Ligia Osepciu

Ligia Osepciu
Call 2008 | New York Bar Admissision: 2009
Education

BA (Cantab), LLM (Cornell)

Contact the Clerks

+44 (0)20 7405 7211 | chambers@monckton.com

Ligia specialises in European law, competition law, procurement and utilities regulation and has been involved in a number of high profile, high value cases in these areas. She regularly advises private and public sector clients on complex legal and strategic issues across these fields.

Recent and significant cases include:

  • National Grid Electricity plc v ABB et al (2014) (confidential settlement) – part of the counsel team acting for the Claimant, National Grid, in a “follow-on” damages action based on European Commission Decision COMP 38899 finding a long term, worldwide cartel in the supply of gas insulated switchgear
  • British Telecommunications plc v Telefonica 02 UK Ltd et al (08 numbers) [2014] UKSC 42 – Junior Counsel to the successful Appellant (BT) in an appeal concerning the scope of Ofcom’s dispute resolution powers under section 185 of the Communications Act 2003 in circumstances where the consumer impacts of a proposed price change by a non-SMP provider are uncertain
  • Merck KGaA v European Commission (with Ronit Kreisberger) (2013) – appeal to the General Court of the European Union against COMP/39266 Lundbeck et al, the first ever decision of the European Commission concerning the application of Article 101 TFEU to reverse payment (“pay for delay”) patent settlements
  • Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. v Competition Commission (with Meredith Pickford) [2013] CAT 30 – acting for the intervener in CAT appeal against the Competition Commission’s decision to block the acquisition by Eurotunnel of the assets of the former Sea France
  • Albion Water Limited v Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig [2013] CAT 6 – appeared as junior counsel to the defendant in a follow-on claim for both compensatory and exemplary damages arising out of abusive excessive pricing and margin squeeze in the water sector.
Commercial Law

Ligia regularly advises on smaller scale commercial matters, often with a European or competition law flavour. She has appeared in her own right in commercial cases for the High Court and the County Courts.

Ligia has advised on a range of commercial/EU law issues, including:

  • procedure and merits of an application for inquiry as to damages under a third party cross-undertaking in damages;
  • contractual debt and damages claims (including competition law defences thereto);
  • economic tort claims against competitors engaging in unlawful conduct;
  • negligence claims against credit rating agencies;
  • electricity and gas disconnection disputes;
  • the requirements of the EU REACH Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals;
  • procedure for seeking a European Payment Order;
  • jurisdiction and choice of law in international proceedings (including Brussels Regulation and non-Brussels Regulation states);
  • service of proceedings out of jurisdiction (including non-Brussels Regulation states);
  • applications for specific disclosure, summary judgment and for setting aside default judgment.
Competition Law (including State Aid)

Ligia has experience of competition law litigation before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the High Court and the General Court of the European Union. She regularly advises clients on competition law issues including distribution and licensing agreements, exclusive purchase and supply agreements and information exchange. She also advises both public and private sector clients on the State aid implications of government grants, loans and contracts.

Recent competition law instructions include:

  • Junior counsel (to Daniel Beard QC) representing Marks & Spencer plc in ongoing private competition law litigation concerning MasterCard and VISA merchant interchange fees (“MIFs”)
  • Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. v Competition and Markets Authority [2015] CAT 1 (appeal pending) (with Meredith Pickford QC) – acting for the intervener in support of the CMA’s decision to block the acquisition by Eurotunnel of the assets of the former SeaFrance
  • National Grid Electricity plc v ABB et al (2014) (confidential settlement) – part of the counsel team acting for the Claimant, National Grid, in a “follow-on” damages action based on European Commission Decision COMP 38899 finding a long term, worldwide cartel in the supply of gas insulated switchgear
  • Merck KGaA v European Commission (with Ronit Kreisberger) (2013) – appeal to the General Court of the European Union against COMP/39266 Lundbeck et al, the first ever decision of the European Commission concerning the application of Article 101 TFEU to reverse payment (“pay for delay”) patent settlements

Recent State aid instructions include:

  • Advising a local authority on the state aid implications of a proposed grant towards the construction of an innovation cluster (2015)
  • Advising a non-departmental body on the state aid implications of investment in a film studio (2015)
  • Advising a private sector company on options for challenging the actions of a competing local authority company (2013/2014)
  • Advising a number of London Boroughs on the potential State aid implications of a WiFi services concession tender (2013)
European Law

Ligia regularly advises on the interpretation of European legislation and its interaction with domestic law as part of her competition, procurement and regulatory law practice. She is particularly familiar with EU legislation on telecommunications, gas and electricity and, increasingly, banking and credit-related matters.

Recent European law instructions include:

  • Advising a lender on the interpretation of Directive 2008/48/EC (“the Consumer Credit Directive”) and related issues of horizontal direct effect (with Daniel Beard QC) (2014/2015)
  • Advising on the interpretation of Directive 2014/59/EU (“the Banking Resolution and Recovery Directive”) and its implementation in the Banking Act 2009 (with Daniel Beard QC) (2014/2015)
  • R (on the application of UK Power Networks Services (Contracting) Limited) v Gas and Electricity Markets Authority [2014] EWHC 3678 (Admin) (with Daniel Beard QC and Gerry Facenna) – Junior counsel for the intervening party in a judicial review of a Gas and Electricity Market Authority determination concerning the right of third party suppliers to access licence exempt electricity distribution systems under Article 32 of Directive 2009/72/EC (“the Third Package Electricity Directive”)
  • Advising the Urban Chick Supremacy Cell, an adult website and agitprop art project, on its successful appeal to Ofcom against its designation as an “on-demand programme service” for the purposes of Directive 2010/13/EU (“the Audiovisual Media Services Directive”) and the Communications Act 2003 (2014)
  • 080, 0845 and 0870 numbers (with Daniel Beard QC and Sarah Lee) [2014] UKSC 42 – Junior Counsel to BT in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning the limits of Ofcom’s dispute resolution powers under Article 20 of Directive 2002/21/EC (“the Framework Directive”)
Procurement Law

Ligia regularly advises private sector and government clients on the merits of bringing or defending proceedings under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006, as well as acting in High Court procurement litigation. Ligia undertakes the majority of her procurement work in her own right. She has particular experience of NHS procurement, ICT projects and mid-contract change or termination in the context of long term Public Private Partnerships or Private Finance Initiatives.

