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EU law
Competition and regulation

Our team of specialists in EU and competition law provide cutting-edge advice on EU policy, EU competition law and EU external trade rules, including WTO agreements, and UK competition law.

Our competition team is recognised as leading specialists in maritime and aviation competition law at both EU and UK levels.   

EU maritime competition law   

Our team is headed by Philippe Ruttley, who has been described as “one of Europe’s foremost maritime competition experts” (Lloyd’s List, 30 October 2012) and “one of the best known lawyers in liner shipping circles” (Lloyd’s List, 8 September 2014). Philippe is rated in legal directories for his expertise of maritime competition law, being described as “very thorough and highly responsive," with “strong expertise in maritime and aviation matters” by the Chambers and Partners directory of the legal profession.  

Philippe has advised shipowners on EU compliance for over 25 years, representing Liner Conferences, Consortia and Alliances, ferry companies as well as bulk operators (in particular chemical tankers, car carriers and forest carriers). He regularly represents clients before the European Commission in regulatory investigations, cartel cases and industry consultations on future maritime competition legislation.

Past and ongoing cases include:

  • Representing Liner Conferences before the Commission and the EU courts in the high-level policy cases on the scope of antitrust immunity for such arrangements.
  • Representing global consortia alliances, including advice on structuring agreements to use the Consortia Exemption Regulation (Regulation 906/2009) and self-assessment opinions.
  • Representing shipowners in policy dialogue with the European Commission on future regulation of Consortia.
  • Advising Lines on access to terminals, joint purchasing of feeder and inland services.
  • Advising Lines involved in pool agreements and how to structure operations to comply with EU competition rules.
  • Representing Lines in EU cartel investigations of liner and bulk shipping services.
  • Representing ferry companies in EU Commission investigations as well as public enquiries on anticompetitive practices at UK ports.
  • Advice on mergers and acquisitions, including notifications for clearance of such transactions to the European Commission.
Philippe was the founder of the European Maritime Law Organisation (“EMLO”) and its Secretary from 1991-1999 and has written widely on EU maritime issues. 

Our team is further enhanced by the expertise of Philippe Corruble, an expert in EU & Competition law. Philippe is Professor of law at HEC Paris (the leading French Business School), where he has been teaching EU competition law for the last 25 years, in Master programs, MBA and Executive programmes. Involved in research and publication, Philippe has published articles in the field of EU and French competition law, with a particular focus on the maritime sector, seaports and related activities.

Solange Leandro has wide experience of EU maritime competition law, having been involved in representing clients in EU investigations of chemical tankers, liner services, car carriers and ferry services. Solange is recognised as an 'Associate to watch' by Chambers UK 2015.

Aviation competition law

Our EU and UK aviation competition team includes Philippe Ruttley and Solange Leandro, who together combine extensive experience of advising airlines and airports on EU compliance, as well as EU regulatory investigations and cartel cases.

Past and ongoing cases include:

  • Advising airlines on membership of global alliances (Oneworld and STAR)
  • Advising airlines on cooperative agreements including “metal neutral” highly integrated pricing, scheduling and marketing; joint services and code-share agreements; shared ground handling services and airport facilities
  • Airline mergers and acquisitions
  • Representing airlines in cartel investigations (cargo and code sharing cooperation) as well as litigation in UK courts relating to infringements of competition law and claims for damages following EU Commission decisions
  • Advising on state aids cases, including in respect of infrastructure provision, and airline incentives at airports
  • Advising airports on access conditions for airlines and advising airlines on access to airport facilities
  • Advice on competition law compliance issues arising from the establishment of a new airline
  • Advice on GDS services
  • Advice on the enforcement of rights under EU bilateral trade agreements relating to air services
  • Advice on EU environmental policy including the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Advice to aviation trade associations on EU compliance
  • Advice on mergers and acquisitions, including notifications for clearance of such transactions to the European Commission
  • Advice on the EU Regulation against unfair pricing by non-EU airlines (Regulation 868/2004).   
Philippe and Solange have acted as joint editors of the EU section of Shawcross & Beaumont on “Air Law”, the leading survey of aviation law. They have both published extensively on EU aviation competition issues. 
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