Professor Peter Whelan
I am a Professor of Law who specialises in both competition law and criminal law. I am the Director of the Centre for Business Law and Practice.
I hold both a Degree in Law and French and a Master of Laws from Trinity College Dublin. During my primary degree, I spent a university year studying French law at the Université de Poitiers, France. I came first overall in my class in my Senior Freshman year at Trinity. I also hold a PhD in Law from St John's College, University of Cambridge. I am a US Attorney-at-Law and a registered member of the New York State Bar.
I have published widely in specialist competition law journals (in the US and in Europe) as well as in generalist law journals (including Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Cambridge Law Journal and Modern Law Review). To date my research has been cited in over 400 publications. For my work on antitrust criminalisation, I won the ‘Reddy Charlton McKnight Prize for Legal Scholarship', which was awarded by the Trinity College Law Review. I have been nominated twice for an ‘Antitrust Writing Award’ (in 2014 and 2019), which is co-organised annually by Concurrences Review and George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center.
My research has been cited in European, African and South American judgments. My work on antitrust criminalisation was quoted with approval by Mr Justice McKechnie in the Central Criminal Court (High Court) in Dublin in the leading Irish criminal cartel case of DPP v. Duffy and Duffy Motors (Newbridge) Ltd  IEHC 208. In December 2017, my book on cartel criminalisation was relied upon and cited in a judgment rendered by the Competition Tribunal of Chile: Judgment No. 160/2017. My work on hub-and-spoke cartels was quoted in a reply submitted to the Competition Tribunal of Chile by counsel for Walmart Chile in the case Requerimiento de la Fiscalía Nacional Económica en contra de Cencosud S.A. y otras, Rol C-304-2016. My work on selective distribution has also been cited in an antitrust decision of the Swiss Competition Commission: Online-Handels, 11 July 2011. My research has also been referenced in soft law (official guidelines) in Africa: Discriminatory Conduct Guidelines, Competition Authority of Botswana, December 2014. In October 2018, my work on cartel criminalisation was quoted and expressly endorsed in the New Zealand Parliament during the Second Reading of their Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill. In 2020 my article on cartel activity and moral wrongfulness (which was published in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies) was cited in a judgment of the Kenyan Competition Tribunal (East African Tea Trade Association v Kenyan Competition Authority) and was employed to support the court’s holding.
In November 2012, I presented oral evidence to the Commerce Committee of the New Zealand Parliament on Clause 18 of their Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. In the spring of 2013, I was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Trade and Law in Moscow, Russia. In 2013, I was appointed as an International Expert by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and in that position wrote a report advising the Finnish Ministry of Justice on the desirability of introducing criminal cartel sanctions in Finland. In Bucharest in 2014, I provided training in EU competition law to judges at various levels of the Romanian judiciary. Since 2016 I have been a Non-Governmental Advisor to the International Competition Network, which comprises over 130 of the world’s competition authorities. In 2018 at the Supreme Court of Latvia, I participated in a roundtable discussion with the Chief Justice of Latvia and a number of senior judges which focused on my research on cartel enforcement. In April 2018, in Santiago, I delivered lectures on my research at both the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office of Chile and the Competition Tribunal of Chile. In 2018 I gave oral evidence to the New Zealand Parliament for the second time, on that occasion to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee concerning the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill. In Delhi in January 2019, I also gave oral evidence to the Competition Law Review Committee, which was set up by the Indian Government to review and propose amendments on its competition law regime. In October 2019 in Muscat, I provided training in competition law to the Board members of the Omani competition authority. In September 2020, I delivered a (virtual) cartel law training session at the Eswatini Competition Commission, involving various stakeholders and Board members. In February 2021, I was invited to become a member of the United Nations Working Group on Cross-Border Cartels, which is led by UNCTAD and comprises a small group of academic participants, as well as antitrust officials representing over 50 UN Member States. I am also the Focal Point for the CBLP on UNCTAD’s Research Partnership Platform on Competition and Consumer Protection.
I am an Associate Member of the Centre for Competition Policy and am a peer-reviewer of grant applications under the Newton Fund of the British Council. I am a member of the peer-review colleges of the Irish Research Council, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, and the Australian Research Council. In 2018 I was appointed as a Member of the Outer International Assessment Board for the Government of Ireland's Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. I have also acted as an external reviewer of grant applications for the National Science Centre, one of Poland’s main research councils. In Oslo in September 2018, I acted as a member of an international peer-review panel for the Research Council of Norway. In 2019 I acted as a member of a Peer Review Board for the World Economic Forum, focusing on competition law in the digital economy.
