Ligia Osepciu

Call: 2008 | 2018 (Ireland)

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    Education

    BA (Cantab), LLM (Cornell)

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    Introduction

    Ligia specialises in European law, with a particular focus on competition law, public procurement, telecommunications law and utilities regulation. She 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:

    • Panasonic v Xiaomi and OPPO FRAND litigation (ongoing) – acting for Xiaomi FRAND proceedings concerning Panasonic’s portfolio of 3G and 4G patents. In April 2024, Leech J heard a trial to determine the novel issue of whether the ETSI FRAND Commitment requires Panasonic to offer an “interim licence” pending a final Court determination of FRAND licence terms; judgment is pending.
    • Tesla v InterDigital & Avanci (ongoing) – acting for Tesla is an “implementer-commenced” claim for a determining of FRAND licensing terms for the Avanci Automotive 5G Patent Pool. A hearing to address issues of jurisdiction was held in May 2024; judgment is pending.
    • Optis v Apple FRAND litigation (ongoing) – acting for Apple in FRAND proceedings concerning Optis’ portfolio of 4G patents. The proceedings have produced the third “FRAND determination” made by the English Courts – [2023] EWHC 1095 (Ch) – which is subject to appeal. They have also established the point at which an implementer of ETSI standards must elect between giving an undertaking to enter into a Court-determined licence and submitting to injunctive relief: [2022] EWCA Civ 1411.
    • Commercial and Interregional Cards Claims v Mastercard &Visa [2024] CAT 39 – acting for the Class Representative in collective proceedings concerning multilateral interchange fees for commercial cards.
    • The Durham Company v Durham County Council [2023] CAT 50 – acting for the Appellant trade waste collection business on the first application for review brought under section 70 of the Subsidy Control Act 2022.
    • Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd and ors v The Gambling Commission [2022] EWHC 1664 (TCC) – acting for the Claimant, the incumbent holder of the third licence to operate the UK National Lottery, in its challenge to the award to a third party of the fourth licence to operate the National Lottery.
    • Case T-892/16 Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe Commission ECLI:EU:T:2020:338 – part of Monckton Chambers team (instructed by Freshields Bruckhaus Deringer) representing Irish non- resident companies in their successful appeal against a Commission Decision alleging that Ireland granted €13 billion of State aid in the form of favourable opinions reducing the companies’ Irish taxable base. Ligia remains instructed for the Commission’s appeal to the CJEU; judgment is pending.
    • News
    • Commercial law

      Ligia regularly advises on 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.

      Cases

      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).
    • Competition law (including state aid)

      Ligia regularly acts for clients in proceedings before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, High Court and General Court – as well as investigations by the UK competition authorities and European Commission.

      Cases

      Recent competition law instructions include:

      • Dawsongroup v DAF & ors (settled) – part of the Monckton Chambers team acting for Dawsongroup, a truck leasing and asset management company, in its competition law damages claim following on from the European Commission’s decision in Case AT.39824 – Trucks. Prior to settlement, an 18 week trial was listed from March 2023
      • Optis v Apple FRAND proceedings (ongoing; since 2020) – acting for Apple on a claim brought by a non-practising entity for (i) infringement of certain standard essential patents (SEPs) for the 3G/4G mobile standards and (ii) determination of the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms of a licence covering the SEP in question. In 2022, Ligia appeared before Marcus Smith J in a four-week FRAND trial (judgment pending) and before the Court of Appeal on the question of whether a user of standard essential patents is required, in order to avoid injunction to undertake to enter into licence on such terms as the Court later determines to be FRAND ([2022] EWCA Civ 1411)
      • Scottish Power Transmission Ltd and ors v Prysmian SpA and ors (settled): Acting for Scottish Power (with Daniel Beard KC) in cartel damages claim following on from Commission Decision COMP/39610 Power Cables; a twelve week trial was listed to begin in November 2020
      • Koninklijke Philips N.V. v ASUS Computer Inc and ors [2020] EWHC 29 (Ch) – Acting for the successful Claimant holder of 3G/4G standard essential patents in resisting the Defendant’s application to strike out a claim for damages for patent infringement based on the royalties that would have been payable under a worldwide licence to the Claimant’s portfolio of 3G/4G SEPs (“Worldwide Portfolio Damages”)
      • Royal Mail plc v Ofcom [2019] CAT 27 (with Daniel Beard KC and Ciar McAndrew) – Acting for Royal Mail in its appeal against a £50 million fine based on a finding of abusive price discrimination in circumstances where the prices in question were notified to the market but not charged or paid

