Brexit: Irish subsidiaries of UK firms warned of more dawn raids

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Brexit: Irish subsidiaries of UK firms warned of more dawn raidsOne of the unforeseen consequences of Brexit is that Irish businesses could be subject to more competition dawn raids by the European Commission as the option of conducting these unannounced inspections in the UK is blocked off by the UK leaving the European Union.

A&L Goodbody's Dr Vincent Power was interviewed recently about the issue in The Irish Times.

Dr Vincent Power, a specialist in European competition law at A&L Goodbody solicitors, has said raids might take place in Ireland in cases relating to suspected illegal behaviour in UK affiliates and that staff may not know why they are being targeted.

“If you can’t get into your neighbour’s back garden you go to your other neighbour’s back garden, you get a ladder and you look over the wall,” Dr Power said.

With an increased frequency of corporate “dawn raids” in recent years, hundreds of Irish-based companies now prepare for such an eventuality, although the number of those who are anticipating raids due to UK ties specifically is thought to be far fewer.

Between 2014 and 2018, the European Commission issued cartel-related fines amounting to more than €8.5 billion.

One high-profile case in 2017 saw four Irish-based insurance brokers raided by the commission and the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) as part of an investigation into suspected breaches of EU antitrust rules.

By Dr Vincent Power, Partner at A&L Goodbody.