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Vernon, Kate
Direct Tel: +44 20 7653 2002
London
Tel: +44 20 7653 2000 Fax: +44 20 7653 2100

Kate Vernon is a partner and Head of the Competition Litigation Practice in Quinn Emanuel’s London Office. She has vast experience in EU and UK competition law and was previously head of the UK Competition Team at DLA Piper. She also advises clients on commercial litigation and regulatory investigations together  with GDPR compliance and GDPR / UK Data Protection Act litigation. She is also Quinn Emanuel UK’s COLP.

In her competition law practice Ms. Vernon has advised clients on all aspects of EU/UK competition law and has significant experience in advising and representing both claimants and defendants in competition litigation and in particular with class actions.   Ms. Vernon regularly litigates in the English High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She has conducted appeals from and judicial reviews of decisions of competition and regulatory authorities in London and Luxembourg.  Ms Vernon also advises clients in relation to competition investigations, both infringement and market and sector inquiries, and merger control matters.  Ms Vernon also provides strategic and general competition counselling advice.  She has significant expertise in representing clients in IP and commercial litigation  where there are competition and FRAND issues.  Ms. Vernon has particular expertise in the financial services, retail,  sports, media,  pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

Ms. Vernon has been described by Chambers and Partners as “extremely good - very sharp, efficient, straightforward and good in getting together the different client interests."; "She's very strategic and can absolutely espy the key issues to fight."; "She is sharp, technical, strategic, warm and amenable”; she is “very impressive” and “she has a strong reputation among market commentators for her ability to handle complex claims”.  She is ranked as a Leading Individual in Competition Litigation by Legal 500 which describes the Competition Litigation practice as housing a broad practice known for its ‘deep experience and knowledge‘ of disputes arising in the financial services, retail, and technology sectors.  Kate is described as   “amazing in her ability to address competition litigation within the case framework of different practice areas.’;  ‘Kate has carved out a reputation as the go-to person for the most challenging cases. A lawyer of great instinct who quickly gets to the commercial heart of the case. ‘Quinns have become a phenomenon in competition litigation. The biggest compliment one can pay them is that they are the firm one would least like to see on the other side! They fight relentlessly for their clients’ interests with a no-holds-barred approach.’

She has also been ranked  by Chambers Europe from 2017 to date for Competition/European Law, by Chambers Global  for Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant she is ranked in Who’s Who Legal andhas also been recognised by Euromoney Business Law Expert Guides for Women in Business Law as an expert in Competition and Antitrust.

Quinn Emanuel’s competition practice is also ranked in the GCR Top 100.

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Qualcomm Incorporated
  • Connells Plc
  • Premier League
  • British Horseracing Authority
  • Merck KGaA
  • Debenhams Plc
  • Aga Rangemaster
  • easyJet
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Automotive and Insurance Solutions Plc

Notable (PUBLIC) Representations* (including at former firm)

