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Competition Law & Commercial Agreements

Competition law can apply to a wide range of commercial agreements and can result in key clauses being struck out or investigation of the parties.

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EU and national competition and antitrust laws apply to any agreement containing provisions that may restrict or distort competition. Arrangements as to pricing or exclusivity, non-competes and deals to divide up or share out markets or customers are particularly vulnerable to challenge. The result can be a competition authority investigation or court proceedings, with key provisions of the agreement declared unenforceable. 

The DWF EU/Competition team is very experienced in advising on how competition law interacts with commercial agreements. We provide pragmatic and focused advice and drafting to manage any competition law risk. Our in-depth knowledge of EU case law and block exemption regulations and, more importantly, the policy background and practical effects of the rules means that we can ensure that risks are managed in a proportionate and commercial way. 

We are particularly well-placed to advise on complex and novel issues raised by a wide range of commercial agreements.  We also assist clients to develop compliant distribution networks, whether through exclusive distribution, selective distribution or franchising, and advise retailers on issues raised in supply agreements.  

Some of our experts

Howard Cartlidge

Head of EU/Competition (London)

I advise on all aspects of EU and UK competition law. I help businesses to deal with the legal and policy aspects of regulatory disputes and investigations.

Jonathan Branton

Partner - Head of EU/Competition

I lead the firm in EU/Competition issues, specialising in behavioural antitrust, merger control, public procurement and State aid, and all related issues of public funding, including the UK’s Regional Growth Fund, ERDF and ESIF. I also head up the firm’s Brussels office and the firm’s cross-discipline Public Sector group.

Dr. Daisy Walzel, LL.M. (oec)

Partner - Head of Competition (Germany)

I advise on all aspects of German and EU competition law, specialising in merger control, competition law compliance and provide advice on competitor co-operations and cartel proceedings.

Brona Heenan

Director

I am a highly experienced EU competition and procurement lawyer with extensive experience in representing leading US, Japanese and European clients across a broad range of industries, including media, telecommunications, energy and biotechnology.