Meredith Pickford QC

Call 1999 || 2017 (Ireland) | Silk 2015
MA (Hons) Economics, Cambridge (First Class), Diploma in Law (City University)

+44 (0)20 7405 7211

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Named Competition Law Silk of the Year 2018 by Chambers and Partners, Meredith is a leading barrister for competition and regulatory matters. He is described in the legal directories as “an outstanding barrister”, “one of the cleverest at the bar”, “absolutely fantastic”, “wonderfully bright and creative”,  “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”, “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”, “he’s very good at cross-examining technical experts” ;
  • economic and legal expertise: “an unrivalled ability to translate economics into a legal argument and make the complex simple”, “fantastic grasp on economic and technical issues”, “tremendous economic skill and experience in legal competition matters”, “awfully well informed”, “a master of economic arguments”, “an expert in public law, he knows the regulatory regime inside out”; “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”;
  • tactical ability: “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: “genuinely nice and easy to work with”, “unstuffy”, “hard-working”, “a good team player”, “user-friendly”.

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. Chambers UK noted that “scarcely anyone can remember a major telecommunications regulatory challenge in which Meredith Pickford hasn’t been involved”.

The Lawyer Hot 100 noted that “Pickford possess an impressive list of blue-chip clients … keeping his diary packed with instructions.” They include: (in TMT) Google, Samsung, Sky, Vodafone (including Cable & Wireless), Everything Everywhere (including T-Mobile & Orange), Three, TalkTalk, Alcatel-Lucent, Verizon, Level 3, Gemalto, FA Premier League, the Digital Entertainment Group (a film and TV industry organisation whose members include studios and distributors such as Warner Bros, Sony, Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate, Gaiam Vivendi, Paramount, HBO, Walt Disney, and others involved in home entertainment including Samsung, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Philips and others), 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; (in manufacturing, retail and other sectors) Dow Chemical, TEVA, Carphone Warehouse & Dixons, Morrisons, Intercontinental Hotels and (regulators) the OFT, Ofcom, Ofgem and Ofwat.

As a junior until 2015, Meredith was for a number of years ranked as a “star individual” in competition law by Chambers UK, was in the top band of leading juniors for telecommunications, and was listed in the ‘Chambers 100’ of the best juniors at the UK bar.