I am the Managing Editor of Oxford Competition Law, an innovative online national competition law case-reporting service operated by Oxford University Press. I also sit on the Editorial Boards of five journals: World Competition (Kluwer); Journal of Antitrust Enforcement (OUP); New Journal of European Criminal Law; Romanian Competition Journal; and Journal of Financial Crime.
I have presented my research in over thirty countries across six continents. For example, I have delivered guest lectures at the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, University College London, Queen’s University Belfast, Strathclyde University, City University, Hong Kong University, the Institute of International Trade and Law (Russia), the University of Melbourne (Australia), Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey), the University of Bergen (Norway), Tel Aviv University (Israel), the University of Warsaw (Poland), Pázmány Péter Catholic University (Budapest, Hungary), the Indian Institute for Corporate Affairs (virtually), the Latvian Law Institute (Riga, Latvia), NALSAR (Hyderabad, India), Christ University (Bangalore, India) and the National Law School of India University. I have also presented papers at a number of prestigious conferences, including in Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Peru, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London. I have participated at the by-invite only annual symposium on antitrust enforcement held in Washington DC, which is organised by the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement. I have presented my research at both the Annual Conference and the Annual Cartel Workshop of the International Competition Network, as well as at an OECD Roundtable on Competition Policy. I have also delivered keynote addresses at competition law conferences in the Netherlands and Chile, at the Competition Authority of Kenya in Nairobi, and at the Peruvian competition authority in Lima.
I was recently a co-investigator on the project ‘EU Social and Labour Rights under Internal Market Law’, which was funded by the European Parliament to the tune of €118,000 (Reference: IP/A/EMPL/ST/2014-02). I have also worked on competition law projects for DG Sanco (European Commission), Consumers International, British Telecom, the Competition Committee of the OECD, and the British Brands Group.
To date, my research has been relied upon by the Australian Senate (in an official report), the Finnish Competition Authority, the International Competition Network, the (then) Chairman of the UK Competition Commission (in two policy speeches), the Chairman of the New Zealand Commerce Commission (in a report for the American Bar Association), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (in a submission to Parliament), the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (in a submission to the European Commission), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (in a submission to the OECD), the Western Australian Independent Grocers Association (in a submission to Australia’s Competition Policy Review Panel), the Competition Authority of El Salvador (in a submission to the OECD), UNCTAD, legal counsel at the Competition Commission of South Africa, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in New Zealand, the Research Office of the Danish Ministry of Justice, the Competition Committee of the OECD, the World Economic Forum (in a commissioned report), and researchers in the Competition Commission of India, the Turkish Competition Authority, the Norwegian Competition Authority, the Dutch Competition Authority and the Ministry of Economic Development in New Zealand. It has also been cited in commissioned reports for the UK Cabinet Office, the Korean Consumer Agency and the Swedish Competition Authority.
I have been the subject of a feature in the 'Academic Life' section of Latvia's main legal periodical (Jurista Vards) and have been interviewed and cited by a number of international journalists (including for Russia Today TV; MLex Magazine; the Policy and Regulatory Report; the Verge; Politico; Revista Industria Legal (South America)).
I am an elected member of the Council of the Society of Legal Scholars (‘SLS’). I also sit on the Research Grants Committee of the SLS. I am also a Member of the Academic Society for Competition Law.
I am a member of the Peer Review College of the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities, where from 2019-2022, I will act as a Member of its Thought Cluster Committee.
Within the University of Leeds, I am a member of the following:
- The Court;
- The ESSL Faculty Forum;
- The Research Committee, School of Law;
- The REF Reading Group, School of Law;
- The Internationalisation Committee, School of Law; and
- The Research Degrees Management Committee, School of Law.
In previous years I was a member of: the Senate (2017-2020); the Examinations Group of the University’s Graduate Board (2015-2017); the ESSL Faculty Board (2015-2018); the ESSL Graduate School Committee (2015-2017); the School Management Team, School of Law (2015-2017); and the Research Committee, School of Law (2014-2017). From 2013 until 2019, I acted as the Deputy Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, which is based in the School of Law.
Prior to my coming to Leeds in 2013, I was a Senior Lecturer in Law at the UEA Law School, University of East Anglia and was a Faculty Member of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy. Before moving to UEA, I was the Research Fellow in Competition Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) in London. In addition to conducting competition law research for BIICL, I also provided training in EU competition law to various consumer organisations across 14 EU Member States. I was also a Research Assistant (to Professor Sciarra) at the University of Cambridge and was the Managing Editor of the Cambridge Law Review. Before starting my academic career, I worked in New York City and in the People's Republic of China.
