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
- Sheppard Mullin Brussels co-authored reports on the ex post evaluation of EU State aid rules for the European Commission
- State Aid and Private Enforcement: An Overview of EU and National Case Law2020 Competition Case Law Digest, 04.07.2020
- Competition Law Insight, 03.29.2020
- 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
- "Digital Platforms Face New EU Regulations," February 10, 2021
- "The European Commission Adopts White Paper on Foreign Subsidies – A Trend Towards Protectionism on a Global Level?" August 21, 2020
- "COVID-19 is Not a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” from EU Competition Law," March 24, 2020
- "COVID-19 Outbreak and Adjusted EU State Aid Control," March 23, 2020
- "Loan Syndication and EU Competition Law," December 17, 2018
- Global Legal Chronicle, 04.15.2021
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