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Contact details

Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
E1 6AD
United Kingdom

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  Mark Friend



Mark is head of the London Antitrust group. He has some 30 years’ experience of counselling and representing clients on complex mergers and strategic alliances, cartel, dominance and market investigations, both at EU and national level. His practice also encompasses state aid, economic regulation and antitrust litigation and he has particular expertise in advising on regulatory and competition issues in regulated sectors including energy, water, air traffic control, rail and payment systems.

UK merger control experience includes the landmark Lloyds/HBOS, Co-op/Somerfield and Boots/Alliance UniChem cases. More recent cases include Boots / Dollond & Aitchison, Severn Trent / United Utilities and Severn Trent / Dee Valley, as well as acting for third parties in Celesio / Sainsbury and MasterCard / VocaLink. He also has high profile experience in European merger control advising Sun Microsystems on its merger with Oracle, and Thomson on its acquisition of Reuters (and the subsequent appeal before the European Court).

Market investigation work includes acting for one of the Big Six energy firms in the CMA Energy market investigation, and acting for a leading insurer in the CMA investigation into Private Motor Insurance.

He has represented clients in numerous global cartel investigations, including several cases as leniency applicant.

Regulatory appeal work includes advising a DNO group in two appeals to the CMA against Ofgem's RIIO-ED1 distribution price control.

Clients appreciate that Mark Friend "can cut straight to the issues and give clear, straightforward advice." Chambers UK 2018 (Competition)

He is described as a "truly meticulous lawyer of great ability" who provides a "balanced and nuanced understanding of issues" by Legal 500 2017 (Competition)

Professional qualifications

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 1982

Admitted as solicitor, Republic of Ireland, 2016

Academic qualifications

Masters degree, European Law, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1983 (Grande Distinction)

BA, Law, Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, 1979 (First Class)

Published work

‘Credit Cards and Interchange Fees: Damages for Breach of Competition Law (2017) 133 L.Q.R. 208-213;

‘Reverse Patent Settlements and EU Competition Law’ [2017] C.L.J. 29-32;

‘Unexplained Mysteries of the Energy Market Investigation’ CPI Antitrust Chronicle, December 2016, 42-44;

‘Regulating Minority Shareholdings and Unintended Consequences’ [2012] E.C.L.R. 311-314;

Bavasso and Friend ‘Clarifying the Scope of Judicial Review in Competition Inquiries: The Saga of PPI’ (2010) 6 Competition Policy International vol.1, 213-236;

‘Guarantees’ in Hancher, Ottervanger and Slot (eds.) EU State Aids (Sweet & Maxwell 2006), 3rd ed. ch.9; 4th ed. (2012) and (with Schonberg) 5th ed. (2016);

‘State Guarantees as State Aid: Some Practical Difficulties’ in Biondi, Flynn and Eekhout (eds.) The Law of State Aid in the European Union (OUP 2003), ch.12;

‘Take-over Frenzy in UK Electricity – How the Map was Re-drawn’ published in May 2003 by Allen & Overy;

Friend and Ridyard ‘A Substantial Lessening of Clarity’ Financial Times, 20 January 2003;

Friend and Lindsay ‘Energy: Draft Competition Guidelines’ February 2000 Utilities Journal 40-41;

‘Problems of Oligopolistic Markets: The UK Experience’ in Raffaelli (ed.) Antitrust Between EC Law and National Law 347-366 (Bruylant, Giuffré 1998);

‘To Refer or Not to Refer?’ November 1995 Utilities Journal 20-21;

‘Rights of Complainants in EC Competition Proceedings’ (1994) 110 L.Q.R. 209-213;

Friend and Ridyard ‘The Limits of Price Competition’ Financial Times, 20 January 1991;

‘Competition in the Air Transport Sector’ (1989) 14 E.L. Rev. 424-428;

‘The Long Arm of Community Law (1989) 14 E.L. Rev. 169-172;

‘Old Wine in New Bottles’ (1988) 13 E.L. Rev. 280-281;

‘Controlling Mergers’ (1988) 13 E.L. Rev. 189-196;

‘Selective Distribution – Effect of Block Exemption Regulation for Motor Vehicles’ (1987) 12 E.L. Rev. 377-378;

‘Competition in the Air Transport Sector’ (1987) 12 E.L. Rev. 207-212;

‘Selective Distribution: Metro Tries Again’ (1987) 12 E.L. Rev. 144-147;

‘Judicial Review, Private Rights and Community Law’ [1985] P.L. 21-26;

‘Lord Cairns’ Act – A Puzzle’ [1985] Stat. L.R. 38-41;

‘Selective Distribution and Refusal to Supply: The Position of a Complainant’ [1984] J.B.L. 258-262;

Friend and Shaw ‘Damages for Abuse of Dominant Position’ (1984) 100 L.Q.R. 188-192;

‘EEC Law, Preliminary Rulings and Arbitrators’ (1983) 99 L.Q.R. 356-360;

‘Trusts of Voluntary Covenants – An Alternative Approach’ [1982] Conv. 280-293;

Friend and Newton ‘Undivided Shares and Trusts for Sale – A Draftsman’s Error?’ [1982] Conv. 213-217;

Sheldon and Friend ‘Restriction on Assignment of Lease’ (1982) 98 L.Q.R. 14-16.

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