- Director, Centre for Business Law and Practice
My main research interests lie in criminal law and in EU, US and UK competition law. I am particularly interested in all aspects of competition law enforcement, anticompetitive agreements, cartel criminalisation, parental liability in competition law, international cooperation in competition law and the objectives of competition law.
I have written a leading monograph on the topic of cartel criminalisation (published by Oxford University Press). I am currently writing a monograph on parental liability in EU competition law; it will be published in due course by Oxford University Press.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- PhD in Law
- PG Cert (HEP)
- LLB (Ling Franc)
- New York State Bar
- Academic Society of Competition Law
- Society of Legal Scholars
- Higher Education Academy
I currently teach on the following modules:
- Central Issues in Criminal Law (LAW5065M);
- Competition Law (LAW2426); and
- International Competition Law (LAW5445M).
I am the Module Organiser for both Central Issues in Criminal Law (LAW5065M) and International Competition Law (LAW5445M).
In previous years I have also taught Criminal Law, Tort Law, Contract Law, EU Law, US Law, Legal Skills, and Understanding Crime. I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in various areas of law. I have also judged numerous moots involving undergraduate students.
I hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education Practice, which was awarded by the University of East Anglia.
From 2012 until 2016, I acted as an external examiner for seven law modules on the LLB and LLM programmes at Newcastle Law School, the University of Newcastle.
In 2017, I was appointed to the Judging Panel of the Undergraduate Awards, the world’s largest international academic awards programme that acknowledges the brightest and most innovative undergraduate students.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I am happy to supervise PhD students in areas of my expertise, especially in competition law.
I currently supervise three full-time PhD students:
- John Gannon (competition law);
- Omar Mashjari (competition law); and
- Evelyse Carvalho Ribas (tax law).
To date I have supervised seven PhD students to completion and have acted as an examiner for a variety of PhD and MA theses, at both home and abroad. I have been nominated twice for a Partnership Award for my PhD supervision.
1. P. Whelan, Parental Liability in EU Competition Law (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
2. P. Whelan, The Criminalization of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Books (edited collections)
3. P. Whelan (ed.), Research Handbook on Cartels (Edward Egar: Cheltenham, forthcoming)
4. B. Rodger, P.Whelan and A. MacCulloch (eds), The UK Competition Regime: A Twenty-Year Retrospective (Oxford University Press, 2021)
5. A. Almasan and P. Whelan (eds), The Consistent Application of EU Competition Law - Substantive and Procedural Challenges (Springer: Amsterdam, 2017)
6. P. Marsden, M. Hutchings OBE and P. Whelan (eds), Current Competition Law V (British Institute of International and Comparative Law: London, 2007)
7. P. Whelan, ‘Beyond the Theoretical: Articulating Enforcement Strategies for Successful European Antitrust Criminalization’ (2016) 81(1) Antitrust Law Journal 235
8. P. Whelan, 'Section 47 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013: A Flawed Reform of the UK Cartel Offence' (2015) 78(3) Modern Law Review 493
9. P. Whelan, ‘Cartel Criminalization and the Challenge of Moral Wrongfulness’ (2013) 33(3) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 535
10. P. Whelan, 'Cartel Criminalisation and Due Process: The Challenge of Imposing Criminal Sanctions Alongside Administrative Sanctions within the EU’ (2013) 64(2) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 143
11. P. Whelan, ‘Strengthening Competition Law Enforcement in Ireland: The Competition (Amendment) Act 2012' (2013) 4(2) Journal of European Competition Law and Practice 175
12. P. Whelan, ‘Legal Certainty and Cartel Criminalisation within the EU Member States' (2012) 71(3) Cambridge Law Journal 677
13. P. Whelan, ‘An Argument in Favour of the Passing-On Defence: A Response to Private Actions in Competition Law: A Consultation on Options for Reform’  Competition Law Journal 211
14. P. Whelan, ‘Improving Criminal Cartel Enforcement in the UK: The Case for the Adoption of BIS’s “Option 4”’ (2012) 8(3) European Competition Journal 589
15. P. Whelan, ‘Trading Negotiations between Retailers and Suppliers: A Fertile Ground for Anti-Competitive Horizontal Information Exchange?’ (2009) 5(3) European Competition Journal 823
