Suzanne Rab

Barrister, Serle Court
Suzanne Rab is a barrister specialising in UK and EU competition law and regulation. She has over 15 years of experience advising businesses, regulators and competition authorities on EU, UK and international competition law across the range of competition law, merger control and regulatory matters.

She has particular experience advising on transactions and commercial agreements and practices, including in proceedings before the UK competition and regulatory authorities and the European Commission. She has worked on some of the most high profile merger, market and cartel investigations in Europe and the UK.

Suzanne has advised on major cartel investigations, appeals and follow-on actions, including advising on the European Commission’s investigation under Article 101 TFEU in relation to air freight and appeal to the General Court and in relation to antitrust investigations into cartel activity in marine hoses.

Suzanne has particular experience advising on the antitrust and regulatory issues arising in the regulated sectors including communications, energy, financial services, pharmaceuticals, transportation and water. Suzanne has wide experience of advising businesses, governments and regulators on developing and implementing new laws and regulatory regimes in line with international best practices.

Suzanne regularly speaks at conferences, presenting on a variety of competition-related topics including merger control, sector regulation, and the role of economics in competition cases. Suzanne has made media appearances on competition law and regulatory matters, including for BBC Radio, BBC Worldwide and Bloomberg Television.

Suzanne publishes in a range of legal and trade journals including Competition Law Insight, European Competition Law Review, Journal of European Competition Law and Practice and Utilities Journal. She is regularly quoted in the quality press and media on competition law topics, including in Bloomberg, The Deal, Dow Jones, European Voice, Financial Times, The Guardian, Reuters, Wall Street Journal.

Suzanne is the author of “Indian Competition Law, an International Perspective” (first published by Wolters Kluwer, May 2012; with a supplement on cartel regulation published in January 2013). The book is the first-of its-kind international comparative analysis of the Competition Act 2002 published contemporaneously with the coming into force of Indian merger control.

Suzanne is also co-author (with Dr Alison Sprague) of "Media Ownership and Control: Law, Economics and Policy in an Indian and International Context" (Hart Studies in Competition Law, 2014).

Suzanne was called to the Bar in 2013 as a transferring solicitor advocate. In private practice as a solicitor, she has held positions and most recently partnership at leading international antitrust practices including Slaughter and May, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and King & Spalding. She has also held the role of director at PricewaterhouseCoopers working within its strategy, economics and forensics team.

Suzanne has three degrees in law, all from the University of Oxford (Oriel College). She holds a post-graduate Bachelor of Civil Law degree specialising in competition law, IP, evidence and the conflict of laws.

She is a Visiting Fellow of Imperial College London specialising in competition cases with an antitrust/ IP dimension. She has also taught at the University of Oxford. She is a senior research associate with the Regulatory Policy Institute, based in Oxford.

Suzanne is the author of “Indian Competition Law, an International Perspective” (with a supplement of cartel regulation). The book is the first-of-its-kind international comparative analysis of the Competition Act 2002 published contemporaneously with the coming into force of Indian competition law and merger control.

Suzanne is also co-author of "Media Ownership and Control: Law, Economics and Policy in an Indian and International Context".


“The OFT’s Higher Education Report: Could do Better”, Regulatory Policy Institute, Letters & Notes on Regulation”, No 3.2, July 2014

“The special responsibility of dominant owners”, Property Law Journal – July/ August 2014

“The fire and Furnace of land covenants”, Property Law Journal – June 2014

“The New EU Technology Transfer Block Exemption: A Note of Caution”, Journal of Economic Law and Practice – May 2014

“Vertical ‘hardcore’ restrictions of competition in Europe”, ABA International Committee Newsletter – Spring 2014

“Neighbourhood Watch”, New Law Journal – 14 March 2014

“New Lease of Life”, Estates Gazette – 9 January 2014

“The Red, White and Blue: Mrs Murphy Revisited”, Competition Economics Group Briefing Paper – December 2013

