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Ali Nikpay is a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and head of its competition practice group in London.  He has more than 20 years of EU and UK merger control, antitrust and litigation experience in both the private and public sectors. He has described in an editorial by the UK's leading broadsheet, the Daily Telegraph, as "one of the world's preeminent experts in European competition law"; by Chambers 2017 as "brilliant strategically and tactically, and is a great advocate"; and by Legal 500 2016 as "technically outstanding" and "very effective". In 2017, The Financial Times named Ali among the Top 10 Innovators in Europe at the 2017 FT European Innovative Lawyer Awards, which recognized the “ten original legal thinkers in a fast moving world".  In 2010 he was identified as one of The Lawyer's "Hot 100".

Since joining Gibson Dunn in 2013, he has counseled clients such as UBS, Gala Coral, Schlumberger, Facebook, Marriott Hotels, and Debenhams plc. Prior to that he served at both the European Commission's DG for Competition (DG COMP) and the UK competition authority. He also worked at a Magic Circle firm for clients such as GE, NTT DoCoMo, KKR, and CVC.

At DG COMP Ali acted as legal/policy advisor to case-teams in over 50 antitrust and merger cases. He was also lead case-handler for a number of high-profile competition and merger cases. In addition he was actively involved in the initiatives which reformed the EU's policy on vertical agreements and non-cartel horizontal agreements.

During his time at the UK competition Authority, Ali held a number of important positions including Senior Director of its Cartels and Criminal Enforcement division, Senior Director for Merger Decisions and Senior Director of Policy International (in which capacity he interacted with senior officials at agencies in the US, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada etc). He was also a member of the authority's highest decision-making organ, its Executive Committee.

He has also served on the Confederation of British Industry's Competition Panel and on several occasions appeared before the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union.

He is co-editor of "Faull & Nikpay: The EU Law of Competition," which was described by European Competition Law Review as "… the best single volume work dealing with EU competition law that is available. He serves on the editorial boards of the following journals: "European Competition Law", "World Competition", "Antitrust Enforcement Review" and "Competition Law International". Ali is a Visiting Lecturer at University of Oxford and was a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In 2012, he authored an article "UK cartel enforcement: past, present, future", which was nominated by the Global Competition Review for an award.


  • London School of Economics & Political Science - 1993 - Master of Science
  • London School of Economics & Political Science - 1992 - Bachelor of Science


  • England & Wales - Solicitor