Helen Fairhead

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

United Kingdom
T:+44 (20) 74445567
United Kingdom
T:+44 (20) 74445567
Helen Fairhead

Helen Fairhead



Helen Fairhead is a competition litigation lawyer based in London. 

Helen's practice covers all types of contentious competition matters, with a particular focus on damages claims, often resulting from prior European Commission decisions. She has acted on a number of the most complex and high-profile pieces of competition litigation in recent years.

She has significant experience of acting for claimants and defendants in High Court litigation and has in-depth knowledge of the litigation funding market in the UK.

Helen is a Solicitor-Advocate with higher rights of audience in the courts of England and Wales (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings).

Professional experience

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University of Manchester (B.A., 2002)
City University Law School, London (GDL, 2003)
Nottingham Law School, Nottingham (LPC, 2004)
City University, London, Higher Rights of Audience (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings) 2009
BPP, London (Insolvency Practitioner Examinations JIEB) 2014

  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales 2007


  • Orange SA - on an Article 101 claim brought by the Administrators of Phones4U that EE, O2, Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom unlawfully colluded to remove Phones 4U from the UK market (Phones4U Limited (In Administration) v EE Limited & others). 
  • HSBC - on an Article 101 claim issued by a number of institutional investors that the Defendant banks engaged, by anti-competitive and collusive means, to manipulate the FX market between 2003 and 2013. The case was identified as one of The Lawyer magazine's top 20 cases for 2020 (Allianz Global Investors GmbH and others v. Barclays Bank plc and others).
  • Vodafone Group - in relation to its Article 101 follow-on damages claim against a number of smart chip card manufacturers following the 2014 European Commission finding that certain smart chip card manufacturers co-ordinated their market behaviour (Vodafone Group Services Limited & Other v Infineon Technologies AG & Others).
  • A multinational orange juice manufacturer - in relation to a follow-on claim by a group of Brazilian farmers.
  • A car part manufacturer - in relation to a threatened Article 101 claim by a car manufacturer following on from a 2017 Commission Decision.
  • A power transmission company - in relation to a proposed Article 101 claim against a high-voltage cables manufacturer following on from a 2014 Commission Decision.
  • A Big 4 accounting firm - on a number of multimillion pound professional negligence-related claims against its insolvency practitioners.
  • The joint liquidators - of a listed company in multimillion pound claims against former directors for misfeasance and wrongful trading.
  • Gemini (Eclipse 2006-3) PLC, the SPV issuer of floating rate notes, in a professional negligence claim for £250m against CBRE and King Sturge in respect of their valuation of the underlying portfolio of 37 commercial properties. The case was described as the "Valuation trial of the century", was identified as one of The Lawyer magazine's top 20 cases for 2016 (Gemini Plc v CBRE & Warwick Street (KS) LLP).
  • A European bank - on a loan security valuation dispute in respect of a portfolio of UK commercial properties.
  • A major UK bank - on a number of claims made against it relating to the alleged mis-selling of Interest Rate Swap products.

Prior to joining the firm, her experience includes advising and acting for:

  • The winding-up committee of a major European bank - on a portfolio of claims brought against over 15 UK financial institutions for transactions at an undervalue.
  • Acting for Agricultural Bank of Greece (ABG) - in multimillion pound Commercial Court proceedings brought against it by Merrill Lynch in relation to a swap transaction.
  • Advising a worldwide bank - on its investigation into a potential breach of Iranian sanctions and in its submissions to the Department of Justice in New York.
  • Acting for a large UK insurance broker - in two Commercial Court claims brought against it for negligence and fraud.

The Legal 500

"Rising Star" (2021, 2020)

  • "she is hardworking and strategic, and has a strong ability to see issues from a range of perspectives to identify the best way forward" (2021)
  • "very bright and tenacious, with great attention-to-detail" (2020)

"Next Generation Lawyer" (2019)

  • "a real star in the making, intelligent, dedicated and a fighter and able to stand up to the most aggressive opponents"

"Next Generation Partner" (2023)

  • "Helen Fairhead is one of the most impressive partners in the competition space I have seen, despite having become a Partner recently. She is excellent at communicating clearly and concisely with clients […] making sure that the work required to prepare evidence and for trial is done properly and thoroughly, and in anticipating the dynamics of multi-defendant litigation. She has excellent strategic insight into litigation"

"Next Generation Partner" (2024)

  • "Helen is incredibly hard-working and switched on. She’s really sharp and strategic and never stops thinking about how to get the client where it wants to be"
  • "Helen Fairhead, who is incredibly astute and wears her formidable skillset lightly"