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Global Leader

Competition 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alasdair Balfour is highly sought after by clients for his impressive expertise in contentious competition matters including litigation and investigations proceedings.


Alasdair Balfour has over 20 years' experience advising clients involved in competition investigations and litigation at UK, EU and global levels. His practice spans merger control, cartel and other antitrust infringements, market/sector investigations and general antitrust regulatory and EU law counselling across many industry sectors.

He has secured EU, UK and international merger clearances for many clients, including Phase II and "remedies" cases before the European Commission (EC) and UK authorities. Alasdair has defended clients involved in the air cargo, automotive components, card interchange, window fittings, FX and construction cartel investigations and litigation. He has also advised clients involved in the EC’s financial services and energy sector investigations, and the UK SME banking, corporate banking, British airports and pharmacy market investigations.

Alasdair has advised on high-profile mergers such as Tullett Prebon on the UK, US, Australian and Singaporean clearances of its £1.6 billion acquisition of competitor ICAP to form the world’s largest voice broker; Asahi on the EC clearance and purchaser approvals of its acquisition of the SABMiller CEE business from Anheuser Busch for €7.3 billion, and Peroni and Grolsch from Anheuser Busch for €2.6 billion, allowing Anheuser Busch to close its US$100 billion acquisition of SABMiller; Lloyds Banking Group on the UK merger control review of its acquisition of the MBNA credit card business from Bank of America; BTG on its £3.3 billion takeover offer by Boston Scientific; and Marks & Spencer on its joint venture with Ocado.

Alasdair is recognised as a leading individual in his field in both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, which between them state: "Alasdair Balfour is highly recommended for his ability to see to the core of a problem and explain issues simply"; "Alasdair Balfour is outstanding"; and “Alasdair Balfour is viewed as ‘very analytical’ as well as a ‘practical thinker’". Clients describe him as “a very pragmatic, calm, measured individual who comes up with solutions”.

Allen & Overy's antitrust and competition practice comprises over 120 specialists operating 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.

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