Matheson


EU, Competition and Regulatory

EU, Competition and Regulatory

DOWNLOAD PDF >

Print this page

Investing in Ireland
Visit our FDI portal

Related Expertise

Expertise

"In Ireland, we would only use Matheson."
Chambers Europe

Our EU, Competition and Regulatory Group comprises specialist lawyers with experience of working in London, Brussels and Dublin.

We provide expert legal advice on all aspects of EU Law, Competition and Regulatory matters, including merger control, cartel investigations, competition law compliance, dominance, State aid, competition litigation, public procurement and sectoral regulation.

We are consistently ranked as one of the leading EU law and competition law firms in Ireland by international legal directories, including European Legal 500.

Our EU, Competition and Regulatory Group is headed by Helen Kelly who has frequently been recognised as one of Ireland’s leading EU, competition and regulatory lawyers, and who was named as one of Ireland’s three best competition and antitrust lawyers by Euromoney Legal Media Group in its Guide to the World’s Leading Competition and Antitrust lawyers. Helen is also the only Irish lawyer nominated in the "100 Women in Antitrust" survey for Global Competition Review. Helen leads a team of dedicated experts who have built up a wealth of expertise in the competition and regulatory area.  The Group prides itself on offering clients the most sophisticated and commercially focused legal and strategic advice available.

Merger Control

We have significant EU and Irish merger control experience, including advising on mergers under the EU Merger Regulation and the Irish Competition Acts 2002 – 2014.  We have advised extensively on the merger control jurisdiction of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) following the introduction of new turnover thresholds in late 2014.  We have advised on a number of recent complex Phase II mergers before the CCPC including conditional and unconditional clearances and the giving of behavioural undertakings.  Our work includes in-depth experience of advising clients on merger control risk when buying and selling businesses in a competitive bid process.

We also specialise in advising parties involved in ‘media mergers’ who are now required to notify the Minister for Communications, in addition to the European Commission or CCPC, in order to obtain regulatory clearance from a media plurality perspective.

Behavioural Competition Law Rules

We have considerable experience in advising on cartel and dominance investigations by the CCPC and European Commission including dawn raids and witness summons procedures. We act for companies accused of allegations of abuse of a dominant position by the CCPC and for clients making complaints to the European Commission and the CCPC alleging abuse of dominance.

State Aid Rules

We specialise in State aid rules and regularly advise clients on the applicability of these regimes and the remedies available to them. We have advised the State in respect of allegations of State aid and have represented the State before the European Commission.  We advise alleged beneficiaries of State aid on the relevant EU and Irish rules applicable to them.  We have also made numerous complaints to the European Commission alleging the grant of prohibited State aid and been involved in investigations by the European Commission.

Public Procurement Law

We have in-depth expertise in public procurement issues.  We advise suppliers, awarding authorities and the State on public procurement law challenges.  We have advised clients in respect of High Court proceedings seeking set aside and damages and in respect of complaints to the European Commission.

Commercial Agreements and Competition Compliance

We assist in the review of commercial agreements for compliance with EU and Irish competition rules, including block exemptions.  In particular, we have significant experience drafting franchise agreements, technology transfer agreements, selective and exclusive distribution agreements and a range of other vertical and horizontal contractual arrangements.  An important part of this work involves an understanding of the interaction between competition rules and intellectual property law.  We also assist in the preparation of competition audit and compliance programmes for clients.

Competition Litigation

We advise on contentious competition and regulatory cases, including the only follow-on action and the only action involving an amicus curiae application in Ireland to date. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in some of the most significant competition cases before the Irish courts. We also have experience of litigation before the European Courts in Luxembourg.

Sectoral Regulation

We regularly advise on regulated sectors, such as telecommunications, broadcasting, postal services, energy and transport (including aviation, bus and rail).

Experience Highlights

We have a strong track record of representing clients on some of the most significant competition cases in Ireland to date.

