Right to Choose Your Lawyer in Competition Investigations: Law Society of Ireland v Competition Authority

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Series Details Volume 2, Number 2, Pages 371-385
Publication Date December 2006
ISSN 1744-1056
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"It must be challenging for competition authorities investigating alleged cartels when they are faced with the same team of lawyers acting for several suspects. The Irish Competition Authority responded to such a challenge by adopting a “Notice” seeking to give to the Authority the right to object to a lawyer acting  for multiple parties where there was a suspected cartel or even a merger notification. The Law Society of Ireland (the solicitors’ body in Ireland) believed the Authority’s “Notice in Respect of Legal Representation of Persons Attending before the Competition Authority” (the “Notice”) breached the fundamental right of citizens to have a lawyer of their own choosing. The Society therefore instituted proceedings in the Irish High Court alleging that the Notice breached the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights
(ECHR). The Court upheld the Society’s challenge and impugned the Authority’s Notice. This article examines the Court’s judgment and its wider implications for the administration of competition law outside Ireland."
Source Link https://doi.org/10.5235/ecj.v2n2.371
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