Professor Pinar Akman

Professor Pinar Akman


I am a Professor of Law specialising in competition law. Outside of academia, I am a judge at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the UK’s specialist court for competition and economic regulatory matters. I am also a member of the Innovation Advisory Group of the Financial Conduct Authority. At Leeds, I am the Director of Staff Wellbeing, Support and Development. Formerly, I was a Director at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Digital Governance funded by the European Commission (2019-2023), and the Director of the Centre for Business Law and Practice (2017-2020).

I have undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in law from University of Ankara Law School. I was ranked first overall in my undergraduate degree. Following my Masters, I received an ORSAS (Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme) Scholarship funded by the UK Secretary for Education and a UEA Scholarship that provided full funding for my doctoral studies at UEA Law School and ESRC Centre for Competition Policy. My PhD focused on the topic of abuse of a dominant position in EU competition law.

I am the author of the sell-out monograph The Concept of Abuse in EU Competition Law: Law and Economics Approaches (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2012; reprinted, 2015). My peer-reviewed articles have been published in prestigious journals such as the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Modern Law Review, Antitrust Law Journal, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, European Law Review, Journal of Business Law, Journal of Law and Society, etc. I was shortlisted for an Antitrust Writing Award in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2023 (Concurrences Review & George Washington Competition Law Center). In 2022, I was profiled as one of the “world’s most influential competition scholars” across all disciplines by Global Competition Review. I received a Women@Competition 5-Star Professionals Award in 2023.

I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize (£100,000) which recognises "the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising”, in support of my research into the optimal application of competition law in online technology markets. In 2021, I was awarded a research grant by UK Research and Innovation to conduct empirical research into online platform markets and competition in the digital economy, which generated the first such cross-continental, large scale empirical study of platform users. I was one of the investigators who successfully applied for over £4 million in funding for the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy (2009). Some of my other research has been funded by, for example, UK Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; energywatch; the Irish Competition Authority; and, the European Parliament.

I regularly receive invitations to speak at national and international events concerning all aspects of competition law. To date, I presented my research in over 20 countries across the globe. In 2018, I took part in a live Intelligence Squared debate on “Break up the Tech Giants” which was broadcast by BBC World News to a global audience of 70 million viewers.

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Intelligence Squared debate on “Break up the Tech Giants"

I regularly engage with high-level policymakers regarding different aspects of competition law and policy, and in particular, concerning digital markets. I was appointed by the World Economic Forum to author a White Paper on Competition Policy in a Globalized, Digitalized Economy. I was a member of the Advisory Council on Competition Policy of the Future of Business Centre by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2022). I was twice appointed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assist the Fund’s Legal Department with expertise and recommendations in the areas of competition law and policy (2020, 2022). I was appointed by the International Trade Centre (WTO/UN) to provide legal and policy expertise and capacity building on competition policy with regard to e-commerce and digital markets (Thailand, 2023) and as a consultant to offer competition law training to officials (Bhutan, 2021).

In 2018, I testified at the US Federal Trade Commission's hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century on the topic of multi-sided platforms and exclusionary conduct. I similarly presented oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications on whether to regulate the internet. In 2017, I presented oral evidence to the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee on Brexit and competition.

Some of my other engagements have included speaking at the 3rd Arab Competition Forum (ESCWA-UNCTAD-OECD) (2022), delivering the Baxt Lecture (Melbourne Law School, 2021); addressing audiences at the European Parliament (2021), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (2019), World Economic Forum (2019), Inaugural OECD Competition Open Day (2019), 17th OECD Global Forum on Competition (2018), Swedish Competition Authority's Annual Pros and Cons Conference (2018), European Competition Day (2018), 129th OECD Competition Committee Meeting (2018), 13th Global Competition Law Centre (College of Europe) Annual Conference (2018), 16th Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN) (2017), General Assembly of the Hungarian Competition Law Association (2015), Annual Congress of the International League of Competition (2015), and others. I regularly provide commentary for the media including the New Statesman, New York Times, Bloomberg, BBC World, Euronews, Voice of America, BBC Radio 4, Guardian, CNBC, Global Competition Review, etc. 

I am a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and of the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (UKRI FLF) programme Peer Review College. I am a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Competition & Innovation Lab. I sit on the Advisory Board of Computational Antitrust at CodeX, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics at Stanford Law School. I am a member of the Scientific Committee of Florence Competition Programme based at the European University Institute. I am a member of the Editorial Board of World Competition: Law and Economics Review (Kluwer) and of Oxford Competition Law (OCL).

Previously, I was a Panel Member on the Social Sciences and Humanities Panel of the Irish Research Council for the Laureate Awards. I regularly peer-review articles for journals including Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Modern Law Review, European Law Review, Journal of Common Market Studies, International Review of Economics, etc. In 2014, I was the International Rapporteur responsible for preparing an International Report and Resolution on abuse of dominance across twenty member jurisdictions of the International League of Competition (LIDC). I regularly offer competition law training to judges and officials from different jurisdictions around the world.

In 2018, I was awarded a Women of Achievement Award by the University of Leeds. In 2018, I was also nominated for two University of Leeds Partnership Awards (in inspirational teaching and supervisor categories).

I am a Non-Governmental Advisor (NGA) to the UK for the International Competition Network’s (ICN) Unilateral Conduct Working Group and an NGA for Turkey for the ICN’s Cartels Working Group.


  • Director of Staff Wellbeing, Support and Development

Research interests

My main research interests lie in EU and UK competition law and economics, application of competition law in digital markets, online platforms, competition and technology including Artificial Intelligence, e-commerce, law and economics, consumer law and contract law.

I am particularly interested in the interface between legal and economic concepts underlying competition law and in particular the prohibition of abuse of dominance. I am also interested in the historical origins of competition law and the interplay between competition law and other areas, such as consumer law, contract law and behavioural economics.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • LLM
  • LLB
  • PG Cert in Higher Education Practice

Professional memberships

  • Society for Legal Scholars
  • Academic Society for Competition Law

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>