Elam, Nicola

Nicola Elam

Senior Associate

Nicola Elam is a senior lawyer based in our Manchester and London offices and focuses on regulatory matters.

Nicola worked at the European Commission (DG Internal Market) before qualifying into the competition team at Slaughter and May in 2002. Nicola subsequently worked for 3 years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, where she specialised in antitrust. Her experience includes advising major UK companies on cartel investigations by the EC and OFT (including participating in dawn raids and subsequent leniency applications), as well as undertaking merger filings before the European Commission and UK competition authorities. She has extensively advised UK corporations on the competition aspects of commercial transactions and has designed and implemented bespoke competition law compliance programmes, including undertaking mock dawn raids. She has particular expertise in the chemicals sector and advises extensively on the competition law implications of REACH.

The Legal 500 has recognized Nicola Clark for providing "great service and quick turnarounds with clear advice”.


  • Advising an international company on a dawn raid by the European Commission and OFT in July 2010 and subsequent investigation into polyurethane foam.
  • Advising Aurenis Group before the Office of Fair Trading on the anticipated acquisition of GE Fabbri.
  • Advising The BSS Group plc on its acquisition by Travis Perkins plc, including negotiating undertakings in lieu with the OFT.
  • Advising a UK client in respect of an OFT investigation on alleged anticompetitive information exchange.
  • Advising Lucite and its owners on the merger control aspects arising from the US$1.6 billion sale of Lucite to Mitsubishi Rayon Co Ltd., including merger control filings in China, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Portugal and Spain (this transaction involved one of the first "Phase 2" reviews by MOFCOM under the China merger control rules and was cleared subject to a remedies package, which was a milestone in the development of China merger control practice).
  • Advising on the UK merger control aspects of the disposal of INEOS Chlor’s packed chlorine business to BOC (one of the first cases to involve the application of the OFT's new de minimis criteria and led the OFT to clarify a number of important features of its approach).
  • Advising INEOS Chlor in responding to a gun-jumping investigation launched by a European Commission dawn raid on 12 December 2007 (the EC closed the case at the end of January 2008, accepting that the claims of early implementation “proved to be unjustified).
  • Advising Illinois Tool Works Inc. on the EU and non-EU merger control aspects of its US$2.1 billion bid to acquire Enodis PLC.
  • Advising Ainscough on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of James Jack Lifting Limited, a Scottish-based light mobile crane operator.
  • Advising Barratt plc on its involvement in the OFT’s market study into housebuilding in the UK, including assisting Barratt in formulating its strategy and advising on all written and oral representations before the OFT.


  • Seven months at the in-house legal team of a major payment system in 2007.
  • Four months with T-Mobile/Orange in 2009/2010, advising on integration planning.


  • King's College, London, Postgraduate Diploma, 2004
  • College of Law, London, L.P.C., 1999
  • University of Exeter, B.A., 1997


  • England and Wales, 2002
  • Recommended in the 2013 edition of The Legal 500 UK

Recent Publications

  • Compliance, The European Antitrust Review 2011, Global Competition Review.
  • The interface between REACH and competition law – a summary of the key issues, Chemistry Today, March 2010.
  • Speaker at Chemistry in the Oil Industry XI: Regulation Meets Innovation – Moving Forward, 2 November 2009, Manchester.
  • Principal speaker at two conferences on REACH in Tokyo and Osaka, organised by the Japan Environmental Association for Industry, March 2008.
  • REACH and competition law, CBA’s Outlook magazine, June 2008.

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