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David Went

Call 1999

David is internationally renowned as a leading competition law specialist, having been recognised in Global Competition Review’s list of leading competition lawyers under 40 years old worldwide in 2012.

Prior to returning to his roots as a barrister during 2015 (having originally been called to the bar in 1999) David’s considerable competition law experience has been acquired at two leading US law firms in Brussels and London, most recently as partner at Sidley Austin LLP. David has acted for clients (e.g., ADM, Alberto Culver, Aon, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, GSK, Hachette, IBM, LG Electronics, Spectris, Viterra, and Western Union) on some of the most significant and complex matters over the past 16 years across the spectrum of competition law work.

Regularly appearing before the main EU and UK competition authorities and courts, David specialises in all advisory and litigation aspects of competition law, covering:

  • Abuse of dominance
  • Cartels
  • Commercial practices
  • Compliance
  • Damages actions
  • M&A
  • Public procurement
  • State aid
  • Related areas of EU, public and regulatory law

David has experience of working in a diverse range of industries, including aerospace, agriculture, automotive, financial services, FMCG, high-tech, insurance, IT/internet, life sciences, manufacturing, media, mining, publishing, shipping, sports, telecoms, and utilities.  David has worked on a large number of multi-jurisdictional matters using, where needed, a network of trusted local counsel. David also has good working relationships with competition law specialists at the main economic consultancies.

As clients make clear in legal directory submissions, David is approachable, practical, and commercially focused. In addition, clients appreciate his ability quickly to understand their business models and needs, coupled with his creativity in finding solutions.

  • What the directories say
    • David Went is active in a wide range of competition matters from merger control to behavioural complaints. Clients value his quick understanding of their business models.Chambers & Partners UK 2015
    • David Went is commended for the care he applies to his work, ‘always looking for the little things that others miss.’ He has an array of experience in merger control work, specifically transactions involving a cross-border element.Chambers & Partners UK 2014
    • David Went gets good feedback from clients, with one praising him for ‘coordinating a large merger filing across some quite tricky places…'IFLR1000 2013 – Western Europe, Regional Rankings, EU Competition Law
    • David Went was as innovative as my risk tolerance would allow. His knowledge of the law was fantastic and business acumen top notch’, says one client. He is also accredited with ‘applying solutions in a persuasive way’ and being ‘creative in problem solving’.IFLR1000 2012 – Western Europe, Regional Rankings, EU Competition Law
    • The ‘energetic and charismatic’ David Went offers experience across the breadth of competition law.Chambers & Partners UK 2011
  • Cases of interest

    Representative UK cartel and behavioural cases:

    • Representing company implicated in European Commission’s cartel investigation into underground and submarine power cables (including appeal of European Commission decision to General Court)
    • Representing Hachette UK, one of the UK’s largest book publishers, in OFT’s and European Commission’s investigations into eBooks
    • Representing multi-national company implicated in OFT’s A-B-C cartel investigation into health and beauty products
    • Representing company implicated in European Commission’s cartel investigation into LCDs
    • Representing company implicated in European Commission’s cartel investigation into optical disk drives
    • Advice to large UK insurance company following on from investigation by OFT into information exchanges in motor insurance sector
    • Representing chemicals company in Chapter II/Article 102 investigation before OFT
    • Representing company implicated in European Commission’s cartel investigation into copper fittings
    • Advising leading UK transport company in Chapter II proceedings before OFT
    • Representing IMS Health in Article 102 investigation by European Commission

    Representative litigation work:

    • Ongoing advice on multi-million pound follow-on damages action
    • Advising sports federation on potential challenge under EU competition and free movement rules
    • Public procurement challenge to awards of 2015 duty solicitor contracts by Legal Aid Agency
    • eu Ltd. v Google Inc., Google Ireland, and Google UK Ltd. (damages claim/abuse of dominance)
    • Bord Na Mona plc v British Polythene Industries plc. (follow-on damages action before English High Court relating to European Commission’s industrial bags cartel decision)
    • Advising electronics manufacturer regarding potential follow-on damages claims before English High Court/Competition Appeals Tribunal
    • Adidas Salomon AG v Lawn Tennis Association; and Adidas Salomon AG v International Tennis Federation (alleged breaches of EU/UK competition law)
    • Appeal of power cables cartel decision to EU’s General Court
    • Case C550/07 P Akzo Nobel (intervention in case relating to legal privilege for in-house Counsel)
    • Case T-464/04 Independent Music Publishers and Labels Association (Impala) v Commission (appeal against European Commission’s decision approving SONY/BMG merger)
    • T-184/01 IMS Health Inc v Commission and Case C-481/01 P(R), NDC Health (appeal against interim measures order by European Commission to license IP to competitor)

    Representative EU merger cases:

    • Arcelor/Mittal Steel (first phase divestiture remedy)
    • SONY/BMG (unconditional approval following second-phase review);
    • IBM/Rational
    • Motorola Mobility/Flextronics
    • Suntory/Beam Inc.

    Representative UK merger cases:

    • Aon/Benfield
    • British Salt/New Cheshire (unconditional clearance following second-phase review and first case in which second-phase provisional findings were overturned)
    • Hachette/Time Warner Book Group
    • Unilever/Alberto Culver (novel brand-splitting divestiture remedy before OFT)
    • Western Union/Travelex Global Business Payments

    Representative multi-jurisdictional merger cases:

    • Aon/Benfield
    • Becton Dickinson/Safety Syringes (unconditional clearance following second-phase review in Germany)
    • Glencore/Viterra (including unconditional clearance in China following third-phase review)
    • Motorola Mobility/Flextronics
    • Tellabs/Marlin Equity
    • Unilever/Alberto Culver

    Representative EU State aid work:

    • Advice to company active in aerospace sector over several investment projects, including meetings with European Commission and UK government officials
    • Advice to European utility company over power supply agreements
    • Advice in connection with M&A transactions in which target companies were potential recipients of State aid
    • Advising local authorities on infrastructure funding
    • Advice to charities receiving Big Lottery Funding
  • Professional memberships
    • Editorial Board of Competition Law International (a publication of the International Bar Association)
    • Bar European Group
    • Co-chair of Working Party Group of Competition Law Association tasked with responding to government and competition authority consultations
  • Education
    • Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court Law School (Outstanding in Competition Law, 1998)
    • Manchester Metropolitan University (Distinction/1st in year, 1997)
    • M.A. in Classics, The Queen’s College, Oxford University (Academic Exhibitioner and Organ Scholar, 1995)
  • Publications
    • “The Use of Divestiture Remedies in UK Market Investigations: What can be learnt from the BAA Saga?” Concurrences No° 2, 2013
    • “Getting the Deal Through-Vertical Agreements,” Global Competition Review, 2013.
    • “UK Competition Law Reform: A Change for the Better?” International Antitrust Bulletin, March 2012.
    • “Antitrust Concerns From Partial Ownership Interest Acquisitions: New Developments in the European Union and United States,” Competition Policy International (CPI), January 2012.
    • “Recent Developments in UK Merger Control – Establishment of Solid Foundations for the New Regime,” European Competition Law Review, December 2007
    • Author of “EU Merger Control: Structural versus Behavioural Remedies”, European Competition Law Review, August 2006.
    • Co-author of the Remedies Chapter of European Merger Control Law: A Guide to the Merger Regulation, Matthew Bender (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006).

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