Meredith Pickford QC

Call: 1999 | 2017 (Ireland) | Silk: 2015

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Education

MA (Hons) Economics, Cambridge (First Class), Diploma in Law (City University)

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Introduction

Meredith is a silk barrister for competition and regulatory matters. He is described in the legal directories as “an outstanding barrister”, “absolutely fantastic”, “a leading figure”, and a “stand-out performer”. He is “consistently chosen for the major matters of the day”. Additionally cited are his:

  • advocacy: “always delivers a knock-out performance”, “his court work is simply top notch”, “a fantastic expert cross-examiner”, “very concise and just excellent on his feet”, “utterly assured” and “calm under pressure”, “an outstanding ability to present arguments effectively on paper and in court”, he “receives consistent praise for his advocacy skills”;
  • analytical ability: “incredibly bright”, “one of the cleverest at the bar”, “wonderfully bright and creative”, “a formidable degree of experience and intellect”, with “a remarkable ability to distil complex issues into simple and effective strategies”;
  • legal expertise: “awfully well informed”, “tremendous economic skill and experience in legal competition matters”, “he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the telecommunications regulatory landscape”, “an expert in public law, he knows the regulatory regime inside out”;
  • economic expertise: “an unrivalled ability to translate economics into a legal argument and make the complex simple”, “fantastic grasp on economic and technical issues”, “a master of economic arguments”, “Solicitors particularly favour the fact that he was trained as an economist”, “He understands the economic argument and then articulates it in a persuasive way that succinctly gets the point across”;
  • strategic and tactical thinking: “incredible tactical awareness”, “[his] strategic understanding is highly prized by solicitors and their clients”;
  • commercial awareness: “a competition lawyer with real commercial nous”, “[his] commercial … understanding is highly prized”;
  • teamwork: “extremely charming and great with clients”, “an extremely hands-on QC, who gets into the detail and lives and breathes the case”, “provides leadership but is also collegiate and open” and “a true fighter for his clients”; he is “a tireless and skilled advocate who is a tremendous asset to any team”.

As an advocate, Meredith appears in damages actions, claims for injunctions and challenges to regulatory decisions. He has considerable experience of cases which raise further issues such as conflict of laws and interaction with intellectual property law. In addition to involvement in cases across all main industry sectors he has particular experience in the technology, media and telecommunications (“TMT”) sphere.

He also sits as an arbitrator in international commercial disputes.

Meredith has won Chambers UK competition law barrister of the year both as a silk and as a junior. In addition to consistent recognition in the leading directories, he has been featured in legal publications including the Lawyer Hot 100, Chambers Hot 100, Chambers Global, Who’s Who Legal and Global Competition Review.

Clients include: (in TMT) Google, Samsung, Sky, BT, Everything Everywhere, Vodafone, Three, TalkTalk, Philips, Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Premier League, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and (IP specialists) Sisvel and IPCom; (in power and water) National Grid, EdF, ScottishPower, Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), Scottish Water; (in transport) Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, Korean Air Lines, P&O, Stena, DFDS, Tubelines and DAF Trucks; (in pharmaceuticals and manufacturing) TEVA, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Dow Chemical; (in financial services) a leading international investment bank and comparethemarket; (in retail) Dixons Carphone Warehouse, Asda, Argos, Morrisons; (in hotels) Intercontinental Hotels.

  • News
  • Selected cases

    Cases

    • Google & Alphabet v European Commission (General Court): Article 102 / internet shopping
    • Visa & Mastercard v Sainsbury’s, Asda and others (Supreme Court): Article 101 / interchange fees
    • TalkTalk & BT v Ofcom (Court of Appeal): telecoms regulation
    • Samsung v Ericsson (Court of Appeal): competition / IP FRAND
    • BT v Sky & others (Court of Appeal): pay TV, broadcasting regulation
    • Phones4U v EE, Vodafone and O2 (High Court): Article 101, alleged collusion, telecoms
    • Royal Mail, BT & others v DAF & others (High Court): alleged trucks cartel follow-on damages
    • Philips v HTC & ASUS; Vestel v Philips (High Court): competition / IP / FRAND / jurisdiction
    • Connexity v Google (High Court): Article 102 / damages
    • Unwired Planet v Google, Samsung & Huawei (High Court): competition / IP / FRAND
    • Emerald Supplies & others v BA & others (High Court): follow-on damages in air cargo
    • TalkTalk v Ofcom (CAT): regulation / superfast broadband
    • Sky / TalkTalk v Ofcom (CAT): regulation / broadband
    • FA Premier League (European Commission): sale of media rights
  • What the directories say

    Competition Law: “Meredith is extremely charming and great with clients, and has the strategic ability to stand back and see the bigger picture.” “He is cerebral and brilliant at knotty economic issues.” “Very strategic and good at reading the courtroom.” – Chambers UK, 2021

    Telecommunications: “Meredith is great to work with. He always provides clear advice and views, often concerning the application of complex, technical legislation to complex, technical facts, and he presents his advice in a way which is easy to understand and implement. What is more, Meredith is very happy to debate his views and clarify where appropriate.” “He is impressive. His advice is clear and concise, and he demonstrates good judgement. He is decisive and able to quickly identify the winning points.” – Chambers UK, 2021

    Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘Hugely impressive – has really grown into his role as QC. A very able advocate; provides leadership but is also collegiate and open.’’Legal 500, 2021

    Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘He has the fundamental quality of a top silk; he is incredibly bright. He has excellent judgment and a remarkable ability to distill complex issues into simple and effective strategies.’’  Legal 500, 2021

    “A leader” in competition law, acclaimed for his work in damages actions and regulatory matters.” Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020

    “Stands out among peers at the bar thanks to his impressive handling of contentious regulatory proceedings and IP disputes in the telecoms sector.” – Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020

    Competition Law: “An extremely hands-on QC, who gets into the detail and lives and breathes the case.” “His capacity to absorb facts and get right to the heart of the issues is impressive.” “Sometimes the message we need to give to the client can be difficult, especially where there are potential criminal sanctions for the individuals concerned. If you are trying to give advice to a client at an early stage, having someone of his stature, who is also very calm and measured, is vitally important.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020 

    Telecommunications: “He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the telecommunications regulatory landscape, a tremendous ability to assimilate information, and a great facility in presenting information and solutions in a client-friendly manner.” “He is a very good team player who is not afraid to roll his sleeves up, and he is very good at dealing with cases that might be quite challenging.” – Chambers UK, 2020

    Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘He has a strong understanding of economic issues.’’Legal 500, 2020

    Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘A fantastic expert cross-examiner.’’  Legal 500, 2020

    Competition: Meredith Pickford QC is held in high regard by peers as “a tireless and skilled advocate” who is “a tremendous asset to any team”. He is particularly experienced in matters pertaining to the telecommunications sector. WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR, 2019

    Competition Law: “Has the ability to absorb a lot of information very quickly and to identify issues that other advisors might miss.”Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2019

    Telecommunications: “He has a detailed knowledge of economics and has acquired a familiarity with the technical and complex commercial aspects of the sector.” “He is approachable; he picks up the phone and will discuss anything no matter how mundane. He also comes across really well in court as he is able to gauge the level of detail to go into, and when to push and not to push.”Chambers UK, 2019

    Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘Very highly rates; a sharp silk.’’Legal 500, 2018

    Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘He has the ability to explain complex economic concepts in an intuitive way.’’  Legal 500, 2018

    Competition Law: “He is good at explaining economics in simpler terms and can distil his messages and engage with our commercial colleagues.”Chambers UK, 2018

    Telecommunications: “A very good tactician who is someone you feel in very safe hands with.”Chambers UK, 2018

    Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘Intelligent and good with clients.’’Legal 500, 2017

    Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘A tenacious and effective advocate.’’  Legal 500, 2017

    Future Leaders 2017: Barristers Analysis: “Meredith Pickford QC focuses his practice on damages actions, challenges to regulatory decisions and claims for injunctions. He is widely nominated throughout Europe as one of the leading barristers in the UK.” WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL), 2017

    Competition Law: Receives universal praise for his grasp of complex economic evidence. He has acted in numerous high-profile cases spanning the full range of competition law.  “He is strong on the economics and the pure legal aspects of cases, and he is very user-friendly. He is an integral part of the team.”Chambers UK, 2017

    Telecommunications: Wins plaudits for his user-friendly approach and impressive advocacy skills. Solicitors consider his background in economics to be a key advantage when he provides telecoms regulatory advice. “It’s a technical and specialist field and he gets to grip with it easily.” “He’s very good at cross-examining technical experts.”Chambers UK, 2017

    Leading silk in EU and Competition: “Very bright and responsive; excellent overall.” – Legal 500, 2016

    Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): He has an outstanding ability to present arguments effectively on paper and in court.”Legal 500, 2016

    “Meredith Pickford QC … is a “tremendously bright lawyer” who “presents creates yet practical solutions”.  His court work is “simply top notch”.  He is also noted for his regulatory work in the media and entertainment and telecoms sectors.” –  WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Competition: Has “a terrific mind”, “a consummate understanding of economic arguments” and is also popular for being “a true fighter for his clients”.WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Telecommunications: Praised for being “a consummate professional”, clients warm to his “hands-on and friendly” approach. – WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Media & Entertainment:  Has “considerable experience and expertise” in the media industry, and is recommended for his “willingness to always go the extra mile for clients.” WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Competition Law: “An outstanding barrister whose economics training is a valuable asset.” Chambers UK, 2016

    Telecommunications: “He understands the economic argument and then articulates it in a persuasive way that succinctly gets the point across.” “Our go-to guy, he’s one of the cleverest at the Bar and also nice to work with.”Chambers UK, 2016

    New Silk in EU and Competition Law: ”Able to understand, focus and clearly articulate complex economic issues.”Legal 500, 2015 

    New Silk in Telecoms Law: ”He has a fantastic grasp on economic and technical issues.” – Legal 500, 2015 

    Competition Law: “Very incisive and user-friendly.” “If you had a competition regulatory question on pricing, he’d be every competition silk’s choice.”Chambers UK, 2015

