Shepherd and Wedderburn has claimed Competition Team of the Year title in the Lawyer Awards 2014.
The awards, now in their twentieth year, are a celebration of excellence in the profession across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry, and the Bar.
On receiving the award, Head of Competition, John Schmidt said:
"We are delighted to be recognised as competition team of the year. We are grateful to our clients who entrust us with their complex cases, and are proud of our great team of dedicated lawyers who work hard to deliver the innovative solutions and impartial advice required in order to achieve positive outcomes for our clients."
From the many nominations received, the judging panel looked for cases that were both significant and well managed. The market abuse case in which Shepherd and Wedderburn acted for Albion Water qualified on both counts. In that case the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) ordered record damages to be paid by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to compensate Albion Water for loss of profit and opportunity.
The victory was significant in that it created precedents in how courts deal with dominant network providers. As the first CAT case to be third-party funded, it also created a realistic framework and route for smaller organisations to pursue cases against those with more financial muscle, demonstrating that smaller companies can enter a market without being forced into insolvency or hindered by a monopolist.
Speaking about the case, Shepherd and Wedderburn London Head of Disputes, Guy Harvey said:
“With assistance from eminent Counsel and the innovative support of funders we were able to harness the indefatigable energy and determination of our client’s board to produce the result which they richly deserved. It is so rewarding when we can help the law make a real difference and secure a bright future for Albion.”
Over the last year Shepherd and Wedderburn has acted in and won a number of other high profile competition cases across the retail and financial services sectors. Recently the firm advised John Lewis in the investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into the pricing of sports bras, a case which the Competition and Markets Authority dropped. In another case it also obtained a High Court injunction for a refusal to supply.