16. P. Whelan, ‘Morality and Its Restraining Influence on European Antitrust Criminalisation’ (2009) 12 Trinity College Law Review 40
17. P. Whelan, ‘Contemplating the Future: Personal Criminal Sanctions for Infringements of EC Competition Law’ (2008) 19(2) King's Law Journal 364
18. P. Whelan, ‘A Principled Argument for Personal Criminal Sanctions as Punishment under EC Cartel Law’ (2007) 4(1) Competition Law Review 7
19. P. Whelan, ‘The Role of Third Parties in the Competition Enforcement Landscape: A Critical Review’  Competition Law Journal 41
20. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, ‘Selective Distribution in the Age of Online Retail’ (2010) 31(1) European Competition Law Review 36
21. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, ‘Re-Examining Trans-Atlantic Divergences in Substantive and Procedural Competition Law’ (2009) 10 Sedona Conference Journal 23
22. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, ‘Intervention and the Internal Market: Contemporary European Competition Initiatives Concerning Distribution in the Market for New Cars’ (2008) 4(2) European Competition Journal 485
23. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, ‘“Consumer Detriment” and its Application in EC and UK Competition Law’ (2006) 27(10) European Competition Law Review 569
24. M. Hutchings OBE and P. Whelan, ‘Consumer Interest in Competition Law Cases’ (2006) 16(5) Consumer Policy Review 180
25. P. Whelan, 'Antitrust Criminalization as a Legitimate Deterrent', in The Cambridge Handbook of Competition Law Sanctions, Tóth (ed.), (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
26. P. Whelan, ‘The Emerging Role of Director Disqualification in UK Competition Law’, in The UK Competition Regime: A Twenty-Year Retrospective, Rodger, Whelan and MacCulloch (eds), (Oxford University Press, 2021)
27. P. Whelan, 'European Cartel Criminalisation and Regulation 1/2003: Avoiding Potential Problems', in The Consistent Application of EU Competition Law - Substantive and Procedural Challenges, Almasan and Whelan (eds), (Springer: Amsterdam, 2017)
28. P. Whelan, 'Criminal Antitrust Enforcement and Procedural Fairness: A Critical Analysis', in The Procedural Aspects of the Application of Competition Law, Nagi (ed.), (Europa Law Publishing, 2016)
29. P. Whelan, 'Criminal Cartel Enforcement in the European Union: Avoiding a Human Rights Trade-Off', in Criminalising Cartels: Critical Studies of an International Regulatory Movement, Beaton-Wells and Ezrachi (eds), (Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2011)
30. P. Whelan, 'Protecting Human Rights in the Context of European Antitrust Criminalisation', in The Reform of EC Competition Law: Towards an Optimal Enforcement System, Lianos and Kokorris (eds), (Kluwer International: Amsterdam, 2010)
31. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, 'The "Consumer Welfare" Standard as a Form of Substantive Protection for Consumers under European Competition Law', in Own Labels, Branded Goods and Competition Policy: The Changing Landscape of Retail Competition, Bernitz and Ezrachi (eds), (Oxford University Press, 2009)
32. P. Whelan, ‘The CISAC Judgment: How Difficult It Is To Prove a Concerted Practice’ (2013) 4(6) Journal of European Competition Law and Practice 486
33. P. Whelan, ‘Resisting the Long Arm of Criminal Antitrust Laws: Norris v. US’ (2009) 72(2) Modern Law Review 272
34. P. Whelan, ‘The Degussa Case’ (2008) 7(8) Competition Law Insight 13
35. P. Whelan, 'Private Enforcement and Commission Decisions: The Crehan Case' (2007) 3 Cambridge Student Law Review 108
36. P. Whelan, Criminalización de los Cárteles: Experiencia Comparada y Desafíos, INDECOPI, Lima, Peru, 2019 [E-book in Spanish]
37. P. Whelan, ‘Brexit, Competition Law and The Prospect Of Prison For Price-Fixers’, in Fraud and White Collar Crime 2016, Corporate Livewire, London, 2016
38. P. Whelan, ‘Criminal Enforcement’ (2013) 9(3) European Competition Journal 595
39. P. Whelan, 'Article 7 ECHR and the Cartel Offence' (Summer 2012) 23 CCP Research Bulletin 2
40. P. Whelan, 'Foreword to Special Edition: Criminal Sanctions - An Overview of EU and National Case Law', January 2012, e-Competitions, No.41902
41. P. Whelan, 'Something of a Burden: Is the Passing-On Defence Appropriate?' (2008) 7(9) Competition Law Insight 5
42. P. Whelan, 'When Markets are Failing: Part II' (2007) 6(2) Competition Law Insight 6, with P Marsden
43. P. Whelan, 'When Markets are Failing: Part I' (2007) 6(1) Competition Law Insight 6, with P Marsden
