Douglas Lahnborg

Partner

Brussels


Read full biography at www.orrick.com
Douglas Lahnborg's practice focuses on EU and UK Antitrust and Competition Law.

Douglas has represented clients before the European Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority for more than 20 years in all areas of competition law. He provides multinational clients with innovative solutions on high-profile complex matters including merger control, abuse of dominance, private damages actions and cartel investigations, often involving multiple jurisdictions. He founded our Brussels office. 

Douglas has acted for clients in a broad range of industries, including software, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, consumer goods, energy, healthcare, defence and national security.

Douglas features in both the Chambers UK and Chambers Europe editions where he is recognised as a leading antitrust and competition practitioner. He is known for being "skilled, easy to work with and very service-minded" Douglas is also ranked as a leading competition lawyer in Legal 500.

Posts by: Douglas Lahnborg

High Court Ruling on Brexit

 

On November 3, 2016 the UK High Court handed down a ruling[1] preventing the UK government from triggering Article 50 TFEU – the EU legislation triggering the start of the administrative procedure for the UK’s exit from the EU – without parliamentary approval.

Following the referendum on June 23, 2016, where the UK voted to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May and the UK government announced that they would use the Crown’s prerogative powers to trigger Article 50 as early as March 2017. The use of prerogative powers would allow the government to trigger Article 50 without the approval of the UK parliament. Claimants argued that the government’s position had no basis in law, in particular under the UK’s European Communities Act 1972 and that the government’s position was contrary to fundamental constitutional principles of sovereignty of parliament.

Ruling in favor of the claimants, the High Court found that the government does not have the power under the Crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the EU, meaning that any trigger of Article 50 requires parliament to vote on the matter. As a result, pending appeal, any decision to trigger Article 50 will require approval by MPs in the House of Commons, as well as approval by the House of Lords.

Following the ruling, the government has confirmed that it will seek to appeal the judgment to the UK Supreme Court. A hearing before the Supreme Court could take place as early as December.

The High Court ruling has important implications for the “Brexit” process. In particular, it gives the parliament an important role to play in the process. With a majority of MPs having voted against Brexit in the referendum, the outcome of a vote to trigger Article 50 cannot be certain. Having said that, MPs will not want to be seen as going against the will of the people and outright opposition to the triggering of Article 50 seems unlikely. Instead, the practical effect is likely to be that the government will have to engage with and at least to some extent agree with parliament on the priorities of the UK’s Brexit negotiation with the EU. This, in turn, may cause delay, increase uncertainty (as to timing and outcome) and will inevitably intensify the public debate about the UK’s role outside the EU and the meaning of “Brexit”.

The full judgment can be found here.

[1] R(Miller and others) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin)

Brexit – What Now For Your Business

So, the UK has voted to leave the EU. Everyone has their own opinion and we’ve all seen the news reports and various viewpoints but what does this result mean for you in practical terms and where do we go from here? Orrick’s EU-UK Working Group is ready and waiting to answer any questions you may have (see contact details at the end of this alert) and in the meantime, here’s our overview of the key issues for your business. READ MORE