“Media plurality (déjà  vu), The DCMS consultation”, Competition Economics Group Briefing Paper – October 2013

“Media plurality and the UK agenda, The House of Lords call for Evidence”, CEG Economists Group Briefing – 11 June 2013

“Indian Cement Cartel: An International Comparative Analysis”, National Law School of India University Journal, Vol II 2013 (2013)11NLSJ – May 2013

“Protection meets competition”, China Business Law Journal – May 2013

“Switzerland Probes Abuse of Dominance in Pay TV Sports”, Competition Economics Group Briefing Paper – 17 May 2013

“Beyond Spectrum Spaghetti: the move to a single mobile market”, Competition Law Insight – April 2013

“The March of Media Reform: A UK Perspective on Australia”, FTI Whitepaper – 9 April 2013

“EU Competition Law and Joint Sales in LNG”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter - April 2013

“Application of Competition Law to the Energy Sector: Changes to UK Concurrency Regime”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter - March 2013

“Russia Gives Go-Ahead to Rosneft’s Acquisition of TNK-BP”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter – February 2013

“Competition Law and the Energy Sector – EU, UK, and Beyond; Looking Ahead to 2013”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter – February 2013

“New Competition Law in the United Arab Emirates: Implications for Doing Business in the Middle East”, ABA Section in International Law, Hot Topics in International Law – 31 January 2013

“Breaking seals in competition investigations – a ‘pandora’s box’ for compliance”, Financier Worldwide Market Outlook – January 2013

“Playing Power Games - Just how competitive are the energy companies?”, Competition Law Insight - 13 November 2012

“Competition Law Enforcement in India - Is the New Devil in the Data?”, Competition Law Reports - October 2012

“UK Cartel Regulation”, West Law - September 2012

“Getting to the Seoul of Price Fixing”, Financier Worldwide - September 2012

“UK Launches Motor Insurance Market Investigation”, King & Spalding Client Alert - 2 October 2012

“Indian Competition Law: 10 Years On - An International Perspective”, Competition Law Reports - August 2012

“Delivering expert knowledge to global counsel”, International Law Office - 20 July 2012

“Legal Privilege at home and abroad”, American Bar Association, Business Torts and RICO News - Summer 2012

“EU internal Energy Market Legislation Not Fully in Force”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter - June 2012

“EU and Swiss competition law: navigating the boundaries”, Swiss Review of Business and Financial Market Law – July 2012

“Voice of Experience”, The Glasshammer - 23 April 2012

“India turns up the heat on cartel enforcement with first fines in the energy sectors”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter - April 2012

“Healthy Competition: China v India”, China Business Law Journal - April 2012

“4G or not 4G”, Competition Law Insight - 20 March 2012

“ICC tribunal decides claim on commitments attached to European Commission’s merger approval”, Lexology - 29 February 2012

“EU Proposals on Transparency and Country-By-Country Reporting”, Financial Fraud Law Report - February 2012

“Natural resources and keeping your head above water in the EU”, King & Spalding Energy Newsletter - February 2012

“Competition and corruption”, Competition Law Insight - 13 December 2011

“Dawn raids, and criminalisation of cartels in Mexico and beyond -- Are you ready?”, Latin Lawyer – 24 November, 2011
Contributed to


2014 EU private damages directive [Archived]
Practice notes

The EU Directive on private enforcement in antitrust cases (Directive 2014/1040) had a considerable impact on the laws for private competition enforcement in EU Member States. This Practice Note explores the main provisions in the directive, including minimum provisions relating to disclosure rules across Member States, proving loss and the passing on defence and limitation periods, particularly in relation to its impact in the UK. Following the entry into force of the Damages Directive on 27 December 2014, this practice note has been archived and is not maintained.

Competition law and exclusive distribution agreements
Practice notes

In an exclusive distribution agreement, the supplier agrees to sell its products only to one distributor for resale in a particular territory. This Practice Note addresses the implications for exclusive distribution agreements under EU competition law, including assessment under Article 101 TFEU, the Vertical Restraints Block Exemption and the Commission’s Guidelines on Vertical Restraints.

