Image of Neil Hoolihan

Neil Hoolihan

Antitrust & Foreign Investment Partner, Brussels

"I advise on all aspects of EU and international competition law, with particular expertise in international merger control and foreign investment rules. I provide clients with pragmatic solutions to navigate regulatory issues arising from M&A transactions and ensure a smooth process even in the most complex cases."


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Neil is a partner in our global antitrust and foreign investment practice, based in Brussels.

Neil advises on the full range of competition matters with an emphasis on the application of global merger control, foreign investment and foreign subsidies rules. Neil is frequently asked to advise clients on a variety of aspects regarding potential mergers/acquisitions and joint venture arrangements and has particular expertise in the healthcare, infrastructure, industrials, private equity and manufacturing sectors.

Neil has assisted clients with merger control and foreign investment filings across numerous European and international jurisdictions, with particular experience involving filings before the European Commission and the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority.

Other antitrust experience includes advising clients involved in European Commission dawn raids and leniency procedures as well as assisting clients involved in investigations into behaviour potentially subject to Articles 101 and 102.

Between 2015 and 2016 Neil spent time in the firm’s London office.

Work highlights

Neil has been a key adviser in a number of significant M&A and antitrust matters. These include advising:

  • BC Partners: on the combination of Keter Group and ABM Italia.
  • Celesio AG on its acquisitions of Bupa Home Healthcare and the MASTA/Sangers businesses of UDG Healthcare
  • DP World: on its acquisitions of Unifeeder and the P&O Ferries/P&O Ferrymasters businesses.
  • I Squared Capital: on, among others, its investments in Arriva, Rubis Terminal, TIP Trailer Services and the network infrastructure business of GTT Communications
  • Linde AG in relation to its merger with Praxair Inc
  • Novartis on its transformational restructuring involving three strategic deals with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • TDR Capital LLP on, among others, its investments in BCA Marketplace plc and LeasePlan as well as the subsequent combination of LeasePlan with ALD Automotive.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific on its acquisition of PPD Inc
  • Vodafone on its network sharing agreements with Telecom Italia in Italy, including the combination of their respective tower infrastructure assets
  • VTech on the CMA’s Phase II investigation into its completed acquisition of LeapFrog Enterprises.

Professional experience

Neil regularly publishes updates on recent competition law developments, particularly in the field of merger control, foreign investment and EU foreign subsidies regulation.

Neil has been ranked as a Future Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Competition and identified as a Rising Star in Competition/Antitrust by Expert Guides. Neil was also named in Global Competition Review’s 40 under 40 for Foreign Investment Control in 2023.


Education and qualifications

Neil studied law and economics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in EU Competition Law from King’s College London.

He speaks English.