Taking stock of two years of CMA UK merger control: Accurately predicting and successfully navigating UK merger control in 2016

It has now been two years since the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened for business on 1 April 2014, merging the functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission (CC), including in the sphere of UK merger control. Since then, we have experienced a bumper period for M&A activity in the UK, providing a wealth of cases that raise a variety of different practical, commercial and analytical merger control issues under UK law.

This half-day event is directed at legal counsel responsible for advising on merger control issues working for corporates, advisers like investment banks and private equity houses that may need to engage with the CMA in the context of future M&A transactions.

The event will be valuable whether you have had direct experience of the UK regulatory process before the OFT, the CC or CMA in recent years, and are looking to understand what has changed, or if your business may be involved in M&A opportunities that could raise competition issues in the UK in the future.

The discussion will provide a forum in which to deepen your understanding of the practical, technical and strategic aspects of UK merger control. We hope to have a quality discussion amongst panellists and attendees as to how the CMA has performed in the mergers area, and what practical lessons businesses can draw to shape how they handle M&A opportunities that could raise competition issues in the future.

The session will draw upon a panel of experts from our competition practice, several of whom have had previous experience of working at the CMA’s predecessor, the OFT. In addition, we are delighted to welcome Sheldon Mills, the Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, to provide an insider’s perspective on the CMA’s work, its view of its own performance, and the challenges it faces.

The sessions will draw on the practical experience of the panel members to look at
topics including:

  • an evaluation of the UK mergers regulatory landscape after two years of CMA case review – how to assess the risk of a phase 2 referral and trends in phase 1 remedies.
  • to what extent have the previous reforms succeeded in creating a UK mergers regime that is procedurally efficient and streamlined?
  • what have been the hot button sectors for UK merger review since 2014 and what trends do we see for scrutiny in future consolidation?
  • does a review of merger decision-making under the CMA suggest a triumph of predictability or pragmatism, and what lessons can be drawn from this for future M&A activity?
  • what does the CMA itself consider its priorities for development and reform in the
    coming year?

Internal speakers will be drawn from:

  • Nicole Kar, Partner in the Competition Group
  • Simon Pritchard, Partner in the Competition Group
  • Meredith Brooks, Counsel in the Competition Group
  • Helen Crossley, Counsel in the Competition Group
  • Nick Scola, Managing Associate in the Competition Group

External speaker

  • Sheldon Mills, Senior Director of Mergers, Competition and Markets Authority

3 CPD points

Availability: Full
Wednesday 18 May 2016

09:30 to 12:45
(09:00am Registration)

Linklaters LLP
One Silk Street
Telephone: +442074562000
Fax: +442074562222