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Competition Investigations & Raids

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With the increase in businesses operating across borders, we understand the need to spot potential competition law issues at an early stage. Increasing media prominence is given to competition law infringements, and the level of financial penalties is rising. An unexpected visit from the European Commission or the Competition and Markets Authority, or the launch of a market review or investigation, can be a difficult and time-consuming experience.

We can help you manage your businesses risk. With a well-considered policy on dealing with dawn raids, you can protect your legal interests and manage the immediate burdens of dawn raids. And in the unlikely event that a raid or investigation occurs, we can provide you with an instant response team. We can also help you if you are involved in a broader market review or investigation. We have significant experience of assisting clients in responding to information requests, attending hearings, developing arguments to deploy during the investigation and working with economists and other consultants.

Our practice combines regulatory lawyers and forensic specialists. We have extensive experience of providing client audit and compliance (including mock dawn raids) services, which mirror the techniques used by competition and other regulatory authorities. These forensic tools give an understanding of what data a business holds and where, as well as who can access that data and what uses they make of it. Knowing what your company knows and being able to improve systems, combined with the application of first-class substantive competition law skills, can be a very powerful compliance tool.

Our recent experience related to competition includes:

  • Advising ThirdWay Interiors in the CMA’s cover pricing investigation into design, build and fit-out of office space, leading to final settlement.
  • Advising GlaxoSmithKline, the lead party, in the UK's only ever 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 (novel issues at the IP/competition interface and new ways of testing economic evidence).
  • Advising Mercedes-Benz on five separate civil and criminal UK competition law investigations into the commercial vehicles market, leading to settlement and successful resolution.
  • Advising Resolution Chemicals on the EU Lundbeck investigation.
  • Advising a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in a European Commission investigation into the supply of medicines
  • Representing a principal infringing party in the Office of Fair Trading’s construction cartel investigation into bid rigging in England
  • Acting for various parties under investigation in Financial Conduct Authority competition enforcement investigations

What clients say about us:

  • CMS lawyers are "very good experts who are pragmatic and serious."
  • Caroline Hobson has "a really good knowledge of competition law and is unflappable."
  • Brian Sher is a "very good expert who takes the time to discuss things and tries to provide his clients with added-value advice."

To find out more about other related services you can visit the Risk and Investigations expertise section.

High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in In­vest­ig­a­tions & Raids in the UK
High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence:A multi-na­tion­al phar­ma­ceut­ic­al cli­ent on a dawn raid as part of the European Com­mis­sion’s phar­ma­ceut­ic­al sec­tor in­quiry.A ma­jor con­struc­tion group on a dawn raid, le­ni­ency...
Law-Now: In­vest­ig­a­tions & Raids
Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary

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The last couple of years have seen some im­port­ant de­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish case law in the area of leg­al pro­fes­sion­al priv­ilege, from the Court of Ap­peal over­turn­ing a re­strict­ive in­ter­pret­a­tion of lit­ig­a­tion...
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The new European Com­mis­sion­er in charge of Com­pet­i­tion policy, Mar­grethe Vestager, re­cently an­nounced her in­ten­tion to con­duct a com­pet­i­tion sec­tor in­quiry in­to the e-com­merce sec­tor. The Com­mis­sion is...