Fiona Carlin is the head of the EU Competition & Regulatory Affairs practice in Brussels. She is the former Chief Executive of much of Baker McKenzie’s EMEA Region and the former Chair of the Firm’s Global Competition and Antitrust Law Practice comprising more than 320 lawyers in over 40 countries. She has remained an active practitioner throughout her various leadership roles with a particular focus on regulated industries.
Fiona is also the Chair of the European Advisory Board of Catalyst, a leading non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and business. She was a founding and long-standing member of Baker McKenzie's Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is dedicated to creating an inclusive high performance culture where the talent of our lawyers and business professionals can flourish.
Fiona has been listed in "The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers" every year since 2009. Fiona is recognised as a pre-eminent competition practitioner by Chambers that quotes clients as praising her "legal and pragmatic advice" and describing her as "globally minded".
Fiona advises clients on a wide range of competition law issues, including merger control, the structuring of distribution networks, state aid grants, compliance programs, and the defence of clients involved in competition investigations up to appeal stage before the European Courts in Luxembourg. Her focus is predominantly in the life sciences, consumer goods and industrials segments.
Fiona has a stellar success rate before the European Courts in competition and State aid cases.
Representative Legal Matters
- Advises on many cross-border transactions requiring multiple national merger control and foreign investment filings.
- Has served as key advisor to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) throughout and since the European Commission pharmaceutical sector inquiry in 2008/09.
- Advised on numerous high-profile merger cases involving in-depth investigations by the European Commission and the negotiation of remedies in the supermarket and mining sectors.
- Led the legal and economics team that successfully thwarted the attempted acquisition by parcel courier service giant UPS of its rival TNT. Subsequently led the team that obtained global unconditional clearance of FedEx's successful bid for TNT in 20 jurisdictions.
- Defended the former American Standard Group of companies in the bathroom cartels case in which the EU General Court annulled fines to the tune of EUR 205 million, and overturned a European Commission State aid decision entitling Hungarian energy incumbent MOL to repayments of more than EUR 100 million.
- Successfully advised the Hungarian energy company MOL in defeating a USD17 billion hostile takeover bid by Austrian energy company OMV. After a nine-month battle, OMV withdrew its bid due to the value-destructive remedies required to solve the multiple competition law problems identified by MOL.
- Recognised as a "Pre-eminent Practitioner", Chambers Europe 2022
- Listed lawyer, The International Who's Who of Competition Lawyers since 2009
- Listed lawyer, Global Competition Review's Top 100 Women in Antitrust
- Recipient of the Global Competition Review, 2019 Global D&I Award
- European advisory board chair of Catalyst, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business
- Partner sponsor of a global pro bono project that has mapped the laws protecting victims of domestic violence in more than 80 countries
- Sponsor of an initiative to promote greater socio-economic inclusion in the legal profession in Belgium
- Belgium (1996)
- Northern Ireland (1992)
- INSEAD Business School (Certificate in Corporate Governance) (2022)
- King's College London (Diploma UK and European Copyright Law) (2000)
- College of Europe, Bruges (Diploma Advanced European Studies) (1989)
- Queen's University Belfast (LL.B.) (1988)
Publications & Presentations
Fiona publishes regularly and is known for her thought leadership on key policy matters. She speaks at major conferences, including at this year's ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting in Washington D.C., and has appeared as an expert at a recent OECD meeting on the growing phenomenon of ex post merger control. See Fiona's LinkedIn profile for more details.