & Export Controls

Caroline Hobson is a partner in CMS London specialising in competition, procurement and sanctions matters.

She advises clients on the application of EU and UK sanctions rules, helping to identify risks in commercial transactions, submitting licence applications to HM Treasury and BIS and advising on compliance measures with sanctions and export control laws. She regularly works with other CMS offices and US lawyers to provide coordinated multi-jurisdictional sanctions advice.

Recently, Caroline has provided extensive advice to clients in the energy, insurance and technology sectors trading with Russian, Ukraine and Crimea on the impact of the EU sanctions rules imposed during 2014, as well as advising clients on how the changing Iranian sanctions regime will affect commercial activities.

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Relevant experience

  • An energy company on issues arising from the EU Syrian sanctions regime, including the submission of a licence application to HM Treasury.
  • An oil company on the application of UK and EU sanctions rules and coordinating advice on the application of the US sanctions rules to the operation of a joint venture.
  • A number of companies on the impact of the EU sanctions rules imposed on Russia during 2014, including the enhancement of compliance and screening measures.
  • An industrial equipment manufacturer on the scope and application of EU and UK export control legislation.
  • Providing training to and advising a major technology company on sanctions and export control rules in the company’s four key jurisdictions of trading including coordinating and working with foreign counsel for expert advice regarding the sanctions regimes in Hong Kong, USA and the Netherlands.
  • Various clients on the application of export control restrictions, reviewing products listed in the Dual-Use Regulation, and generally advising on the UK government’s classification and licensing tools.
  • Various real estate companies on compliance measures to ensure that their processes used in property sales are sufficiently robust to ensure compliance with sanctions rules.
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Education

  • 1996 - LPC College of Law, Guildford
  • 1995 - BA (Hons) Cantab Law 2:1, Murray Edwards College, (formerly New Hall College), Cambridge
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Memberships

  • Procurement Lawyers’ Association
  • Law Society’s Competition Section
  • Competition Law Association 
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Feed

Show only
04/03/2019
Ad­vising the Board on Com­pet­i­tion Law Risk
16/04/2019
The new EU frame­work for screen­ing for­eign in­vest­ment is now in force
On 10 April 2019, the EU frame­work for screen­ing for­eign dir­ect in­vest­ment (FDI) came in­to force, al­low­ing the European Com­mis­sion and Mem­ber States un­til 11 Oc­to­ber 2020 to put in place mech­an­isms and re­sources to com­ply.
October 2018
E-pub­lic pro­cure­ment
E-pub­lic pro­cure­ment in a nut­shell
10/04/2019
A mixed bill of health for EU loan syn­dic­a­tion
The much an­ti­cip­ated EU re­port on loan syn­dic­a­tion was pub­lished on 5 April 2019. It was po­si­tioned as a fact-find­ing ex­er­cise, com­mis­sioned by the European Com­mis­sion in 2017 and car­ried out by a third party con­sultancy, to study the func­tion­ing of the syn­dic­ated.
4 December 2017
Risk Mat­ters: In­sur­ance Sec­tor Up­date (Winter 2017/18)
04/03/2019
Con­firm­a­tion of con­tin­ued UK ac­cess to the WTO’s Gov­ern­ment Pro­cure­ment...
The World Trade Or­gan­isa­tion (WTO) Agree­ment on Gov­ern­ment Pro­cure­ment (GPA) en­ables UK busi­nesses to bid for gov­ern­ment con­tracts in the mar­kets of oth­er GPA parties. It also al­lows for­eign busi­nesses to bid for con­tracts tendered by UK pro­cur­ing en­tit­ies.
May 2018
CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Tool­box of Rem­ed­ies
Tool­box of rem­ed­ies in pub­lic award pro­ced­ures avail­able...
01/03/2019
Count­down to Brexit: A No Deal Check­list for busi­ness
The UK is due to leave the EU in just 28 days' time, with or without a Brexit deal. It is pos­sible that the UK and EU27 gov­ern­ments will agree an ex­ten­sion to the dead­line, but this is not cer­tain. If it does hap­pen, it might come as late as the last week.
11 January 2017
Con­sumer products and re­tail dis­putes and in­vest­ig­a­tions
22/02/2019
Shar­ing in­form­a­tion about com­pany valu­ations: the FCA is­sues its first...
On 21 Feb­ru­ary 2019, the Fin­an­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FCA) is­sued its first form­al de­cision us­ing its com­pet­i­tion en­force­ment powers since the FCA be­came a con­cur­rent com­pet­i­tion reg­u­lat­or in 2015, a de­cision which finds that three as­set man­age­ment firms breached.
11 January 2017
Food and bever­age
22/02/2019
The FCA finds lim­ited is­sues in its Whole­sale In­sur­ance Brokers Mar­ket...
On 20 Feb­ru­ary 2019, the Fin­an­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FCA) pub­lished its fi­nal re­port clos­ing its mar­ket study in­to the whole­sale in­sur­ance brokers mar­ket, in an un­usu­al step which could largely be re­garded as a suc­cess for brokers giv­en the lim­ited cri­ti­cisms.