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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.

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Relevant experience

  • Conoco-Phillips UK on competition and merger control issues arising from its USD2.7bn acquisition by Chrysaor.
  • Aon on the FCA’s asset management market study and subsequent CMA market investigation into the provision of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services.
  • Comcast on all media merger control and media regulatory aspects of its US$65billion bid for 21st Century Fox.
  • Gamesys on its combination with JPJ Group Plc.
  • CGI on its acquisition of IT provider, SCISYS Group plc, including securing Phase I CMA clearance and coordinating other national filings.
  • ITV plc on the competition aspects of its licensing arrangements with ad-tech firm Amobee to create a programmatic TV ad-platform.
  • A bank on a FCA competition investigation into anti-competitive information sharing.
  • Liberty Global on coordinating merger notifications relating to the disposal of its DTH satellite TV operations in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania to M7 Group.
  • Ametek on its acquisition of the peripherals business, Gatan, from Roper Technologies.
  • Arora Group on the competition and regulatory aspects of its planning application for Heathrow expansion and its participation as an interested party in the judicial review of the UK Government’s decision to designate the Airport National Policy Statement.
  • Clients in the hotel booking and secondary ticketing sectors subject to CMA consumer enforcement investigations including the negotiation of undertakings.
  • Rank Group Plc on its acquisition of Stride Gaming Plc.
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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

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28 April 2020
Key con­sid­er­a­tions for con­duct­ing in­tern­al in­vest­ig­a­tions...
29 Apr 20
CMA pub­lishes clear­ance de­cision in Flut­ter En­ter­tain­ment plc and...
On 31 March 2020 the CMA cleared Flut­ter En­ter­tain­ment plc’s (“Flut­ter”) mer­ger with The Stars Group Inc (“Stars”). The parties both op­er­ate in the UK’s thriv­ing on­line gambling in­dustry and...
CMS Ex­pert Guide to State Aid Dur­ing Coronavir­us Crisis
24 Apr 20
UK Par­lia­ment­ary in­quiry ex­am­ines the role of the FCO in UK for­eign...
The UK Par­lia­ment­ary For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee has opened an in­quiry in­to the For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice (FCO)’s role in block­ing for­eign as­set strip­ping of UK com­pan­ies. The in­quiry comes as there...
CMS Ex­pert Guide to Com­pet­i­tion Law Dur­ing Coronavir­us...
06 Apr 20
OF­SI’s first multi-mil­lion pound sanc­tions fine - a trend to­wards...
In­tro­duc­tion The Of­fice of Fin­an­cial Sanc­tions Im­ple­ment­a­tion (“OF­SI”) was cre­ated as a sep­ar­ate unit of HM Treas­ury in 2016 to en­sure that fin­an­cial sanc­tions im­posed by the EU and the UK gov­ern­ment...
November 2019
CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Tool­box of Rem­ed­ies
Tool­box of rem­ed­ies in pub­lic award pro­ced­ures avail­able...
31 Mar 20
Is the gov­ern­ment do­ing enough for the UK’s air­line in­dustry?
The re­cent an­nounce­ment by the US gov­ern­ment that it is mak­ing US$25 bil­lion of grants and a fur­ther US$25 bil­lion of loans avail­able to sup­port the pas­sen­ger air­line in­dustry in the United States con­trasts...
November 2019
E-pub­lic pro­cure­ment
E-pub­lic pro­cure­ment in a nut­shell
31 Mar 20
Mer­ger con­trol in the UK and COV­ID-19: where are we now?
Cor­rect as of 9am on  31 March 2020. This art­icle is  be­ing main­tained. As Europe re­sponds to the COV­ID-19 emer­gency, fast-mov­ing events are lead­ing to changes of ap­proach by com­pet­i­tion reg­u­lat­ors...
25 September 2019
CMS ad­vises The Re­new­ables In­fra­struc­ture Group Lim­ited...
26 Mar 20
Buy­ing in a crisis – UK and Scot­tish Gov­ern­ments cla­ri­fy how the pub­lic...
Cor­rect as of 5pm on 26/03/2020. This art­icle is be­ing main­tained. Use­ful cla­ri­fic­a­tion on the ap­plic­a­tion of the pro­cure­ment rules to the cur­rent COV­ID-19 crisis has now been pub­lished by the UK and...