David Wood is an English and Belgian qualified partner in the Brussels office of Gibson Dunn and co-chairs the Firm’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group. He has lived and worked in Brussels since 1991.
Mr. Wood’s practice encompasses the full range of European antitrust issues, including cartels, merger control, abuse of dominance (monopolization), restrictive agreements, sector inquiries and private enforcement. He has strong expertise in the financial services, media/high-tech, and transport sectors.
Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Wood spent 10 years at the antitrust enforcement division of the European Commission (DG Competition), including positions as Head of the Financial Services Unit and Acting Head of the Media Unit. He is one of the few lawyers in private practice to have held senior positions in the European Commission, and brings his clients both deep experience of European antitrust enforcement, and offers practical solutions into how to manage risk and avoid problems.
Mr. Wood is well-known for his long and broad experience of the full range of issues involved in European antitrust enforcement and has consistently been recognized as a leading European antitrust practitioner. Recent awards include: The Lawyer Award for Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year 2018 for his representation of complainants in the EC’s Google investigation; Global Competition Review 2017 Merger Control Matter of the Year Europe for Microsoft/LinkedIn; Antitrust Writing Awards 2016 for the Best Business Article – Unilateral Conduct; Global Competition Review 2014 “Behavioral Matter of the Year – Europe” for his representation of UBS in the LIBOR and related matters; Global Competition Review 2013 Matter of the Year for the FTC Investigation of Google.
Mr. Wood is recognized as a leading European competition lawyer by all the main peer review publications, including Who’s Who Legal ‘Thought Leaders – Competition’, and Chambers Global. Mr. Wood is also ranked as a leading Competition/European Law lawyer by Legal 500 for EU Competition and Telecoms, Media & Technology and also recognized by Best Lawyers in Belgium 2020 for Competition/Antitrust Law and European Union Law. He is a frequent writer and speaker on competition law issues, is a member of the editorial board of Competition Law Insight, and is a visiting lecturer on competition law at King’s College London.
Admitted to practice as a Solicitor in England and Wales, and to the Brussels Bar, Mr. Wood passed his Solicitor’s Final in 1987 at the London College of Law, graduated with a LL.B. (Hons) in 1985 from the University of Buckingham an received a B.A. (Hons) in 1983 from the University of Sussex.
- Co-author (with Lena Sandberg) of “Examining actions for damages claims based on the state aid rules – Part 1,2 & 3,” originally published as a three-part series in Competition Law Insight, Volume 16 Issues 10-12 (October, November and December 2017).
- Moderator at the ‘European Shipping Week’ Conference in March 2017 in Brussels.
- Panelist in a session on “International Shipping Mergers Review – Commitments and Conditions” at the Knect Conference on ‘Competition Law in the Transport Sector’ on 1 February 2017 in Amsterdam.
- Speaker at the ‘Neutrality and Regulation’ session at the Chillin’ Competition Conference “on 21 November 2016 in Brussels.
- ‘Introduction to GCR Know-How on Information Exchange”, Global Competition Review, May 2017.
- “Under debate’ issues with John Temple Lang’s ‘Getting the wrong idea’ article published in November 2014 CLI, Competition Law Insight, January 2015.
- Co-Author of ‘Free Market 1: Copyright 0 – UK Premier League Loses Away from Home’ in Volume 18, Issue 6 of the Utilities Law Review, 2012.
- Co-author of “European Court of Justice Delivers Landmark Judgment in UK Premier League Referral” in Volume 23, Number 19 of EuroWatch, a Thomson Reuters publication.
- “It really is about the cloud”, Competition Law and the proposed Google Book Settlement, Competition Law Insight, March 2010.
- “Developments in the online advertising world”, Competition Law Insight, March 2008.
- “Proving It – The standard and burden of proof in article 82 cases”, Competition Law Insight, March 2008.
- “Legal Privilege in the EU: Is the Balance Right? Akzo Nobel v Commission”, Utilities Law Review, February 2008.
- “European Competition Law in the Media and Broadcasting Sectors”, European Antitrust Review 2007 – Global Competition Review, August 2006.
- “Competition in the Clearing and Settlement Sector”, Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, June 2006.
- “Court upholds contentious prohibition”, European Lawyer, March 2006.
- “Regulation and Competition in the Media Sector”, Competition Law Insight, 15 November 2005.
- “The Tetra Laval Appeal: A Clarification of Standards of Juridical Review in Merger Control Cases”, Utilities Law Review, Volume 14, Issue 3, 2004/2005.
- “Sector by sector” (a review of EU Sector Inquiries), Legal Week, August 2005.
