Recognised as a Leading Individual for EU and Competition by Legal 500 2020.

Marco has been with the firm since 2000. Prior to joining LK Shields Solicitors, he practiced in the Brussels office of Squire Patton Boggs and the London office of Clifford Chance and then with another leading firm in Dublin.

He is the head of EU, Competition and Regulated Markets Team at LK Shields. He has considerable experience in  EU and Irish competition law (antitrust) including merger control and State aid. Marco is also experienced in EU customs and trade law matters. Marco has advised extensively on various EU Block Exemptions Regulations including those applicable to the motor vehicle sector.

Marco is an acknowledged expert on Irish competition law and has acted in some of the most significant complaints and merger reviews conducted under the Irish Competition Act.

Marco has written extensively in the topic of EU, Competition and Regulated Markets and is the author of "Merger Control" which was published by the Thomson Reuters group in May, 2013. This book is the first book exclusively devoted to the competition law implications of mergers and acquisitions in Ireland. Some of his other published articles have recently appeared in the media:

  • Sunday Business Post
  • Irish Times
  • Irish Independent
  • Sunday Independent

Marco is a corporate partner who has advised on many significant transactions including complex restructurings, tax-driven transactions and mergers and acquisitions. He has acted for many large corporations, both domestic and international, private equity firms, entrepreneurs, investment managers and management teams (MBOs and MBIs).

Marco is the Head of the firm’s Healthcare and Life Sciences team and he advises firms that are active in this sector on the various legal aspects of their business including regulation and compliance issues under Irish and EU law.

Marco is a member of the Financial Services Team advising on various regulatory matters including under the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directives and implementing Irish Regulations.

Marco Hickey is the Irish winner of the Client Choice Award for 2015. Client Choice Awards recognise those partners around the world that stand apart for the excellent client service they provide. The criteria for the awards focus on the ability to add real value to clients’ business above and beyond other players in the market.

Experience

  • Provided competition advice to a multi disciplinary professional services firm in relation to the purchase of an IT company.

  • Provided competition advice to Universal Motors/Gowan Group on the acquisition of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Ireland DAC.

  • Advising Scania on its Irish legal proceedings that followed-on from the Commission’s finding of infringement against MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, as well as the subsequent, and more recent, finding against Scania AB.

  • Advised Fane Valley on the EU and UK merger control implication of the disposal by Fane Valley of a 50% interest in Linden Foods Limited and Slaney Foods International to the ABP Food Group (“ABP”), a leading global food processor.

  • Advised Denis O’Brien on the sale of his portfolio of radio stations and related assets through the disposal of the Communicorp group to the Bauer group, one of the largest radio and publishing businesses in Europe. 

  • Acted for Boylesports in preparing a CCPC notification in relation to the proposed acquisition by Boylesports 2 Unlimited Company of sole control of Tully Bookmakers Management Limited.

  • Advised a major Irish company in relation to the State aid aspects of a proposed Government measure.

