Ciara Barbu-O'Connor is an associate in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group in the firm's Brussels office.

Areas of Practice 

Ciara is a member of the firm’s EU Competition & Regulatory practice and advises on all aspects of European, UK and Belgian competition law, including mergers, cartels, abuse of dominance as well as State aid across all sectors and industries.

Her past experience includes work in the antitrust groups of other international law firms in Brussels and in the Directorate-General for competition of the European Commission where she worked on the transposition of the EU Directive for antitrust damages.

Ciara holds degrees from three European universities including an LLB from the University of Exeter (UK), two Master of Laws from Université Catholique de Louvain (BE) and Leiden University (NL), as well as a diploma in transnational law from Université de Genève (CH). She is fluent in French in addition to her native English.



Ciara’s recent work includes:

  • Advised Air France-KLM in securing the European Commission’s approval for up to €4 billion in French State aid to recapitalise Air France to help it overcome the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and plan for the future.
  • Advised a UK company on the CMA’s cartel investigation into musical instruments alleging vertical online price restrictions between manufacturers and retailers
  • Advised a Japanese electronics company on an internal audit and strategy on leniency
  • Advised Czech energy company on merger filings in EU and other competition authorities
  • Advised German telecommunications company on Belgian company law
  • Advised German automotive corporation on Belgian telecommunications regulation and law



  • EU State Aid Control During COVID-19, Competition Law International, Vol 16, No 1, October 2020, pp 21-30.
  • Ciara writes quarterly comments on State aid case law and the Commission’s decisional practice in the journal Concurrences since 2017 (together with EU officials).

Antitrust Law Blog Posts

Media Mentions

Digital Media


Master of Laws, Université Catholique of Louvain, 2018-2019

LL.M., Leiden University, 2016, upper second class honours

LL.B., University of Exeter, 2015, upper second class honours


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