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Competition Section

Competition Section annual conference (18 May 2017)

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2017 theme: Brexit and beyond

The conference has been designed to keep practitioners abreast of the latest updates, trends and legislation in competition law from the perspectives of leading figures in the industry. Sir John Vickers, warden of All Souls College, University of Oxford and chair of the Brexit competition law working group, delivered the keynote address.

The 2017 conference theme was Brexit and its implications on EU and UK competition law , with additional focus on the following topics:

  • competition litigation
  • merger control
  • pharmaceutical sector developments
  • antitrust enforcement.


Welcome and introduction

Omar Shah, partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP and vice-chair, Competition Section Committee

Keynote address

Speaker: Professor Sir John Vickers, warden of All Souls College, University of Oxford and chair of the Brexit competition law working group

Plenary 1: Brexit: implications, major issues and developments

  • Implications of Brexit for UL competition law and policy, including short term changes, transitional arrangements as well as possible futuredevelopments in the case law.

Chair: Andrea Appella, deputy general counsel, 21st Century Fox and member, Competition Section Committee
Speakers: Elizabeth McKnight, consultant, Herbert Smith Freehills
Thomas Sharpe QC, barrister, One Essex Court
Isabel Taylor, partner, Slaughter and May and member, Competition Section Committee
Richard Whish QC (Hon), emeritus professor of Law, King’s College London

  • The Law Society’s input on Brexit

Speaker: Clive Black, head of Relationship Management (City), The Law Society

Plenary 2: Competition litigation

  • Lessons from the first two CAT class certification hearings (Walter Merricks v MasterCard, Mobility Scooter)
  • Revival of the CAT as a forum
  • Territorial scope of the EU competition rules, and the circumstances in which the English courts will assume jurisdiction over worldwide cartel claims
  • Jurisdictional and other issues and solutions post Brexit.

Chair: Keith Jones, partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP and member, Competition Section Committee
Speakers: Marie Demetriou QC, barrister, Brick Court Chambers
Elizabeth Jordan, dispute resolution counsel, Linklaters
Frances Murphy, partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP
Meredith Pickford QC, barrister, Monckton Chambers

Plenary 3: Merger control

  • Recent developments at the CMA (procedural reform, the revised retail commentary and remedies)
  • Brexit and the implications for the UK merger control regime
  • The Hutchison/O2 case and its implications for practitioners.

Chair: Alastair Chapman, partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and member, Competition Section Committee
Speakers: Dr Adrian Majumdar, partner, RBB Economics
Ali Nikpay, partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
Veronica Roberts, partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Plenary 4: Pharmaceutical sector developments

  • External and in-house views on advising companies in a closely-scrutinised sector
  • Review of recent EU and UK ‘pay for delay’ cases
  • Legal and economic aspects of excessive pricing.

Chair: Becket McGrath, partner, Cooley LLP and member, Competition Section Committee
Speakers: Dr Avantika Chowdhury, ‎principal, Oxera
Fleur Herrenschmidt, senior legal counsel antitrust, Novartis
Dr Sophie Lawrance, partner, Bristows
George Peretz QC, barrister, Monckton Chambers 

Plenary 5: Antitrust enforcement

  • Current CMA approaches to enforcement
  • Competition and enforcement issues in the digital world
  • Current issues on selective distribution
  • Bans on use of online market places
  • Tacit collusion through artificial intelligence
  • Behavioural discrimination through the internet.

Chair: Richard Eccles, partner, Bird & Bird LLP and member, Competition Section Committee
Speakers: Andreas Eberhardt, senior legal counsel antitrust, Richemont International S.A
Ariel Ezrachi, Slaughter and May professor of competition law and a fellow of Pembroke College, University of Oxford
Paul Gilbert, counsel, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Dr Michael Grenfell, executive director, enforcement, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

Closing remarks

Omar Shah, partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP and vice-chair, Competition Section Committee

Spring drinks reception

The Law Society’s Reading Room Time: 17:30 – 19:00

Registration for the Competition Section annual conference included an invitation to the post-event spring drinks reception. This informal gathering offered the chance to network with competition law practitioners, fellow delegates, speakers and Competition Section Committee members in a relaxed environment.

The Competition Section annual conference presentation slides and notes are available for purchase. For more information call 0207 316 5700 or email:

Principal sponsor

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Media partners


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Benefits of Membership*

Competition Section renewals

The Competition Section will provide you with support, advice, networking opportunities and enable the sharing of best practice with peers.

The current Section engagement programme has been created in consultation with the Section Advisory Committee and will focus on key issues including:

  • Compliance and regulation
  • Brexit
  • Abuse of dominance
  • Damages actions
  • Mergers
  • Cartel enforcement
  • Dawn Raids
  • Sector Inquiries

These issues will be addressed through a range of activities including: Seminars, Podcasts, Conference, Annual Dinner, Webinars and a LinkedIn Group.

*See Section terms and conditions

Join today