Adam Aldred

EU & Competition Law


36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082


5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123


Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570

Clerked by:
Rory Davis
Gary Young

EU & Competition Law

For over 25 years, Adam has specialised in all aspects of EU and UK competition law, including antitrust investigations, appeals, antitrust litigation, mergers, restrictive trade practices and cartels, strategic business advice (including, the Groceries Supply Code of Practise (GSCOP), joint ventures and other forms of collaboration), dominance, public procurement, State aid and competition risk management.

For years, Adam has been ranked by Legal 500 as the Leading Individual in EU & competition law in Yorkshire, and recommended by PLC, and by Chambers in Europe, London and in the Regions. 

Significant Cases

Investigations & Advisory

1.    Acting for a Midlands-based copper fittings manufacturer in respect of an EC investigation, including leniency and an appeal before the General Court in Luxembourg

2.    Acting for a FTSE 100 insurer: the OFT's commitments decision in respect of information sharing through Experian's What If product

3.    Acting for a FTSE 100 insurer: various investigations into the UK's private health industry, and also UK private motor insurance

4.    Acting for the Danish parent company of the Yorkshire-based immunity applicant in respect of the OFT's Dairy cartel decision - Adam successfully applied for that immunity

5.    Acting for a company based in the North West in respect of the OFT investigation in the UK automotive industry - from dawn raid to settlement

6.    Acting for a trade association defending allegations of participation in anti-competitive conduct

7.    Acting for an international pharmaceutical company on an EC dawn raid in Yorkshire

8.    Obtaining leniency markers for various clients based in the North of England in respect of matters which were not pursued by regulators on administrative grounds

Competition Litigation

1.    Acting for an intervener before the ECJ in respect of an EC decision

2.    Eden Brown v OFT - appeal before the Competition Aid Tribunal (CAT) in respect of the OFT's construction recruitment forum cartel decision

3.    2 Travel v Cardiff Bus - landmark follow-on damages action before the CAT in which exemplary damages were awarded for the first time in a competition case

4.    Quarmby Construction v OFT - appeal on behalf of a Yorkshire-based construction company before the CAT in respect of the OFT's construction cartel decision and before the Court of Appeal

5.    Imperial Tobacco v OFT - appeal before the CAT in respect of the OFT's tobacco cartel-type decision - acting for Sainsbury's as intervener (Sainsbury's were the immunity applicant and Adam obtained that immunity, and had been advising Sainsbury's throughout the investigation)

6.    Advising a number of direct and indirect purchasers in respect of prospective follow-on damages claims arising out of the EC's Car Glass cartel decision and, separately, the EC's Foam cartel decision

7.    Advising a foreign company in respect of prospective stand-alone damages claims arising out of the EC investigation regarding the small-screen LCD cartel

8.    Acting for a Part 20 defendant in the Copper Fittings follow-on damages action before the High Court in respect of an EC decision

9.    Acting for a potential defendant in a follow-on damages claim and negotiating a settlement before court proceedings were issued

10.  Waheeb & Latif v Tesco – a claim in the CAT on behalf of the claimant developers who alleged Tesco’s reliance on a restrictive covenant infringed competition law.  Tesco agreed not to rely on the restrictive covenant and the case promptly settled.

11.   Breasley & Ors v Vita – follow-on damages action in the CAT on behalf of 6 claimants seeking over £10million in damages.  The case promptly settled.

12.  Labinvesta v Dako & Agillent - acting for claimant, a small UK business, alleging abuse of dominance by defendants in a refusal to supply case.  

13.  EU Truck Cartel - advising various potential claimants

14.  Mastercard/Visa – advising various potential claimants

15.  Agents' Mutual v Gascoigne Halman – acting for the defendant real estate agency defending injunctive proceedings brought by the owner of the OnTheMarket property portal.  In the Chancery Division with the competition law issues being heard in the CAT.


