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Elaine Whiteford is a partner in Willkie's Litigation and Antitrust & Competition practices in London. She has over 20 years' experience of contentious EU, Competition and Regulatory work, specialising in follow-on damages litigation, challenges to regulatory decisions, cartel investigations and threatened disputes. Elaine also has extensive experience in relation to regulatory investigations conducted by the European Commission and other competition regulators. Her regulatory experience also extends to investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, Ofwat, the Swiss Competition Commission and the Singapore Competition Authority and her experience includes investigating conduct, evaluating evidence and preparing leniency applications.

Elaine has been involved in many of the most significant competition damages cases in recent years including iiyama (LCD cartel), Emerald Supplies v BA (air cargo cartel), Vodafone v Infineon (smart card chips cartel), Enron v EWS (rail sector), Devenish (vitamins cartel), Provimi (vitamins cartel), Cooper Tyre (synthetic rubber cartel), Courage v Crehan (brewery ties), National Grid v Prysmian (power cables cartel), Stellantis v NTN (bearings cartel) and the Trucks litigation. Her experience covers claims in the High Court and Competition Appeal Tribunal, as well as appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She has experience in co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation on behalf of claimants and defendants and in advising on proactive litigation strategies as well as options for avoiding litigation. Chambers UK cites Elaine as a leading practitioner in her area of practice in the UK, Europe and Globally. Chambers UK notes that in relation to competition litigation, Elaine "enjoys a superb reputation among market commentators for her skilled handling of complex cases. She is a good strategic litigator; she knows what to do at the right time and makes good judgement calls." Chambers Europe and Chambers Global have highlighted her "understated and effective way of dealing with things, user-friendly approach and impressive drafting style." Elaine is also ranked by Who's Who Legal in Competition.

A native English speaker, Elaine is also fluent in Dutch.

 

Experience

Prior to joining Willkie, Elaine was a partner at Quinn Emanuel before which she was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and before that, King & Wood Mallesons LLP.

  • Ranked by Who’s Who Legal in Competition, 2019-2021
  • Ranked by Chambers Europe in Competition Law: Litigation (UK), 2017-2023
  • Ranked by Chambers UK in Competition Law: Litigation, 2017-2024 and Competition Law: Private Enforcement, 2024
  • Ranked by Chambers Global in Competition Law: Litigation, 2019-2023
  • Queen Mother Scholarship, awarded by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Blackstone Entrance Exhibition, awarded by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Member, the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Member, Competition Law Association
  • Former Co-Chair of the Private Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law
  • Pleading competition damages claims and defences: recent guidance from the Court of Appeal and the Competition Appeal Tribunal in Competition Law Journal 2023 (co-authored with Mat Hughes from Alix Partners) 
  • Actions for Damages in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany 2016-2017 in Journal of European Competition Law and Policy 2018 pp 55-73 (with Kuipers, Palumbo and Paul).
  • Actions for Damages in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany 2014-2016 in Journal of European Competition Law and Policy 2017 pp 47-65 (with Kuipers, Tuinenga and Paul).
  • “Conspiracy, Contribution, Disclosure and Limitation – Last Year’s Lessons from the English Courts”, in The International Comparative Guide to Competition Litigation 2016.
  • “Tyres, Umbrella Claims and Limitation – Lessons from the English Courts over the last 12 months” in The International Comparative Guide to Competition Litigation 2015.
  • “Half a Revolution? Damages for Breach of Competition law in the EU”, CPI Antitrust Chronicle, February 2015.
  • “Harmonisation of Actions for Cartel Damages - Not the White Paper“ in Bulterman, Hancher, McDonnell and Sevenster, (eds) Views of European Law from the Mountain. Liber Amicorum Piet Jan Slot, Kluwer, June 2009, pp. 223-233.

Elaine has advised on the following selected significant matters*:

  • Acting for Stellantis N.V., formerly FCA N.V., in a claim before the High Court, but heard in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, for damages arising out of the automotive bearings cartel.
  • Acting for Samsung defending claims in the High Court for cartel damages arising from the European Commission’s LCD decision. These proceedings raise ground breaking issues relating to the territorial scope of EU competition law in private damages actions.
  • Defending claims in the High Court for cartel damages arising from the European Commission’s smart card chips decision.
  • Defending claims in the High Court for damages arising from the European Commission’s air cargo decision. Also advising in relation to corresponding litigation in the Netherlands and Germany.
  • Defending claims brought in the Competition Appeal Tribunal for damages arising from the ORR finding that EWS abused its dominant position in the UK market for carriage of coal by rail. The claimants recovered nothing.
  • Acting for the claimant seeking compensation in the Competition Appeal Tribunal for damages arising from an Ofgem decision relating to abuse of dominance in the market for the supply of gas meters.
  • Defending claims in the High Court for cartel damages arising from the cartels in BR and ESBR rubber.
  • Defending claims for cartel damages in the High Court arising from the vitamins cartels. This case is the leading authority on remedies for competition damages in English law.
  • Defending the first action for follow-on competition damages filed in the High Court.
  • Acting for a manufacturer of impulse ice-cream claiming damages in jurisdictions around the EU in relation to anti-competitive behaviour by a competitor in relation to freezer exclusivity arrangements.
  • Defence of only the second abuse of dominance claim to go to trial in England. Expedited trial, which also saw a contested interim injunction hearing and a contested specific disclosure hearing.
  • Negotiating a suite of anti-counterfeit and contraband agreements concluded with the European Union and 26 of its Member States.

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

Credentials

Education


Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course, Law, 1999 The Nottingham Trent University, Post Graduate Diploma, 1998 Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, PhD, 1997 University of Edinburgh, LLB (Hons), 1990

Bar Admissions


England & Wales

Events & Speaking Engagements