Cormac Little

Partner

+353 1 639 5114
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Cormac is a Partner and head of William Fry’s Competition & Regulation Department, specialising in EU and Irish competition, merger control and public procurement rules. He advises on the compatibility of business arrangements with EU and Irish competition laws and has represented clients in antitrust investigations by both the European Commission and the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission or CCPC (formerly the Competition Authority) and in proceedings before the European and Irish courts. Cormac has also secured EU and/or Irish regulatory approval regarding many high-profile corporate transactions. He also advises both public bodies and disappointed bidders regarding challenges to contract decisions under EU/Irish public procurement rules. Cormac also has a broader regulatory focus. He advises clients on complying with anti-money laundering rules and on 'white-collar' crime issues. 

Recent significant work include advising:

  • DCC plc on the sale of Fannin Compounding to Baxter Healthcare.  This transaction was cleared by the CCPC using the 'failing firm' defence.
  • Uniphar, a major Irish pharmaceutical wholesaler, on the acquisition of its rival, Cahill May Roberts. This '3 to 2' merger was unconditionally cleared by the CCPC following a Phase II investigation 
  • Aughinish Alumina in its ongoing challenge to a European Commission State and decision. Cormac pleaded Aughinish's case before the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the EU 

Interviewees describe Cormac Little as a "savvy and sophisticated" competition lawyer. "He doesn't overcomplicate things unnecessarily, but rather has a practical approach," says one client, while another source reports: "He does not panic and has good judgement." One client admires Cormac's pragmatic approach saying that: "Some competition lawyers tell you everything is a breach, whereas he is very, very practical. I’d consider him to be among half a handful of the best competition lawyers in the very small group.” Chamber Europe 2020

According to Legal 500 2020, Cormac has been described as "an outstanding competition lawyer who gives excellent advice and is able to effectively communicate in a way that overcomes the complexities of the law." Another client notes that Cormac is an "excellent lawyer who has a calm approach and provides efficient and well-reasoned responses."

Cormac is listed in Legal 500 2020 under 'Hall of Fame' for work in EU &Competition Law.

"He is very quick to understand what the problem is, find insight and give practical advice on how to move forward." Chambers Europe 2019
 
"Calm, knowledgable" team head Cormac Little advised The Irish Times on its acquisition of the Irish Examiner group. Legal 500 EMEA 2019
 
“Technically excellent and commercially astute advice, which allows us to provide focussed advice to internal management up to board level.”IFLR 1000 2018
 
Cormac is listed in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in Competition Law.
 

Department head Cormac Little is renowned in the field of competition law and has a "vast wealth of knowledge in relation to both domestic and EU legislation." One source notes: "He is the epitome of understated excellence - calm, knowledgeable, discreet and quietly strategic in his overall focus." Clients praise his "detailed knowledge of Irish competition law and understanding of the related nuances of engaging with the CCPC." Chambers Europe 2018

According to Chambers Europe 2017, respected practitioner Cormac Little offers a "good balance of experience and practical advice" on a variety of EU and competition matters, including merger control and public procurement. Clients describe him as "a very likeable and calm-inducing lawyer." In Legal 500 EMEA 2017 under EU Competition, Cormac is described as  ‘very knowledgeable and has a good relationship with the regulatory authorities’ and as ‘ultra-reliable’ in the Telecoms sector. 

Cormac was awarded 'Irish Competition & Antitrust Lawyer of the Year' by the Client Choice Awards 2016.  

In Chambers Europe 2016 it's stated that Cormac "really engages with clients". Interviewees describe him as "lightning quick, and able to comprehend complex issues right away, showing that he is committed to our situation." 

 

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Client Choice 2016 Winner Legal 500 Hall of FameLegal 500 Leading Individual 2019

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