150301-CMA logoRegulatory approval for mergers and acquisitions can be critical to getting a deal done. Unanticipated competition problems can cause costly delay and unexpected regulatory interventions.

Good preparation can therefore pay substantial dividends, ideally starting at the point at which merger candidates are screened. Competition risks need to be properly identified and evaluated to avoid costly mistakes.

Once a case is underway, it is especially important to focus effort, to draw together the best available evidence quickly and to make the right choices in how to present the case.

Understanding how the merger investigation process works is vital, as is deploying the right mix of skills at the right time. Integrating the business, economics and legal skills effectively can make a huge difference to the strength of a case.

For organisations that may be affected by someone else’s merger – perhaps as a customer or competitor – knowing if, when and how best to make representations also requires a detailed knowledge of the inquiry process and the role that third party evidence can play. Well-judged interventions can be influential. Misplaced interventions can be very counterproductive.

As an expert adviser in U.K. merger control I work closely with clients to:

  • Deliver extra insight and expertise
    • based on deep experience of merger cases argued in front of the U.K. competition authorities and
    • drawing on comprehensive research on merger control decisions
  • Provide essential foresight
    • based on detailed knowledge of the U.K. merger control process and of best practice from previous cases  – in order to assess risk and plan ahead well
  • Identify the very best evidence and analysis
    • through in-depth knowledge of the range of choices available and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Advise on the best mix of resources to deploy
    • to give the right blend of skills and knowledge to deliver the best case and on time – and to build a good relationship with the competition authority team
  • Help put forward the best possible case
    • by knowing which evidence to deploy to suit the particular case and how best to present it and
    • by providing authoritative and constructive challenge where appropriate
    • by rehearsing senior executives for key meetings with the CMA
  • Maximise value of effort and spend
    • through understanding how to focus on evidence-gathering and analysis that really matters and how to minimise wasted work.

Over the past 15 years I have been actively involved in most of the main mergers examined by the U.K. competition authorities, across all sectors.

My most recent cases have included mergers in the following sectors:

  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Technology
  • Entertainment and leisure
  • Publishing
  • Retail
  • Health and care services
  • Pathology services

I regularly work alongside other professional advisers, either as part of a core team or  by providing expert input and challenge at key points.

I also offer focused briefings to company executives and advisers on key topics of interest as described on the ‘Briefings’ page.