A partner in the Competition team at Bristows, Stephen spends time in both our London and Brussels offices. He has extensive experience advising across a range of matters. He has a broad practice focusing on EU and UK competition law, including anti-competitive agreements, merger control, cartels and anti-trust investigations, abuse of dominance and competition litigation.
Stephen provides clients with pragmatic, commercial advice and his experience spans diverse sectors including life sciences, financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications and technology. Stephen has also spent time inside a regulator, having worked at OFCOM, the UK’s communication regulator, earlier in his career.
Stephen’s competition litigation matters include advising clients in respect of follow-on and standalone claims for competition law infringements of both UK and EU law and advising clients on appeals against regulatory decisions. One of Stephen’s recent matters was the first ever challenge to the competition authority’s jurisdiction under the Enterprise Act to reach the Supreme Court in the UK. In this case Stephen acted for the Société Co-opérative de Production (SCOP), the French workers’ co-operative that operated Eurotunnel’s MyFerryLink cross-Channel service.
Stephen is fluent in French and is a former Chair of the Law Society’s Competition Section, where he remains a member of the Committee.
MA Modern and Medieval languages, University of Cambridge
Admitted in Republic of Ireland (non-practising)
- Competition and EU - Chambers and Partners UK (2019/2018/2017)
- EU and Competition- Legal 500 (2019/2018/2017/2016)
- Competition litigation - Legal 500 (2019/2018/2016)
- Competition Law - Chambers and Partners Europe (2019)
- Recommended in Expert Guides for Competition and Antitrust (2018)
- Who’s Who Legal Competition Future Leaders (2018/2017)
- Competition Team of the Year - The Lawyer Awards (2017)
- The Lawyer Hot 100 (2016)
Stephen Smith is "very down to earth, unflappable, calm, measured and easy to get on with." He advises on merger filings, competition law investigations and distribution matters. - Chambers and Partners 2019
Stephen Smith acts for clients from the TMT and retail industries on both transactional and contentious competition law issues. According to clients, he is "very down-to-earth, easy to understand, very pragmatic and very easy to build a relationship with." He recently assisted the members of the British Brands Group with competition compliance issues. - Chambers and Partners 2018
"Stephen Smith (who joined from RPC, is providing strategic advice to the British Brands Group in relation to the operation of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. Other recent work includes advising Denon and Marantz in respect of the European Commission’s investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in the EU." - Legal 500 2017
"Stephen Smith has a broad competition practice. One source notes he is "enthusiastic about his clients and one of the most commercial lawyers I have worked with: practical, efficient, always willing to take a view and come to a workable solution." - Chambers and Partners 2017
"He is a real find in terms of combining technical expertise, commercial awareness and sector understanding" - Chambers and Partners 2016
"Stephen Smith... wins praise for his ‘commercial common sense’" - Legal 500 2015
"Measured and very practical" - Legal 500 2015