Our Merger Control Experience includes advising:

  • Three (part of Hutchison Whampoa) on the European Commission’s Phase II investigation of its acquisition of Telefónica Ireland, ‘O2’ resulting in a clearance subject to conditions;
  • On the merger of two of Ireland’s major bakeries, Irish Pride and Pat The Baker, which involved obtaining unconditional Phase I clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC);
  • Wexford Creamery on the CCPC’s Phase II investigation into its merger with Glanbia, resulting in an unconditional clearance of the transaction;
  • Aramark on its recent acquisition of Avoca Handweavers Limited, which resulted in a successful unconditional Phase I clearance from the CCPC;
  • The Minister for Finance on the European Commission’s unconditional Phase I clearance of the sale of Irish Life Group to Great West Lifeco, the parent company of Canada Life.

Our Contentious Competition Experience includes advising:

  • On the only follow-on damages action that has been brought before the High Court to date, where we acted for one of Ireland’s leading sugar suppliers, Gem Pack, in seeking  damages for abuse of a dominant position by Irish Sugar;
  • On the only amicus curiae application by the Irish competition regulator before the High Court;
  • On the preparation of a report to the European Commission on Irish law issues in relation to the defence of ‘pass-on’ in the context of private competition law damages actions.

Our Behavioural Competition Experience includes advising:

  • On the majority of recent investigations by the CCPC into alleged cartels including attendance at dawn raids, advising on eligibility for the CCPC’s leniency programme and advising on the giving of sworn evidence to the CCPC under its witness summons procedure;
  • Irish and international companies devising and operating exclusive and selective distribution arrangements on exclusive supply and exclusive purchase obligations including minimum purchase obligations, exclusive territories and criteria for selection of authorised distributors.

Our State Aid Experience includes advising:

  • The Minister for Health on the complex State aid issues arising in the private health insurance market, including advising on the position of the State-owned VHI and on the proposed introduction of Universal Health Insurance;
  • The Post Office Ltd on the successful application for State aid clearance for its receipt of UK public funding of around €890 million for providing public services over the period 2015-18;
  • The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) on various State aid issues.

Our Procurement Experience includes advising:

  • An Post, as an awarding authority and as a bidder for public contracts, on a wide range of public procurement law issues;
  • The Minister for Transport on procurement and other issues on the establishment of a competition for an operator of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport.

Our Regulatory Experience includes advising:

  • Three on a range of regulatory issues, including 2015 High Court proceedings by Vodafone, its successful appeal against decisions of ComReg in the wholesale voice call termination market, and its successful bid to roll out the National Broadband Scheme;
  • An Post on a range of regulatory issues, including on defending a High Court action by ComReg seeking the imposition of a €12 million fine on An Post;
  • Premier Lotteries Ireland, which is subject to regulation under the supervision of the Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery which was established by the National Lottery Act 2013;
  • A broad range of global technology companies on the telecommunications regime in Ireland, including in respect of regulatory obligations under ComReg’s General Authorisation (GA), Fixed Wireless Access Local Area (FWALA) licences and Premium Rate Service (PRS) rules and other sector specific licences.

Accolades

"Readily available with experts across a wide range of areas".
Chambers Europe 2017

“Matheson has the size and status in the market that we need. The firm is particularly good on competition, regulatory and litigation matters. It has a great offering on these.”
Chambers Europe 2016

“They’re incredibly reactive and facilitative – excellent lawyers and reputation – very competent and professional. In Ireland, we would only use Matheson. They are our only counsel there and a stronger firm than the others.”
Chambers Europe 2016

"Very happy with the firm's work. We got good value for money and positive legal advice.”
Chambers Europe 2016

The team responded quickly to any demands we had, and brought in other areas of knowledge well."
Chambers Europe 2016

Helen Kelly leads the ‘top-tier’ practice at Matheson.
European Legal 500 2016

Highly recommended
GCR 100, 16th edition

"This team gives strategic antitrust advice, and has a good understanding of clients' businesses."
Chambers Europe 2015

Helen Kelly "is the best in Dublin, very focused and client-friendly".
Chambers Europe 2015

"The team is very proactive. It suggests solutions and alternative ways to approach the issue in order to achieve our objectives."
Chambers Europe 2014

"The team has excellent strategies and picks up on problems very quickly."
Chambers Europe 2014

"They are very commercial and practical lawyers, with brains and energy."
Chambers Europe 2013
 

"In Ireland, we would only use Matheson."
Chambers Europe

Our EU, Competition and Regulatory Group comprises specialist lawyers with experience of working in London, Brussels and Dublin.

