Nicola Elam is a director based in our Manchester office specialising in all aspects of EU and UK competition law. Nicola has previously worked at the European Commission and undertaken client secondments, including to EE and Visa.

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

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    • Advising on competition/merger control aspects of transactions, for example, a major UK energy company on the merger control aspects of a number of disposals; Book Depositary on its acquisition by Amazon; Cott Beverages on its acquisition of Calypso; Marston on its acquisition of Collectica; various banking consortia on the establishment of electronic trading platforms; and a major retailer on the potential acquisition of one its principal competitors.
    • Advising on supply/distribution/R&D/licence agreements, for example, advising a number of major UK manufacturers and retailers on redesigning their online distribution strategies, including drafting selective distribution agreements and qualitative criteria and advising on potential platform restrictions.
    • Advising on development of the future strategy and compliance with competition law/regulatory requirements for one of the UK’s largest airport operators.
    • Representing in investigations under Articles 101/102 TFEU/Chapters 1 and 2 Competition Act 1998, for example, currently advising the party under investigation in the CMA’s ongoing Article 101 probe in the construction sector launched in March 2017; the party under investigation in the CMA’s ongoing Article 101/102 probe in the auction house service sector, launched in November 2016; applying to the CMA for leniency on behalf of a well-known brand (CMA was persuaded to drop the case).
    • Representing clients during unannounced inspections by competition authorities, for example, a construction company on a CMA inspection in March 2017; a major foam manufacturer in the EC’s inspections in 2010; and INEOS on its successful defence of an investigation by the EC into alleged gun jumping, including representing INEOS onsite during the EC inspection and advising them (pre-dawn raid) on all aspects of integration planning, for example, setting up clean teams, drafting guidelines.
    • Conducting an antitrust audit for one of Europe’s largest mobile telecoms networks, including reviewing material third party contracts, interviewing key personnel, drafting a detailed report with recommended next steps and a board presentation outlining the key findings.
    • Advising BritNed on regulatory and competition matters, such as advising on the implications of emerging legislation on the business, strategic planning and the development of new products, including in respect of interconnectors.
    • Designing and implementing a comprehensive corporate compliance policy for a pan-European manufacturing business regarding all material regulatory risks facing the business, including reviewing major third party contracts; reviewing/updating/drafting policies across a range of risk areas (competition, antibribery and corruption, employment, health and safety); drafting a detailed report; and providing training.
    • Regularly delivering bespoke training to major businesses (including at all levels of senior management, as well as sales teams and operational personnel), covering a variety of competition law/regulatory topics such as compliance and dawn raids, as well as undertaking mock dawn raids.


    • 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 as a Next Generation Lawyer in The Legal 500 UK 2017 for EU and competition
    • Recommended in The Legal 500 UK 2015 for EU and competition
    • Recommended in The Legal 500 UK 2013


    • 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

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    • Author, “Compliance: The European Antitrust Review,” Global Competition Review, 2011.
    • Author, “The Interface Between REACH and Competition Law – a Summary of the Key Issues,” Chemistry Today, March 2010.
    • Speaker, Chemistry in the Oil Industry XI: Regulation Meets Innovation – Moving Forward, Manchester, 2 November 2009.
    • Principal speaker, REACH, Tokyo and Osaka, organised by the Japan Environmental Association for Industry, March 2008.
    • Author, “REACH and competition law,” CBA’s Outlook magazine, June 2008.

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