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Yesterday, Women@Competition Iberia brought together over 130 women practicing in the field of competition law in law firms, financial consulting firms, private companies, universities and government in Spain, Portugal and the European Union.

Yesterday’s event was the launch of W@Competition on the Iberian Peninsula, a European initiative (i) aimed at raising the visibility of women practicing in this field, and (ii) intended as a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience. Maria João Melicias, member of the board of the Portuguese Competition Authority; Beatriz de Guindos, competition director at Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission; and the lawyers Julia Suderow, of 3C Compliance; Rita Leandro Vasconcelos, of Cuatrecasas (Lisbon); and Irene Moreno-Tapia, of Cuatrecasas (Barcelona) are behind this initiative.

It was six o’clock in the evening and the auditorium of the National Markets and Competition Commission on calle Barquillo in Madrid was filled to capacity.

The event kicked off with some words of welcome by José María Marín Quemada, chair of the National Markets and Competition Commission.

The meeting’s main event was a round table moderated by Cani Fernández, partner at Cuatrecasas and head of the firm’s Competition and EU Law Practice, on “Hot topics under the Iberian sun: new economy, big data, fighting cartels, compliance, private enforcement.” The round table participants were Ana Patricia Carvalho, director of Nestlé Portugal’s Law and Compliance Department; Maria João Melicias, member of the board of the Portuguese Competition Authority; María Ortiz, member of the board of the National Markets and Competition Commission; Marisa Tierno Centella, deputy head of the European Commission’s Cartels Unit; and Elena Zoido, senior vice-chair at Compass Lexecon.

Hot topics discussed at the event included combating cartels, the challenges posed by the digital economy, and private enforcement of competition law. In the words of the participants, the matters that will make up the agenda of competition authorities in the coming year will be big data, fintech, actions for damages, and approving the ECN+ Directive, which will strengthen the investigative powers of the competition authorities in the EU Member States.

At the end of the round table, Evelina Kurgonaite founder and driving force behind the W@ platform, delivered an inspiring presentation of the platform and encouraged all the participants to continue working together to raise the profile of women practitioners in the field of competition.

Nadia Calviño, Spanish Minister of the Economy, closed the event by speaking on the state of the economy in Spain and on the challenges facing the government to promote equality and help women gain entry to the workforce.

The participants at this first meeting of W@Competition Iberia enjoyed a reception where they had the opportunity to meet each other in person, renew acquaintances and exchange recent professional experiences. The participants thanked the event’s organizers for launching the platform in Spain and Portugal and agreed to take an active part in furthering the aims of W@Competition Iberia.

Given the success of this inaugural event, the organization is already preparing a workshop for the first half of 2019.

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Consejera

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Especialista en acuerdos de distribución y abusos de posición dominante, asesora regularmente a importantes multinacionales y fondos de inversión en materia de control de concentraciones, tanto a nivel español como comunitario, asumiendo su representación ante las instancias administrativas. Ha representado y asesorado con éxito a numerosos clientes ante las autoridades españolas en materia de defensa de la competencia, en los dos ámbitos administrativo y contencioso (acuerdos, abusos, concentraciones, ayudas públicas).

irene.moreno@cuatrecasas.com

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cristina.vila@cuatrecasas.com

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