Frances Murphy focuses on competition law and antitrust matters. Frances currently serves as Managing Partner of the firm’s London office. She is a noted leading practitioner, with Chambers UK describing her as “a highly responsive, results driven, practical lawyer” who is a “consummate team player.” The Legal 500 describes her as “an elite performer with formidable powers of analysis.” Frances is singled out by clients in relation to complex, high value, bet the company matters.
Frances represents clients in complex, high value global cartel investigations, alleged abuse of dominance matters and civil proceedings for damages for breach of competition law/antitrust laws. She has experience defending investigations by the competition authorities, in particular by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority, and the European Commission and in leading actions in the Competition Authority Tribunal, the English Courts, and the European Courts.
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). Frances has also acted in the leading case challenging the use by the CMA of interim injunctions in competition investigations (London Metal Exchange v. CMA) and in the leading case challenging the use by the CMA of search warrants in on-going investigations (Concordia v. CMA) in all of which the client prevailed. This last case was awarded Behavioural Matter of the Year—Europe by Global Competition Review (2018).
Frances is representing a number of claimants against Visa and MasterCard for an alleged violation of competition law for setting, together with their member banks, the level of the Multilateral Interchange Fees merchants must pay for purchases made using a Visa or MasterCard branded debit or credit card. In addition to McDonald’s and the Rail Delivery Group, comprising 21 train operators, Frances is representing Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited in these claims. The latter case is currently pending judgment by the Court of Appeal.
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 and on the firm’s International Leadership Team.
Antitrust & Competition Lawyer of the Year, Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards EMEA (2022)
Highly Commended, Competition Team of the Year, The Lawyer Awards (2021, 2022)
Recognized, Best Law Firms for Merger Control, United Kingdom (Valuable Practice), Leaders League and Décideurs (2021)
Hall of Fame, Corporate and Commercial: EU and Competition, The Legal 500 UK (2021–2023)
Leading Individual, Dispute Resolution: Competition Litigation, The Legal 500 UK (2023)
Recognized, Competition Law, London, The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom (2020, 2021)
Recommended, Dispute Resolution: Competition Litigation, The Legal 500 UK (2020–2022)
Recommended, Industry Focus: Life Sciences and Healthcare, The Legal 500 UK (2021–2023)
Recommended, Corporate and Commercial: EU and Competition, London, The Legal 500 UK (2019, 2020)
Recommended, TMT (Technology, Media and Telecoms): Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, London, The Legal 500 UK (2019, 2020)
Ranked, Competition Law, Chambers UK (2015–2022)
Ranked, Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant, Chambers UK (2020–2022)
Ranked, Competition Law: Litigation, Chambers UK (2019)
Ranked, Competition Law, UK, Chambers Global (2021)
Ranked, Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant, UK, Chambers Global (2020–2022)
Ranked, Competition Law, UK, Chambers Europe (2009–2021)
Ranked, Competition Law: Private Enforcement: Claimant, UK, Chambers Europe (2020, 2021)
Ranked, Competition Law: Litigation, UK, Chambers Europe (2019)
Recognized, London: Corporate and commercial, EU and competition, The Legal 500 Hall of Fame (2018)
Leader, Behavioural Matter of the Year—Europe, Challenges to CMA Search Warrants, Global Competition Review (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Competition, Law360 (2017–2021)
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 (2009–2019): Listed as a Leading Lawyer
Recommended, The Legal 500 UK (2009–2019): 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