EU and Competition

Carson McDowell’s EU and competition team provides both contentious and non-contentious advice to clients on all aspects of competition law, sector regulation and other areas of EU law. The team’s comprehensive experience and wide-ranging expertise is unmatched in Northern Ireland.

Specialist areas of expertise include merger control law, cartels, abuse of dominance, competition investigations, state aid, energy, transport, and bribery law.

What we do

  • UK, Irish and EU merger control
  • Competition issues relating to all types of commercial contracts
  • Abuse of dominance issues, including refusals to supply
  • Cartels
  • Pricing issues
  • Competition compliance, including bespoke compliance programmes and training seminars
  • Competition enforcement, including dawn raids and leniency programmes
  • Complaints to competition authorities and regulators
  • Parallel trade issues
  • State aid, including investigations into the alleged existence of State aid, procedural issues and complaints to the European Commission regarding State aid granted to third parties
  • Free movement of persons, goods, services and capital
  • General EU Law, including food labelling legislation, product liability legislation, the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and the Services Directive
  • European Convention of Human Rights
  • Bribery law, including risk assessment, drafting of bespoke compliance programmes and training seminars
  • Advising parties on court proceedings relating to EU and competition law, including judicial review cases

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2020

What the team is known for

Market-leading team particularly respected for merger clearance matters. Works closely with the firm's highly regarded litigation department to represent clients in high-profile competition disputes, particularly in the area of cartel follow-on damages claims. Also advises clients on abuse of dominance cases, as well as assisting with contractual matters, such as restrictive covenants, non-compete obligations and collaboration agreements. Acts on state aid issues and the exchange of information between competitors.


Clients appreciate that the team is "easy to work with, friendly and accommodating."

The lawyers are praised for taking a "sensible and commercial" approach.

Work highlights

Advised Lagan Management on whether the sale of its building materials arm would require merger clearance.

Notable practitioners

Kerry Teahan has a broad competition law practice, advising clients on merger clearance mandates, as well as acting on abuse of dominance allegations and state aid matters. Interviewees report that she is "impressive and clearly knows her stuff." Teahan also assists with the competition law elements of commercial agreements, including non-compete clauses and restrictive covenants.

Clients report that Richard Gray is "a very knowledgeable, sensible lawyer who gives considered opinions and takes the time to understand what we do." Gray assists buy and sell-side clients with merger control matters. He also advises on information sharing and allegations of abuse of dominance.