Ashurst (London)

Neil Cuninghame

Ashurst (London)

Neil Cuninghame is a partner at Ashurst in the competition and EU law department in London and Dublin. He specialises in providing advice on all aspects of UK and EU competition law. This includes advising on EU, UK and other merger control regimes, acting for clients in relation to alleged anti-competitive practices and agreements before the European Commission, Competition and Markets Authority and other regulators, and advising on market investigations, competition law compliance, competition disputes and State aid issues. Neil Cuninghame advises clients across a wide range of industries including (amongst others) financial services, energy, resources, infrastructure, private equity, metals and mining, media and property services. He also advises on regulatory issues in the energy and water sectors, such as price control regimes, ownership unbundling and third party access; and public procurement issues.


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Ashurst (London)
Ashurst (Milan)
Ashurst (Jakarta)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
Ashurst (Brussels)


6312 Bulletin

Donald Slater, Christophe Lemaire, Neil Cuninghame, Irene Antypas The EU Commission adopts "Temporary Crisis Framework" for State aid measures to support the EU economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


introduction The aggression against Ukraine by Russia, the sanctions imposed by the EU and its international partners and the retaliatory counter-measures have created significant economic uncertainties, and disrupted trade flows and supply chains in many sectors. They have also led to (...)

Neil Cuninghame The UK Competition Authority imposes its 3 largest fines totalling £56.7M for breaches of initial enforcement orders in connection with 2 mergers in Big Tech and sportswear (JD Sports / Footasylum) (Meta / Giphy)


Within the last six months, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") has issued its three largest fines for breaches of an initial enforcement order ("IEO"). These include fines of GBP 50.5 million and GBP 1.5 million for breaches of an IEO imposed in connection with the completed (...)

Neil Cuninghame The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal hands down a judgment dismissing a software supplier’s application for review of the Competition Authority’s decision to prohibit a merger (Sabre / Farelogix)


On 21 May 2021, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") handed down a judgment dismissing Sabre’s application for review of the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") decision to prohibit the Sabre/Farelogix merger. Sabre had challenged the CMA’s jurisdiction to review the merger, which it (...)

Duncan Liddell, Neil Cuninghame, Edward McNeill The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal confirms the Competition Authority’s settlement policy following the appeal of a musical instrument company (Roland)


Roland UK ("Roland") appealed the level of the penalty imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") for engaging in resale price maintenance ("RPM") in relation to the supply of electronic drums. Roland argued that the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") should reduce the penalty (...)

Neil Cuninghame, Denis Fosselard The EU Court of Justice rejects power cables appeal on dawn raid powers and successor liability, and fines the company €104.6M for taking part in an international cartel (Prysmian)


On 24 September 2020, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") fully dismissed an appeal brought by Prysmian, therefore upholding the European Commission’s ("Commission") decision to fine Prysmian EUR 104.6 million for taking part in an international Power Cable cartel. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - (...)

Euan Burrows, Neil Cuninghame, Alexi Dimitriou, Duncan Liddell, Nigel Parr, Steven Vaz The UK Government lowers the notification thresholds of merger control and issues guidance on these changes


Lower notification thresholds under UK merger control for certain additional sectors impacting national security entered into force on 21 July. The lower thresholds now cover transactions related to the development, production, supply or research of: artificial intelligence (new) cryptographic (...)

Denis Fosselard, Alexi Dimitriou, Neil Cuninghame The EU Commission fines ethylene purchasers for having colluded and exchanged information on purchase prices (Orbia / Clariant / Celanese / Westlake)


Fines for ethylene purchasing cartel On 14 July 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") fined ethylene purchasers Orbia, Clariant and Celanese EUR 260 million for having colluded and exchanged information on purchase prices on the ethylene merchant market with a fourth participant, (...)

Euan Burrows, Neil Cuninghame, Laura Carter, Steven Vaz The England & Wales High Court disqualifies a company director for taking part in a competition law breach in the real estate sector (Michael Martin)


The first competition disqualification order to come to trial has resulted in a company director, Michael Martin, being disqualified for seven years. In its judgment of 7 July 2020, the UK High Court found that Mr Martin had contributed to Gary Berryman Estate Agents’ breach of competition law (...)

Neil Cuninghame, Denis Fosselard, Peter Armitage, Nigel Parr, Christopher Eberhardt Mergers & COVID-19: The impact on EU and national merger control


While some businesses may choose to delay transactions in light of Covid-19, many transactions will clearly continue and some of these will need to be completed with some urgency, in particular in cases of financial distress. Merger control regimes are still in operation, although there have been some changes, in particular to encourage parties to delay notifications. This note considers how merger control processes can best be navigated in times of crisis, for example, where the urgent completion of a transaction may be required, or the target is otherwise in significant financial difficulty.

Alexi Dimitriou, Neil Cuninghame, Christopher Eberhardt The UK Competition Authority uses the failing firm defence in a merger between a service provider and a food delivery supplier during the COVID-19 pandemic (Amazon / Deliveroo)


While some businesses may choose to delay transactions in light of Covid-19, many transactions will continue, in particular if the target is in financial distress. In such scenarios, the "failing firm defence" may be an available option for obtaining merger control clearance for transactions (...)

Euan Burrows, Nigel Parr, Alexi Dimitriou, Neil Cuninghame The UK Competition Authority clarifies that the UK merger control regime is still operating despite the COVID-19 pandemic


Whilst Covid-19 is not expected to lead to changes to the core legal and policy principles underpinning merger control regimes around the world, it is worth noting that: merger control regimes are still in operation, albeit filing processes and regulatory reviews may take a bit longer and some (...)



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