Cormac Little


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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 

"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
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 

Cormac is listed in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in Competition Law.

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." 

Cormac is ‘a recognised expert in the field’ ​according to Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 while Chambers Europe, 2015 describe him as "very knowledgeable, experienced and well respected" in Irish competition law.

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Legal 500 Leading Individual 2019Client Choice 2016 Winner

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