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Alec Burnside Partner at Dechert LLP


Alec Burnside is a Partner in the law firm Dechert LLP, resident in Brussels. He practices in the field of EU competition law, working equally on cartels, dominance, mergers and state aid. Alongside his client practice he has written and commented extensively on developments in the law, as an advocate for reform in both substantive law and in procedures. Having worked in Brussels continuously since 1989 he has worked on cases before the European Commission under the leadership of six successive Competition Commissioners.

Alec has frequently worked on deals in sectors characterised by heavy regulation and so focused on relevant sectoral rules and their impact on competitive dynamics. This has included cases in the energy, financial services, military, pharmaceutical, technology and transport sectors. Recently he has been much involved in matters concerning data protection and the Digital Single Market and has been prominent in the debate around the nexus between antitrust, Big Data and Privacy.

Among his recent prominent matters, he has advised a number of media companies as well as the FairSearch coalition in their roles as complainants and third party advocates in the European Commission’s investigations of Googe’s abuse of dominance in search on desktops and mobile devices. He was adviser to Aer Lingus during the decade-long defence of repeated hostile take-over bids by Ryanair, culminating in the coerced sale by Ryanair of its minority holding in Aer Lingus and an agreed merger with AIG.

The Chambers Global directory places Alec “among the best lawyers in Brussels” and he is noted by clients as “instrumental in reaching [their] goals," because of his “unique blend of creativity and persistence.” Chambers Europe recognizes his “exceptional creativity, leadership style and wider understanding of the political issues.”

Alec has been widely published and is frequently called on for comment in the media, in Brussels and internationally. He studied at Downing College, Cambridge; College of Law, London; and the Institut d'Etudes Européennes, Brussels. He is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and a foreign member of the Brussels Bar.

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