CPD Hours Level
Conference expert panelInformation 6 UpdateInformation
SRA Competency B


From the complex implications for UK competition law deriving from the process of Brexit through to a review of recent case law on resale price maintenance, this comprehensive conference will cover a wide range of important and topical issues.

It will appeal to all those who need to keep up-to-date with all the latest issues in this complex area of law.

Conference Agenda

This conference will cover the following:

9.30am - 10.15am: Leaving the EU and UK Competition Law

Christopher Brown, Matrix Chambers

As in other economic areas, the prospect of UK withdrawal from the EU is the most fundamental change that will face competition law practitioners and regulators over the next few years; after two decades in which UK and EU competition law have become increasingly interlinked, the prospect of decoupling them in the context of a much wider negotiation and over a much shorter timescale raises a range of complex issues.

This session will cover:

  • Leaving the 'one stop' shop
  • Transitional arrangements
  • Implications for the CMA and sectoral regulators
  • Opportunities for UK plc?
  • Impact on the UK as a litigation hub for competition law claims

10.15am - 11.00am: Resale Price Maintenance - Recent Cases and Update

Susan Singleton, Singletons Solicitors

Manufacturers and suppliers often want to control the price of goods or services at which their distributor/resellers resell the products. Minimum resale price maintenance can lead to 10% of turnover fines under EU and UK competition law. Learn what is permitted under the rules and how to draft clauses in distribution agreements which will not breach the rules whilst maintaining a premium image for goods or services.

This session will cover:

  • RPM and the Vertical Guidelines
  • CMA action against RPM 2016/17 and guidance to on line sellers
  • Maximum and minimum prices - telling the difference
  • Most favoured customer (MFN) clauses (Amazon case)
  • Services - special issues (the FIPO v CMA [2016] medical case)
  • What is a disguised price restriction?

11.15am - 12.00pm: Abuse of Dominant Position - Update and Reminder

Susan Singleton, Singletons Solicitors

Under the Competition Act 1998 and TFEU abuse of a dominant position is prohibited. When is a company dominant and when and how can the victims of dominance achieve recourse under UK and EU competition law?

This session will cover:

  • Practical guidance on determining dominant position
  • What is abuse - common categories and extent of the prohibition
  • Dominant buyers and suppliers in the procurement process - including joint tendering, preferred customer lists and Chapter 1 aspects
  • Abuse through unfair pricing - 2017 CMA investigating into unfair pricing - excessive prices in the supply of certain pharmaceutical products
  • Dominance and intellectual property - refusal to license IP

12.00pm - 12.45pm: Online Restrictions

Anneli Howard, Monckton Chambers

E-commerce is the key instrument to ensure the Commission's internal market agenda - how does this impact on commercial interests to control sales channels and brand differentiation? Is competition law the best way to balance these competing objectives?

This session covers:

  • The Vertical BER Guidelines and policy objectives
  • Overview of UK, German and French cases to date
  • The EU Sector Inquiry
  • Pending investigations before the CMA and EU Commission
  • Possible developments post Brexit

12.45pm - 1.00pm: Questions on Morning Session

2.00pm - 2.50pm: Competition Damages Cases - Coming of Age

Fergus Randolph QC, Brick Court Chambers

After a slow start, competition damages cases are now all the rage. The changes in the CAT rules allowing stand-alone as well as pure follow-on cases have led to a number of claims being brought. Additionally, the ability to bring collective actions has enhanced the position of victims of anti-competitive behaviour - recently a multi-billion pound claim was launched against MasterCard.

This session will cover:

  • The relevant legislative framework
  • Jurisdiction and applicable law
  • Impact of Brexit
  • Practicalities of bringing actions
  • Future developments

2.50pm - 3.40pm: The Government's Strategic Steer to the CMA

Lesley Farrell, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland

In the Government's strategic steer to the CMA, the overarching message was to 'urge it to go further and fulfil its role of systematically challenging barriers to competition and taking effective enforcement against illegal activities that harm competition' and there were a number of suggestions for focus:

  • Consumer behaviour and failure to compare products
  • New and emerging markets
  • Removing barriers to entry for start-ups and disruptors
  • Efficiency concerns in B2B and the supply chain
  • Competition in the markets for public services
  • How has the CMA measured up?

3.55pm - 4.45pm: Workshop Session

Anneli Howard, Monckton Chambers

A practical workshop session focusing on the issues covered during the course of the day and allowing delegates to discuss, consider and draw conclusions on the practical implications arising from them.

4.45pm - Close: Questions & Answers

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