Stefan Kuppen

Call 2013
Education
BSc (KCL), MPhil (Cantab), CFA
Contact

+44 (0)20 7405 7211

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“A real asset to any team.” “He certainly knows a great deal about the telecoms industry and is very astute on tricky economic questions which arise.”Chambers UK, 2018

“Stefan Kuppen is praised for his ‘savvy approach’ and ‘superb technical skill’ which allows him to produce ‘work of the highest quality’.”Who’s Who Legal, 2016

“The ‘super smart’ and ‘impressive’ Stefan Kuppen has a plethora of experience in telecommunications and is ‘widely respected’ for his ‘vast knowledge’.” – Who’s Who Legal, 2015

Stefan practises across a range of Chambers’ practice areas with a particular focus on competition law, telecommunications and other economic regulation, merger control, and the financial services sector.

Before coming to the Bar, Stefan was an Executive Director with Goldman Sachs in London responsible for the coverage of European telecom and IT services companies in the firm’s Global Investment Research division, having previously worked in M&A and corporate finance advisory.

Stefan has a wealth of industry experience in telecommunications, technology and financial services, and is known for his exceptional depth of commercial insight. He has a solid grounding in finance and economics, which makes his experience a particular asset in matters involving extensive economic argument, as well as cases of a technical or complex nature.

  • Competition law, Telecommunications and Economic Regulation

    Stefan has a broad understanding of commercial and economic matters given his background in investment banking, including extensive practical experience in corporate finance and M&A. In addition, he has a thorough industry understanding of telecoms, media and technology (TMT) gained over more than a decade of serving clients in these industries.

    Following pupillage, Stefan spent time on secondment to the regulatory and competition law team at EE, the mobile network operator now acquired by BT.

    Current and recent cases include:

    • EE v Ofcom (ALFs) [2016] EWHC 2134 (Admin) and [2017] EWCA Civ 1873– judicial review of Ofcom’s decision setting Annual Licence Fees for the 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum bands (with Lord Pannick QC and Philip Woolfe)
    • Emerald & ors v BA (Air Cargo) – follow-on damages claim (with Jon Turner QC)
    • National Grid v ABB & ors (Power Cables) – follow-on damages claim (with Helen Davies QC and Anneli Howard)
    • BT v Ofcom (BCMR) – appeal of Ofcom’s Business Communications Market Review (appeared for interveners at case management stage)
    • BT v Ofcom (WMO) Case 1246/8/3/16 – appeal of Ofcom’s decision to remove the “wholesale must offer” obligation in relation to Sky Sports content (with Josh Holmes QC)
    • Breasley Pillows & ors v Vita Cellular Foams (PU foam) Case 1250/5/7/16 – follow-on damages claim in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (for a Rule 39 Defendant)
    • Arriva / Northern Rail – merger inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to the Northern Rail franchise award (with Alison Berridge)
    • TalkTalk and BT v Ofcom (VULA) Cases 1237 and 1238/3/3/15 – super fast / fibre broadband pricing appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Competition and Markets Authority (with Meredith Pickford QC)
    • British Gas Trading v GEMA (RIIO-ED1) – appeal of the first RIIO based electricity distribution price control to the Competition and Markets Authority (with Josh Holmes QC)
    • BT v Ofcom and EE, Three & Vodafone (08x numbers) Case 1211/3/3/2013 – second ladder charges appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (on secondment to EE)
    • BT v Sky, Ofcom & ors (Pay TV) [2014] EWCA Civ 133 – appeal to the Court of Appeal from a decision by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (assisting Meredith Pickford QC)
    • Sky and TalkTalk & ors v Ofcom (Ethernet Determinations) [2014] CAT 14 – 13-day hearing in the Competition Appeal Tribunal in a broadband pricing appeal  (assisting Meredith Pickford QC)
    • National Grid v Siemens, Alstom, ABB, Areva & ors (Gas Insulated Switchgear) – follow-on damages claim (assisting Jon Turner QC and Laura John)
    • Akzo Nobel v Competition and Markets Authority ­[2014] EWCA Civ 482 – application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on the issue of the CMA’s jurisdiction over acquisitions entirely outside the territory of the UK (assisting Rob Williams)
    • Clix Connex & ors v PhonePayPlus and Ofcom – judicial review of a decision by the premium rate services regulator on the grounds of incompatibility with the EU’s Common Regulatory Framework (assisting Alan Bates)

    Stefan has also advised on or assisted with advice on a wide range of competition and regulatory issues, including:

    • Regulatory investigations into the foreign exchange market
    • The Payment Systems Regulator’s infrastructure market review
    • A consumer rights enforcement action by Ofcom
    • A consultation response on broadband pricing in the Republic of Ireland market
    • A Competition Act investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority in the energy sector
    • On the compatibility of vertical information sharing in the TV advertising market with competition law
    • On the applicability of Part 2 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 (encouraging or assisting crime) to the provision of services by telecoms network operators
    • On revisions to the Standard Interconnect Agreement (SIA) regulating the relationship between BT and other Communications Providers interconnecting with BT’s network
    • On the regulation of the TV ad sales market and ITV’s Contract Rights Renewal undertakings
    • On the validity of certain cross-border gas transmission tariffs under the entry and exit tariff system of the EU’s Third Energy Package
    • On the applicability of refusal to supply principles to the withholding of private pricing information in financial markets
    • On price setting by a utility against the backdrop of a potential abuse of a dominant position
    • On various potential appeals of decisions by Ofcom, mostly in relation to the regulation of fixed access markets
    • On the state aid implications of the funding by the Higher Education Funding Council of a university research centre in partnership with industry
    • On interim injunctive relief in a competition law claim relating to mobile payment services
    • On a civil action under Jersey competition law
    • On potential competition law issues in relation to the Google AdSense service
    • On a dispute concerning bulk water supply terms
  • Financial Markets

