Biography

Robert Bell is a competition and regulatory consultant in the firm’s Corporate department with over 30 years’ experience advising clients on complex competition and regulatory matters in both London and Brussels.

He has been involved in some of the leading cases before the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the European Commission and the U.K. Courts.

He advises clients on a wide range of competition law issues including cartels; competition investigations before competition regulators like the CMA, Office of Communications (OFCOM), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the EU Commission; and competition counselling and compliance. He has also advised clients on competition follow-on damages and collective proceedings in the English courts.

He advises clients on U.K., EU and international merger control and makes necessary filings to assist clients in fulfilling their strategic acquisition strategies. To this end he also counsels clients on the application of the National Security and Investment Act 2021 and other FDI regimes to their deals.

He has extensive experience of advising private-sector suppliers on the application of public procurement law to safeguard their rights in the tender process.

Robert has a sector focus in advising international technology companies and others on the application of competition law to e-commerce and digital platforms. He also has in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing and pharma sectors.

He also advises on a range of other regulatory issues including international trade and customs, economic sanctions, and subsidy regulation. With the growth of cryptocurrency and crypto assets, Robert has advised companies on financial regulation and FCA registration and authorisation applications.

Robert is recognised as one of London’s leading lawyers by Chambers and Legal 500.

Quotations from Legal 500 and Chambers:

Legal 500 2018/19 states: "Robert Bell is recommended as being very responsive and providing practical solutions"

Chambers 2015/16 comments: "Robert Bell is valued by interviewees for the strength of his advice. According to one commentator, ‘he has such deep expertise in the area, and one can trust his advice completely.’ Bell's experience includes handling complex merger transactions arising in the technology industry."

*Robert Bell serves Armstrong Teasdale Ltd. as a non-exclusive consultant and independent contractor. He is not an employee or partner of the firm, and may serve in a similar role to other third parties, including law firms.

Background

Prior to joining Armstrong Teasdale, Robert served as partner and head of competition, regulatory and trade practice departments at a number of firms in London and Brussels.

Education

  • University College London, University of London  (LL.M., 1989)
    • Competition and Corporate Law
  • Inns of Court School of Law  (1982)
    • Barrister, Law
    • Inner Temple Students Association (President)
  • University of Nottingham  (B.A., 1981)
    • Law, History

Admissions

  • England and Wales, Solicitor, 1989
  • Republic of Ireland, 2016
  • England and Wales, 1982

Professional Activities

  • Law Society England & Wales (Member)
  • City of London Law Society (Member, former Chair, Competition Law Committee)
  • Worshipful Company of Solicitors of the City of London (Master)
  • City of London Law Society (President)

Charitable and Civic Involvement

  • Governor Peppard Church of England Primary School
  • Green Gym -environmental charity

Accolades

  • JD Supra, Top Author, Antitrust & Trade Regulation (2018-2019)
  • The Legal 500 U.K., Recommended Lawyer, England & Wales (2018-19)
  • Chambers U.K., England and Wales, Europe (2015-16)

Languages

  • French
  • German

Experience

Custodian Wallet Provider

Advising a Singaporean client on the application of the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as amended (the Regulations) to their proposed business and advising and drafting an application for registration under the Regulations to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Cryptocurrency Exchange

Advising a cryptocurrency exchange on the establishment of their business in the U.K. and the application of the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as amended (the Regulations) and the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) and drafting an application for registration under the Regulations to the FCA.

Nonfungible Tokens

Advising an art dealer on the possible application of the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as amended and the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) to the sale of NFTs of artwork in the U.K.

Merger Clearance for Car Rental Firm

Acting for a major car rental firm in obtaining unconditional merger clearance from the Competition & Markets Authority in respect of the acquisition of a specialist automotive software company.

Advising on Application of National Security & Investment Act 2021 to Acquisitions

Advising on the application of the National Security & Investment Act 2021 to numerous acquisitions in key sectors of the U.K. economy covered by the mandatory notification regime.

Advising U.S. Construction Equipment Manufacturer on Sale, EU Clearance

Advising a major U.S. construction equipment manufacturer in relation to the disposal of its port handling equipment business and obtaining clearance before the EU Commission.

Advising on EU Competition Law for Direct Marketing Firm

Advising a major direct marketing company on the competition law aspects of its EU e-commerce strategy and distribution policies.

Competition Law Issues Related to Acquisition

Advising a major industrial conglomerate in relation to the competition law issues in relation to its acquisition of technology and its licensing strategy.

Competition Law Compliance for Pharma Company

Acting for a major pharmaceutical company in relation to competition law compliance advice on its pricing, discounts and rebates policies.

Advising Manufacturer on Exclusionary Pricing, Discriminatory Discounting Allegations

Advising a major industrial tools and equipment manufacturer in relation to allegations of abuse of dominance through exclusionary pricing and discriminatory discounting.

Dispute Over Awarding of €30 Million Contract

Representing a leading marine services company in relation to a public procurement dispute with a major port operator over the award of a €30 million maintenance dredging contract.

Advising on Brexit, Tariff, Customs Implications

Advising on the implications of Brexit and tariff and customs treatment of the import and processing of garments from the Far East into the U.K. and the EU.

Registration Application for Cryptocurrency Exchange

Acting for a cryptocurrency exchange in applying for registration under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as amended.

Acting for Purchasers of Regulated Business

Acting for purchasers of FCA-regulated businesses and drafting and submitting a change in control applications under S178 of FSMA 2000.

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