      Recent State aid instructions include:

      • R (ota The Good Law Project) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Abingdon) [2022] EWHC 2468 (TCC) – acting for the Interested Party in support of the Secretary of State’s successful defence of an application for judicial review alleging breaches of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the grant of State aid in the award to the Interested Party of certain contracts to develop and manufacture COVID-19 antibody testing kits.
      • Case No: 1577/12/13/23 The Durham Company v Durham County Council (ongoing; with Michael Bowsher KC) – acting for the Appellant trade waste collection business on the first application for review brought under section 70 of the Subsidy Control Act 2022, concerning the Respondent Council’s alleged cross-subsidy of its (commercial) trade waste collection business by its (taxpayer-funded) household waste collection business. A two-day hearing has been listed for 3-4 July 2023.
      • Case T-892/16 Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission ECLI:EU:T:2020:338 – part of Monckton Chambers team (instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) representing Irish non-resident companies in their successful appeal against a Commission Decision alleging that Ireland granted €13 billion of State aid in the form of favourable opinions reducing the companies’ Irish taxable base. Ligia remains instructed in respect of the Commission’s pending appeal to the Court of Justice in Case C-465/20P
    • EU

      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.

      Cases

      Recent European law instructions include:

      • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Ofice of Rail and Road [2017] EWHC 1290 (Admin) (with Gerry Facenna KC) – Junior Counsel to Heathrow in its application for judicial review of the Ofice of Rail and Road’s Decision on a Charging Framework for the Heathrow Spur; the case concerned the correct application of certain provisions of the European “First Rail Package” (2016)
      • R (on the application of British American Tobacco (UK) Limited) v Secretary of State for Health [2016] EWHC 1169 (Admin) – acting for charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), successfully intervening in support of the Secretary of State in a challenge to the UK’s tobacco plain packaging laws on the ground of non-compliance with EU law
      • 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 KC) (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 KC) (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 KC 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”)
    • Public procurement

      Ligia regularly advises private sector and government clients on the merits of bringing or defending proceedings under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2015, 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.

       

      Cases

      Recent procurement instructions include:

      • Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd and ors v The Gambling Commission [2022] EWHC 1664 (TCC) – acting for the Claimant, the incumbent holder of the third licence to operate the UK National Lottery, in its challenge under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 to procedure for the award of the fourth licence to operate the National Lottery.
      • CitySprint v Barts Health NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 2618 (TCC) – acting for the Claimant successfully resisting an application to strike out proceedings for various alleged defects of issue and service
      • Bechtel Ltd v HS2 Ltd [2021] EWHC 458 (TCC) (with Michael Bowsher KC) – acting for the Claimant on a challenge to the award of a £1 billion Construction Partner Contract for the new Old Oak Common station
      • Circle Nottingham Ltd v NHS Rushcliffe CCG [2019] EWHC 1315 (TCC) – acting for the Defendant on its successful application to lift the automatic suspension on the award of a £320 million contract for the operation of the Nottingham Treatment Centre
      • Getlink v Secretary of State for Transport (“Brexit Ferries”) (2019) (with Daniel Beard KC, Valentina Sloane KC and Jack Williams) – Acting for Getlink in its claim for declarations of ineffectiveness and damages following the direct award (in anticipation of a “no-deal” Brexit) of three contracts for additional ferry freight capacity (settled)
    • Telecommunications

      Ligia has been involved in appeals against Ofcom decisions in both price control and non-price control matters. She is familiar with the European Common Regulatory Framework (CRF) for telecommunications and its implementation though the UK Communications Act 2003. She advises regularly in relation to private enforcement of General and SMP Condition.

