Helen Kelly is partner and head of the EC Competition and Regulatory Group in which comprises specialist lawyers with in-depth international and Irish experience in advising on all aspects of EC, competition and regulatory law matters.
Helen specialises in merger control, both at EC and Irish levels. Helen also advises in a range of cartel issues and has advised companies on dawn raid issues, the leniency programme, and attendance at the Competition Authority under witness summons. She is also acting on a number of competition litigation cases in the Irish courts as well as having experience in representing clients before the European Commission.
Helen advises on abuse of dominance issues including both asserting and refuting dominance and abuse.
Helen's expertise also includes acting on state aid issues; she has acted for the Irish Government in respect of state aid issues and for supposed beneficiaries of aid as well as companies complaining about aid.
Helen also advises in the area of sectoral regulation advising on sectors such as postal, telecommunications, transport and energy as well as advising utilities and non-utilities on public procurement issues.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries recently laid the Competition Act 2002 (Section 27) Order 2018 before the Houses of the Oireachtais. This will have the effect of increasing the financial thresholds for M&A requiring a notification to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. This is the first time that a minister has used their powers under Section 27 of the Competition Acts from 2002 to 2017.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation recently published legislation that substantially increases the financial thresholds at and above which notification of a transaction is required to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. From 1 January 2019, only mergers where the acquirer and target each generate €10 million or more and together generate €60 million or more turnover in Ireland will trigger mandatory notification.
The Irish media merger regime has a long history and remains a complex part of Irish regulatory law and politics. Given the recent sharp increase in mergers of Irish and global media businesses – reflecting dramatic levels of decline in 'traditional' media consumption and 'e-substitution' leading to pressure to consolidate – the Irish media merger regime is affecting all corners of the global industry.