We provide expert legal advice on all aspects of EU Law, Competition and Regulatory matters, including merger control, cartel investigations, competition law compliance, dominance, State aid, competition litigation, public procurement and sectoral regulation.

We are consistently ranked as one of the leading EU law and competition law firms in Ireland by international legal directories, including European Legal 500.

Our EU, Competition and Regulatory Group is headed by Helen Kelly who has frequently been recognised as one of Ireland’s leading EU, competition and regulatory lawyers, and who was named as one of Ireland’s three best competition and antitrust lawyers by Euromoney Legal Media Group in its Guide to the World’s Leading Competition and Antitrust lawyers. Helen is also the only Irish lawyer nominated in the "100 Women in Antitrust" survey for Global Competition Review. Helen leads a team of dedicated experts who have built up a wealth of expertise in the competition and regulatory area.  The Group prides itself on offering clients the most sophisticated and commercially focused legal and strategic advice available.

Merger Control

We have significant EU and Irish merger control experience, including advising on mergers under the EU Merger Regulation and the Irish Competition Acts 2002 – 2014.  We have advised extensively on the merger control jurisdiction of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) following the introduction of new turnover thresholds in late 2014.  We have advised on a number of recent complex Phase II mergers before the CCPC including conditional and unconditional clearances and the giving of behavioural undertakings.  Our work includes in-depth experience of advising clients on merger control risk when buying and selling businesses in a competitive bid process.

We also specialise in advising parties involved in ‘media mergers’ who are now required to notify the Minister for Communications, in addition to the European Commission or CCPC, in order to obtain regulatory clearance from a media plurality perspective.

Behavioural Competition Law Rules

We have considerable experience in advising on cartel and dominance investigations by the CCPC and European Commission including dawn raids and witness summons procedures. We act for companies accused of allegations of abuse of a dominant position by the CCPC and for clients making complaints to the European Commission and the CCPC alleging abuse of dominance.

State Aid Rules

We specialise in State aid rules and regularly advise clients on the applicability of these regimes and the remedies available to them. We have advised the State in respect of allegations of State aid and have represented the State before the European Commission.  We advise alleged beneficiaries of State aid on the relevant EU and Irish rules applicable to them.  We have also made numerous complaints to the European Commission alleging the grant of prohibited State aid and been involved in investigations by the European Commission.

Public Procurement Law

We have in-depth expertise in public procurement issues.  We advise suppliers, awarding authorities and the State on public procurement law challenges.  We have advised clients in respect of High Court proceedings seeking set aside and damages and in respect of complaints to the European Commission.

Commercial Agreements and Competition Compliance

We assist in the review of commercial agreements for compliance with EU and Irish competition rules, including block exemptions.  In particular, we have significant experience drafting franchise agreements, technology transfer agreements, selective and exclusive distribution agreements and a range of other vertical and horizontal contractual arrangements.  An important part of this work involves an understanding of the interaction between competition rules and intellectual property law.  We also assist in the preparation of competition audit and compliance programmes for clients.

Competition Litigation

We advise on contentious competition and regulatory cases, including the only follow-on action and the only action involving an amicus curiae application in Ireland to date. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in some of the most significant competition cases before the Irish courts. We also have experience of litigation before the European Courts in Luxembourg.

Sectoral Regulation

We regularly advise on regulated sectors, such as telecommunications, broadcasting, postal services, energy and transport (including aviation, bus and rail).


We have a strong track record of representing clients on some of the most significant competition cases in Ireland to date.

Our Merger Control Experience includes advising:

  • Three (part of Hutchison Whampoa) on the European Commission’s Phase II investigation of its acquisition of Telefónica Ireland, ‘O2’ resulting in a clearance subject to conditions;
  • On the merger of two of Ireland’s major bakeries, Irish Pride and Pat The Baker, which involved obtaining unconditional Phase I clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC);
  • Wexford Creamery on the CCPC’s Phase II investigation into its merger with Glanbia, resulting in an unconditional clearance of the transaction;
  • Aramark on its recent acquisition of Avoca Handweavers Limited, which resulted in a successful unconditional Phase I clearance from the CCPC;
  • The Minister for Finance on the European Commission’s unconditional Phase I clearance of the sale of Irish Life Group to Great West Lifeco, the parent company of Canada Life.

