Nicola Chesaites is a partner in Willkie’s Litigation and Antitrust & Competition practices in London. Nicola has extensive experience of competition damages litigation before UK courts, having represented claimants and defendants before the English High Court and the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, including applications for collective proceedings orders under the UK’s new competition class-action regime. Nicola also has significant experience in challenging and defending EU institutions in EU law matters, having represented clients in EU banking, trade, sanctions, customs, pharmaceutical, transport and competition law disputes. She has appeared before the EU General Court and Court of Justice in Luxembourg in over 25 cases, and represented the EU in many disputes. Nicola’s experience acting for both claimants and defendants, as well as her extensive experience of complex EU litigation provides her with an extremely valuable perspective for claimants and defendants involved in multi-jurisdictional claims, especially concerning matters of competition and EU law, before national courts and the EU courts in Luxembourg.

She was recognised by Who’s Who Legal (2020) as a Thought Leader and has been ranked as one the world’s leading competition plaintiff lawyers for five years in a row (2017-2021). Nicola was also recognised in Chambers UK (2022) as ‘Up and Coming’ in the category of Competition Law, and as “experienced in handling significant competition damages litigation”. The Legal 500 UK (2019) described Nicola as a “key practitioner” in competition litigation, having “played a leading role in a number of significant matters”.

In 2017, Nicola was included in The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’, a high profile and prestigious ranking list of lawyers in England.

Nicola was formerly Référendaire at the General Court of the EU, and before that was Senior Associate at a US law firm in Brussels, following pupillage at one of the leading commercial chambers in London.

Nicola is fluent in French.


  • General Court of the European Union, Référendaire, 2013-2015
  • Covington & Burling LLP, Senior Associate, 2009-2013
  • 20 Essex Chambers, London, Pupil Barrister, 2007-2008
  • Ranked by Who’s Who Legal 2020 as a Thought Leader in competition law.
  • LegalWeek, British Legal Awards, Litigation and Disputes Resolution Team of the Year 2019 in recognition of the Merricks v Mastercard Court of Appeal victory.
  • LegalWeek, Commercial Litigation & Arbitration Awards, Competition Team of the Year 2019.
  • Recognised by Who’s Who Legal in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 for Competition Plaintiff.
  • Recognised by Legal 500 UK 2018 & 2019 as a Recommended Individual for Competition Litigation.
  • Named in The Lawyer’s 2017 “The Hot 100” list.
  • Phoenicia Scholarship (Bar European Group, annual conference) 2007
  • J P Warner Scholarship (Internship, United Kingdom, Advocate General, European Court of Justice), Lincoln’s Inn, 2006
  • Lord Denning Scholarship (Bar Vocational Course), Lincoln’s Inn, 2005
  • United Kingdom Scholarship (LL.M, College of Europe, Bruges), 2003
  • Member, Bar European Group
  • Member, Lincoln’s Inn

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • November 2021, Panel Speaker, ‘Collective Proceedings Certification’, W@CompetitionUK, London
  • September 2021, ‘EU Collective Redress at the Crossroad’, 7th Petar Šarčević Conference, Consumer Protection in Transition: Digital Transformation and Better Enforcement, Opatija, Croatia
  • November 2019, Panel Speaker, 'The Rise Of Group Actions (Including Competition Litigation)', Banking Litigation & Regulation Forum 2019, London
  • June 2019, ‘Group actions and litigation funding', Panel Speaker, Banking Litigation & Regulation Forum 2019, London
  • November 2017, IFR FIG Capital Conference, Panel Speaker, ‘Where Exactly are we on Bank Resolution?’
  • October 2017, ‘Private enforcement of data protection rights in the UK: Lessons and influences from competition law enforcement’ 5th Petar Šarčević Conference, Information and Data: The Road Ahead, Opatija, Croatia
  • June 2015, ‘Private enforcement of competition law’, Guest lecturer, UNIMORE, Competition law programme, Modena, Italy
  • April 2015, ‘Tax incentives as a form of State aid’, 4th Petar Šarčević International Scientific Conference, EU Competition and State Aid Rules: Interaction Between Public and Private Enforcement, Rovinj, Croatia
  • December 2013, ‘Working with Courts and Judges’, International Competition Network, Advocacy Workshop, participated as Non-Governmental Advisor to the Polish National Competition Authority, Rome, Italy

Nicola has advised on the following selected significant matters*:

  • Advising and representing a group of bondholders on the expropriation of their AT1 and T2 bonds as a result of the forced resolution of Banco Popular Español and sale to Santander, including representing Algebris (UK) and Anchorage Capital Group in actions before the General Court of the EU seeking annulment of the resolution of Banco Popular by the EU’s Single Resolution Board and the European Commission.
  • Representing Walter Merricks, as class representative in a collective competition damages claim against MasterCard on behalf of a class of 46 million UK consumers. The claim is one of the first collective actions ever brought under the new regime for collective competition damages proceedings, and is the largest claim ever filed in the UK.
  • Representing Daimler as defendant in actions brought against it in follow-on claims relating to a European competition law infringement concerning trucks.
  • Advising and representing a number of leading car manufacturer in respect of claims arising from the various global auto-part cartels.
  • Advising claimants in respect of claims arising from the global roll-on, roll-off ocean transport cartels.
  • Advising clients on potential claims in respect of the manipulation of FX benchmarks.
  • Successfully represented claimants seeking damages arising from the polyurethane foam cartel.
  • Successfully defended a multinational client and obtained a mandatory injunction against the claimant in the High Court in a substantial damages claim involving competition allegations.
  • Representing a holder of a large investment portfolio in a dispute against several banks in respect of losses suffered on hedging facilities, due to the manipulation of LIBOR benchmarks.
  • Successfully advised and represented a multinational company in cooperating with the European Commission’s in relation to its e-commerce sector inquiry.
  • Represented several Samsung defendants in competition damages claims before the High Court in London in respect of the liquid crystal displays (LCD) cartel.
  • Successfully defended a Russian national subject to EU trade sanctions against Belarus in an application for annulment of Council measures imposed against him for alleged support of the political regime in Belarus.
  • Usha Martin v Council of the European Union, C-552/10 P: Successfully defended the Council of the European Union in an appeal against the ruling of the General Court in an action for annulment of a Council Regulation imposing anti-dumping duties.
  • JBF RAK v Council of the European Union, T-555/10: Successfully defended the Council of the European Union in an action for annulment of a Council Regulation imposing countervailing duties.
  • Guillermo Cañas v European Commission, C-269/12 P: Successfully represented the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) as intervener in an appeal before the Court of Justice in a case involving the EC’s refusal to investigate alleged anti-competitive practices by WADA, ATP Tour Inc. and the International Council of Arbitration for Sport.

*Nicola advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.



College of Europe, Bruges, LLM, 2004 University of Westminster, LLB, 2000 Université Paris X - Nanterre, Licence en Droit, 1999

Bar Admissions

England & Wales Belgium

Events & Speaking Engagements