The annual Competition Section conference is an established fixture in the competition law calendar. Offering excellent value for money, it draws on speakers from the UK and overseas and includes leading practitioners, regulators and economic experts.

Uniquely, this is the only competition law conference designed by competition law specialists, offering all those with an interest in this highly visible area of law an opportunity to network with experienced practitioners, clients, government officials, regulators and representatives from the judiciary in a relaxing atmosphere at the Law Society. 

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08:45 - 09:15 Registration and refreshments 

09:15- 09:20 Welcome and introduction
Stephen Smith, partner, RPC and vice-chair, Competition Section Committee

09:20 - 09:50 Keynote address
Speaker: Juliane Kokott, advocate general, Court of Justice of the European Union 

09:50 - 11:00 Plenary 1 – Anti-trust enforcement/commitments
Policy and practical considerations arising of commitments as remedies tools in anti-trust enforcement.
Chair: Richard Whish QC (Hon), emeritus professor of law, King’s College London
Speakers: Sarah Cardell, general counsel, CMA
James Aitken, partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

11:00 - 11:20 Morning refreshments

11:20 - 12:30 Plenary 2 - State aid
Why is the Commission investigating tax rulings (such as Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, Fiat) under State aid law?
What do competition lawyers need to know about the tax cases?
How can businesses protect themselves from State aid risk?
What are the wider implications of these cases?
Chair: Jackie Holland, special adviser, Competition Group, Slaughter and May
Speakers: Nicole Robins, senior consultant, Oxera
Adina Claici, member of Chief Economist Team, DG Competition, European Commission    

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch, networking and exhibition

13:30 - 14:40 Plenary 3 - E-commerce/digital markets

Update on the European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry, including the initial findings on geo-blocking
Summary of recent verticals enforcement by the German Federal Cartel Office, with a focus on online sales restrictions
The interaction between competition law, copyright and the wider Digital Single Market agenda.
Chair: Becket McGrath, partner, Cooley LLP and member, Competition Section Committee 
Speakers: Thomas Kramler, head of Digital Single Market Task Force, e-commerce sector inquiry, DG Competition, European Commission
Birgit Krueger, head of General Policy Division, Bundeskartellamt
Andrea Appella, deputy general counsel, 21st Century Fox and member, Competition Section Committee

14:40 - 15:50 Plenary 4 – Merger control
Recent case developments.
Chair: Samantha Mobley, head of Competition, Baker & McKenzie LLP  
Speakers: David Parker, director, Frontier Economics
Sheldon Mills, senior director, CMA

15:50 - 16:10 Afternoon refreshments

16:10 - 17:20 Plenary 5 - Competition litigation

Key elements in a private enforcement action (including forum, jurisdiction, limitation, disclosure and damages) from a claimant and defendant perspective
Operation of the new UK private enforcement regime to date
Likely impact of the EU Damages Directive
Recent judicial developments, including Emerald v British Airways, Arcadia v Visa, and CDC Hydrogen Peroxide.
Chair: Omar Shah, partner, Morgan Lewis LLP and member, Competition Section Committee
Speakers: Kim Dietzel, partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
Tim Ward QC, Monckton Chambers
Lambros Kilaniotis, partner, RPC

17:20 - 17:30 Closing remarks
Stephen Smith, partner, RPC and vice-chair, Competition Section Committee, The Law Society

17:30 - 19:00 Spring drinks reception

Please note the programme is subject to change

Why attend?

  • Engaging panel sessions focusing on:
  • Merger control
  • Use of commitments as a remedies tool
  • The digital single market and the European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry
  • State aid
  • Competition litigation.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone with an interest in competition law and anti-trust issues, including solicitors, barristers, regulators, economists and in-house counsel.