Recent procurement instructions include:

  • Representing a local authority in a challenge to its procurement of a contract for asbestos removal works (ongoing)
  • Advising a government department on the design of a complex ICT procurement (ongoing)
  • Advising a private landowner on the public procurement aspects of a proposed development agreement involving private and public land (ongoing)
  • Advising an contractor on potential misuse of a framework agreement for financial advisory services by an NHS body (ongoing)
  • Advising a local authority on its liabilities and retendering obligations on voluntary termination of a long term public private partnership (with Michael Bowsher QC) (ongoing)
  • Representing a defendant NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in a challenge to its procurement of NHS 111 urgent care and out of hours care services brought by another NHS body (2015)
  • Advanced Business Software and Solutions v Pirbright Institute [2014] EWHC 4651 (TCC) – successfully representing the Defendant contracting authority in an application to lift an automatic suspension. Claim later settled on confidential terms
  • Advising on the application of the “programme material” exemption from the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (2014/15)
  • Representing a Defendant NHS Ambulance Trust in a challenge to its procurement of vehicle refurbishment and maintenance services (2014)
  • Representing a Claimant landscape gardening company in a challenge to the conduct of the procurement of a subsidized public services contract under regulation 34 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. Claim withdrawn following subsidized body’s agreement to rerun the process (2014)
  • Advising a contracting authority on the “material change” risk and implications associated with renegotiation of a high value works contract (with Michael Bowsher QC) (2014)
Telecommunications Law

Ligia has been involved in appeals against Ofcom decisions in both price control and non-price control matters. She is familiar with both the European Common Regulatory Framework (CRF) for telecommunications and its implementation though the UK Communications Act 2003. She advises regularly on the application of the Telecommunications Code (concerning siting and removal of telecommunications apparatus).

Recent telecommunications instructions include:

  • 080, 0845 and 0870 numbers (with Daniel Beard QC and Sarah Lee) [2014] UKSC 42 – instructed as Junior Counsel to BT in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning the limits of Ofcom’s dispute resolution powers under section 185 of the Communications Act 2003
  • Advising the administrator of an adult website in relation to enforcement proceedings brought by the Authority for Television on Demand (“ATVOD”) under the European Audiovisual and Media Services Directive (Directive 2010/13/EU) and UK implementing legislation (2013/14)
  • Acting for a provider of premium rate mobile internet services in proceedings before the PhonepayPlus Tribunal concerning alleged breaches of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (with Gerry Facenna) (2013)
  • Edmondson et al v R [2013] EWCA Crim 1026 (with Andrew Edis QC, Daniel Beard QC and Rebecca Chalkley) – Junior Counsel to the Crown at appeal phase of the News of the World phone-hacking prosecutions; advising on the impact of the European Common Regulatory Framework for telecommunications on the interpretation of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  • British Telecommunications plc (Wholesale Broadband Access Charge Control) v Ofcom (with Meredith Pickford) (2011/12) – acting for interveners BskyB and TalkTalk in BT’s appeals against the Wholesale Broadband Access charge control imposed by Ofcom
Utilities Regulation

In 2010/11, Ligia was seconded to the Smarter Grids and Governance team at Ofgem, where she gained a strong grounding in the UK electricity and gas transmission and distribution licensing and charging regimes. She has since advised both the regulator and private parties on a range of transmission and distribution issues. She has also gained experience of water regulation and railway regulation through her secondment to Linklaters LLP in 2012.

Recent utilities regulation instructions include:

  • Advising Ofgem in relation to potential enforcement action under section 9, Electricity Act 1989 and SLC 30 of the Electricity Distribution Licence (with Kassie Smith QC) (2014)
  • Advising Ofgem on the discharge of its dispute resolution functions in a matter concerning the treatment of reactive power imports under a distributor’s charging methodology (2013)
  • Advising a local authority on options for challenging an electricity distributor’s (re)connection charges (2013)
  • Advising Ofgem in relation to a proposed expansion in the role of Elexon (the company responsible for GB balancing and settlement arrangements) – with Pushpinder Saini QC (2013)
  • Advising on the Interim Determination of K (“IDoK”) regime in the water sector
  • Advising Ofgem in relation to a proposal to modify the Balancing and Settlement Code arrangements for the payment of use of system charges by UK generators – with Daniel Beard QC (2012-2014)
What The Directories Say

Public Procurement: “Excellent, with a capability well beyond her years of experience. She is also very pleasant to work with.” “She was very helpful and responsive, and able to put the clients at ease.” – Chambers UK, 2015

Telecommunications: “She always comes across excellently.”Chambers UK, 2015

Additional Information
  • BA (Law) Trinity College, Cambridge (Trinity College and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar) (2003-2006)
  • LLM, Cornell University Law School, Ithaca, New York (Trinity College Hollond Travelling Studentship) (2006-2007)
  • Bar Vocational Course, BPP Law School, London (Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Entrance Scholar & Droop Scholar) (Trinity College Whittaker Scholar) (2007-2008)
  • Bar European Group Phoeicia Scholar (2009)

Languages

French (fluent), Romanian (native)

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