Matthew Hall Partner

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Matthew is a commercially-focused antitrust/competition lawyer, who lived and worked in Brussels for 17 years and is now based in London. He specializes in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious EU and UK antitrust/competition law, including State aid/subsidies. He also advises on foreign direct investment (FDI), EU and UK internal market and regulatory law, including the UK Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Act 2024, as well as BREXIT issues and EU/UK Relations law. His litigation experience includes cases before both the EU courts in Luxembourg and the English courts. He is qualified as a lawyer in Belgium (Francophone Brussels Bar, A List), England & Wales (solicitor) and Ireland (solicitor, non-practising). He holds dual UK/Belgian nationality.

Matthew has substantial experience of merger control proceedings (including “second phase”, remedies and worldwide “multijurisdictional” matters), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules, strategic business advice and competition risk management, State aid/subsidies, cartel and abuse of dominance cases, competition litigation, appeals, competition compliance/training, competition audits and market/sector investigations. He regularly provides competition/antitrust counselling on trading agreements and practices for a range of multinational clients. He advises both main parties and third party interveners in regulatory and government investigations and proceedings and has regular dealings with the European Commission, UK Competition and Markets Authority and other government bodies, courts and regulators in the EU, UK and elsewhere.

Matthew also advises in relation to EU and UK internal market rules, including in particular free movement, market liberalization, and public procurement/government contracts. His experience further includes a wide range of EU and UK regulatory matters, including the specific regimes covering, amongst other sectors, pharmaceutical products, life sciences including medical devices, veterinary products, chemicals/REACH, transportation, food and beverage and energy.  He also advises on EU/UK Relations law and BREXIT issues.

Matthew has held various positions in the Leadership of the American Bar Association, Antitrust Law Section, including as Vice Chair of the International Committee. For 2019-2024 he is Vice Chair of the Podcast Programming Committee and is a host of the Section’s podcast, Our Curious Amalgam. He is a past member of the steering committee of the ABA, International Law Section, International Antitrust Committee and of the steering group of the UK Procurement Lawyers’ Association. He is also a past Vice Chair of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, EU Committee, Competition and Trade Task Force.

Matthew regularly speaks at seminars, conferences and internal and external training sessions on various competition/antitrust law and regulatory topics. He also publishes on these topics, including for a range of ABA publications, and was nominated for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards.  He has been recognised in a range of industry guides.


Merger Control and Foreign Direct Investment

  • Counsel on numerous transactions subject to the EU Merger Regulation, including phase one and two clearances subject to remedies. Sectors include pool equipment, construction machinery, agricultural machinery, process machinery, transport, healthcare, electronic equipment and chemicals.
  • Counsel on various transactions reviewed under the UK merger control and public interest/FDI rules, including phase one and two clearances subject to remedies. Sectors include process machinery, transport, chemicals, defence and retail.
  • Counsel to a multinational manufacturing company in relation to the UK merger control and FDI aspects of its worldwide acquisition of a competitor, including the phase one and two investigations and clearance subject to remedies. The first case in which the parties conceded SLCs at phase two in order to fast-track clearance.
  • Counsel to a multinational manufacturing company in relation to two distribution joint ventures with competitors, requiring merger control clearances in various jurisdictions worldwide, including China, South Korea, Colombia, Poland, Costa Rica and Germany.
  • Counsel to a multinational technology manufacturing company in relation to the merger control and FDI aspects of its acquisition of a competitor, requiring clearances and responses to questions in various jurisdictions worldwide, including the U.S., China, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Canada, UK and Turkey.
  • Counsel to a UK personal services provider on the UK merger control issues raised in local markets by its acquisition of a number of facilities from a competitor, including a filing with the UK regulator.
  • Counsel to a manufacturing multinational on the EU and EU member state FDI issues raised by its acquisition of a start-up, including relevant filings.
  • Counsel to a multinational manufacturing OEM in relation to the issues raised by a potential merger between key suppliers.
  • Counsel to a market-leading multinational manufacturer concerning the viability of potential mergers with three of its leading worldwide competitors.
  • Counsel to a large multinational shipping company on a proposed worldwide joint venture with two competitors.
  • Counsel to a large multinational chemical company on a proposed acquisition raising significant vertical issues.
  • Advice in relation to the purchase of a large steel manufacturing business by a competitor.
  • Advice on the competition law and merger control issues raised by a joint venture between a multinational conglomerate and a competitor.
  • Advice on replies to third party questionnaires in EU merger control investigations.
  • Counsel on numerous other “multijurisdictional” merger control transactions, including obtaining clearances subject to remedies.

