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‘Members here are consistently instructed in some of the most complex and significant cases, and are viewed as embodying all-round quality from top to bottom.’Chambers and Partners 2014
Nicholas Gibson: EXPERTISE

Telecommunications

Contact: nicholasgibson@matrixlaw.co.uk Practice Manager: jasonhousden@matrixlaw.co.uk

Nicholas’s sectoral telecoms expertise is a natural extension of his experience in competition, EU and commercial law. His regulatory telecoms practice is a particular strength, having been instructed in each of the last five appeals against price controls set by Ofcom under the Communications Act 2003, including successfully defending the Competition Commission against challenges in both the CAT and the Court of Appeal. Nicholas’s telecoms practice also includes acting for both private and State parties in commercial disputes and in the context of Ofcom investigations under Competition Act 1998 and Communications Act 2003.

Recent and notable examples of his experience in this area of practice include those set out below.

Complaint from Thus Plc and Gamma Telecom Limited against BT about alleged margin squeeze in wholesale call pricing (2013) (Case Ref. CW/00988/06/08) Representing BT (as junior counsel to Rhodri Thompson QC) in Ofcom’s investigation into an alleged breach of Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 102 TFEU (abuse of a dominant position), leading to Ofcom concluding that BT’s conduct did not constitute an abuse of its dominant position and that there were therefore no grounds for action. Details of the case are available via Ofcom’s website here.

Everything Everywhere and others v Office of Communications (MCT appeals) (2013) [2013] EWCA Civ 154 and [2012] CAT 11 (Appeal No. 2012/1523) Representing the Competition Commission unled before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in joined appeals by Everything Everywhere and other parties against Ofcom’s 2011 Wholesale Mobile Voice Call Termination Statement, advising in relation to the Commission’s determination of the questions referred to it and defending that determination (as junior) against challenges on judicial review grounds before the Tribunal and on appeal to the Court of Appeal. Details of the case are available via the Tribunal’s website here.

Recall Support Services Ltd v Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2013) [2013] EWHC 3091 (Ch) Defending the Secretary of State against a Francovich damages claim in the Chancery Division, in which the operators of GSM gateways (a device incorporating SIM cards issued by mobile network operators) alleged that a restriction on such devices under UK law constituted a serious breach of EU law, and advising on Article 102 (refusal to supply) issues arising in the context of causation.

TalkTalk and Sky v Office of Communications; BT v Office of Communications (LLU/WLR appeals) (2013) (CAT Case Ns 1192 and 1193/3/3/12) Representing the Commission unled before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in appeals by TalkTalk and Sky and by BT against Ofcom’s 2012 Local Loop Unbundling and Wholesale Line Rental Statement, and subsequently advising in relation to the Commission’s determination of the questions referred to it. Details of the cases are available via the Tribunal’s website here and here.

Verizon and Vodafone v Office of Communications (BCMR/LLCC appeal) (2013) (CAT Case No 1210/3/3/13) Representing BT as intervener in a joint appeal by Verizon and Vodafone against Ofcom’s 2013 Business Connectivity Market Review (“BCMR”) and Leased Lines Charge Control (“LLCC”) Statement, and subsequently appearing for BT in hearings before the Competition Commission in the Commission’s determination of the questions referred to it by the Tribunal. Details of the case are available via the Tribunal’s website here.

Arqiva Limited and others v Everything Everywhere Limited and others (2011) [2011] EWCH 1411 (TCC) (Case No. HT-11-102; Appeal Ns. A1/2011/1566 and 1606) Appearing unled for Hutchison 3G (UK) Limited (“3”) in the Technology and Construction Court in a contractual dispute between certain mobile network operators (“MNOs”) and the group of companies who provided sites for their mobile network equipment, and advising 3 in relation to the MNOs’ subsequent appeals to the Court of Appeal.

TalkTalk v Office of Communications; BT v Office of Communications (WBA appeals) (2011) (CAT Case Ns 1186 and 1187/3/3/11) Representing the Commission unled before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and otherwise advising the Commission in appeals by TalkTalk and by BT against Ofcom’s 2011 Wholesale Broadband Access Statement, including advice in relation to the Commission’s determination of the questions referred to it in BT’s appeal. Details of the case are available via the Tribunal’s website here.

Cable & Wireless UK v Office of Communications (PPC appeal) (2010) (CAT Case No. 1112/3/3/09): Legal adviser to the Competition Commission on a reference from the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the appeal by Cable & Wireless against Ofcom’s 2009 Leased Line Charge Control Statement, liaising with expert advisers on economics and accountancy issues, and leading the preparation of the Commission’s determination of the questions referred to it. Also instructed as junior counsel for the Commission in BT’s subsequent challenge on judicial review grounds; BT withdrew its challenge prior to trial.

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