The Competition Law Association (CLA) exists to promote the study and discussion of the law and commercial practices affecting competition, both nationally and internationally, particularly restrictive practices and monopolies, and generally to promote freedom of competition and to combat unfair competition. It is the British branch of the Ligue Internationale du Droit de la Concurrence (LIDC), to which are affiliated corresponding sister organisations in many European countries and also from the USA, Canada, Latin America and Japan. The LlDC is acknowledged by international bodies as speaking authoritatively on competition and intellectual property issues, and the views of the CLA are regularly sought by, for example, the European Commission and the UK Government and national competition authorities.
Membership is open to all those interested in its objectives, whether in industry, private practice or academic life. Students, trainee solicitors and pupil barristers may become associate members. Associate members are entitled to almost all the rights of members, save for the right to vote or to be on the Committee. Also, unlike full members, associate members are not deemed to be members of the LIDC. Present membership is composed principally of barristers, solicitors, academics and patent and trade mark agents. Membership of the Association is also open to applicants from overseas, especially from Commonwealth countries where no local LlDC branch exists.
The LlDC holds an annual international congress at which various topics of current interest are discussed. These events are of a size to allow effective participation by all who attend, whilst still attracting speakers of the highest calibre. Conferences have been held in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague, Venice, New York, Montreux, Lisbon, Berlin, Copenhagen and Cambridge.
The Competition Law Association runs a series of luncheon and evening meetings, principally in London, at which individuals distinguished in the field of competition law and intellectual property law are invited to speak. Topics covered recently include media plurality and mergers, merger control and Article 102, the ECJ and European Copyright, the work of the Patents County Court, a series on IP and competition law interface, a roundtable on private actions, the practical and legal implications of the Cardiff Bus case, the European patent litigation system, Euro-defences to IP infringements and anti-trust issues in on-line retailing. Members are encouraged to put forward suggestions for further subjects for discussion, so that meetings may enable a valuable exchange of ideas and constitute a forum for debate on topical issues of interest.
Members are also invited to join the Association's Working Parties on Competition Law and Intellectual Property Law chaired by Mark Clough QC and Guy Tritton (of Hogarth Chambers) respectively, which provide a forum for members to contribute to our representations to Government and competition authorities in relation to legislative initiatives.
Once a year, the Association hosts the prestigious Burrell Lecture, followed by a dinner in one of the Inns of Court. Previous Burrell lecturers include Sir Christopher Bellamy, Mario Monti, Lord Hoffmann, Neelie Kroes, Sir Robin Jacob and William Kovacic. Judge Nicholas Forwood QC delivered the Burrell Lecture in 2010 and Eleanor Sharpston QC, Advocate General, Court of Justice of the European Union, was our guest speaker in 2012.
The annual membership subscription is £120 per calendar year, with a concessionary rate of £95 for full-time academics and public sector/regulator employees (other than secondees from private practice). Those joining for the first time between 1 October and 31 December in any year are entitled to an extended membership covering up to the end of the following December. The annual membership for associate members (students, trainee solicitors and pupil barristers only) is £20 and the subscription year for associate members runs 1 October to 30 September.
As a member of the CLA you will be entitled to attend all our events each year (with the exception of the Burrell Lecture) for free. As well as receiving regular updates regarding our events, you will also receive any other Competition and IP-related updates (including various discount offers and details of events by third parties) which we feel will be of interest to you. You will also have exclusive access to our website, which will enable you to download associated papers relating to all our meetings, which will include brief meeting summaries, prepared by a member of the CLA Committee.