    Telecommunications: “A formidable degree of experience and intellect, and his advocacy skills are excellent.” “An economist by training – so he brings those analytical skills too.”Chambers UK, 2015

    ‘An excellent lawyer who writes and presents well.’ Meredith is a recommended leading Junior in EU & Competition Law – Legal 500, 2014

    ‘An excellent lawyer with a strong grounding in economics.’  Meredith is a recommended leading Junior in Telecommunications Law – Legal 500, 2014

    Winner, EU and Competition Law Junior of the Year, 2012, Chambers and Partners Bar Awards

    Meredith Pickford is listed as a star individual under Competition Law: A senior junior whose background as an economist gives him an edge in this field. He has recently played a very significant role appearing in a number of high-profile cases. “He has an unrivalled ability to translate economics into a legal argument and make the complex simple.” “He marries an excellent understanding of economics and the law and acts as the bridge between the two.” – Chambers UK, 2014

    Under Telecommunications Law: Relied on by major market operators looking to launch regulatory challenges against Ofcom. He additionally advises on competition issues and operational matters that exist between service providers. “Excellent analysis and good industry knowledge.” “He has good understanding of economic issues and the more technical aspects of cases.” – Chambers UK, 2014

    Meredith Pickford is one of the very best competition and telecoms juniors at the Bar and is regularly paired with the best silks both from his own and other sets. He is consisently chosen for the major matters of the day and appeared in both the Sky v Ofcom and Imperial Tobacco v OFT cases. More recently, he has acted in IPCom v Nokia & HTC, and has had a key role in the dispute concerning the alleged overcharging by BT for Ethernet. Solicitors particularly favour the fact that he was trained as an economist and say that he is particularly good as “he is able to turn a hunch as to the right answer into one which has real legal backing.” – Chambers 100, 2013

    The “highly skilled” Meredith Pickford is “calm under pressure” and “always delivers a knock-out performance.” His recent work includes BT v SKY & Ors, TalkTalk v Ofcom and Vodafone & Ors v British Telecommunications Plc & Anor The International Who’s Who of Telecoms & Media Lawyers 2014

    “Absolutely fantastic” Meredith Pickford … is “very experienced on competition and telecoms issues.” Sources particularly note his “ability to advise in a broader commercial context,” and his “very strong grasp of economics.”” – Chambers UK, 2013 (EU / Competition)

    “Meredith Pickford is very often the “first choice” for solicitors and their clients looking for a compelling advocate with near-matchless experience in mounting regulatory challenges in the CAT and higher courts. A man who does not need a silk to lead him, he recently acted as sole counsel for Sky and TalkTalk in their intervention against BT in a challenge concerning broadband access charge control.” – Chambers UK, 2013 (Telecommunications)

    Recommended Leading Junior “Meredith Pickford […] is ‘extremely good at handling expert evidence’, and is ‘at home with the economics as much as the law’;”. – Legal 500, 2013

    Meredith Pickford is a recommended leading junior in EU and Competition Law. – Legal 500, 2012

    Under Competition/European Law “Meredith Pickford wins admiration from instructing solicitors as an “outstanding junior.” He is instructed as junior for Sky in its case over Ofcom’s decisions to force Sky to license its premium sports and movie channels to its competitors at Ofcom’s set rates.” – Chambers UK, 2012

    “Scarcely anyone can remember a major telecommunications regulatory challenge in which Meredith Pickford hasn’t been involved. He originally trained as an economist, and so his commercial and strategic understanding is highly prized by solicitors and their clients. As someone who can very easily lead a case in the CAT without a QC, “he is a compelling choice for such instructions and an assured advocate who comes up with novel approaches as to how to run a case.” ” – Chambers UK, 2012

    EU & Competition states that Meredith Pickford“has ‘excellent knowledge, and is good on his feet, genuinely nice and easy to work with’.” – Legal 500, 2011

    The “hardworking and creative” Meredith Pickford attracts “significant plaudits”.  He “represented Orange and T-Mobile in their telecoms joint venture Everything Everywhere” – Global Competition Review, Barrister Survey, 2011

    “Pickford possess an impressive list of blue-chip clients … keeping his diary packed with instructions.” – The Lawyer’s Top 100, 2011

    Recommended under Competition/European Law in Chambers UK, 2011 “Meredith Pickford’s background as an economist ensures “he grasps the salient issues in any case with considerable speed,” according to sources. He assisted National Grid in obtaining the reduction of a fine imposed by Ofgem for abuse of dominance.”

    “Renowned leading junior in Telecommunications Law Meredith Pickford is “a bright, practical and hard-working lawyer with considerable telecoms experience.” One example of his full caseload was his representation of T-Mobile in its joint appeal with Vodafone against a CAT ruling that charges for mobile call termination should apply with retrospective effect. He also appeared in Nokia v Ipcom. Pickford is described as “an especially good lawyer on the technical side who is a good team player as he is in no way precious.” ”  – Chambers UK, 2011

  • Additional information
    • Competition law Silk of the Year, 2018 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards
    • EU and Competition Law Junior of the Junior, 2012 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards
    • Various prizes and scholarships for economics, law & advocacy
  • Publications
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