Our Contentious Competition Experience includes advising:

  • On the only follow-on damages action that has been brought before the High Court to date, where we acted for one of Ireland’s leading sugar suppliers, Gem Pack, in seeking  damages for abuse of a dominant position by Irish Sugar;
  • On the only amicus curiae application by the Irish competition regulator before the High Court;
  • On the preparation of a report to the European Commission on Irish law issues in relation to the defence of ‘pass-on’ in the context of private competition law damages actions.

Our Behavioural Competition Experience includes advising:

  • On the majority of recent investigations by the CCPC into alleged cartels including attendance at dawn raids, advising on eligibility for the CCPC’s leniency programme and advising on the giving of sworn evidence to the CCPC under its witness summons procedure;
  • Irish and international companies devising and operating exclusive and selective distribution arrangements on exclusive supply and exclusive purchase obligations including minimum purchase obligations, exclusive territories and criteria for selection of authorised distributors.

Our State Aid Experience includes advising:

  • The Minister for Health on the complex State aid issues arising in the private health insurance market, including advising on the position of the State-owned VHI and on the proposed introduction of Universal Health Insurance;
  • The Post Office Ltd on the successful application for State aid clearance for its receipt of UK public funding of around €890 million for providing public services over the period 2015-18;
  • The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) on various State aid issues.

Our Procurement Experience includes advising:

  • An Post, as an awarding authority and as a bidder for public contracts, on a wide range of public procurement law issues;
  • The Minister for Transport on procurement and other issues on the establishment of a competition for an operator of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport.

Our Regulatory Experience includes advising:

  • Three on a range of regulatory issues, including 2015 High Court proceedings by Vodafone, its successful appeal against decisions of ComReg in the wholesale voice call termination market, and its successful bid to roll out the National Broadband Scheme;
  • An Post on a range of regulatory issues, including on defending a High Court action by ComReg seeking the imposition of a €12 million fine on An Post;
  • Premier Lotteries Ireland, which is subject to regulation under the supervision of the Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery which was established by the National Lottery Act 2013;
  • A broad range of global technology companies on the telecommunications regime in Ireland, including in respect of regulatory obligations under ComReg’s General Authorisation (GA), Fixed Wireless Access Local Area (FWALA) licences and Premium Rate Service (PRS) rules and other sector specific licences.

"Readily available with experts across a wide range of areas".
Chambers Europe 2017

“Matheson has the size and status in the market that we need. The firm is particularly good on competition, regulatory and litigation matters. It has a great offering on these.”
Chambers Europe 2016

“They’re incredibly reactive and facilitative – excellent lawyers and reputation – very competent and professional. In Ireland, we would only use Matheson. They are our only counsel there and a stronger firm than the others.”
Chambers Europe 2016

"Very happy with the firm's work. We got good value for money and positive legal advice.”
Chambers Europe 2016

The team responded quickly to any demands we had, and brought in other areas of knowledge well."
Chambers Europe 2016

Helen Kelly leads the ‘top-tier’ practice at Matheson.
European Legal 500 2016

Highly recommended
GCR 100, 16th edition

"This team gives strategic antitrust advice, and has a good understanding of clients' businesses."
Chambers Europe 2015

Helen Kelly "is the best in Dublin, very focused and client-friendly".
Chambers Europe 2015

"The team is very proactive. It suggests solutions and alternative ways to approach the issue in order to achieve our objectives."
Chambers Europe 2014

"The team has excellent strategies and picks up on problems very quickly."
Chambers Europe 2014

"They are very commercial and practical lawyers, with brains and energy."
Chambers Europe 2013
 



About cookies on our website

Following a revised EU directive on website cookies, each company based, or doing business, in the EU is required to notify users about the cookies used on their website.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience of certain areas of the site and to allow the use of specific functionality like social media page sharing. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but as a result parts of the site may not work as intended.

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)