Martin StromSenior Associate
Martin Strom provides advice on a wide range of EU and UK competition law aspects, including merger control, anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominance and state aid.
He has acted for leading corporates in a variety of different sectors, including media and sport (television, newspapers, gaming and films), industrials (chemicals, nuclear and defence) and consumer goods (food and beverages). Martin has also undertaken a number of different pro bono projects.
Martin has also published a number of competition law articles. In particular, he writes a bi-annual article on key competition law developments in the aviation sector and co-authors the UK chapter on state aid for the Getting the Deal Through publication.
- Advising INEOS Enterprises on its acquisition of the composites business of Ashland Global Holdings Inc. The businesses included in the transaction had a combined sales value of more than USD1.1 billion per year, employing 1,250 employees across 19 different sites. I was responsible for reviewing information received from the parties, drafting and responding to various requests for information and drafting and coordinating the filing with the Commission. Transaction completed in September 2019.
- Advising Nisa Retail on the recommended bid from Co-op (valued at approx. GBP140m), in a transaction which raised complex vertical issues in relation to the UK wholesale and grocery retailing markets. I coordinated our client’s response to several requests for information and helped draft the merger notification. The highly complex transaction required a private company scheme of arrangement involving over 1,200 shareholders and took nearly one year of intensive work to achieve the successful result (cleared unconditionally at Phase 1). Transaction completed in May 2018.
- Advising a client active in a UK retail market on a possible competition infringement (market sharing cartel), and the subsequent successful leniency application to the both national regulators and the Commission. I prepared the first draft of the leniency applications, instructions to counsel and conducted a number of interviews with individuals at the business to gather relevant information. Advice on-going.
- Advising a global provider of sports channels, in relation to an unannounced inspection (so-called dawn raid) by the European Commission. I added value to the client by successfully challenging certain aspects of the Commission's review (e.g. asserting legal privilege) and helped coordinate and manage our response to the dawn raid. Matter ended in November 2018.
- Advising The UK Department for Transport on the competition and licensing implications relating to the proposed expansion project for a new third runway at Heathrow. The cost of the new runway is substantial (approx. GBP14bn), with a number of different stakeholders. The instructions involved advising on potential state aid implications, as well as reviewing the current licensing regime applicable at the airport to determine how this can be used to support delivery of the project. Advice ended May 2019.
- Advising The Link group on its acquisition of the Pepper Group’s European loan servicing, asset management and advisory business for EUR165m. I coordinated the different merger filings, liaised directly with the client, local counsel and the other side in order to ensure that all necessary documents were prepared and submitted by the deadline. I was also heavily involved in the SPA negotiations, ensuring that our client’s position was protected by appropriate merger control conditions. Transaction completed January 2020.
- Advising a leading software provider in responding to a warning letter from the Competition and Markets Authority, which raised concerns that the company’s pricing policies may be in breach of competition law. I worked closely with the client to prepare a robust response to the warning letter, and helped design the remedial steps to be implemented in response to the concerns. For example, we have provided additional training to the business and redesigned internal compliance documentation. Advice on-going.
- King's College London, Postgraduate Diploma EU Competition Law, 2018
- University of Law, Legal Practice Course, 2014
- Harvard Law School, Master of Laws, 2013
University of Oxford, BA Jurisprudence, 2011
- “United Kingdom - State Aid 2018”, published by Getting the Deal Through (contributing author)
- “European Union Competition Law Developments in the Aviation Sector: July to December 2017”, published by Wolters Kluwer in Air and Space Law (Volume 43, Issue 2)
- “European Union Competition Law Developments in the Aviation Sector: July to December 2016”, published by Wolters Kluwer in Air and Space Law (Volume 42, Issue 2)
- September 2016 - Present: Associate, DLA Piper UK LLP
- September 2014 - August 2016: Trainee Solicitor, DLA Piper UK LLP
Memberships And Affiliations
- Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Law Society of England and Wales
- Law Society's Competition Group
My latest insights
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