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Law firm Leigh Day adds new competition law team and court of protection partner

Claimant law firm Leigh Day has added a competition law team to its practice, broadening its expertise in group claims and has also welcomed a new partner specialising in financial court of protection work.

Posted on 13 May 2022

The competition team will be led by partner Zoë Mernick-Levene, working with senior lawyer (New Zealand qualified) David Mahon.

Zoë joined Leigh Day in February 2022, having recently issued a high-value, opt-out collective action claim in the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) at her former firm. Zoë spent most of her career at Milbank LLP, working for almost a decade acting on commercial claims relating to competition, regulatory, financial/restructuring disputes.

David joined Leigh Day in April 2022 from the Competition and Markets Authority where he worked as a legal advisor and before that he worked at DAC Beachcroft LLP. He has experience in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and High Court on competition and consumer matters including enforcing compliance with CMA orders, interventions in private damages claims, disclosure and confidentiality disputes, judicial review, and substantive challenges to the CMA’s decisions.

Zoë’s team will specialise in bringing opt-out, collective proceedings competition cases on behalf of consumers, investors and other stakeholders against firms which may be abusing competition rules, in order to provide compensation and redress for those who would not otherwise be able to enforce their legal rights. As well as developing new collective proceedings, the team will also assist the Leigh Day legal teams working on current group claims with any competition law aspects.

Collective action competition claims allow a single, large-value claim to be collectively brought against those that break competition rules, even though the individual damages of each class member may be relatively small in value. As well as providing individual compensation and justice, it also acts as a deterrence to future misconduct, as firms know that consumers can together hold them to account for any rule breaking.

Leigh Day is currently representing thousands of people bringing group claims including shop floor workers bringing equal pay claims against the big supermarkets; drivers bringing diesel emissions claims against car manufacturers; gig economy workers bringing workers’ rights claims and investors bringing claims against Link relating to the Woodford scandal.

New partner Amy Chater joined Leigh Day on 25 April 2022. She specialises in court of protection work and her arrival will expand on the of court of protection work currently undertaken in the firm’s human rights department. To begin with Amy will be working for Leigh Day’s personal injury and clinical negligence clients who have lost mental capacity following serious injury. It is hoped that this will then expand into a team of lawyers doing property and financial affairs deputyship work both for Leigh Day’s own clients and also for clients who are referred externally.

Amy brings with her a wealth of experience in financial deputyship management, working with people who need support with their finances. She has previously worked at Freeths LLP and Royds Withy King. She is also an experienced independent mental capacity assessor and regularly speaks at external events on the topic of capacity assessment and supported decision making.

Zoë Mernick-Levene, partner and head of the competition team, said:

“I am delighted to have joined Leigh Day and to be able to launch their new competition law team. The firm already has an impressive range of legal specialities, all with the aim of providing justice to all, and I hope that my team can broaden that aim even further given the large numbers of people that competition law claims can help. Leigh Day has a reputation for taking on large multinationals and my team will continue this through ensuring competition laws are not being abused.”

Amy Chater, partner, said:

“I am so pleased to be joining Leigh Day and to be able to use my expertise to further help their clients who lack mental capacity to manage their own damages and compensation awards. I am particularly passionate about highlighting issues around mental capacity and promoting the client’s independence and involvement in decision making. This is something I will continue to promote in my role at Leigh Day.”

Chris Benson, managing partner at Leigh Day, added:

“Adding a team of competition law specialists to the firm is another way that we can help individuals hold big businesses to account, something we have been doing for over 30 years. I am pleased to have Zoë and David joining the firm, which will further strengthen our formidable expertise in group claim. The addition of Amy’s court of protection expertise will allow us to provide an extra in-house service to our clients who suffer serious injury and need assistance with their financial management.”

Zoe Mernick Levene
Competition law

Zoë Mernick-Levene

Zoë is head of the competition practice

Amy Chater
Court of Protection

Amy Chater

Amy advises on Court of Protection and finance deputyships matters

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