  • Acting for IBM UK in its software licensing dispute against LzLabs & Ors
  • Acting for Liza Lovdhal-Gormsen in her proposed opt-out consumer class action against Meta for abuse of dominance
  • Acting for Zebra Technologies in its patent infringement litigation with Honeywell
  • Acting for the FDIC in its competition law claim against the BBA, RBS, Lloyds, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and UBS in relation to USD LIBOR manipulation in the English High Court.
  • Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated as respondent in a proposed consumer opt-out collective action commenced in the Competition Appeal Tribunal by Which?
  • Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated as an intervener in the English Supreme Court appeal by Huawei vs Unwired Planet in relation to FRAND licensing of standard essential patents.
  • Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated defending patent, competition and FRAND claims brought by Apple in the English High Court.
  • Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated defending a competition law damages claim in the English High Court by Nvidia in relation to the European Commission’s predatory pricing infringement decision.
  • Acting for Voxer LLC in bringing patent infringement claims and defending patent invalidity claims against Facebook in English High Court.
  • Acting for Bloomberg in relation to use of Bloomberg data.
  • Acting for IBM in a breach of software licence dispute in the English High Court.
  • Acting for Bloomberg in relation to its dispute with UBS in relation to UBS’ unauthorised use of Bloomberg data.
  • Acting for Gascoigne Halman in its competition law defence of breach of contract claims by Agents Mutual in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Acting for a large corporate in relation to GDPR breach investigation and notification to ICO.
  • Advising a large multinational bank on GDPR compliance in the context of global litigation.
  • Advising a number of US corporations on GDPR compliance and the transfer of personal data to the US.
  • Advising individuals on alleged GDPR/Data Protection Act 2018 breaches by a number of US and EU corporations and breach litigation in the UK High Court.
  • Acted for Debenhams Plc in the CMA’s RPM investigation into sports bras which was closed with no grounds for action.
  • Acted for Merck KGaA in the CMA’s pay for delay patent settlement investigation.
  • Acted for Automotive and Insurance Solutions Plc in the CMA’s Private Motor Insurance market investigation.
  • Acted for the Premier League on a wide range of litigation including copyright and competition law claims and defences in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the CJEU.
  • Acted for the Premier League in Ofcom’s Pay TV investigation and subsequent appeals to the CAT and Court of Appeal.
  • Acted for the Premier League in Ofcom’s CA98 investigation into the sale of its broadcasting rights.
  • Acted for Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd on the European Commission’s air cargo cartel investigation, subsequent appeal to the General Court and the related damages claim by Emerald against British Airways & Ors in the High Court.
  • Acted for Shop Direct Group in the CMA’s PPI market investigation and subsequent judicial review in the CAT.
  • Acted for a number of UK construction companies in the OFT’s bid rigging investigations in the construction industry and the subsequent appeals to the CAT.
  • Acted for JJB Sports Plc and Littlewoods Ltd on the OFT’s price fixing cartel investigations in relation to replica football kits and toys and games.  Acting on the subsequent appeals to the CAT, Court of Appeal and leave for appeal applications to the Supreme Court together with the representative class action bought by Which? In the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Acted for Oxley Threads in its appeal to the General Court against the European Commission’s industrial thread cartel decision.
  • Acted for a number of companies on competition law claims and defences in confidential arbitrations.
  • University of Essex
    (LLB (2:1), 2000)
  • Nottingham Law School
    (Legal Practice Course (Merit), 2001)
  • Kings College
    (Diploma in EU Competition Law, 2004)
  • Solicitor, England and Wales
  • DLA Piper:
    • Head of EU & Competition London, 2013-2016
    • Partner, 2011-2016
    • Associate 2003-2011
    • Trainee Solicitor 2001-2003
  • Ranked by Lawdragon 500 Global Competition Law, inc. Plaintiff, 2024
  • ‘The Top 20 cases of 2024’, The Lawyer
  • Ranked by Chambers Global UK - Competition Law: Litigation, 2024
  • Ranked by  Chambers Global UK - Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant, Band 3, 2024
    • "She was extremely good - very sharp, efficient, straightforward and good in getting together the different client interests."
    • "She's very strategic and can absolutely espy the key issues to fight."
    • "She is sharp, technical, strategic, warm and amenable."
  • Ranked by Chambers UK Competition Law: Litigation Band 3, 2024
  • Ranked by Chambers UK Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant Band 3, 2024
    • "She was extremely good - very sharp, efficient, straightforward and good in getting together the different client interests."
    • "She's very strategic and can absolutely espy the key issues to fight."
    • "She is sharp, technical, strategic, warm and amenable."
    • "She was extremely good - very sharp, efficient, straightforward and good in getting together the different client interests."
    • "She's very strategic and can absolutely espy the key issues to fight."
  • Ranked by Chambers Europe Competition Law: Litigation, Band 3 and Private Enforcement: Claimant, Band 3 (UK)
  • Ranked by Chambers Global 2023 Commercial and Corporate Litigation – Band 3 and Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant – Band 3 (UK)
  • Ranked by Chambers Global 2022 in Competition Law: Litigation – Band 3 and Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant – Band 3 (UK)
  • Ranked by Legal 500 UK 2022 as a Leading Individual for Competition Litigation
  • Ranked by Who's Who Legal in Competition Law, 2021
  • Ranked as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon in Global Disputes-Competition (2021)
  • Ranked by Chambers Europe 2021 in Competition Law: Litigation – Band 3 and Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant – Band 3 (UK)
  • Ranked by Chambers Global 2020 in Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant (UK)
  • Ranked by Legal 500 UK 2018 as a recommended individual for Competition Litigation
  • Ranked by Who's Who Legal as a Future Leader in Competition Law in both 2017 and 2018
  • Selected by Who’s Who Legal in both 2017 and 2018 as among the world’s leading plaintiff’s lawyers
  • Ranked by Chambers Europe 2017 for Competition / European Law
  • Ranked by Euromoney Business Law Expert Guides for Women in Business Law as an expert in competition and antitrust
  • Lawyer Hot 100
  • Member of the Joint Working Party of the Law Society and Bar Council for competition law
  • Editorial Board Member, LexisNexis PSL Competition
  • Co-Author of CLA’s Response to BIS’ consultation on private damages reforms in UK
  • Co-Author of a chapter on injunctions and interim measures in Restrictive Covenants under Common and Competition Law 5th Edition Sweet & Maxwell
  • Author of various articles and a chapter on UK leniency procedure in PLC competition manual
  • Member of CLA, BIICL, LSEG, Competition Litigation Association, Brussels Bar