      Cases

      Recent telecommunications instructions include:

      • TalkTalk Telecom Group and anr v Ofcom (BCMR 2019) [2020] CAT 8 (with Robert Palmer KC) – Acting for BT plc intervening in support of Ofcom’s successful defence of its finding that the BT lacked significant market power (SMP) in the supply of leased lines in the Central London Area (CLA)
      • British Telecommunications plc v Ofcom (BCMR 2016) [2017] CAT 17 – Junior Counsel to BT in its successful appeal against Ofcom’s product and geographic market definition in the Business Connectivity Market Review 2016, which formed the basis of Ofcom’s decision to mandate access to BT’s “dark fibre”
      • Business Comms Solution Ltd v Club Communications Ltd [2016] EWHC 343 (QB) – Acting for a communications reseller in an application for an interim injunction arising out of misuse of the “Cancel Other” process in General Condition 22 (2016)
      • BT v Telefonica O2 UK Limited and ors (080, 0845 and 0870 numbers) [2014] UKSC 42 (with Daniel Beard KC and Sarah Lee) – 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
    • Energy & 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.

       

      Cases

      Recent utilities regulation instructions include:

      • R (ota Peak Gen and ors) v Ofgem [2018] EWHC 1583 (Admin) (with Kassie Smith KC) – acting for Ofgem on Its successful defence of a challenge to changes to transmission network use of system (“TNUoS”) charging arrangements resulting in reduced payments distribution-connected (embedded) generators
      • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Ofice of Rail and Road [2017] EWHC 1290 (Admin) (with Gerry Facenna KC) – Junior Counsel to Heathrow in its application for judicial review of the Ofice of Rail and Road’s Decision on a Charging Framework for the Heathrow Spur; the case concerned the correct application of certain provisions of the European “First Rail Package” (2016)
      • R (on the application of UK Power Networks Services (Contracting) Limited) v Gas and Electricity Markets Authority [2014] EWHC 3678 (Admin) (with Daniel Beard KC 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”)
    • What the directories say

      Competition Law: Ligia Osepciu is easy to work with and a real team player.” “She is able to understand the issues very quickly and is highly effective at economic arguments.” “Ligia has a detailed knowledge of economic evidence in competition cases.” – Chambers UK, 2024

      Public Procurement: She’s also both approachable and good with clients.” “Ligia really knows her stuff on procurement law and has strong drafting skills.” – Chambers UK, 2024

      Leading junior in Competition: “Ligia is whip-smart, pragmatic, strategic and brings the best of detail into pushing forward strategy levers..” – Legal 500, 2024

      Leading junior in Public procurement: “Ligia is responsive, with a commercial approach to her cases.” – Legal 500, 2024

      Competition Law: “Ligia is a rising star of the Competition Bar and a must-have on any FRAND or telecoms dispute. She’s a fantastic drafter, who easily grasps technical detail and distils it into powerful written advocacy.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2023

      Public Procurement: “She is brilliant. She’s just incredibly diligent and a barrister of excellent judgement.” “Very strategic in her approach and cuts to the crux of the issue quickly. Clients really appreciate how she presents her analysis of a case.” – Chambers UK, 2023

      Leading junior in Competition: “Ligia is able to grasp really technical subject matters and convey them in straightforward terms. She is highly flexible in her approach to work and is a real team player, making her great to work with.” – Legal 500, 2023

      Leading junior in Public procurement: “Ligia is great at turning round work quickly. She is very easy to work with and good with clients. Her advocacy is also good.” – Legal 500, 2023

      Recommended in Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal Global Guide 2022

      “A cool, calm head, brimming with creative solutions and effective practical advice” in complex competition litigation.” – Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2022

