Increasingly, companies face the risk that they or their industries will be subject to competition law scrutiny, with potentially far-reaching consequences. Individual firms with strong market positions may also be subject to investigation in areas such as discriminatory pricing, refusal to supply, margin squeeze and exclusivity arrangements.

We provide clients with clear, pragmatic and tactical advice on a wide range of anti-competitive conduct and restrictive agreements including distribution, licensing and supply agreements.

In addition, EU and national competition authorities conduct studies and investigations into markets to determine whether they are working effectively and, if not, implement changes to the structure of the market or commence enforcement actions against market players. We understand that these exercises can prove costly and extremely time consuming for affected firms and we aim to provide cost-efficient, practical advice on how to handle them.

Our services

We provide strategic advice across a range of sectors on commercial agreements and market conduct, including how to structure arrangements to ensure competition law compliance and how to engage effectively with competition authorities in relevant jurisdictions.

We support clients in developing their strategies for dealing with competition authorities, and managing their expectations (e.g. for detailed commercial information), helping them to prepare submissions, respond to information requests and negotiate commitments or undertakings.

As part of our Regulatory Risk and Compliance offering, we can help you to develop sound competition law risk management strategies and compliance policies, and to conduct in-depth audits, along with crisis management, litigation risk and exposure assessments. 

Our experience

Representing one of the UK’s major energy suppliers in the market investigation undertaken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the energy supply market in Great Britain. This involved examining a number of theories of harm, including vertical integration; price opacity and lack of liquidity in wholesale markets; and weak retail competition arising from lack of customer engagement and badly designed regulatory interventions, as well as tacit coordination among leading suppliers.

Providing advice to a fast growing technology infrastructure business on risks arising from the sharing of information with competitors on the roll-out of new infrastructure. The Shepherd and Wedderburn team explored with the client the scope to configure information sharing arrangements in a competition law-compliant manner and how the relevant sectoral regulatory regime could be adapted to mitigate competition law risks.

Advising a major exporter on suspected bid-rigging activity by its sales staff in a number of jurisdictions, including the UK, South Asia, Korea and China. The Shepherd and Wedderburn team coordinated a multi-jurisdictional project to gather evidence and evaluate the competition law risks arising under different regimes and opportunities to seek immunity and/or leniency under applicable leniency programmes.