Competition Law and Regulation

Our competition law and regulation team have a cross-disciplinary practice that covers all aspects of competition law and economic regulation, including:

  • Administrative enforcement of EU and UK competition law prohibitions on anti-competitive conduct
  • Actions for damages and injunctions based on competition law
  • Market investigations and merger control
  • State Aid
  • Public procurement
  • Appeals in the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), and at appellate level in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court
  • Judicial review of regulatory decisions
  • Criminal prosecutions for the cartel offence
  • Specialist expertise in various regulated sectors, including telecommunications, energy, transport and financial services
  • Anti-dumping and other EU trade law issues.

Matrix members have an exceptional range of related expertise in public lawcommercial law and economics, EU and international law, criminal law and employment law, all of which inform our competition law practice.

Matrix members have acted both for and against regulatory bodies and other public agencies, including the European Commission, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and sector regulators such as Ofcom, Ofgem, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Notable cases

Members at Matrix have been involved in many important competition and regulatory law cases in recent years. Recent and notable examples include:

  • Acting for various well known retailers on their large-scale competition law claims against MasterCard and Visa for damages in respect of multilateral interchange fees  (High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court).
  • Acting for UK Truck Claims Ltd in an application for permission to bring a collective action in respect of the trucks cartel (pending).
  • Acting for Veolia, Suez and various other claimants in separate damages actions brought in respect of the trucks cartel.
  • Acting for the Department of Transport in an exceptionally wide-ranging procurement law challenge to rail franchising decisions on the West Coast, East Midland and South Eastern franchises.
  • Acting for a major importer of grain in a High Court claim against Peel Ports concerning an allegedly anticompetitive refusal of access to unloading and storage services at the Ports of Liverpool and Glasgow (High Court, ongoing).
  • Acting for Banks Renewables in its judicial review challenge against the Secretary of State’s decision to exclude onshore wind generators from access to government subsidies.
  • Acting for a new entrant on the academic dress market in a claim against Ede & Ravenscroft alleging abuse of a dominant position and anti-competitive agreements (Competition Appeal Tribunal, ongoing).
  • Acting for Unlockd, an innovative tech start-up, suing Google for abuse of its dominant position in relation to Google Play and AdMob products and related applications for interim injunctive relief and regarding jurisdiction.
  • Acting for the owners of Coventry City Football Club challenging two of Coventry City Council’s decisions with respect to its subsidiary, Arena Coventry Limited, as unlawful State aids.
  • Advising and acting for British Telecommunications (BT) in a range of telecoms and competition matters before Ofcom, the CAT, the Court of Appeal, and in the CJEU, including the digital communications review, the rollout out of superfast broadband and the broadcasting of UEFA Champions League and Europa Cup football.
  • Defending Ecotricity, the UK’s leading green electricity company, in a competition law dispute with Tesla in relation to the provision of electric charging services in the UK.
  • Acting for HSBC in the appeal before the CJEU against the EU Commission’s decision finding the multilateral interchange fees set by MasterCard to infringe the prohibition on anti-competitive collusion.
  • Advising Ofgem on its investigation into whether Economy Energy, E (Gas and Electricity) and Dyball Associates infringed Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998.
  • Advising and acting for ORR in a range of regulatory and competition law cases, including a recent judicial review concerning Crossrail and access charging for services to Heathrow Airport.
  • Advising on issues arising from the CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising and related matters.
  • Advising on issues arising from the EU Commission’s infringement decision in Case AT.40099 Google Android and related matters.
  • Acting for respondents to administrative proceedings across a variety of sectors, including asset management, telecoms, groundworks, furniture and domestic fuel
  • Advising motor manufacturers on the requirements of competition law in relation to sale and distribution.

Leading publications and appointments

  • Bellamy and Child’s European Community Law of Competition (8th ed, 2018) (chapter on abuse of a dominant position)
  • Rhodri and Christopher are the editors (with Ros Kellaway of Eversheds) of UK Competition Law: the New Framework (OUP, 2015), a leading treatise on the various recent reforms to the UK competition law regime. The work includes contributions from various Matrix members on individual criminal liability and on private enforcement of competition law in the domestic courts.
  • O’Kane’s The Law of Criminal Cartels (the chapter on Civil Cartel Investigations in the UK)
  • Montgomery and Ormerod’s Fraud (OUP looseleaf) (both editing and contributing the chapter on cartel investigations and prosecutions)
  • Christopher is also on the Advisory Board of the Competition Law Journal.
  • Christopher and Nicholas are members of the Joint Working Party of the Bars and Law Societies of the UK.
  • Nicholas is on the consulting editorial board of LexisPSL (Competition).

Specialist areas

Matrix has some of the leading practitioners in the field of prosecutions arising out of cartel behaviour. We successfully defended certain British Airways executives accused of having committed the cartel offence in respect of air passenger fuel surcharges.

Other related areas of specialist expertise include due process issues under EU and ECHR law, in respect of which many members of Matrix are well placed to advise and represent clients.