Matthew O’Regan


Matthew O'Regan

Call 2015
Qualifications LLB (Hons.) (Nottingham) first class, LLM (Amsterdam), Diploma in Legal Practice (Nottingham Trent), admitted as a Solicitor 1997, Solicitor-Advocate Higher Courts Civil Proceedings 2014
Professional Memberships The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, Member of the Brussels Bar (E-list) 2001 – 2011, UK State Aid Law Association, Competition Law Association, Law Society Competition Section
Awards University of Nottingham Exhibition 1991, Reuben C Lipman Scholarship 1992

Expertise


Matthew has broad experience of advising clients from a broad range of industries on ensuring that their agreements and commercial practices comply with the Competition Act 1998 and Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. He advises on the application of “block exemptions”, where available, including for vertical agreements, motor vehicle distribution research and development and technology transfer.

He advises on the application of competition law to a wide range of agreements, including distribution, agency, franchising, supply, IP licensing, R&D and joint selling agreements. He also advises on pricing and marketing strategies, including online marketing and resale price maintenance. Where appropriate, he can assist with the drafting of these agreements and their termination.

Matthew also advises companies which are or may be dominant, as well as those who deal with them, on a wide range of commercial strategies, including pricing, discounts and rebates, refusal to supply and access to infrastructure and facilities.

Matthew also advises companies on how to ensure that they, and their employees, comply with competition law. He assists clients with compliance programmes and the provision of training.

Competition disputes

Building upon his practice as a Solicitor, Matthew is a skilled competition litigator, undertaking work in the English and EU courts. He advises and represents clients on all types of competition disputes, including appeals in cartel and State aid cases, judicial reviews, follow-on damages actions and standalone disputes raising competition issues. He also has experience of international competition disputes, including multi-jurisdictional cartel litigation and the competition aspects of international arbitrations.

Competition Investigations

Matthew has considerable experience in advising and representing companies subject to competition investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”), other UK authorities with powers to enforce the Competition Act 1998 (“CA98”) and the European Commission (“EC”) under Articles 101, 102 and 106 TFEU. He also advises complainants and third parties.

His experience covers all aspects of an investigation, including: applications for immunity and leniency; attendance at dawn raids; responding to requests for information and the production of documents; responding to statements of objections; representing clients in oral hearings; and closing cases through early resolution, settlement and commitment proceedings.

Matthew also advises and represents clients which are involved in CMA calls for information, market studies and market investigations under the markets provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.

Recommendations

  • “He is very responsive and practical and can deal with things calmly. He is also very good at talking to clients.” Chambers UK, Competition Law (2018)
  • “Matthew advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious competition law cases. ‘He is quickly able to digest large amounts of information relating to very complex matters. His past experience as a solicitor means he is very pragmatic and proactive in his approach to advising clients.’ ” Chambers UK, Competition Law (2017)

Matthew has broad experience of advising clients in a wide range of regulated sectors, including rail, gas, electricity, water, civil aviation, telecommunications and broadcasting. This covers a range of matters, including; compliance with licence conditions; modification of licences following a merger, acquisition or financial restructuring; price controls and their periodic review; access to regulated infrastructure, including access charges; and regulatory investigations.

Matthew is the General Editor (with Laurent Garzaniti) of Garzaniti, Telecommunications, Broadcasting and the Internet, EU Competition Law & Regulation and an author of the market conduct and mergers chapters (third edition, 2010) and also the author of the EU section of the International Chapter of the American Bar Association Telecom Antitrust Handbook (second edition, 2013).

In addition to competition, State aid, procurement and sector-specific regulation, Matthew advises clients on all other aspects of EU law, in particular the “four freedoms” (free movement of goods, services and people and freedom of establishment), as well as the free movement of capital.

Matthew advises companies on the State aid and procurement aspects of funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund and other EU structural funds. This includes advising on ensuring that funding is compatible with the State aid rules and that beneficiaries of funding comply with their procurement obligations. He also advises beneficiaries in connection with Department for Communities and Local Government investigations into suspected irregularities which might lead to the claw-back of some or even all funding received.

