Competition Team secures quality EU hire

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11 January 2012

Matthew O’Regan joins the firm from the Brussels office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he has worked since 2001 and has been Counsel since 2006. He has represented a broad range of British and international clients on all aspects of competition law.

This move will bolster the firm’s nationally-renowned Competition team led by Laura Claydon, which just last month saw their client Co-operative Group vindicated in its successful high-profile appeal before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the tobacco price fixing litigation.[1] The team had worked alongside Co-op since the beginning of the OFT's investigation in 2005.  

“Matthew’s breadth of expertise, sector experience and international insight make him a fantastic asset to the team,” says Burges Salmon partner, Laura Claydon. “Our clients range from major multi-nationals and FTSE 350 companies to privately-owned groups and charitable organisations and include both private and public sector clients. We are confident that Matthew’s particular skillset will play a significant role in maintaining and further developing the high quality service for which Burges Salmon is known within the market.”

Matthew O’Regan says: “I am delighted to be joining Burges Salmon. I look forward to working with Laura Claydon and John Houlden to provide both existing and new clients with high quality, commercially-focused and value for money advice. In particular, I look forward to helping clients benefit from my many years of experience before the European Commission in Brussels and the European courts in Luxembourg.”

Matthew has advised on many complex, often multi-jurisdictional Phase I and Phase II merger investigations by the European Commission, the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission and the competition authorities of many other countries. In several cases, he has devised remedies to obtain clearance and advised on their implementation. Recent mergers on which he has advised include Deutsche Bahn/Arriva, Dow Chemical/Rohm and Haas, StatoilHydro/Jet Scandinavia, Rio Tinto/Alcan and the sale of Alcan Packaging to Amcor and Bemis.

Matthew also has considerable experience of defending companies subject to cartel and dominance investigations by the European Commission (including dawn raids, leniency applications, subsequent appeals and follow?on damages actions), as well as advising on state aid and regulatory matters and the application of competition law to commercial agreements and strategies.

He regularly appears as an advocate before the European Courts. He has recently won substantial reductions in fines imposed by the Commission in the hydrogen peroxide cartel (for Solvay) and the industrial bags cartel (for Low & Bonar) and also represented ING, the Dutch financial services group, in a challenge before the General Court to the conditions imposed by the European Commission when it approved aid provided by the Dutch government during the financial crisis.

[1] The Co-operative Group's appeal was against the Office of Fair Trading's decision concerning alleged price fixing between two tobacco manufacturers and a number of retailers. The CAT’s judgment quashing the OFT’s decision was handed down on 12 December 2011.

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