Competition/Antitrust Regulatory Investigations

  • Counsel in relation to a European Commission multinational cartel matter, including attendance at dawn raids, internal investigations, representations before the Commission and conduct and finalization of the EU settlement procedure.
  • Counsel in relation to complaints before the European Commission concerning alleged abuse of dominance issues.
  • Counsel in relation to various other European Commission and UK Office of Fair Trading/Competition and Markets Authority cartel and other competition law investigations, at various stages. Sectors include insurance, general manufacturing, removals and transport.

Competition/Antitrust Private Litigation and EU Court Litigation

  • Advice on the defence of numerous cartel “follow-on” claims brought in the UK courts, including representation before the court and successful settlement negotiations.
  • Advice to a claimant on a potential “follow-on” competition damages action in the Belgian courts.
  • Counsel on appeals to the EU General Court in relation to decisions under the EU Merger Regulation.
  • Counsel for recipients and third parties on various appeals to the EU General Court in relation to European Commission decisions concerning EU State aid.

Counselling on Antitrust/Competition Law

  • Advice to a US manufacturing multinational and leader in its field on a range of abuse of dominance and other competition law issues, including supply arrangements, distribution and joint ventures.
  • Advice to a manufacturing multinational in a concentrated industry on distribution, price increase, price signalling and related issues, including preparation of relevant internal manuals.
  • Advice to a UK company on potential court action and/or a complaint concerning abuse of a dominant position by a supplier.
  • Advice to a luxury goods manufacturer on the structuring of its online distribution activities and its contractual relationships with third parties.
  • Advice on competition issues raised by standards devised in relation to biomass trading in the EU.
  • Advice to a distribution business on parallel trade issues and its relationship with its supplier, including in relation to potential court action.
  • Analysis and advice on distribution restrictions worldwide for a large manufacturing business.
  • General advice on distribution, dominance, the interface with intellectual property and other general competition law issues for a range of other companies. Sectors include packaging, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, general manufacturing, natural gas distribution, retail, medical devices, software, gaming, FMCG and electronic equipment.

Antitrust/Competition Compliance Programmes, Training and Audits

  • Preparation and implementation of competition compliance programmes and provision of compliance training, including in relation to dawn raids. Sectors include transport, general manufacturing, chemicals, FMCG, technology and pharmaceuticals.
  • Provision of internal competition law compliance audits and post-acquisition audits for several companies.
  • Provision of internal training sessions for various multinational companies

EU State Aid and UK Subsidy Control

  • Advice on the EU State aid issues raised by the resolution and restructuring of an EU Member State bank, including interaction with the BRRD.
  • Advice on the EU State aid issues raised by the privatisation and restructuring of a steel manufacturing business in an EU accession country, including notification to the European Commission and liaison with the national State aid authority.
  • Advice on the compliance with State aid law of the mining legislation of an EU accession state.
  • Advice on a number of complaints and potential complaints to the European Commission.
  • General State aid advice and notifications on a range of infrastructure projects, privatizations, schemes and other matters.
  • General State aid advice and notifications relating to the “banking crisis”.

EU/UK Internal Market including Public Procurement/Government Contracts and EU/UK Regulatory

  • Advice to a multinational manufacturer in the HVAC industry on EU and UK
    regulatory issues, including CE marking and the Biocidal Products Regulation.
  • Advice on the public procurement aspects of a range of projects and privatizations. Sectors include infrastructure, defense, town center development, accommodation and energy-from-waste.
  • Advice on public procurement actions and appeals before national courts.
  • Advice on various public procurement complaints to the European Commission.
  • Advice on free movement and market liberalization issues. Sectors include gaming and medical devices.
  • Advice on the specific EU regulatory regimes covering, amongst other areas, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, veterinary products, chemicals/REACH, transportation, packaging, food & beverage and energy (including natural gas, electricity, nuclear).