Competition law and standardisation agreements
Practice notes

Standardisation or standard setting agreements outline common technical or quality requirements and play an important role in many industries. This Practice Note provides practical guidance on the European Commission’s approach to the cooperative (and potentially restrictive) aspects of standardisation and standard terms, highlighting high/low risk activity in relation to the prohibition on restrictive agreements under Article 101 TFEU. The Practice Note also provides worked examples in difficult areas (such as where IPRs are involved), examples from EU case law as well as a checklist of risk factors and how parties might mitigate risk. There are direct links to the Commission’s Horizontal Cooperation guidelines.

Dominant position under Article 102 TFEU
Practice notes

Article 102 TFEU prohibits the abuse of a dominant position; this practice note looks at what constitutes a ‘dominant position’.

EU Competition law and intellectual property
Practice notes

Controversial issues can arise where competition law is applied to business activities relating to intellectual property rights (IPRs). This Practice Note charts some of the emerging themes in relation to the interaction between competition law and IPRs. This Practice Note also outlines potential competition issues relating to business practices such as standard setting and patent pools, ‘pay for delay’ deals and licensing of IPRs.

Merger control and the Takeover Code
Practice notes

The City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the Takeover Code) contains the main rules and principles which regulate the conduct of a UK public takeover; it is impacted by merger control rules. This Practice Note provides a general introduction to the Takeover Code and explores the interplay between the Takeover Code and merger control obligations in the UK, the EU and internationally. The Practice Note breaks down the key stages of an offer and explores the Takeover Code’s impact on the merger control process. In particular, it looks at the rules relating to the imposition of conditions relating to merger control clearance and the procedure on the initiation of a second-stage investigation under UK or EU merger control. Also, a checklist of considerations to factor into transactional planning is provided.

State conduct and intervention—liability of state and public bodies under EU law
Practice notes

State intervention in the economy may interact with EU treaty obligations. This Practice Note reviews the application of EU law to the actions of the state when it intervenes in markets through undertakings it controls and/or owns or which it places in a privileged position. The note provides an overview of the duty of loyalty under Article 106(1) TFEU and Article 4(3) TEU and details circumstances when the State may be acting anti-competitively. There is also detail of how the derogation for ‘services of general economic interest’ is applied.

The evolving essential facilities doctrine
Practice notes

The essential facilities doctrine states that a dominant company’s refusal to supply or grant access to an essential facility that it controls amounts to an abuse of dominance. The essential facilities doctrine has been used to break monopolies and continues to evolve. This Practice Note considers the origins of the doctrine and the underlying policy. How the essential facilities doctrine has evolved is explored through decisions such as Oscar Bronner together with a consideration of the different elements of the doctrine and its practical application. Also, its future and how essential facilities type arguments have been used in recent energy cases to secure commitments from energy incumbents to grant access to their infrastructure.

Tying and bundling—the challenge of new markets to Article 102 TFEU
Practice notes

There have been a number of EU competition investigations around tying and bundling, in traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ cases but also in newer technology markets which are challenging traditional competition analysis. This Practice Note considers the different types of tying and bundling and the approach of the European Commission under Article 102 TFEU. The challenges of applying the existing approaches in tying cases to ‘new economy’ products is explored, including complex issues raised by the Microsoft media player cases and more recent complaints against Google. There are direct links to the Commission’s Article 102 TFEU guidance.

Other work

Horizontal cooperation—checklist

This Checklist details the key steps involved in making a competition law assessment of different forms of cooperation between competitors.

Market definition—checklist

This Checklist details the key steps involved in order to arrive at a practical market definition. It also outlines problems, cases and evidence that can be useful when defining markets.

Vertical agreements—checklist

This Checklist details the key steps involved in making a competition law assessment of vertical agreements.

Practice areas


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