Frances Murphy, Managing Partner of the London office focuses on competition law and antitrust. A noted leading practitioner, Chambers UK describes her as “a very responsive and practical lawyer” and Legal 500 describes her as “an elite performer with formidable powers of analysis.” Frances is admitted to practice in England & Wales only.
Frances is singled out by clients in relation to complex, high value matters.
Frances represents clients in EU and UK competition matters before the Competition and Markets Authority, (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority, the Competition Authority Tribunal, (CAT), the European Commission, the General Court, and the European Court of Justice. She defends competition disputes, cartels, dawn raids, dominance, pricing, discounts, promotions, parallel trade, and refusals to supply.
Frances works across various industries, including aviation and maritime shipping, construction, financial services, retail grocery, media, pharmaceuticals, and satellite communications. Her experience also includes mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, joint ventures, licensing of intellectual property rights, and other strategic alliances.
Frances has acted in a number of the leading cases which have shaped “follow-on” litigation in England. In 2003 she began to act for BASF in the vitamins litigation, a case which gave rise to what remains the leading judgment on jurisdiction in cases involving defendants from multiple jurisdictions (Provimi and Trouw) and the leading judgment on the remedies available to claimants in follow-on claims (Devenish).
More recently Frances is representing Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited in its action against Visa for a claimed violation of competition law for requiring the payment of Multilateral Interchange Fees by merchants for transactions in its stores paid for using Visa branded debit and credit payment card. Frances also acted for Total in the paraffin wax cartel follow-on claims, advised General Motors in relation to claims arising out of the automotive glass cartel, defended Sanofi-Aventis against a High Court claim alleging an abuse of a dominant position, conducted a successful appeal in the CAT for Durkan Holdings against the CMA’s (formerly the OFT) sanctions in the construction cartel, conducted a successful appeal in the CAT against an interim injunction imposed by the CMA on the London Metal Exchange for an alleged abuse of dominance, conducted a successful appeal to the General Court and then to the European Court of Justice for a reduction in the fines imposed on AstraZeneca Plc, for an alleged abuse of dominance, successfully defended Global Crossing in relation to proceedings before the CAT that it was party to a collective boycott in relation to deep sea cables for telecommunications and is representing Sainsbury’s Supermarket in its claims in the High Court against Visa that its rates for the use of its credit and debit cards are excessive and violate competition law and caused Sainsbury’s damage.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Frances led the antitrust and trade regulation practice of another international law firm.
Frances sits on the firm’s Advisory Board.
Acting for Concordia in relation to an ongoing investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into alleged excessive pricing.
Acting for Concordia in relation to a Statement of Objections by the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to an alleged pay-for-delay arrangement.
Acting for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. in connection with a claim for damages against Visa in the interchange fee litigation at the High Court.
Represented Apple Inc. in connection with the investigations by the UK Office of Fair Trading and the European Commission of Apple and six publishers related to the pricing of e-books, and the successful closure of those investigations by way of agreed commitments with the European Commission.
Represented Durkan Holdings Limited, Durkan Limited, and Concentra Limited in an appeal to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal against findings by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) regarding their alleged involvement in the construction cartels in the UK.
Defending Global Crossing in relation to a claim that it was party to a collective boycott of a service provider for the bringing ashore of deep sea cables for telecommunications.
Represented the London Metal Exchange in relation to an investigation and injunction imposed on it by the Office of Fair Trading for an alleged abuse of a dominant position for electronic trading in metals.
Represented AstraZeneca Plc in an appeal to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg of a European Commission Decision concerning ground breaking findings of abuse of dominance in the pharmaceutical sector.
Represented a global car manufacturer in connection with claims arising out of the car glass cartel.
Defended sanofi-aventis S.A. against a claim in the High Court for an alleged abuse of dominance through its refusal to supply pharmacy and homecare services provider Intercare Direct.
Defended Total S.A. in a follow-on claim for damages in the High Court in connection with the so-called candle wax cartel in Europe
Advised a major global bank on the antitrust aspects of lobbying activities in relation to the regulatory reforms proposed by the European Commission’s “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (MiFID II).
Advised the London Metal Exchange Limited on the competition issues relative to its £1.39 billion (US$2.16 billion) acquisition by Hong Kong Exchange & Clearing Ltd.
Advised Goodrich Corporation in its US$18.4 billion merger with United Technologies Corp., marking a major milestone for the company and strengthening its position in the commercial aerospace industry.
Advised Lakeshore Lending Limited, a subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation, Inc., on the acquisition of a substantial part of the Clinton Cards business and assets from its administrators Zolfo Cooper.
Represented W.L. Ross as lead investor in the £1 billion (US$1.55 billion) acquisition of Northern Rock plc from the UK Government.
Advised W.L. Ross & Co. LLC in the €1.123 billion (US$1.6 billion) minority stake investment in Bank of Ireland. Co-investors included Fairfax Financial Holdings, Capital Research, Fidelity Investment, and Kennedy Wilson.
Advised MPS Group, Inc., a professional staffing company, in its US $1.3 billion acquisition by Zurich, Switzerland-based Adecco Group, a provider of human resource solutions.
Defended sanofi-aventis S.A. against a claim in the High Court for an alleged abuse of dominance through its refusal to supply pharmacy and homecare services provider Intecare Direct.
Defended Total S.A. in a follow-on claim for damages in the High Court in connection with the so-called candle wax cartel in Europe.
Queen Mary University of London, 1992, Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law
College of Law, England, 1985, Law Society Finals
Queen Mary University of London, 1984, BA, Joint Honors
England & Wales (Solicitor)
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Competition, Law360 (2017)
Recognized, US News & World Report and Best Lawyers 2017 Practice Group of the Year for Antitrust Law
Ranked, Chambers Global, Chambers Europe and Chambers UK (2009–2017): Listed as a Leading Lawyer
Recommended, The Legal 500 UK (2009–2017): Listed as a Leading Lawyer
Ranked, PLC Competition Super League: Listed as a Leading Lawyer
Ranked, Super Lawyers, London (2013–2015)
Ranked, Euromoney: Guide to the World’s Leading Antitrust Lawyers (2015)
Ranked, Best Lawyers, United Kingdom (2015–2016)
Global Competition Review, Behavioural Matter of the Year, Europe for representing Apple Inc. in the e-books investigation (2013)
Fellow, Centre for International Legal Studies
Member, British Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Member, Competition Law Forum
Member, Competition Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce
Member, Law Society European Solicitors Group
Contributing Editor, Butterworths Competition Law Encyclopedia