- “Article 82 and leveraging”, Competition Law Insight, July 2005.
- “Sector inquiries under EU competition law”, Competition Law Insight, February 2005.
- “The Antitrust and Intellectual Property Interface: In the US and EU.’ Global Counsel Competition Handbook 2004/2005 (2004). Co-authored with James F. Rill, Mark Schechter.
- “Media rights, the creative process and antitrust limits on the exercise of IPRs”, Communications & EC Competition Law, October 2004.
- “Interlocking Directorships – measuring the antitrust risks”, Competition Law Insight, September 2004.
- “A new framework for technology transfer agreements in Europe”, International Asset Management, June/July 2004.
- “Legal certainty at the expense of economic rationality? The EU’s struggle with the pricing practices of dominant firms”, Competition Law Insight, June 2004.
- “An effects-based approach to technology transfer agreements”, Competition Law Insight, May 2004.
- “Cartel Investigations – International Aspects”, British Institute of International & Comparative Law, October 2003.
- “The Role of the European Commission in Private Antitrust Actions”, International Business Lawyer, August 2003.
Mr. Wood advised:
- UBS in a number of significant European Commission cartel investigations in the financial services sector, most recently in the two FOREX Decisions adopted in May 2019.
- MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company on its operational cooperation with Maersk Line which created the world’s largest liner shipping consortium (involving 185 vessels costing up to $185 million each) and in relation to the European Commission’s investigation of certain exchanges of information between liner shipping companies.
- EXSYM and Showa in the European Commission’s Power Cables cartel investigation.
- First Data before the German competition authority in its Phase II investigation of the acquisition of GZS and subsequent divestment of Easycash; before the European Commission in relation to its acquisition of parts of Allied Irish Bank; before the European Commission in relation to its acquisition by KKR; before the Polish competition authority in relation to the acquisition of PolCard; and in various investigations into credit card schemes and concentration in the payments sector.
- Euroclear in its successful intervention before the European Commission in the prohibited Deutsche Boerse/NYSE merger; in its investigation by the Finnish Competition Authority; and in relation to the European Commission’s sector inquiry into clearing and settlement.
- Caterpillar before the European Commission in the Phase II investigation of its successful acquisition of MWM; and in relation to the European Commission’s antitrust investigation of the International Engines Statistical Group.
- The Performing Rights Society/Mechanical Copyright Protection Society on copyright licensing in the context of new technology and cross-border issues.
- Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH & Co. KG (‘SEN’) in relation to the formation of a strategic sales and service partnership with a provider of IT solutions, which included the sale of SEN’s local operations in 27 countries.
- Chunghwa in the European Commission’s TV & Computer Monitor Tubes cartel investigation, as well as in related proceedings in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
- A car parts manufacturer in a cartel investigation by the European Commission.
- The MathWorks in relation to a European Commission investigation into software interoperability and alleged dominance.
- Western Union in various investigations by the European Commission, the Swedish Competition Authority, the Mauritius Competition Commission and the Turkish Competition Authority; and in relation to various acquisitions including two before the Italian competition authority and one before the Spanish competition authority.
- Candover before the French Competition Authority in relation to its acquisition of ACG Holding.
- Crédit Agricole before the European Commission in relation to its acquisition of part of CACEIS.
- ICOMP, a trade association, and Microsoft in relation to various antitrust investigations into Google, including by the European Commission.
- The European Liner Affairs Association in the European Commission’s review (and eventual termination) of the Liner Conference Block Exemption, the adoption of Guidelines and the extension of the Liner Consortia Block Exemption.
- A major Hollywood studio in relation to the proposed merger of Sky Italia and Newscorp as well as in the Commission’s investigation of the Most Favoured Nation provisions in Pay-TV output agreements.
- Another Hollywood major in relation to the Commission’s investigation into Blu-ray.
- LinkedIn in its acquisition by Microsoft. The merger won the GCR Award for European Merger of the Year in 2017.
- Jude Medical in connection with securing worldwide antitrust approval for St. Jude’s $25-billion merger with Abbott Laboratories.
- A leading insurance broker in connection with investigations by the European Commission into the aviation and commercial motor insurance sectors.
- Greenhill acting as Divestiture Trustee in relation to commitments given by the parties in Takeda/Shire.
- Ferrari in connection with a complaint lodged before the European Commission.
- Groupe Canal + in connection with its acquisition of M7 Group, a leading European pay-TV operator.
- Agilent in relation to the negotiation of modifications to commitments given under the EUMR.
- Apax Partners in relation to the divestment of telecoms assets in Portugal.
- Comcast in relation to Sector Inquiries in France and the UK into online advertising.