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Practice Summary

Derek Spitz has a broad commercial litigation, competition and international arbitration practice, with particular expertise in private actions for damages in competition law cases. He has appeared in the CAT, High Court and the Court of Appeal, and is recommended by Chambers UK as a leading junior (Competition Law) and by The Legal 500 (Commercial Litigation and EU and Competition).

Recent work includes acting for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited in substantial and high-profile claims against Visa and MasterCard concerning interchange fees implemented in breach of EU Competition law (a 13-week trial against Visa which ended in March 2017, and a 7-week trial against MasterCard which ended in March 2016); for defendants in a complex fraud and conspiracy trial in the Commercial Court relating to the Iraqi oil and gas industry; for BMW in substantial “Elida-Gibbs” VAT repayment claims involving the proper construction of VAT and EU law; in a hard-fought trial concerning contractual construction and estoppel; in a lengthy arbitration under AFSA Rules, and advising on complex issues arising in derivative contracts under the ISDA Master Agreement.

Derek has also acted in a number of substantial international commercial arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, and AFSA Rules and in several banking and finance related matters. 

Derek has been part of the team which co-authored the most recent edition of Bellamy and Child, European Community Law of Competition and co-authored an article on “Opportunities and pitfalls of litigating cartel damages claims in different fora in the UK” [2013] Competition Law Journal Vol. 12, Issue 1. In 2014, he was a delegate to and presented a paper at an international anti-trust conference in China.

Before being called to the Bar in England and Wales, Derek was a leading junior at the Johannesburg Bar, practising in commercial, competition and public law, and was an author and co-editor of Constitutional Law of South Africa (the leading work in the field).  He continues to be a member of the Johannesburg Bar with expertise in South African law. Derek was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand (BA LLB cum laude); Cornell University (MA) (Fulbright Scholarship); and Columbia University (JD) (Harlan Fisk Stone Scholar)