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Sharon Malhi

Partner, Antitrust Competition and Trade

Antitrust and competition | Data, AI, privacy and cybersecurity | Fintech | Foreign direct investment and national security | Technology |

Sharon combines first-class analytical and legal skills with strong business acumen

Who’s Who Legal Competition 2023

Profile details

About Sharon Malhi

Sharon is a partner in our global Antitrust, Competition and Trade group, and sits on the firm's Global Tech and Data SteerCo.  Based in London, she has experience of working in Brussels and Milan, and advises clients on all aspects of competition law before EU and UK regulators and courts – including complex antitrust investigations, new digital regulation, market/sector inquiries, global merger control and foreign investment, and litigation.

With strong tech, payments and life sciences sector expertise, Sharon regularly advises clients on the intersection of competition law with data privacy, consumer protection and “FRAND” intellectual property laws, and on fast-evolving digital regulation such as the EU Digital Markets Act.  She is recognised in Who’s Who Legal Competition 2023 as “combin[ing] first-class analytical and legal skills with strong business acumen”.  She is also a “Private Practice Shining Star” winner in Women@Competition’s 2023 UK and Ireland Survey, shortlisted as “Competition Lawyer of the Year – Under 40” by Global Competition Review 2023, and recognised as a “Global Top 50 Future Female Leader” by the Financial Times and HERoes.

Sharon sits on the Advisory Board of the European Competition and Regulatory Circle, and on the Executive Committee of Women@Competition UK.  She is also a former guest lecturer at Kings College London, a Non-Executive Director and Trustee of Rosa – the UK Fund for Women and Girls, and a founding member and co-chair of the Freshfields Women's Network.

Recent work

Sharon's experience includes advising:

  • Carta on its acquisition of global digital equity management fintech Capdesk.
  • Carta on its acquisition of global capital-raising fintech Vauban.
  • Ericsson on its defence and settlement of FRAND standard essential patent litigation in the landmark Unwired Planet v Huawei case before the UK High Court and Court of Appeal.
  • Global Pharma Company on the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s approval of its $4.8 billion acquisition of a global gene therapy platform.
  • Global Tech Company on various acquisitions, including an open banking fintech player before the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
  • Hellman & Friedman on the European Commission’s approval of its $5.3bn acquisition of payments platform Nets.
  • Hellman & Friedman on the European Commission’s approval of its $6bn merger with payments platform Concardis. 
  • London Stock Exchange Group on the European Commission’s Phase II investigation into its £21bn proposed global merger with Deutsche Börse.
  • London Stock Exchange Group on obtaining UK, Portuguese and Spanish approval for its acquisition of a majority stake in global clearing house LCH.Clearnet.
  • Meta on its defence and successful resolution of the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s Chapter II investigation into Facebook’s Marketplace feature with data use commitments.  
  • Meta on its ongoing defence against the European Commission’s Article 102 investigation into Facebook’s Marketplace feature, including Meta’s response to the European Commission’s expansive Statement of Objections.
  • Meta on the newly enacted EU Digital Markets Act, including Meta’s “gatekeeper” designation, the specification of its “core platform services” and its ongoing global compliance preparation.
  • Meta on its appeal before the European General Court and ongoing further appeal before the European Court of Justice in relation to document demands from the European Commission, and Meta’s receipt of rarely granted interim relief from the President of the European General Court.
  • Meta on its ongoing appeal before the European General Court against the European Commission’s designation of certain of its “core platform services” under the EU Digital Markets Act – one of three first-ever challenges to be brought before the Court. 
  • Meta on its response to the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s market study into Online Platforms and Digital Advertising.
  • SumUp on its evaluation of certain payment technology investments.
  • Visa on its acquisition of global payments technology fintech Form3.
  • Visa on its response to the UK Payment Systems Regulator’s ongoing market reviews into cross-border interchange fees and scheme and processing fees under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act.
  • Visa on its defence and successful resolution of the European Commission’s investigation into its international interchange fees with distinct commitments for ‘card not present’ digital transactions.
  • Visa on its defence and dismissal of an application for urgent interim measures – the first application made to the UK Competition and Markets Authority under the UK’s revised competition legislation for interim measures.

Qualifications

Education 

  • University of Bristol, Law (LL.B)
  • BPP Law School, Legal Practice Course (Distinction)

Professional roles 

  • Advisory Board Member of the European Competition and Regulatory Circle
  • Executive Committee Member of W@CompetitionUK
  • Former Non-Executive Director and Trustee of Rosa - the UK Fund for Women and Girls
  • Former Guest Lecturer at Kings College London (LL.M Competition and Patent Law)
  • Founding Member and Former Co-Chair of the Freshfields Women's Network