Overview

Based in London, and with almost 15 years of experience in all aspects of competition law, Alex's practice covers predominantly UK but also EU, Greek and Cypriot competition law, focusing on complex merger control, distribution, dominance and State aid.

Alex has successfully represented a number of clients before the UK Competition and Markets Authority, the European Commission and various (non-UK) national competition authorities across the globe, as well as before the European and national courts.

Alex has also represented companies in navigating the requirements of the UK’s Foreign Direct Investment screening regime.

His practice covers a wide range of sectors, including life sciences (originators and medical device manufacturers), aviation, automotive, energy & mining, industrials, chemicals, luxury goods, telecoms, media, transport and infrastructure.  

Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis, Alex was Of Counsel in the London office of Baker & McKenzie, and previously an associate at Van Bael & Bellis.

Alex’s extensive UK and EU experience includes:

  • advising Galapagos in its $5.1 billion partnership with Gilead;
  • securing unconditional clearance of the $6bn acquisition of TDC by Macquarie;
  • advising Bidvest before the CMA on its sale of BFS to Tesco/Booker;
  • representing Rio Tinto on its contemplated divestment of ISAL and the divestment of its talk business to Imerys;
  • securing CMA Phase I clearance of the acquisition of Zenith Hygiene by Diversey (a Bain Capital portfolio company);
  • advising Three in the CMA's review of the acquisition of EE by BT (Phase II CMA review);
  • representing Panalpina in the Freight Forwarding Investigation before the European Commission and Courts;
  • representing Rio Tinto and Eurallumina before the EU Courts on State aid cases;
  • advising the BBC Trust on competition and State aid implications of all aspects of the BBC's public service and commercial subsidiaries’ behaviour and business ventures, including proposals such as Open iPlayer and YouView.

Alex has been listed in Who’s Who Legal’s “Future Leaders in Competition Law” since 2017, a peer review listing the best competition lawyers worldwide under the age of 45.

Languages

Greek, English

Recommendations

  • Who’s Who Legal – Competition: Future Leader

Education

  • King’s College London, Post-Grad. Diploma in Economics for Competition Law, Merit
  • Columbia Law School, New York, LL.M with US antitrust focus, Distinction/James Ken Scholar
  • Oxford University, MJur (LL.M) in European and Comparative Law, EU and UK competition law focus, European business regulation
  • Athens Law School, LL.B - 4 year law degree (top 5%)

Publications

Alex has contributed to a variety of competition law-related publications, newsletters and practice handbooks. Recent publications include:

Comparative Analysis of the US and EU Approach and Enforcement of the Essential Facilities Doctrine, European Competition Law Review Volume 27: Issue 8.

State Aid Law Claims in Merger Control, The Reform of EC Competition Law: the Challenge of an Optimal Enforcement System, Kluwer.

Teaching Positions

Alex has delivered presentation/training sessions on competition law matters to a large number of clients and lectures on competition law to post-graduate students at Queen Mary, University of London and King’s College London. He is a regular speaker at conferences.

Bar Admissions

England & Wales (solicitor)
Greece (Athens Bar Association)
Ireland

Publications and insights

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    • 16/10/2020
    • Jurisdictions

    United Kingdom

    The UK does not have a domestic legal framework that specifically governs foreign direct investment into the UK, nor does its legal framework make a formal distinction between investments of foreign and UK origin. However, the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Enterprise Act), which also governs the UK’s merger control regime, includes provisions enabling the Secretary of State to intervene in mergers which may raise certain public interest concerns (the public interest intervention regime). The Enterprise Act was last amended in June 2020. Other regimes which can affect investment into the UK exist where the UK government holds “golden shares” in certain companies which enable it to prevent other investors from accumulating shares above a defined threshold and under the UK Industry Act 1975 which grants the Secretary of State the right to block an acquisition by a non-UK entity of an important manufacturing undertaking when a change of control would be contrary to the interests of the UK.

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    • 15/10/2020
    • Jurisdictions

    Greece

    Greece does not have a formal FDI screening mechanism in place. The laws in Greece generally encourage and facilitate FDI, with limited restrictions on foreign control or ownership and no sector-specific restrictions. Greece does, however, limit foreign ownership of real estate located in certain regions designated as border areas. This prohibition can be lifted following an application to a competent committee.

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    • 15/10/2020
    • Jurisdictions

    Cyprus

    Cyprus does not have a formal FDI screening mechanism in place. The laws in Cyprus generally encourage and facilitate FDI, with limited restrictions on foreign control or ownership and limited sector-specific restrictions. Cyprus imposes certain restrictions on foreign ownership in the areas of mass media and real estate, mostly targeting investors from outside the EU and the EEA.

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