Ligia Osepciu

Call 2008
Education
BA (Cantab), LLM (Cornell)
Contact the Clerks

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

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:

  • 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”
  • Case T-892/16 Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission (ongoing) – part of Monckton Chambers team (instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) representing Irish non-resident companies in their 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
  • Acting for Scottish Power Transmission Limited in its “follow-on” damages claim against multiple manufacturers of high voltage power cables (ongoing)
  • 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
  • T-470/13 Merck KGaA v European Commission ECLI:EU:T:2016:452 (with Ronit Kreisberger) – representing Merck in its 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
  • 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
  • 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.

    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.

    Recent competition law instructions include:

    • Acting for Scottish Power Transmission Limited in its “follow-on” damages claim against multiple manufacturers of high voltage power cables (ongoing)
    • Acting for Royal Mail plc in Ofcom’s Article 102/Chapter II investigation into Royal Mail’s access pricing practices (with Daniel Beard QC) (ongoing)
    • Acting for Premaitha Health plc, a pre-natal testing provider, in its claim against a manufacturer of DNA-sequencing platforms alleging abuse of a dominant position by refusal to licence intellectual property, tying and other discriminatory pricing and non-pricing practices (with Daniel Beard QC) (ongoing)
    • Acting for Apple Inc. in action brought in England & Wales by Nokia for infringement of standard essential patents in the mobile telecommunications industry and video-coding industry (with Meredith Pickford QC and James Bourke) (2017 – settled)
    • Acting for Koninklijke Philips N.V. in action for infringement of standard essential patents in the mobile telecommunications industry (with Meredith Pickford QC) (2016 – ongoing)
    • T-470/13 Merck KGaA v European Commission (with Ronit Kreisberger)– appeal to the General Court against the first ever decision of the European Commission concerning the application of Article 101 TFEU to reverse payment (“pay for delay”) patent settlements (Judgment of 8 September 2016)
    • Société Coopérative de Production SeaFrance S.A. v Competition and Markets Authority [2015] EWCA Civ 487 (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

    Recent State aid instructions include:

    • Case T-892/16 Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission (ongoing) – part of Monckton Chambers team (instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) representing Irish non-resident companies in their 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
    • Advising a commercial waste collection operator in relation to suspected local authority cross-subsidy of its household waste collection business (2017 – ongoing)
    • Advising a local authority in relation to a Commission audit of a road building project part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and possible claim for claw-back of grant (2016)
    • Advising an electricity generator on potential State aid in the form of a guarantee and Contract for Difference (2016)
  • 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:

    • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Office of Rail and Road  [2017] EWHC 1290 (Admin)  (with Gerry Facenna QC) –  Junior Counsel to Heathrow in its application for judicial review of the Office 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 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”)
  • Procurement Law

    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.

    Recent procurement instructions include:

    • Advising a contracting authority on design of a process for the award of certain construction-related framework agreements and use of dynamic purchasing systems (2017)
    • Acting for Bechtel Management Company Ltd (with Michael Bowsher QC) in a claim for damages against the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) arising out of its wrongful award of a 14-year contract for the decommissioning of 12 Magnox power stations and two others; claim brought approx. 2 years after award of the contract following discovery of new facts through Fraser J’s judgment in Energy Solutions v NDA [2016] EWHC 1988 (TCC) (2016/17 – settled)
    • Advising a contracting authority in relation to a potential challenge to its award of an £25 million (approx.) software contract through the competitive dialogue process (2016)
    • Advising a local authority on the procurement and state aid implications of a proposed disposal of land with conditions (2016)
    • Advising a police authority on scope for early contract termination for non-performance and options for re-procurement (2016)
    • Representing a disappointed bidder in its challenge to the award of an infrastructure project in Albania, where Directive 2014/25/EU was incorporated by reference into the tender documents (2016)
    • Representing the sole provider appointed to a maintenance and repair framework agreement in a dispute with the contracting authority about direct award of call-off contracts outside the framework (2016)
    • Representing a law firm in its challenge to the Lord Chancellor’s procurement of duty provider (crime) contracts: the Lord Chancellor’s decision to move to the new contracting model was withdrawn in advance of trial (2015/16)
  • Telecommunications Law

    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.

    Recent telecommunications instructions include:

    • 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)
    • Acting for a provider of reverse text billed premium rate services in proceedings before the PhonepayPlus Tribunal concerning alleged breaches of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (2016)
    • Advising a communications provider on rights and obligations under the Communications (Access to Infrastructure) Regulations 2016 implementing Directive 2014/61/EU (the “Civil Infrastructure Directive”) (2016)
    •  BT v Telefonica O2 UK Limited and ors (080, 0845 and 0870 numbers) [2014] UKSC 42 (with Daniel Beard QC 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
  • 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 connection with proposed changes to transmission network use of system (“TNUoS”) charging arrangements resulting in reduced payments distribution-connected (embedded) generators (with Kassie Smith QC) (2016/17)
    • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Office of Rail and Road  [2017] EWHC 1290 (Admin)  (with Gerry Facenna QC) –  Junior Counsel to Heathrow in its application for judicial review of the Office 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)
    • 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)
    • 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”)
  • What The Directories Say

    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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