      Recommended in  Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2022

      Recommended in Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Competition Law: “Her ability to find the right argument and to make it quickly is just excellent.” “Incredibly hard-working, bright, very able, engaged and committed, and good to work with.” “An incisive legal mind with exceptional clarity of thought. She also produces powerful and persuasive drafting.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2022

      Public Procurement: “Very good on the detail and very quick-thinking, she is a barrister who really knows her stuff.” “She is excellent and has a great facility for mastering the technical aspects of a case.” – Chambers UK, 2022

      Leading junior in Competition: “She has breadth of knowledge in FRAND/SEP unrivaled – from the technical churn of calculating FRAND, to the nuances of French law to how to plead heavy hitting Article 101/102 defences.”Legal 500, 2022

      Leading junior in Public procurement: “Very user-friendly. Ligia knows her area well and is both very commercial and tactical and good with clients.”Legal 500, 2022

      Recommended in  Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal 2021

      Competition Law: “She is an excellent junior,” who “gets into the details.” “Ligia works very hard and is excellent at covering all the bases.” Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2021

      Public Procurement: “Ligia is a rising star who is sharp-witted, thorough and efficient.” “She is industrious and provides new ideas on strategy in a difficult area of law.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘Ligia is the hardest working junior I have worked with – she is very intelligent and easy to work with, and open to discussion. Clients love her.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Leading junior in EU law: ‘‘She gets to grip quickly with complex technical issues.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘A top junior. We rate Ligia very highly as a junior. Clients love her.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Competition Law: “Able to get to grips with a large amount of detail and background in a short time.” “She works very well in a team and can take on the lion’s share of any case.” “Ligia is an encyclopaedia of competition law knowledge, who spots issues very well and gives pragmatic and commercial advice.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020

      Public Procurement: “She is practical, pragmatic, sensible and turns around documents at the speed of light – she is a real joy to work with.” – Chambers UK, 2020

      Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘She gets to grip with complex technical issues.’’Legal 500, 2020

      Leading junior in EU law: ‘‘She gets to grip quickly with complex technical issues.’’Legal 500, 2020

      Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘A very highly rated junior.’’Legal 500, 2020

      A hard-working and clever advocate” whose practice spans state aid and damages claims matters before domestic and EU courts for clients in the technology and energy sectors” – Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Very experienced in the field”, according to our research. Sources say: “She has an excellent brain, and always presents the case in a very clear manner” – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Gains recognition in this chapter for her excellent work handling a range of telecommunications and regulatory disputes” – Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Competition Law: “Very user-friendly and hard-working.” Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2019

      Public Procurement: “Very thorough, clear and hard-working, she’s a pleasure to have as a junior.” “She is very clever and invariably on top of things.” Chambers UK, 2019

      Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘Very bright, responsive and concise and interested in the technology space.’’Legal 500, 2018

      Competition Law: “She delivers robust, thorough advice against a tight timetable.” Chambers UK, 2018

      Public Procurement: “Ligia is very accessible and is always prepared to take on and fight difficult cases in a measured and sensible way.” Chambers UK, 2018

      Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘Calm, commercial and prepared to take on a difficult case when others might not have.’’Legal 500, 2017

      Competition Law: “Offers clear, easily digestible advice and makes complex issues appear straightforward.” Chambers UK, 2017

      Public Procurement: “She is so good, and never makes you feel like you’re a burden on her time.” “She’s bright, friendly and flexible.” Chambers UK, 2017

      Leading Junior in Public Procurement: ‘‘Clearly at the top of her game technically and tactically.’’ – Legal 500, 2016

      Public Procurement: “A very quick thinker with a great breadth of knowledge and understanding of the potential grounds for bringing actions. She’s able to work very impressively to tight deadlines and engages well with a range of different clients.” – Chambers UK, 2016

      Telecommunications: “She’s very switched on, is able to make difficult things seem easy, and provides sensible, straightforward advice.” “Her written advocacy is of high quality; she’s someone who is worth keeping an eye on.”- Chambers UK, 2016

      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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