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:

  • Case T-892/16 Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission (ongoing; General Court judgment pending) – part of Monckton Chambers team (instructed by Freshields 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
  • Scottish Power Transmission Ltd and ors v Prysmian SpA and ors: Acting for Scottish Power (with Daniel Beard QC) in cartel damages claim following on from Commission Decision COMP/39610 Power Cables; a twelve week trial, joint with similar claim brought by National Grid Electricity plc is 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”)
  • TalkTalk Telecom Group and anr v Ofcom (BCMR 2019) [2020] CAT 8 (with Robert Palmer QC) – 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)
  • Royal Mail plc v Ofcom [2019] CAT 27 (with Daniel Beard QC 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
  • Getlink v Secretary of State for Transport (“Brexit Ferries”) (2019) (with Daniel Beard QC, Valentina Sloane QC 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)
  • 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:

    • Scottish Power Transmission Ltd and ors v Prysmian SpA and ors: Acting for Scottish Power (with Daniel Beard QC) in cartel damages claim following on from Commission Decision COMP/39610 Power Cables; a twelve week trial, joint with similar claim brought by National Grid Electricity plc is listed to begin in November 2020
    • Acting for Koninklijke Philips N.V. (with Meredith Pickford QC) in claims (both settled and ongoing) against multiple Defendants concerning the licensing of Philips’ portfolio of 3G/4G Standard Essential Patents (SEPs); the claims have raised a number of novel issues including as to the availability and effect of so-called declaration of non-compliance (DNCs) as well as the availability of Worldwide Portfolio Damages (see below)
    • 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 QC 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
    • Advising on competition law aspects of a joint venture dispute in the consumer goods sector (2019)
    • Advising on competition law access of a commercial dispute in the payment services sector (2019)

    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 Freshields 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 various local authorities on the State aid compliance of proposed infrastructure projects designed to unlock local residential development opportunities (2019/20)
    • Advising a further education provider on the State aid aspects of funding arrangements for a proposed campus extension (2019)
  • 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 QC) – 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 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”)
  • 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:

    • Bechtel Ltd v HS2 Ltd (with Michael Bowsher QC) – acting for the Claimant on a challenge to the award of a £1 billion Construction Partner Contract for the new Old Oak Common station (ongoing)
    • Acting for a Claimant provider of dentistry services in its challenge to NHS England’s evaluation of its financial standing and failure to seek appropriate clarifications (2019/20 – settled)
    • 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 QC, Valentina Sloane QC 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)
    • Central Surrey Health v NHS Surrey Downs CCG [2018] EWHC 3499 (TCC) (with Michael Bowsher QC) – acting for the Claimant on its successful resistance of an application to lift the automatic suspension on the award of a contract for adult community health services; the claim later 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 QC) – 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 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
  • 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 QC) – 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 QC) – 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 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

    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, 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)

  • Publications
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