  • Advised in relation to a State aid complaint relating to NAMA.
  • Provided State aid advice to RASA in the context of litigation against Aer Lingus.
  • Advised a leading distributor of industrial tools in the context of the collection of anti-dumping duties. The project involved analysing and making detailed submissions on a wide range of complex principles of Irish and EU law.
  • Advised Reach plc in its acquisition of certain assets of Northern & Shell. This was the only Phase 2 merger review carried out by the CCPC in 2018 which involved remedies.  The transaction, being a media merger, involved notification to both the CCPC and the Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
  • The firm advised SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc., a leading global provider of software products and software-enabled services to the financial services sector, in its significant global acquisition of certain assets of DST Systems, Inc, a major provider of technology-based information processing and servicing solutions. The case involved notification of the transaction to the CCPC. The transaction was approved by the CCPC in Phase 1.
  • Advised the seller, Topaz Investments Limited, on the competition law aspects of the sale of Topaz Energy Group Limited, Resource Property Investment Fund plc and Esso Ireland Limited to Alimentation Couche-Tard of Canada. This was approved by the EU Commission under the EU Merger Control Regulation.
  • Advised Kendrick Investments on the competition aspects of the acquisition of Topaz, Ireland’s largest fuel and convenience brand. The transaction was notified to, and cleared by, the EU Commission under the EU Merger Control Regulation.
  • Acted for Communicorp Group Limited in the acquisition of Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio.
  • Advised the French multinational Veolia SA, on the sale of its Irish operations to Greenstar. The transaction involved a merger of two of the largest players in the commercial and industrial waste sector in Ireland. The merger was cleared unconditionally after a Phase 2 review.
  • Advised News Corporation on the Irish competition law aspects of its US$5.3 billion acquisition of Dow Jones (the target business included the Wall Street Journal). The transaction was cleared following a Phase 1 review.
  • Advised the French multinational Egis Group on the EU Merger Control implications of the acquisition of certain Irish assets from a subsidiary of NTR, the international renewable energy group.
  • The firm was involved in an innovative move in Irish competition law circles when it acted for the plaintiffs Leanort Ltd, Hytherm (Ireland) Ltd and Hytherm Ltd in the first-ever case before the Irish Courts in which an interlocutory injunction was granted to prohibit a breach of European competition law rules.
  • Marco has considerable experience on the interaction between competition law and examinership. For example, he advised on the acquisition by Tedcastles Oil Products Limited (Top Oil) of Fate Park Limited in the context of examinership proceedings before the Irish High Court. The complex acquisition was carried out under a scheme of arrangement and was cleared following a Phase 1 investigation.
  • Acted for the management team of Elverys Sports in relation to a buy out of the business.
  • Acted for Millstreet Equestrian Services in a complaint against Show Jumping Ireland alleging infringement of EU and Irish competition law. The resulting investigation by Irish authorities was closed following material amendments to the Rules of Show Jumping Ireland.
  • Acted for Newstalk regarding complaints against state broadcaster RTÉ concerning a breach of State Aid and general competition rules.
  • Marco and the team advised Baycliffe Limited, an investment vehicle, in relation to the joint acquisition of Blue Ocean Associates, a British oil trader with a turnover of more than €5.1 billion, along with Trafigura Beheer BV the Dutch multinational commodity trading company. The concentration was notified to, and cleared by, the EU Commission under the EU Merger Regulation.
  • The team advised the Gowan Group in regard to the acquisition of the exclusive distributor of Opel branded motor vehicles in Ireland.
  • The team advised the buyer on its acquisition of the MSL Motor Group’s Volkswagen dealership in Dublin.
  • Acted for the sellers of the issued share capital of Automatic Plastics Limited to Comar in the US whose principal owners are investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. 
  • Acted for the sellers of a software company in relation to a sale to a UK plc.
  • Acted for Reach plc, the largest commercial national and regional news publisher in the UK, on the purchase from INM of the remaining 50% stake in Independent Star Limited, which publishes the Irish Daily Star.
  • Advised Reach plc, the largest publisher of national and local newspapers in the UK, on the Irish aspects of its acquisition of certain parts of the business of Northern & Shell group.
  • Acted for DEAG Deutsche Entertainment AG/Kilimanjaro group, the leading entertainment service group and provider of entertainment, on various transactions.
  • Advised CVS (UK) Limited in its acquisition of a number of veterinary practices in Ireland.
  • Advised Gardiner Group Limited in relation to the disposal of various businesses.
  • Acted for an unregulated Irish Holding company in connection with its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of an existing MiFID regulated Irish-based asset management company.
  • Advised the trustees of a major pension fund in a complex transaction that involved the client completing an equity investment in an ICAV to enable it to purchase a Delaware investment structure holding real estate in Ireland.
  • Acted for a leading global manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment, in relation to the disposal of the equity stake in a medical distribution company.
  • Advised in relation to a transaction between two significant multinational parents of a joint venture in Ireland. 
  • Acted for the sellers of a very large forestry fund.
  • Acted for the sellers of a cosmetic distribution company which has a portfolio of significant skincare brands known globally.
  • Acted on the restructuring of a substantial fund created from the proceeds of the sale of businesses involving well known global brands.
  • Acted on the restructuring of a large US multinational active in the life sciences sector with a significant manufacturing presence in Ireland.
  • Acted for a large US multinational energy company in regard to the divestiture of an Irish business. This involved coordinating between the Irish and US operations and a complex restructuring process.
  • Acted for a well-known international financial services company in relation to various funding rounds.
  • Advised a leading global medical technology company involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of innovative, high-technology therapies and products for the wound care, regenerative medicine and therapeutic support system markets.
  • Advised a well-known US manufacturer of medical diagnostic devices, patient monitoring systems and miniature precision lamps.
  • Advised a major US multinational life sciences group in regard to the restructuring of its group operations in Europe, including the closure of a manufacturing facility in Ireland which involved addressing many legal issues in different areas including supply arrangements, customs matters, data protection, IDA Grant Agreements, employment and commercial property.
  • Acted for a major multinational group in relation to its investment in a highly regulated medical devices manufacturer based in Galway. This client is a global custom manufacturer for the medical device and healthcare industries.
  • Advised a multinational producer of medical devices on a range of Irish law and regulatory issues since its acquisition of a manufacturing plant in Ireland.
  • Advised a leading innovation driven pharmaceutical group on various regulatory issues.
  • Advised the shareholders of various clinics in Ireland.
  • Acted for the hospital operator Triad Hospitals, Inc., on the purchase and subsequent sale of a privately owned full-service hospital in the Dublin area developed in conjunction with Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
  • Advised a global medical technology company serving the needs of acute and long-term care facilities.
  • Acted for specialist packaging firm Venture Packaging in the sale of the company to US multinational Cardinal Health.

