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Robert Bell is head of the EU & UK competition team at Bryan Cave with over 20 years of experience advising on complex competition and regulatory matters involving some of the leading cases before the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the European Commission and UK and European Courts.

He advises clients on a range of competition law issues including merger control, cartels, restrictive practices, competition litigation and public procurement law.

Mr. Bell has a particular sector specialism in advising international technology and media clients on the application of competition law and new media, telecommunications regulation, and on competition litigation.

He is currently Chair of the City of London Law Society's Competition Law Committee, which liaises with the UK Government and the EU & UK competition regulators in connection with the reform of competition law and practice.

Mr. Bell is ranked in Chambers UK 2016 for Competition Law. "Robert Bell is head of department at Bryan Cave LLP. His practice encompasses mergers, cartels, litigation and public procurement. He has sector expertise within the TMT sector." Mr. Bell is also recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2014 for EU & Competition Law.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Deputy Opposition Leader, London Borough of Merton, 1998-2000
    • Councillor, London Borough of Merton, 1994-2002
    • Director, Groundsure Limited (environmental charity), 1994-2002
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    • Director, Groundsure Limited (environmental charity), 1994-2002
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Professional Affiliations

    • Chair, Competition Law Committee, City of London Law Society
    • Full Assistant, Court of the Worshipful company of the City of London
    • ABA International Antitrust Committee
    • Law Society Competition Group
    • Law Society of England & Wales
    • Law Society of Ireland
    • ABA International Antitrust Committee
    • Law Society Competition Group
    • Law Society of England & Wales
    • Law Society of Ireland
    • Law Society of England & Wales
    • Law Society of Ireland
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Representative Experience

Mr. Bell’s experience includes:

  • Advising on and obtaining clearance from the European commission for $9bn merger of equals between a pharmaceutical testing company and a health data provider – Case 8061 IMS Health/Quintiles.
  • Obtained  clearance from the European Commission under EU Merger Regulation in connection with the $3bn sale of a division of a major construction equipment manufacture with commitments at Phase 1 – Case M.7792 Konecranes/Terex MHPS.
  • Obtaining merger clearance from the Office of Fair Trading for a major media group’s acquisition of a leading environmental consultancy business.
  • Obtaining clearance under the EU Merger Regulation for a major international construction company in its acquisition of a leading UK competitor.
  • Representing one of the world’s largest software companies in an Office of Fair Trading Market Study into ICT procurement by the UK Government.
  • Advising a major manufacturer of household and personal hygiene products in relation to EU and UK competition law compliance and the provisions of the UK Grocery Code in a number of disputes with UK supermarkets.
  • Representing one of the world’s largest Life Science and High Technology companies in relation to its distribution policies and in particular worldwide competition law compliance in its pricing policies.
  • Advising a major manufacturer of heavy industrial equipment upon its distribution, pricing and discount policies within the European Union.
  • Acting for a large French technology company in potential competition proceedings before the English High Court in respect of a competitor’s constructive refusal to licence software necessary for the client to compete in a downstream market.
  • Advising a UK Trade Union in respect of judicial review of an EU Council Regulation and the acts of the relevant European regulator in relation to the implementation of a harmonized standard.
  • Acting for an international electronics company in relation to national and EU Commission cartel inquiries and the EU and national member states’ leniency regime.
  • Acting for a leading UK financial institution before the Competition Commission in relation to a Market Investigation reference under the Enterprise Act 2002 in respect of Home Credit.
  • Acting for an international hotel chain in relation to the Office of  Fair Trading inquiry into hotel on-line booking under the Competition Act 1998.
  • Acting for a global technology provider in relation to the EU competition law aspects of its hardware and software support policies and its European-wide distribution agreements.
  • Advising a leading product manufacturer on the design and roll out of its selective distribution system in more than 18 European companies.
  • Successfully challenging a major UK utility company’s award of a water engineering contract on behalf of a leading international engineering consultancy under the EU public procurement rules.
  • Acting for a leading international telecommunications company before the UK and Court of Justice of the European Union in its challenge to the UK Government’s award of a £2 billion radio system contract for the UK emergency services.
  • Advising the world’s largest marine services company in relation to the tender and award of a number of dredging contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence.
  • Acting for the claimants in proceedings against the UK Government before the VAT tribunal and the court of Justice of the European Union over a challenge to the lawfulness of UK’s Insurance Premium Tax.
  • Advising a leading computer service company in relation to a complaint before the EU Commission alleging unlawful tying, predation and discriminatory discounts under Article 102 TFEU against a major proprietary computer manufacturer resulting in the provision of undertakings.
  • Advising a major outdoors equipment manufacturer in relation to product recalls and product safety enquiries with UK Trading Standards and other European safety regulators. 

Publications

  • "A Question of Data: The EU Commission moves to regulate the acquisition of data as a key competition concern in merger control analysis," January 2017, Competition Law Insight, 2017
  • "Adoption of new EU Directives signal major reform of EU public procurement," February 2014, Bryan Cave Client Bulletin, 2014
  • "EU Shirks prosecutions in favour of easy settlements?," EU & Competition Law Blog, 2014
  • "Plain sailing: Commission proposes extension of liner shipping consortium block exemption," EU & Competition Law Blog, 2014
  • "UK Criminal Cartel Prosecutions to increase," EU & Competition Law Blog, 2014
  • EU & Competition Law Regular Contributor, Governance & Compliance, 2014
  • "A New Competition Law Landscape in Europe," ABA International Antitrust Bulletin, 2013
  • "UK Competition Law Regime is being overhauled," Competition Law Insight, 2012
  • "Regulatory Aspects of Acquisitions in the European Union," Company Acquisitions Handbook Tenth Edition, 2011
  • "EU Electronic Communications Law," Richmond Publishing, 2005

Speaking Engagements

  • "EU Distribution Agreements and Product Pricing Webinar", 26 February 2014
  • "Telecommunications Law & Regulation," MBL Seminar Presentation London, 2 October 2013
  • "UK Competition Law: Awareness & Compliance," Client seminar, UK, 18 September 2013
  • Appearance before House of Commons Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill Committee on behalf of City of London Law Society to give evidence in respect of the UK competition landscape reforms, London, June 2012
  • "International Intellectual Property Summer School: Interface between Intellectual Property and Competition Law," Falconbury Conferences, Churchill College Cambridge, June 2011
  • "Compliance and Enforcement in EU Competition Law Post Microsoft," Santa Clara University California, 2009