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 2019

What the team is known for

Market-leading team particularly respected for merger clearance matters and market investigations. Sought after by clients from the media and energy sectors for compliance advice. Highly esteemed by those in the food and beverage and transport industries for assistance with abuse of dominance issues. 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.


Clients say that Carson McDowell is "one of the top firms in Belfast", highlighting the "quality of people at senior level and associate level, the knowledge of the subject matter, understanding of the market place and expertise in their field."

Another client reports: "I find the team very helpful because they have the expertise to cover all of our requirements."

Work highlights

Advised SHS Group on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of Standard Brands.

Notable practitioners

Richard Gray frequently assists clients with competition law in a commercial context, advising on merger clearance, competition compliance and training, and commercial agreements with competitors. He advises several clients from the media and food and beverage industries.

Kerry Teahan joined the firm in May 2017 as head of the firm's competition and procurement departments. She assists clients with a range of competition law matters, including advice on merger filings, abuse of dominance claims, CMA appeals and cartel claims. She represents both claimants and defendants in competition law disputes.