Matthew has considerable expertise in and experience of UK, EU and international merger control. This includes Phase II reviews, numerous cases requiring remedies and many cases that have required clearances in several jurisdictions worldwide. He has a thorough understanding of the application of competition economics in merger cases.

Matthew advises on the jurisdictional aspects of merger control, including the reallocation of jurisdiction between the European Commission (“EC”) and national competition authorities under the EU Merger Regulation.

Matthew is experienced in drafting merger notifications (including in complex mergers raising competition issues in multiple markets), making oral and written submissions to competition authorities, drafting responses to decisions to open Phase II investigations and statements of objections, and drafting and negotiating commitments and remedies (both structural and behavioural). He has also negotiated and drafted national security undertakings under the Enterprise Act 2002.

Matthew advises both public and private sector clients on the application of UK and EU procurement law, including the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the Utilities Procurement Regulations 2016 and the 2014 EU Procurement Directives. He advises on when these regulations apply and on structuring projects, bids and contract awards so as to comply with their requirements. He also advises on procurement disputes arising from the award of contracts.

Matthew has substantial experience of the EU State aid rules, including in relation to applications for EU structural funding under the ERDF and European Social Fund and national programmes such as the Regional Growth Fund. His clients include public authorities, state-owned companies and private sector clients (including companies and charities), whether recipients of aid, their investors or financiers or their competitors. His experience includes advising on public grants and subsidies, public funding for infrastructure projects, public investment (including repayable launch investment), debt relief and forgiveness, and public support for the rescue and restructuring of companies in financial difficulty.

His expertise covers all stages of State aid matters, including: advising on whether a measure constitutes aid and, if so, whether a block exemption applies; advising on structuring measures so as to avoid the requirement to make a notification to the European Commission (“EC”); where notification is required, drafting notification to the EC; drafting complaints to the EC in respect of non-notified aid; advising on EC investigations, whether following notification or a complaint; negotiating commitments with the EC in order to obtain approval; and appeals to the EU General Court and Court of Justice.

 

Practice Overview

Matthew, a former Solicitor, is a specialist competition and regulatory lawyer. He was Called to the Bar and joined St John’s Chambers in 2015, having previously been a Partner in the Competition Group of Burges Salmon LLP. He has a strong international perspective, having practised for over a decade in the Brussels office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Matthew has a broad-based practice, with extensive experience in all aspects of competition law, EU law, State aid, public procurement and economic regulation, including competition disputes, regulatory investigations, transactional matters and advisory work. He combines his technical expertise and experience to provide pragmatic, commercially-focused and solution-oriented strategic advice and representation.

Matthew acts as an advocate in competition-related proceedings (including disputes, appeals and judicial reviews) in the UK and EU courts. He also represents and advises clients in all types of competition and regulatory investigations including in cartel, dominance and other investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority, other UK regulatory authorities and the European Commission. He also advises clients on UK, EU and international merger control proceedings; the application of the State aid and procurement rules; and the application of competition law to a wide range of transactions, commercial agreements and business practices.

He has broad sector experience, advising clients from numerous sectors, including: oil and gas, energy, nuclear, transport, airports and aviation, aerospace and defence, chemicals, telecommunications and media, financial services, consumer and sports goods, food and drink, aluminium, mining and natural resources, packaging, sport, private equity and retail and wholesale distribution.

Matthew accepts instructions from solicitors, overseas lawyers and in-house legal departments on all types of matters. He also assists solicitors firms, whether by providing an additional resource to those with established competition practices or by assisting those firms without their own competition law capability.

Matthew is qualified to undertake public access work in appropriate cases, for further information, please visit our Public Access page.

Matthew speaks frequently at seminars and conferences and also writes widely on all aspects of competition and regulatory law. He is also an Editor of the Competition Law Journal (published by Jordans) and contributor to the Kluwer Competition Law Blog.