Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Vernon, Kate

Kate Vernon



Kate Vernon is a partner and Co-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 GDPR compliance and GDPR / UK Data Protection Act litigation. She is also Quinn Emanuel's GDPR internal compliance partner.

Ms. Vernon has represented both claimants and defendants in follow-on and standalone competition litigation, and in IP and commercial litigation where there are competition and FRAND issues.  Ms. Vernon regularly litigates in the English High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She also has conducted appeals from and judicial reviews of decisions of competition and regulatory authorities in London and Luxembourg. She also has significant experience in advising and representing clients in competition investigations, both infringement and market and sector inquiries, and providing strategic and general competition counseling advice. Ms. Vernon has particular expertise in the application of competition law to the financial services, sports, media, retail, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

Ms. Vernon has been described as “very impressive” by Chambers and Partners and was ranked as a Leading Individual by Chambers UK for Competition Law: Litigation and  Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant in 2020, by Chambers Europe from 2017 - 2019 for Competition/European Law, by Chambers Global in 2019 for Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant.  She has also been ranked by Legal 500 UK  since 2015 including as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 2020.  She has been selected by Who’s Who Legal in both 2017, 2018, and 2019 as among the world’s leading plaintiff’s lawyers for Competition. Who’s Who Legal also ranked her as a Future Leader in Competition Law in both 2017 and 2018. She has been named by Acritas as a Star Lawyer in 2017, 2018 and 2019 where she has been described as “...just very energetic, reliable and gives sound advice.”

  Representative Clients

  • 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 Representations

  • Acting for the FDIC in its competition law claim against the BBA, RBS, Lloyds, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and UBS.
  • Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated defending patent, competition and FRAND claims brought by Apple in the UK High Court.
  • Acting for Gascoigne Halman in its competition law defence of breach of contract claims by Agents Mutual in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • 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.
  • 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

  Prior Associations

  • DLA Piper:
    • Head of EU & Competition London, 2013-2016
    • Partner, 2011-2016
    • Associate 2003-2011
    • Trainee Solicitor 2001-2003


  • 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

Professional Activities

  • 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