    Stefan has broad understanding and extensive experience of financial markets gained through his prior decade-long career in investment banking, most recently as an Executive Director/VP with Goldman Sachs in London. He has assisted with advice on a variety of financial markets topics, including:

    • In relation to regulatory investigations into the foreign exchange market
    • In relation to the Payment Systems Regulator’s infrastructure market review
    • On the resolution of a private conflict in relation to a privately placed convertible bond issued by a Hong Kong listed firm and held by a Dutch investment holding
    • On the applicability of refusal to supply principles to the withholding of private pricing information in financial markets
    • On the mis-selling of interest rate derivative products to small business customers
  • Public and European Union law

    Stefan has worked on a range of domestic public law cases, most of which raised EU law issues, including:

    • R(Fujitsu Services) v Cabinet Office – a judicial review of a decision by the Minister for the Cabinet Office in relation to the government’s Strategic Supplier Risk Management Policy (assisting Robert Palmer)
    • R (Lord Carlile of Berriew QC) v Home Secretary UKSC 2013/0098 (on appeal from [2013] EWCA Civ 199) – a judicial review by 16 MPs and members of the House of Lords, concerning the Home Secretary’s decision to maintain the exclusion from the United Kingdom of the leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) (assisting Robert Palmer)
    • R(Chemistree Homecare and Blackbay Venture) v Department of Health/Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority – a judicial review concerning the alleged failure by the MHRA to act in line with its statutory duties in relation to alleged breaches of the UK and EU regulatory framework for medicines by holders of marketing authorisations for medicines in the UK (assisting Gerry Facenna)
    • Clix Connex & ors v PhonePayPlus and Ofcom – a judicial review relating to the ability of the premium rate services regulator to require prior permission for certain services in light of the EU’s Common Regulatory Framework (assisting Alan Bates)

    Stefan also assisted in the following CJEU cases:

    • Case T-66/14 Bredenkamp & ors v Council and Commission – a private damages action relating to a listing on the Zimbabwe sanctions list (assisting Philip Moser QC)
    • Case T-127/09 Abdulrahim v Council and Commission ­(referred back to the General Court after successful appeal to the Court of Justice Grand Chamber C-239/12 P against order discontinuing proceedings) – an annulment action relating to a listing on the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions list (assisting Philip Moser QC)
    • Case C-161/14 Commission v UK – infraction proceedings concerning the UK’s VAT treatment of energy saving building materials in residential accommodation (assisting Paul Lasok QC)
    • Case C-44/14 Spain v Parliament and Council – and annulment action concerning aspects of the European Border Surveillance System (UK intervention) (assisting Josh Holmes)

    In addition, Stefan has gained experience in advising on public and EU law issues, including:

    • On pre-action strategy in a judicial review concerning fracking operations and mining waste
    • On the coordination of social security systems in the EU
    • On the mis-selling of interest rate derivative products to small business customers
    • On the labelling of alcoholic drinks in light of relevant EU regulations
    • On equality considerations in public sector recruiting efforts targeted at attracting underrepresented groups
    • On the status of caste discrimination in domestic, EU and International equality law
    • On the validity of leasing agreements entered into by schools in light of the delegated budget powers of maintained and voluntary aided schools
  • Additional information

    Stefan was called to the Bar in 2013, and joined Chambers after the successful completion of his pupillage in 2014. Stefan was pupil to Meredith Pickford QC, Robert Palmer and Alan Bates.

    Stefan is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and obtained a master’s degree in finance from the University of Cambridge, where he has also taught and supervised on finance and accounting topics. As an undergraduate, Stefan read Physics with History and Philosophy of Science.

    During his training for the Bar with BPP (GDL) and Kaplan (BPTC), he was a Middle Temple Queen Mother Scholar and received a Bar European Group Phoenicia Scholarship. Prior to that, as a financial analyst, Stefan received several industry awards, including from Institutional Investor (and II’s Alpha) and Les Echos/Thomson Reuters.

    Stefan is fluent in German with a good understanding of Dutch and intermediate French.

    He is a member of the Bar European Group, the Commercial Bar Association and the CFA Institute.

  • What the Directories Say

    Telecommunications: “Knows the technology and the industry well, so can hit the ground running in cases.” “He is on top of the Ofcom guidance, on top of the legislation, and importantly from the client’s point of view is on top of Ofcom’s thinking.”Chambers UK, 2019

    Telecommunications: “A real asset to any team.” “He certainly knows a great deal about the telecoms industry and is very astute on tricky economic questions which arise.”Chambers UK, 2018

    Telecoms: “Stefan Kuppen is praised for his ‘savvy approach’ and ‘superb technical skill’ which allows him to produce ‘work of the highest quality’.”Who’s Who Legal, 2016

    Telecoms: The “super smart” and “impressive” Stefan Kuppen has a plethora of experience in telecommunications and is “widely respected” for his “vast knowledge”.Who’s Who Legal 2015

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