Sophie Lawrance promoted partner


Bristows’ competition team expands with Sophie Lawrance’s promotion to partner
Sophie joined in 2002 and has recently worked with Google, Sony and Samsung
London, UK, 26/04/2016 – London-based law firm Bristows LLP announced the promotion to partner of senior associate Dr Sophie Lawrance, effective on 1st May 2016. Sophie joined the firm in 2002, and became a member of the competition practice, headed by Pat Treacy, in 2004. She has since worked with clients such as Samsung, Google, Les Laboratoires Servier, and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Always noted for its contentious practice, the competition team at Bristows has seen a significant increase in instructions as the private enforcement of competition law has grown in importance. Most recently, the team represented Google in abuse of dominance proceedings brought by online maps provider Streetmap. Google’s successful defence of the claim was closely followed by international, national and legal press.
Sophie’s competition law expertise is broad, covering both contentious and non-contentious matters, often at the intersection of IP law and competition law. She has been involved in cases involving complex issues, such as FRAND disputes, the treatment of patent settlement agreements, and the competition aspects of licensing disputes,(particularly in the context of dominance). Recent cases on which Dr Lawrance has worked include Unwired Planet v Samsung (and others), one of the largest cases currently before the UK Patents Court, involving extensive competition and FRAND issues, and Foundem v Google litigation, one of the top 20 commercial cases of 2015. Sophie also has extensive experience of competition authority investigations (including dawn raids) and advises on both behavioural and merger-related cases initiated by the UK and EU competition authorities, particularly in the pharmaceutical and TMT sectors.
Sophie’s university background is in French and German. Her fluency in these languages is useful in liaising with European lawyers and clients, as well as with the EU institutions. Amongst many other articles and speaking engagements, Sophie, a member of the antitrust section of the American Bar Association and the competition section of the Law Society, has co-authored a chapter of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, published in 2011 by OUP, and has presented sessions for an LSE graduate course on the competition law treatment of IP. She is also a founder member of the Bristows’ CLIP Board blog, which focuses on the interface between competition and IP law, blogging regularly on topical issues in this fast-evolving area.
Pat Treacy, Head of Competition at Bristows, welcomed the promotion: “Sophie has been a key member of the competition team and has proven herself an essential adviser to clients in all of the firm’s practice areas, thanks to her understanding of business needs, especially in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. She always provides a clear view of when competition issues may arise and how best to deal with them.”
Mark Watts, Managing Partner of the firm, added that the move “is a further step to expand our busy competition practice, which builds upon our position as go-to firm for international clients with European interests”.
Sophie joins a total of 37 Bristows partners, all located in the Blackfriars office, 12 of whom are women. The promotion is part of a consistent period of growth for Bristows’ competition law practice, and follows the recent the promotion of Helen Hopson to senior associate and the hiring of associates Noel Watson-Doig and Aimee Brookes.

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