Mark Friend is head of Allen & Overy LLP's London antitrust practice and has been a partner since 1990, having qualified as a solicitor in 1982. He read law at Cambridge and obtained a master’s degree in EU law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
His practice encompasses all aspects of EU and UK competition law (including antitrust litigation), state aid and the economic regulation of utilities, with a particular focus on energy and water. He has extensive experience of counselling and representing clients on complex mergers and strategic alliances, cartel, dominance and market investigations, at EU and national level, as well as advising public and private sector clients on more general issues of EU law.
Mark has acted on several of the ground-breaking and notably complex cases in the new UK merger regime, including the landmark Lloyds/HBOS, Co-op/Somerfield and Boots/Alliance UniChem cases. He also has high-profile experience in European merger control advising Sun Microsystems on its merger with Oracle, and Thomson on its acquisition of Reuters (including the subsequent appeal before the European Court).
Market investigation work includes acting for one of the Big Six energy firms in the CMA energy market investigation, and acting for a leading insurer in the CMA investigation into private motor insurance.
The competition chapter of Chambers UK (2016) states:” “Mark Friend is a highly regarded practitioner who receives strong praise from clients and peers. One source commented: ‘He is ferociously clever and has an ability to get to the heart of something in addition to excellent sector knowledge.’” He is also described as “incredibly astute and insightful” by the competition section of The Legal 500 (2015).
He has published widely in academic and professional journals. He is the author of a 50,000-word study on the regulatory treatment of electricity mergers in the UK (published by Allen & Overy in 2003) and contributed the chapter on state guarantees to EU State Aids (edited by Hancher, Ottervanger and Slot, 2012).
Allen & Overy's antitrust and competition practice comprises over 100 specialists located across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The practice advises corporate clients and financial institutions on their global antitrust policies, litigation and regulatory strategies and has acted on some of the highest-profile and most complex cases in recent years.
WWL says: "One of the best and the brightest", his energy sector knowledge particularly impressed our sources
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Competition which can be purchased from our Shop.