1.    Acting for companies defending an abuse of dominance claim; settled at mediation

2.    Acting for a company excluded from UK markets as a result of alleged abuses of dominance

3.    Advising clients in respect of regulatory investigations into alleged abuses of dominance

4.    Bringing court proceedings against Cardiff Bus which had been found to have abused its dominant position in the Bus sector

5.    Advising the owners of an airport in respect of High Court proceedings being brought by a bus company against the operator of that airport for alleged abuse of dominance

6.    Labinvesta v Dako & Agillent - acting for claimant, a small UK business, alleging abuse of dominance by defendants in a refusal to supply case in the CAT

Merger Control

Various mergers (phases I and II) before the OFT, the CMA and the EC, including:

1.    Health cash plans

2.    Dental plans

3.    Motor vehicle dealerships

4.    Concrete roof tiles

5.    Salt

6.    Building societies

7.    Grocery convenience stores

8.    Pharmaceuticals

9.    Textiles

GSCOP, Distribution Strategies & Compliance

1.    Conducting arbitrations before the Groceries Code Adjudicator and advising on GSCOP

2.    Advising various companies on their trading terms and UK and EU distribution strategies

3.    Delivering dawn raid and compliance training and manuals


Public Procurement and State Aid

Over the last decade, Adam has increasingly been called upon to advise councils and private companies on public procurement, State aid and restrictions affecting land, including:

1.    Advising a tenderer in respect of a public procurement run by a London Borough Council which led to the revocation of the contract which had been awarded to a competitor, and a re-run of the tender

2.    Advising a company when a council sought to enter the market and compete with it on commercial terms, thereby invoking the State aid rules

3.    Acting for a property developer whose £multi-million development would have been thwarted by a 100+ year restricted-use restrictive covenant which was successfully removed on the basis it was anti-competitive

4.    Advising property owners and their advisors on funding, permitted use and restrictions in retail parks having regard to competition law and the state aid rules



"He combines the pragmatism of a solicitor with a robust fighting spirit."

Chambers UK


For over 25 years, Adam has specialised in EU & competition law, including cartels, dominance, mergers, market investigations, antitrust litigation, public procurement, State aid, trading agreements and compliance.  He is well known to case officers and staff at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the European Commission (EC), having dealt with many mergers, dawn raids, investigations and leniency applications in many market sectors.

He has litigated many cases before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), other UK and EU courts, in arbitrations, and settled others using mediation.  Adam has also acted on a number of significant merger cases, for example, the clearance of the merger of British Salt and New Cheshire Salt Works, for which his team won The Lawyer's Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year award.

Year of Call: 1987 (NSW, Australia), 2014 (England & Wales)

Areas of Expertise

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)

The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales

British Institute of International and Comparative Law


Cartels: Enforcement, Appeals and Damages Actions, 2014, 2nd Ed – UK Chapter


Law Extension Committee, University of Sydney 1983 to 1987

Admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of New South Wales 1987

Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge - 1988 to 1989 (Master of Laws - Public International & EU law)

Norton Rose 1989 to 1993 (EU & competition law)

Hammonds (Partner) 1994 to 2001 (EU & competition law & commercial litigation)

Accredited Mediator 1999 (ADR Group)

Solicitor Advocate (Higher Courts (Civil Advocacy)) 2000        

Addleshaw Goddard LLP (Partner) 2001 to 2014 (EU & competition & antitrust litigation)

Called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn) 2014

Kings Chambers 2014 to date

Direct Access Qualified 2015




Profiled in Legal Business as the lawyer who broke the Net Book Agreement, the agreement by which UK publishers fixed the resale price of books


Won the Lawyer's Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year Award


Awarded “Stand-out” - Most Innovative law firms in Dispute Resolution - FT Innovative Lawyers: third out of 26 finalists


Chambers UK  – Adam Aldred is particularly praised for the expertise he brings as a solicitor advocate, and is noted as being "a seasoned litigator" who "has a great deal of experience to offer in this field". (Band 1 - leading individual)


Chambers UK - Adam Aldred is singled out as being "very innovative" and "an able litigator".  As such he is often sought to advise on abuse of dominance cases and follow-on damages claims. (Band 1 - leading individual)


Legal 500 – EU & Competition - Adam Aldred is highly recommended

Legal 500 – Sport - competition law specialist Adam Aldred focuses on the interface between competition law and sport, and advises on issues such as the collective selling of football rights to broadcasters and shirt sponsorship deals

Ranked by Legal 500 as the Leading Individual in EU & competition law in Yorkshire for many years


Chambers UK - "He combines the pragmatism of a solicitor with a robust fighting spirit."

Chambers UK – Competition Law (The Regions (Bar)) – Top ranked


Chambers UK - "He is a highly regarded individual, particularly for cases involving cartels."

Chambers UK – Competition Law (The Regions (Bar)) – Top ranked


Chambers UK - "He is a great person to work alongside - full of ideas and full of energy." 

LinkedIn: Adam Aldred



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