Bird & Bird (London)

Ariane Le Strat

Bird & Bird (London)
Senior Associate

Ariane Le Strat is a senior associate in the Competition & EU law team of Bird & Bird in London, advising on UK and EU competition law with a particular focus on distribution and e-commerce. She joined Bird & Bird in 2015 from the Competition and Markets Authority, where she worked as a case officer on a number of high profile investigations. Since joining the team, she has attended dawn raids by the CMA and the European Commission advising on privilege, compliance and seize and sift issues in real time. Her background on the enforcement side comes very useful when advising clients subject to competition investigations. She regularly provides strategic advice to clients including on the structure of their distribution arrangements ensuring compliance with the vertical agreement and technology transfer block exemption regulations. She also advises clients on UK and international merger control. In the last year, she has expended her expertise to contentious matters by acting for a claimant in a follow on cartel damages claim in the High Court.


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3523 Bulletin

Pauline Kuipers, Ariane Le Strat, Jörg Witting The EU Commission publishes its long-awaited draft Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation and accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints


Introduction Following a comprehensive evaluation process which began in 2018, the EU Commission published on 9 July 2021 its long-awaited draft vertical agreement block exemption regulation (Draft VBER) and accompanying guidelines (Draft Guidelines). The current VBER and Guidelines, which (...)

Ariane Le Strat The UK Competition Authority publishes draft guidance designed to help businesses understand and comply with their existing legal obligations under consumer protection law after its in-depth market investigation regarding environmental claims


Sustainability (or environmental) claims are increasingly part of the purchasing experience for consumers. Such claims can be made in the context of advertising, on product labels and within accompanying product information such as e-newsletters. Sustainability claims will typically state that (...)

Ariane Le Strat, Saskia King, Gabriel Voisin, Elizabeth Upton The UK Competition Authority and the Data Protection Authority publish a joint statement on how competition and data protection issues overlap in the digital economy


The well-known (and somewhat over-simplistic) paradox that data protection laws aim to keep personal data contained whilst competition law wants personal data to be more freely available is the premise behind the two UK regulators’ latest collaboration. In the last two years, the UK Data (...)

Saskia King, Ariane Le Strat The UK Competition Authority publishes its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines along with a quick guide complementing the revision of its Guidance on jurisdiction and procedure


In March 2021, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) published its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines (MAGs) along with a Quick Guide, complementing the revision of its Guidance on jurisdiction and procedure, which was published in December 2020. The updated MAGs underpin the CMA’s (...)

Peter Willis, Ariane Le Strat, Chloe Birkett The UK Government and the EU Commission publish a trade and cooperation act trying to control and provide a framework for regulatory divergence


The Trade and Cooperation Agreement will govern the future relationship of the UK and the EU. This article will examine some key areas to note for Competition law, reviewing important changes to state aid regulation and the Competition and Market Authority’s ("CMA") function. Introduction (...)

Peter Willis, Ariane Le Strat, Chloe Birkett, Saskia King The UK Competition Authority publishes a full infringement decision on the imposition of wide MFN clauses by a price comparison website (ComparetheMarket)


Having fined Compare The Market (‘CTM’) £17.9 million for imposing wide ‘most favoured nation’ (‘MFN’) clauses in its agreements with home insurance companies, on 9 February 2021 the Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) released the non-confidential version of its infringement decision. (...)

Peter Willis, Ariane Le Strat The EU Commission publishes a staff working document of the vertical block exemption regulation and does not plan to relax the resale price maintenance rule for franchises


In the last few years, franchising has become an increasingly popular distribution structure across the EU. A franchise is a vertical agreement, and therefore should not contain any of the hard-core restrictions set out in the VBER in order to benefit from the block exemption. Nonetheless, it (...)

Ariane Le Strat, Peter Willis The UK Competition Authority publishes its digital markets strategy to ensure a level playing field where all businesses can compete on the merits of their offering


In the context of increasing enforcement in the digital sector, the CMA published its Digital Markets Strategy ("DMS") in July 2019. It aims to ensure a level playing field where all businesses can compete on the merits of their offering. The DMS sets out strategic aims supported by the (...)

Ariane Le Strat, Peter Willis The UK Competition Authority finds that pharmaceutical companies took part in a market sharing arrangements for anti-nausea and dizziness drug Prochlorperazine (Alliance Pharmaceuticals / Focus / Lexon / Medreich)


In recent years, the UK CMA has focussed many of its investigations on the pharmaceutical sector. This is partly due to the fact that in the UK, the National Health Service is a public funded body which bears most of the cost of the majority of medicines. Therefore, going after (...)


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