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 commercial litigation and regulatory investigations together with GDPR compliance and GDPR / UK Data Protection Act litigation. She is also Quinn Emanuel's GDPR internal compliance partner.
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. 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 counseling advice. She has significant expertise in representing clients in IP and commercial litigation and particularly 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 as “very impressive” by Chambers and Partners and that “she has a strong reputation among market commentators for her ability to handle complex claims”. She was ranked as a Leading Individual by Chambers UK for Competition Law: Litigation and Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant in 2020 and described as earning “praise for her competition litigation work on behalf of defendants in standalone cases”. She has also been ranked by Chambers Europe from 2017 - 2020 for Competition/European Law, by Chambers Global in 2019 and 2020 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, 2018, 2019 and 2020. She has been named by Acritas as a Star Lawyer in 2017, 2018,2019 and 2020 where she has been described as “...just very energetic, reliable and gives sound advice.” She has also been recognised by Euromoney Business Law Expert Guides for Women in Business Law as an expert in Competition and Antitrust.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Qualcomm Incorporated
- Connells Plc
- Premier League
- British Horseracing Authority
- Merck KGaA
- Debenhams Plc
- Aga Rangemaster
- Cathay Pacific
- Automotive and Insurance Solutions Plc
Notable (PUBLIC) Representations
- 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.
- Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated as an intervener in the 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 UK High Court.
- Acting for Voxer LLC in bringing patent infringement claims and defending patent invalidity claims against Facebook in UK High Court.
- Acting for Qualcomm Incorporated defending a competition law damages claim by Nvidia in relation to the European Commission’s predatory pricing infringement decision
- 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.
- 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.
- Antitrust & Competition
- Appellate Practice
- Class Action Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- International Arbitration
- Life Sciences Litigation
- Litigation Representing Plaintiffs
- Media & Entertainment Litigation
- Sports Litigation
- Investigations, Government Enforcement & White Collar Criminal Defense Practice
- International Trade Litigation
- Life Science: Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation
- 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 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