44. P. Whelan, 'Competition Law Feature: Recent Developments Concerning the Rights of Complainants and Third Parties under both UK and EC Competition Law'  14 Bulletin of Legal Developments 157
45. P. Whelan, ‘Book Review: Presumption of Innocence in EU Anti-Cartel Enforcement (Mickonyte)’ (2020) 57(3) Common Market Law Review 958
46. P. Whelan, ‘Book Review: Sanctions in EU Competition Law (Frese)’ (2015) 11(3) European Competition Journal 637
47. P. Whelan, ‘Book Review: EU Competition Law Handbook (van der Woude et al)’ (2015) 36(9) European Competition Law Review 409
48. P. Whelan, ‘Book Review: The Criminal Law of Competition in the UK and in the US (Furse)’ (2013) 9(2) European Competition Journal 497
49. P. Whelan, 'Book Review: Efficiency and Justice in European Antitrust Enforcement (Wils)' (2009) 34(1) European Law Review 160
50. P. Whelan, 'Book Review: What About Law? (Barnard, O'Sullivan & Virgo, eds)' (2008) 4(2) Cambridge Student Law Review 337
51. P. Whelan, 'Book Review: The Antitrust Religion (Rockefeller)' (2008) 4(1) European Competition Journal 397
52. P. Whelan, 'Book Review: Global Competition Law and Economics (Elhauge & Geradin, eds)' (2008) 66(1) Cambridge Law Journal 211
53. P. Whelan, 'Book Review: Butterworths Competition Law Handbook (Lindrup, ed.)' (2008) 4(1) Cambridge Student Law Review 141
54. P. Whelan, 'Book Review: Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement: Economic and Legal Implications for the EU Member States (Cseres, Schinkel & Vogelaar, eds)' (2006) 2 European Competition Journal 451
55. P. Whelan, ‘Ensuring the Effectiveness of Competition Policy: A Case Study of Cartel Criminalisation’, paper presented at the 10th Annual Conference on Competition Law, Economics and Policy, Cape Town, South Africa, 6 October 2017
56. P. Whelan, 'The Appropriateness of the Passing-On Defence in Private Competition Law Enforcement', paper presented at the UKAEL Conference: 'Competition and Private Enforcement: The Next Steps', University College London, 4 July 2008
57. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, 'The Concept of Price Discrimination under EC and UK Law', paper presented to the American Bar Association (ABA), Antitrust Teleseminar Series, 27 February 2006
58. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, 'The Contribution of Bilateral Trade or Competition Agreements to Competition Law Enforcement Cooperation between Canada and Chile' (London: CEPR, 2005), paper presented at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Conference, Brussels and Paris, April and October 2005
59. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, 'The Contribution of Bilateral Trade or Competition Agreements to Competition Law Enforcement Cooperation between Canada and Costa Rica' (London: CEPR, 2005), paper presented at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Conference, Brussels and Paris, April and October 2005
60. P. Marsden and P. Whelan, 'The Contribution of Bilateral Trade or Competition Agreements to Competition Law Enforcement Cooperation between the EU and Mexico' (London: CEPR, 2005), paper presented at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Conference, Brussels and Paris, April and October 2005
61. P. Whelan, 'Submission to the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy's in Response to Modernising Consumer Markets - Consumer Green Paper', 6 June 2018
62. P. Whelan, ‘Submission to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee of the New Zealand Parliament on the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill’, 17 March 2018
63. P. Whelan, 'Report Examining the Desirability of Introducing Criminal Sanctions for Cartel Activity', Submitted to the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority, 30 April 2014
64. P. Whelan, 'Submission to the Commerce Committee of the New Zealand Parliament on the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill', 5 September 2012
65. P. Whelan, 'Response to Private Actions in Competition Law: A Consultation on Options for Reform', Submission to the (UK) Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, June 2012
66. P. Whelan, ‘Reforming the UK Cartel Offence: A Response to A Competition Regime for Growth: A Consultation on Options for Reform’, Submission to the (UK) Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, June 2011
67. F. Liberatore, P. Marsden, F. Murphy and P. Whelan, 'Reform of Regulation 1/2003: Correcting the Current Lack of Effective Communication: The Competition Law Forum's Submission to the European Commission in relation to its Consultation on Regulation 1/2003', BIICL, London, 30 September 2008
Research groups and institutes
- Centre for Business Law and Practice