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Competition investigations

Competition authorities around the world have extensive and intrusive powers to investigate suspected competition law breaches. The focus of an investigation is usually the company itself, but in some jurisdictions authorities also have the power to investigate individuals. Competition investigations can take years, are resource-intensive, disruptive and expensive. Companies found to have breached competition law can be liable to significant fines (in the EU up to 10% of group worldwide turnover) and individuals can be imprisoned. Such investigations often result in costly litigation, as well as significant harm to a business’s reputation. Fortunately, Eversheds Sutherland is here to help you navigate this complex and critical legal area.

Experienced competition investigations lawyers

Companies under investigation need the support of lawyers who can guide them through the entire process. We deal with the relevant investigating authority and help you to implement the most effective strategy to protect your rights at each stage of an investigation and, ultimately, to minimize your liability.

Our competition, EU and trade group has extensive experience of defending clients under investigation by authorities around the world including the European Commission, individual EU member states, the US Department of Justice, the US Federal Trade Commission and US state antitrust enforcement agencies.

With teams throughout the EU, Asia, the US and other parts of the world, we provide local support combined with central coordination. Our approach ensures that the work is performed with the full benefit of our lawyers’ in-depth local knowledge and presented to you via one central point of contact.

Managing cartel and antitrust and competition investigations

Eversheds Sutherland has acted on many international and national cartel investigations, including some of the largest multi-jurisdictional investigations undertaken by the European Commission. In a significant number of cases we have secured non-infringement decisions, case closures, immunity or significant penalty reductions. We understand when to take a robust approach and when to build a constructive relationship with the authority. Our sole aim is to achieve the best possible outcome for your business. We advise on the best approaches to securing leniency, including handling the difficult HR issues that this may entail.

Such cases require the careful analysis of complex points of law and the review of vast amounts of data, often in multiple languages. They also involve the simultaneous management of several different work streams and strategic advice across multiple jurisdictions. Investigations can also escalate rapidly, which makes being able to predict where the process is heading crucial.

Eversheds Sutherland’s in-house capability to host and review data without the need to engage external forensic IT providers allows us to manage this entire process. It also delivers savings for your business in terms of cost and time and puts us firmly in control. Our global reach and years of experience allow us to help you through the challenges of a competition investigation, wherever it arises.

Contact our competition investigations team

If you would like any further information or need advice on competition investigation matters, please contact our legal team.

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