Lord Currie delivers the keynote address at the School's competition law conference

The School of Law hosted a global mix of competition lawyers for its recent conference ‘Contemporary Challenges in Competition Law’.

The School of Law hosted a global mix of competition lawyers for its recent conference ‘Contemporary Challenges in Competition Law’.

On 15 May 2015, the School of Law hosted a conference dedicated to the analysis of the most difficult contemporary challenges in competition law. The conference examined some of the cutting-edge, most difficult topics of competition law and its enforcement. These are issues that competition law and economics, as they stand, struggle to resolve. The contemporary challenges were grouped around four themes: the enforcement of competition law; issues particularly relevant to the practice of competition law and economics; substantive issues in competition law; and the interplay between competition law and regulation.

The keynote speech was delivered by Lord David Currie, Chairman of the Competition and Markets Authority. Lord Currie’s speech was followed by presentations from leading academics and practitioners from Europe and the United States. These presentations were grouped into four (90 minute) panel sessions, with each panel reflecting on one of the four above-mentioned themes.

The first panel session considered important emerging issues in the enforcement of competition law, such as: the global movement towards the criminalisation of competition law enforcement; the increasing use of commitment decisions by the European Commission; and very recent (European) developments which have been aimed at encouraging more private enforcement of competition law. Chaired by Professor Joan Loughrey (University of Leeds), this panel comprised Dr Peter Whelan (University of Leeds), Dr Niamh Dunne (King’s College London) and Dr Arianna Andreangeli (University of Edinburgh).

The second panel session focused on the view of the practitioners and enforcers of competition law and economics. Leading practitioners and enforcers shared their views on what they deem to be the emerging issues and challenges for competition law and economics in the coming years. Chaired by Professor Peter Moizer (Dean, Leeds University Business School), this panel comprised Lord David Currie (Competition and Markets Authority), Adam Aldred (Kings Chambers), Dr Ethel Fonseca (RBB Economics), Suzanne Rab (Serle Court) and Tom Sharpe QC (One Essex Court).

The third session focused on problematic issues and challenges for substantive competition law. These issues related either to new areas for the application of competition law or to recent formal applications of the law that have (problematic) implications going beyond particular cases.  It was chaired by Professor Gerard McCormack (University of Leeds) and comprised Professor Nicolas Petit (University of Liege), Professor Daniel Sokol (University of Florida) and Dr Pinar Akman (University of Leeds).

The final panel session examined the interplay between competition and regulation, an area where two of the major competition systems in the world (US and EU) adopt diametrically opposite approaches. This panel was chaired by Dr Qi Zhou (University of Leeds) and brought together Dr Oke Odudu (University of Cambridge), Dr Pablo Ibanez-Colomo (London School of Economics) and Dr Raphael Heffron (University of Leeds).

The conference was organised by Dr Pinar Akman and Dr Peter Whelan (under the auspices of the Centre for Business Law and Practice) with generous funding from both the School of Law and the Leeds University Business School.

A selection of the presentations given are available to download here.