Joanna Christoforou focuses her practice on competition law and antitrust. Joanna has experience representing clients in EU and UK competition matters before the European Commission, the European Court, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions. She defends clients in relation to investigations, competition disputes, cartels, dawn raids, dominance, pricing, discounts, promotions, parallel trade, and refusals to supply.
Joanna also acts in relation to mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, and joint ventures, and provides advice in the application of competition law to a wide range of commercial agreements and practices. Joanna works across a broad range of industries, including retail, grocery, financial services, commodities, and healthcare.
Joanna was a member of the team which in 2018 was awarded Behavioural Matter of the Year—Europe, Challenges to CMA Search Warrants by Global Competition Review.
Acting for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. in connection with a claim for damages against Visa in the interchange fee litigation at the High Court and the Court of Appeal. In a landmark judgment in July 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld Sainsbury’s claim that the UK MIF was an unlawful restriction of competition under UK and EU law.
Acting for Concordia in connection with challenges to CMA Search Warrants at the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
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 a Fortune 500 company in an investigation into alleged market-sharing and price-fixing.
Advised a Statement of Objections addressee in relation to the European Commission’s investigation into Credit Default Swaps.
Advised one of the world’s largest investment banks in relation to investigations by the European Commission, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the US regulators in relation to LIBOR and Euribor.
Advised one of the world’s largest investments banks in relation to investigations by a number of regulatory authorities (including the European Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority) in relation to Forex.
Advised a global tobacco manufacturer in its successful appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2011 against the OFT’s decision and record fine in respect of alleged anti-competitive retail pricing practices. The infringement decision was annulled by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Advised a leading Private Equity House in obtaining unconditional merger clearance from the European Commission in relation to the combination of two entertainment groups, creating the second largest visitor attraction business in the world.
Advised a leading European dairy cooperative, in relation to its acquisition of a UK dairy cooperative. The merger was cleared by the European Commission subject to a divestment.
Seconded to the NHS Cooperation and Competition Panel (now, part of Monitor), advising on the introduction of a competition law regime to the UK National Health Service.
Advised on merger clearances in relation to the creation of the largest global aluminium producer, and subsequently advised on multi-jurisdictional filings regarding its acquisition of an interest in a producer active on other commodities markets.
Advised a global US Headquartered Car Rental Company in relation to the acquisition of an EMEA car rental company, involving merger clearances in a number of jurisdictions including the UK.
Leading a Morgan Lewis team providing pro bono support to US counsel assisting an individual on death row for Amicus, a not for profit organization helping provide representation to individuals facing the death penalty in the US.
Leading a Morgan Lewis team providing pro bono assistance on the Missouri Project for Amicus, a large research project focused on the application of the death penalty.
Co-led a team assisting Reprieve, a human rights not for profit organization, in relation to a pro bono study on the appeals system in a jurisdiction.
Was a stagiaire at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition.
Cambridge University, Downing College, 1994, LLM
Cambridge Judge Business School, 1993, Postgraduate Diploma, Management Studies
Cambridge University, Downing College, 1992, BA and MA (Cantab), Law
England and Wales (Solicitor)
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Corporate and Commercial: EU and Competition, The Legal 500 UK (2016–2020)
Recommended, Dispute Resolution: Competition Litigation, The Legal 500 UK (2020)
Member, Behavioural Matter of the Year—Europe, Challenges to CMA Search Warrants, Global Competition Review (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Competition, Law360 (2017, 2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Antitrust Law, US News & World Report/Best Lawyers (2017)
The Lawyer Competition/Regulatory Team of the Year award (2012) and the Legal Business Competition Team of the Year award (2012) team member for advising a global tobacco manufacturer in its successful appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2011
Awarded a stage to the Directorate General for Competition by the Law Society’s European Group (now the Law Society’s Competition Section) (2000)