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Hornsby, Stephen

Stephen Hornsby is a partner at Goodman Derrick and specialises in competition and sports law.

Stephen Hornsby

After a period as an official in the EC Competition Department in Brussels where he was responsible for two major enquiries (one of which led to the end of the UK’s Net Book Agreement), he joined Allen & Overy’s EU and Competition Department in London.

Between 1985 and 1990 he worked on a number of the firm’s major contentious and non-contentious competition and EU regulatory matters — particularly in the media sector. In 1991, he became the first EU and Competition Law partner for a major provincial firm: here, he brought the first ever successful judicial review case against the OFT on behalf of Stagecoach. During this time, he became one of the pioneers in the successful application of competition law to sport on behalf of clients in football, ice hockey and rugby union.

In recent years, as a partner, he has worked on the following matters:

  • NMTV v Jobserve —  this was the first case in which an injunction was obtained under the Competition Act 1998 to prevent an abuse of a dominant position. Hornsby acted for the successful applicant in the High Court and the Court of Appeal where the injunction was confirmed.
  • Acting for Zomba Records in opposing the merger of EMI/Time Warner and in Zomba’s sale to Bertlesman.
  • Acting for independent press agencies and photographers in their dispute with Football Dataco on new licensing agreements.
  • Acting for Zomba Records in the OFT investigation into CD pricing.
  • Acting for Premier Rugby in the OFT investigation into promotion and relegation in English professional rugby.
  • Acting for Premier Rugby in three High Court actions involving contractual claims (two of which were successful, the third being settled before a Court of Appeal hearing).
  • Numerous sport regulatory enquiries.
  • Acting for IMS in its complaint to Ofcom in relation the sale of BBC Broadcast to Macquarie and subsequently before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Acting for an ITV franchisee in a judicial review against Ofcom and complaint to the OFT.
  • Acting for Harlequins in the ‘Bloodgate’ enquiry and for the physiotherapist in his successful High Court challenge to his life ban.

Hornsby is active in the dissemination of his knowledge and experience and has co-authored a book on competition law and published more than 20 articles in leading journals with particular emphasis on the application of competition law to media, new media and sport.

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