More about Marco Hickey

Awards &
Recommendations

"Our contact is Marco Hickey, who is probably Ireland’s most knowledgeable merger expert and one of the most knowledgeable in any jurisdiction that I ever met. To boot, he has outstanding tactical skills, which benefit our clients from the very first day of a planned transaction." Recommended as a 'Leading Individual' for EU and Competition.

Legal 500 2022
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended as a 'Leading Individual'

Legal 500 2022
Awards &
Recommendations

"Marco Hickey has excellent knowledge of competition law matters; however, he is also very commercial and understood the sensitivities in relation to managing challenging expectations against strategic implications." Recommended for Competition.

Chambers Europe 2022
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended as a 'Leading Individual' for EU and Competition.

Legal 500 2021
Awards &
Recommendations

"His analytical skills are exceptional, and his pragmatism ensures the highly efficient implementation of his advice."

Chambers Europe 2021
Awards &
Recommendations

'Marco Hickey has great commercial awareness combined with a first-rate competition brain.' Ranked as a 'Leading Individual' for EU and Competition.

Legal 500 2020
Awards &
Recommendations

Listed as a leading individual for Competition/European Law and described as "smart, confident and relentless ... experienced in creating a mutually acceptable accord in contract negotiations."

Chambers Europe 2020
Awards &
Recommendations

Practice head Marco Hickey, who has 'great understanding of deal dynamics and is not afraid to fight for his client when he needs to' is listed as a Leading Individual.

Legal 500 2019
Awards &
Recommendations

Clients report: "He has a very good knowledge of competition law," and additionally appreciate "his understanding of our industry and the way he works with the competition authority." Recommended for Competition/European Law.

Chambers Europe 2019
Awards &
Recommendations

Recognised as being among the world’s leading Competition lawyers

Who's Who Legal 2019
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended by Best Lawyers in Ireland for Competition Law.

Best Lawyers 2018
Awards &
Recommendations

The ‘very responsive’ Marco Hickey is listed as a Leading Individual.

Legal 500 2018
Awards &
Recommendations

"Knowledgeable and skilled in his area and very efficient and effective to work with" Recommended for Competition/European Law.

Chambers Europe 2018
Awards &
Recommendations

Clients praise him for his "intellectual depth and mental agility to quickly understand difficult concepts". He draws particular praise for "his depth and experience of merger notifications.".

Chambers Europe 2017
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended by Best Lawyers in Ireland for Competition Law.

Best Lawyers 2017
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended for Competition/European Law.

Chambers Europe 2016
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey is ‘a recognised expert’, and ‘a go-to competition lawyer in Dublin’. Listed as a Leading Individual.

Legal 500 2016
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended for Competition.

Global Competition Review 2016
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended by Best Lawyers in Ireland for Competition Law.

Best Lawyers 2016
Awards &
Recommendations

Winner - Competition & Antitrust (Ireland).

Client Choice Awards, 2015
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended for Competition/European Law.

Chambers Europe 2015
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey ‘has emerged as a leading merger expert in Dublin’.

Legal 500, 2015
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey is ‘first class. In ten minutes he will have 90% of the answer, and he’ll be right’; ‘on EU law, there is no-one better in Ireland’.

The Legal 500, 2014
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey of LK Shields Solicitors is valued by clients for the way he 'understands how a transaction is put together and financed. His transactional background is a big advantage'.

Chambers Europe, 2013
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey at LK Shields Solicitors has “one of the acutest competition minds in Dublin”.

The Legal 500, 2013
Awards &
Recommendations

Highly recommended for corporate and M&A and EU and competition.

Legal Experts Europe, Middle East & Africa 2012
Awards &
Recommendations

Recognised as leading individual for Competition.

Chambers Europe 2012
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey of LK Shields Solicitors is a great commercial operator. Recommended for competition/European law.

Chambers Europe 2011
Awards &
Recommendations

Marco Hickey is clear in his thinking and always delivers.

The Legal 500, 2011
Awards &
Recommendations

Highly recommended for corporate and M&A and EU and competition in Legal Experts Europe.

Middle East & Africa 2011
Awards &
Recommendations

Recommended for competition/anti-trust.

PLC Which Lawyer? 2011
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  • Admitted as a Solicitor in Northern Ireland
    Law Society of Northern Ireland
    2003
  • Admitted as a Solicitor in Ireland
    Law Society of Ireland
    1998
  • Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales (Non-Practising)
    Law Society of England & Wales
    1997
  • Called to the Irish Bar
    Bar Council of Ireland
    1989
  • LL.B
    Trinity College, Dublin
    1987

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