John has been resident as a partner in Brussels since 1996.

He has regularly been involved in the notification of deals to the European Commission, since the adoption of the EU Merger Regulation in 1989. His practice also involves cartel investigations by the Commission and national competition authorities (including immunity and leniency applications).

His contentious work includes proceedings before the General Court and Court of Justice in Luxembourg (including successful appeals in cartel, merger, State aid and parallel trade matters), as well as the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal in London.

Highlights in the merger control field include:

  • acting for British Airways on the Commission investigation and approval (under Article 101 TFEU) of BA’s transatlantic alliance with American Airlines and Iberia, as well as the EUMR clearances of the BA/Iberia merger (establishing IAG) and IAG's subsequent acquisitions of bmi and Aer Lingus
  • acting for Bertelsmann on:
    • the Sony/BMG merger (including unconditional Phase II clearance decisions in 2004 and 2007) and appeals to the European courts
    • the disposal of its music publishing interests to Vivendi/Universal (cleared at Phase II subject to conditions)
    • its subsequent re-entry into the music industry (through BMG Rights Management)
    • its Penguin Random House book publishing joint venture (cleared unconditionally at Phase I)
  • various other Phase II cases (eg Ball/Rexam, Cargill/Degussa, IBM/Telelogic, SC Johnson/Sara Lee) and several cases where parties have secured Phase I clearances by offering commitments (eg Akzo Nobel/ICI, Intel/McAfee, Linde/BOC, Medtronic/Covidien, Procter & Gamble/Gillette, Reckitt Benckiser/SSL, Thermo Fisher/Life Technologies), as well as cases where the parties have successfully used the Article 4 pre-notification referral procedures

John is ranked as a leading individual (Band 1) in the Competition/European Law sections of Chambers Europe  and Chambers Global  and in the EU Competition section of IFLR 1000. He is a contributing author to Bellamy & Child  (EU Law of Competition, 7th edition, Spring 2013), Chapter on Merger Control. He is fluent in French.


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