Competition Lawyer (from 2-3yrs PQE) - London

  • Pinsent Masons
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Jul 23, 2017
Full time Competition / EU

Job Description

Competition Lawyer (from 2-3yrs PQE) - London


We are currently looking to recruit a lawyer specialising in competition law to join the EU & Competition Group, and to be based in our London office.






Firm Introduction

Pinsent Masons is an international law firm with a long-standing reputation for delivering high-quality legal advice rooted in its deep understanding of the sectors and geographies in which its clients operate. With over 1,500 lawyers operating from 23 locations throughout the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, Pinsent Masons is well-placed to advise on complex multi-jurisdictional transactions across a full range of legal disciplines.

In recent years it has achieved more tier 1 rankings in The Legal 500 UK guide than any other firm, and is recognised among the most innovative law firms in Europe by the Financial Times. The firm has significant international credentials in the global energy, infrastructure, financial services and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. Services provided across these sectors include corporate and M&A, commercial, competition, litigation and arbitration, banking, restructuring, insurance, regulatory, construction, projects, pensions, property, planning and environmental, procurement, outsourcing, employment, share plans, technology and tax advice.

Pinsent Masons stands out in particular for its innovative approach to service delivery. For example, the firm operates a hub of freelance lawyers, called Vario, and has also developed Cerico, a cloud-based regulatory compliance solution. It has developed long-term service agreements, often referred to as ‘sole adviser’ relationships, with a number of blue-chip organisations.


We are currently looking to recruit a lawyer specialising in competition law to join the EU & Competition Group, and to be based in our London office. We are looking for a candidate who has from 2-3 years PQE.

·         We are looking for a candidate to work on EU and UK competition law matters. They will not be expected to advise on State aid or public procurement law.

·         The candidate will ideally have gained experience in a City firm.  We would also be interested in a candidate from the Brussels offices of City firms or in-house lawyers from industry or any of the competition regulators.

·         Candidates must be technically excellent and have experience in the fields of merger control, antitrust including cartels, vertical agreements, abuse of a dominant position and/or market studies and investigations. They should be willing to handle a mix of competition work in these areas. 

·         Experience of the energy, financial services, technology or pharmaceutical sectors would be of strong interest.

·         Experience of international trade law, including the WTO regime, would also be of interest.

·         We are looking for a candidate who is confident and articulate with a passion for competition law, and willing to take a lead role on matters and client relationships with appropriate partner support.

·         We are also looking for someone who is commercially aware and enthusiastic about internal and external business development, and with an interest in innovation.

·         They will be a team player with a strong client focussed approach.

·         They will also have a strong academic background and excellent communication and organisational skills.

The Competition Team

The Competition team at Pinsent Masons is highly regarded, sizable and experienced with strength across all areas of competition law.

The team comprises 8 partners and 18 lawyers, of which 6 partners and 8 lawyers advise purely on competition law matters, with the remaining lawyers advising solely on State aid and public procurement law. The competition team is based in London, Birmingham and Munich but works seamlessly as a single team.

One of the key advantages of working for the Pinsent Masons EU & Competition Group is the wide variety of interesting and high profile work across all the key areas of UK and EU competition law, for example:

·         Antitrust: We have extensive experience of advising on criminal and civil cartels investigations by the CMA, including advising on the recent Galvanized Steel Tanks cartel and on the only remaining CMA criminal cartel investigation in relation to Precast Concrete Drainage Pipes.  Previously we have advised on EU and UK cartel investigations including in the construction, dairy and cement sectors. We advised on the Yen LIBOR investigations by European Commission, FCA, CFTC, US DOJ, Canadian Competition Bureau and Swiss Competition Authority, and we advised MBNA/Bank of America on the long-running credit card interchange fee investigations by the European Commission and OFT. We also advised National Grid plc on the abuse of dominance investigation by Ofgem that led to an infringement decision and fine of £41.6 million and the subsequently successful appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

·         Merger control: We regularly advise on Phase I and 2 UK mergers including the $1bn merger between AMC, Odeon and UCI group; Teva's £600mn disposal of Actavis and University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust's £1.4bn acquisition of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. We also advised Groupe Eurotunnel on its merger control litigation against the CMA that reached the Supreme Court.

·         Market investigations: The CMA recently concluded two major investigations into both the energy sector and retail banking market. We advised E.On on the former and a leading retail bank on the latter. These are the biggest investigations ever undertaken by the CMA - and our work for these major clients is a signifier of our reputation in the area. We also advised on market investigations in relation to aggregates and payment protection insurance, amongst others.

·         Competition Litigation:  Partner Ben Lasserson leads on the instructions by a number of the largest companies in the UK in relation to follow-on damages claims concerning the 'Trucks cartel' where the European Commission imposed a €2.9bn fine. We also regularly advise on appeals of regulators' decisions to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the courts.

·         State aid: this is a 'centre of excellence' for the firm and an area of practice where we can genuinely claim to lead the market. We advise on highly sensitive and innovative matters where we have achieved exceptional outcomes for our clients.

Our high calibre, repeat clients include E.On, European Commission, Saint Gobain, Motor Fuel Group, Groupe Eurotunnel, Capita Plc, Mabey Group, Legal & General, Manchester City FC, Ferrovial, DCC plc, Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try, Morgan Sindall, SIG Plc, Hanson, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, IMI, Zurich, Sellafield, AMEC, Allianz, Aviva, Royal & Sun Alliance Group, and Tesco Bank. 

In the 2017 legal directories, Chambers describes the team as "very efficient, knowledgeable and have a good understanding of commercial needs. They have a good strategic sense of how to get the client where they want to be" and "the team is an excellent set of competition lawyers, deeply committed to delivering great outcomes for clients". Legal 500 refers to Pinsent Masons' ‘responsive’ department which includes various ‘well-respected experts’, and delivers ‘first-class service’.

This is an exciting time to join Pinsent Masons given the continued growth of the firm in the UK and internationally, including across Europe. It is also an opportunity to be a key part of the growth and expansion of the EU & Competition Group as we look to expand the team's presence in the UK and in Europe. Competition Partner Alan Davis recently re-joined the team as its new Head of EU & Competition from Jones Day.

Consistent with the firm's culture and values, there is a strong collegiate and entrepreneurial culture within the team. The team's business development activities are firmly focused on the firm's key sectors of Energy, Advanced Manufacturing and Technology, Financial Services and Infrastructure, as well as Government and Real Estate.

Brexit will offer both challenges and opportunities for the team and our team is at the heart of the firm's Brexit activities with Competition Partner Guy Lougher leading the firm's cross-disciplinary Brexit Advisory Team which advises clients in a joined-up way on the implications of Brexit.  We are also anticipating the need to provide more international trade law advice, including on the WTO regime, and are engaged in upskilling our team on trade law and looking to recruit specialists in that field.