We advise on a wide range of issues within this field, including advice on how best to structure agreements to fall within exemptions or safe harbours provided by EC or national competition laws, while meeting our clients' commercial objectives as closely as possible.
Advice is provided on the types of clauses in agreements that may be problematic from a competition perspective, such as non-compete clauses, territorial and quantitative restrictions, pricing provisions and most-favoured customer clauses as well as issues arising from the rapidly expanding areas of internet selling.
The department also advises on issues that can arise from franchising or licensing agreements. We work closely with our commercial and IT colleagues in this sector and there is often a need to balance commercial gain with regulatory risk.
Industry sectors in which the department has experience of advising on vertical issues include food and drink, retail, fine fragrances, luxury goods, the motor industry, music and television, press products, clothing and pharmaceuticals, to name but a few.
The department's work in this regard is pan-European in scope and our offices in Milan as well as offices in London, Brussels, Munich and Paris are all active in advising clients on the multitude of issues arising from distribution and other vertical agreements.