Richard Eccles

Partner - Competition Law

Richard Eccles

Richard Eccles

Partner - Competition Law

Richard Eccles advises on competition law in all sectors and on public law in regulated industries.  Richard has vast experience of competition law gained mostly in leading City law firms and significant experience of sector regulation especially in electronic communications.  He has over 30 years’ in-depth experience of EU and UK competition law, including anti-trust, merger control and the EU State aid rules.  

From 2002 until August 2020 Richard was a partner in Bird & Bird LLP (in its Competition & EU Law Group) in London.  He also previously led the Brussels office of CMS Cameron McKenna (formerly McKenna & Co).  From September 2020 onwards he advised on competition law as an external consultant.

Richard has particular experience in the electronic communications, broadcasting, sports, life sciences and postal services sectors.  He has conducted cases before the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (and its forerunner entities), sector regulators including Ofcom, and the European Commission.  

Richard is a past Chair of the Law Society's Competition Section and was active on the committee of the Section (and its forerunner the Law Society’s European Group) for many years (until October 2020).

Richard’s recent experience includes the following:

Competition law:

● Representing parties in UK merger control processes seeking and/or obtaining merger control clearance from the CMA, including CMA phase 1 and phase 2 investigations

● Advising parties on UK and EU merger control concerning other merger transactions

● Advising on EU and UK anti-trust law on a wide range of supply, licensing, distribution, and many other commercial agreements, including in the context of the digital environment

● Advising various sports bodies on EU and UK competition law in relation to the tendering and licensing of sports media rights

● Advising on a wide range of issues concerning abuse of dominance

● Regularly monitoring and advising a grouping of professional services firms to ensure competition law compliance in their discussions

● Advising various companies and public bodies on the EU State aid rules, especially in relation to State aid for research and development.

Communications regulation:

● Advising UK and international businesses on a wide range of communications regulatory issues

● Advising the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of a Middle Eastern State in detail on a range of regulatory issues.

Richard is a member of the firm’s technology, media and telecoms group, which is a substantial practice group at the firm. He lives in Cambridge and is particularly well placed to support technology clients based in the Cambridge area.


Richard Eccles is a published author on competition law subjects as follows:  


• He is the Specialist Editor for Competition Law of the 18th edition of the well-known text book Copinger and Skone James on Copyright, published December 2020/January 2021. 

• He is the editor of the chapter on Competition Law in Internet Law and Regulation by Graham Smith, fifth edition, published in early 2020.

Richard has written numerous articles, including the following:

• Numerous briefing notes on Brexit, including the legal process and draft UK/EU agreements (as sole author or co-author), 2016 – 2020

• Surveys of Competition Law Developments in Postal Services (lead author, jointly with colleagues), published annually, 2014 - 2020, in the Journal of European Competition Law and Practice published by Oxford University Press

• The New EC Technology Transfer Agreements Block Exemption Regulation, published in the International Comparative Law Guide to Patents 2015

• Access to Facilities, published in Competition Law Insight, April 2015

• Consolidation and Reconfiguration in the UK Mobile Sector, jointly with Colin Long, published in Telecom Finance, March 2015

• Online Sales and Competition Law Controls, published in the International Journal of Franchising Law, 2015.


Related Articles

  • “Richard is an outstanding competition lawyer.  He has a strategic vision in order to match the objectives of the companies with the European antitrust regulations.”
  • Christophe Savonnet, former Legal Director, Sanofi Pasteur MSD


  • England & Wales


UK and EU competition law, including anti-trust law; merger control - advice, notifications and conduct of investigations; National Security and Investment Act; State aid rules and UK subsidy control law; electronic communications regulation 


    • Solicitor of England and Wales (admitted 1985)
    • Also admitted to the Brussels Bar (Dutch-speaking Order) as an advocaat/avocat (2019)
    • MA (Oxon), Law (Pembroke College, Oxford)   


  • Bird & Bird LLP, London (Partner 2002 – 2020, then Consultant)
  • CMS Cameron McKenna (previously McKenna & Co)(Solicitor, later Partner, in London/Brussels – 1989-2002)
  • Theodore Goddard

Richard says...

“My approach is to advise clients in a practical way and to provide clear, accurate and comprehensive legal advice. I always aim to provide a high level of service in this way and I am responsive to individual clients’ needs as regards the amount of detail and legal analysis.”