Barristers at One Essex Court regularly appear in some of the largest and highest profile competition proceedings before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the Business & Property Courts, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Members of One Essex Court are at the forefront of regulatory enforcement/appeals; private damages actions in the UK; collective proceedings orders (CPO); international cartel proceedings; allegations of abuse of dominant position; restraint of trade; anti-competitive behaviour; EC state aid rules; UK and EC merger proceedings; references and regulatory work (particularly in energy, utilities and telecommunications) in relation to charges and licence modifications for a wide variety of domestic and international clients, including in judicial review proceedings in relation to OFGEM, OFWAT and CMA decisions.
Our work covers a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, media / technology, sport, banking & financial services, energy and utilities and natural resources, transport and infrastructure, the environment and the UK grocery and retail markets.
Counsel here also have an in-depth understanding of business economics, which enables practical and commercial advice of real value to clients. One Essex Court’s longstanding commercial law expertise also supports our work in competition cases, where questions of governing law, jurisdiction, limitation, causation and quantum might arise. Particular expertise is also available in areas where competition law and intellectual property law overlap including FRAND.
The work of barristers at One Essex Court has helped develop and shape the law with leading cases such as Provimi Limited v Aventis Animal Nutrition and SA & Ors, which developed the private right to claim damages for anticompetitive conduct, entrenched the ability to bring claims against foreign defendants based on the presence of an English anchor defendant, and explored the ambit of the single economic entity doctrine; and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v. Visa Europe Services LLC and Others from first instance to the Supreme Court, which remains one of the seminal cases in the development of UK competition law.
Current mandates for counsel here include: Justin la Patourel v. BT Group plc and British Telecommunications Plc, the first opt-out collective proceedings trial to be scheduled; Airwave Solutions Limited & Others v CMA, successfully defending the CMA in the first ever challenge to the making of a market investigation reference; and Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen v. Meta Platforms, Inc. and Others, the £2.3bn landmark case relating to the harvesting of personal data; as well as blockbuster litigation such as Microsoft Corporation/Activision v. CMA concerning the CMA’s decision to block Microsoft’s US$68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard; and the ongoing Walter Merricks CBE v. MasterCard Inc. proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the largest single claim in English legal history seeking over £14bn in damages.
Some of our most notable cases include:
- Microsoft Corporation and Activision v. CMA: Challenge to CMA’s decision to block Microsoft’s US$68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
- Charles Arthur v. Alphabet Inc. and Others: Concerning allegations of anti-competitive conduct in the ad tech sector.
- Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen v. Meta Platforms, Inc. and Others: The £2.3bn landmark case relating to the harvesting of personal data.
- Walter Merricks CBE v MasterCard Inc: The largest single claim in English legal history seeking over £14bn in damages.
- The Merchant Interchange Fee (MIF) Umbrella Proceedings: The multi-billion pound claims against MasterCard and Visa concerning payment card interchange fees.
- Commercial and Interregional Card Claims I; II; III and IV: The multi-billion opt-in and opt-out claims against MasterCard and Visa.
- Airwave Solutions Limited & Others v CMA: Challenge to CMA’s decision to impose a price cap on the supply of communications network services for emergency personnel.
- Epic Games, Inc. and Others v. Alphabet Inc., Google LLC and Others; and Elizabeth Helen Coll v. Alphabet Inc. and Others: Disputes concerning the licensing of smart mobile operating systems; the distribution of Android apps to Android device users; and for the provision of payment processing services for Relevant Purchases.
- The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care & Others v. Lundbeck Limited & Others: Follow-on damages claim relating to the supply of drugs to the NHS.
- FX Litigation: Disputes arising out of allegations of anti-competitive cartel manipulation of the Foreign Currency Exchange markets by large investment and retail banks.
- The ‘Trucks’ litigation: Stand-alone and follow-on damages claims concerning cartels between vehicle manufacturers, which operated across Europe for approximately 15 years.
- Betgenius Limited v. Sportradar AG and Others; Football Dataco Limited v. Sportradar AG and Others; and Genius Sports Technologies v. Soft Construct (Malta): Disputes relating to Sports data rights, data collection and distribution rights in the context of betting on English and Scottish football.
- Phones4U v. EE Limited & Ors: Dispute arising from alleged cartel conduct, which it is claimed caused Phones4U to cease trading and enter administration.
- Kelloo.com (UK) Limited and Others v. Google UK Limited & Others: Alleged anti-competitive conduct relating to online comparison shopping services and adverts.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver v. Barclays Bank Plc and Others: Allegations of unlawful collusion between London banks to manipulate USD LIBOR.
- Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v. Visa Europe Services LLC and Others: CAT, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court hearings in relation to payment card interchange fees.
- Emerald Supplies Limited v. British Airways: Allegations of global infringements of competition law by airlines in setting components of air freight charges.
- Sports Disciplinary Panels: For a leading sports team in claims for breach of cost control rules.