  • Court of Appeal
    • Sainsbury’s, Asda and others v MasterCard & Visa [2018] EWCA 1536 (Civ): breach of Article 101 / interchange fees
    • TalkTalk v Ofcom; BT v Ofcom [2017] EWCA (Civ) 330: telecoms regulation (ethernet)
    • Samsung v Ericsson and others [2016] EWCA Civ 489: competition / IP / FRAND
    • SCOP v CMA and DFDS [2015] EWCA Civ 487: merger challenge
    • BT v Sky & ors [2014] EWCA Civ 133: pay TV, broadcasting regulation
    • TalkTalk v Ofcom [2013] EWCA Civ 1318: telecommunications regulation
    • National Grid v Ofgem [2010] EWCA Civ 114: abuse of dominance
    • Vodafone Ltd & Ors v British Telecommunications Plc & Anor [2010] EWCA Civ 391: telecommunications regulation
    • H3G v Ofcom [2009] EWCA Civ 683: telecommunications regulation
    • Ofcom & T-Mobile v Floe [2009] Civ 47: telecommunications regulation / competition law
    • T-Mobile & O2 v Ofcom [2008] EWCA Civ 1373: jurisdiction of CAT
    • Welsh Water (Dŵr Cymru) v Albion Water [2008] EWCA Civ 536: competition – margin squeeze / jurisdiction
  • High Court
    • Royal Mail, BT and others v DAF and others: competition damages / trucks collusion
    • Connexity v Google: abuse of dominance / damages
    • Kelkoo v Google: abuse of dominance / damages
    • Apple v Nokia: competition / IP / FRAND
    • Philips v HTC & ASUS: competition / IP / FRAND
    • Dixons & others v MasterCard: competition damages claim re interchange fees
    • Unwired Planet v Google, Samsung and Huawei: competition / IP / FRAND
    • Emerald Supplies & ors v British Airways: follow on competition damages claim
    • EDF & Ors v ABB, Siemens & Ors (Ch D): follow-on competition damages
    • Nokia v IPCOM (Ch D): competition / IP / FRAND
    • IPCom v HTC (Ch D): competition / IP / FRAND
    • HTC v Gemalto (Ch D) : competition / IP / FRAND
    • Virgin Atlantic v Contour & ors (Ch D): competition / IP / FRAND
    • Ericsson v Samsung (Ch D): competition / IP / conflict of laws / FRAND
    • H3G v T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and Orange (Comm Ct): competition – alleged breach of Art 81 and 82 / damages
    • SanDisk v Sisvel & others (Ch D): competition – interim injunction / conflict of laws / damages / licensing of IP
    • Cooper Tire & Rubber, Shell, Dow, Bayer (Ch D): competition – damages / conflict of laws / price-fixing
    • Truphone v T-Mobile (Ch D): interim injunction / competition – refusal to purchase
    • Cityhook v Cable & Wireless and others (Ch D): competition – alleged collusion / damages
    • Albion Water v Ofwat (Admin Ct): judicial review of water pricing decision
    • T-Mobile v Ofcom (Admin Ct): regulatory judicial review re spectrum auctions
    • Morrisons v OFT (Admin Ct):  public law challenge to OFT decision to issue press release (together with related defamation action)
    • Cityhook v OFT, Alcatel & Ors intervening (Admin Ct):  regulatory judicial review of case closure
    • Excelerate v Ofgem (Admin Ct):  regulatory judicial review
    • ScottishPower v Ofgem (Admin Ct): regulatory judicial review
  • Competition Appeal Tribunal
    • Royal Mail, BT and others v DAF and others: competition damages / trucks collusion
    • BT v Ofcom & Sky (WMO Decision): litigation concerning competition in sports channels
    • Dixons & others v MasterCard: competition damages claim re interchange fees
    • TalkTalk, BT & others v Ofcom: superfast broadband margin squeeze
    • BT v Ofcom & Everything Everywhere, Three & Vodafone: 08 numbers
    • BT v Ofcom & Vodafone: 08 numbers
    • Sky & TalkTalk v Ofcom: various broadband pricing appeals
    • Groupe Eurotunnel v Competition Commission: judicial review of merger decision
    • Albion Water v Dŵr Cymru: follow-on damages action
    • Siemens & Ors v National Grid: follow-on damages action
    • Sky & Ors v Ofcom: pay TV regulation / competition / interim relief
    • Morrisons & Ors v OFT (tobacco): competition – alleged price fixing
    • BT v Ofcom: broadband pricing regulation
    • TalkTalk v Ofcom: local loop unbundling
    • Telefonica O2 v Ofcom: spectrum licensing
    • Everything Everywhere v Ofcom (Stour Marine): termination pricing
    • Morrisons v Competition Commission: interim relief / divestiture remedies
    • BT v Ofcom (080 numbers): termination pricing
    • National Grid v Ofgem: abuse of dominance
    • Carphone Warehouse v Ofcom: pricing of wholesale broadband products
    • T-Mobile, Orange, BT, H3G et al v Ofcom: termination rate disputes
    • T-Mobile v Ofcom: donor conveyance charge
    • Vodafone v Ofcom: mobile number portability
    • BT v Ofcom, H3G v Ofcom, O2 v Ofcom: mobile call termination regulation
    • Floe v Ofcom, T-Mobile intervening: wireless regulation / refusal to supply
    • VIP v Ofcom, T-Mobile intervening: wireless regulation / refusal to supply / interim relief
    • Wanadoo v Ofcom supported by BT (CAT): margin squeeze in broadband
    • Cable & Wireless, Alcatel et al in Cityhook v OFT supported by Cable & Wireless and others: alleged collusion
  • Competition and Markets Authority
    • TalkTalk v Ofcom: superfast broadband margin regulation
    • BT v Ofcom: superfast broadband margin regulation
    • Sky / TalkTalk v Ofcom: pricing of wholesale broadband products
    • BT v Ofcom: pricing of wholesale broadband products
    • Carphone Warehouse v Ofcom: pricing of wholesale broadband products
    • BT v Ofcom, H3G v Ofcom: mobile call termination
    • Call termination investigation
    • Knauf Insulation / Superglass proposed merger
    • P&O / Stena partial merger
  • Court of Justice of the European Union / European Commission
    • P&O European Ferries v European Commission: State aid
    • for FA Premier League in European Commission Article 81 EC investigation into sale of media rights for Premier League Football
  • What the Directories Say

    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, 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
    • EU and Competition Law Junior of the Junior, 2012 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards
    • Davies Prize for Economics
    • Winner, Rosamund Smith Cup (Middle Temple Mooting Competition)
    • Diplock Scholarship

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