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David Howarth

Special Counsel
Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Mr. Howarth is a competition and consumer lawyer with more than twenty years' experience in private practice and government.

He has experience advising on contentious and non-contentious matters, regulatory proceedings and in responding to investigations across a range of industries, particularly the telecommunications, aviation, IT, finance and retail sectors.

Mr. Howarth has occupied senior roles in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, where he led complex investigations and litigation under the consumer and competition provisions of the Australian law. His work included cartel investigations in financial markets; misuse of market power litigation in health and telecommunications sectors; and misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and consumer guarantee cases in online retail, education and transport. Mr. Howarth has also provided legal and regulatory policy advice to non-government organisations and in the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.

Mr. Howarth's diverse private sector and regulatory experience allows him to advise clients on competition and consumer law issues with an understanding of commercial objectives as well as first-hand knowledge of the objectives and processes of regulators.

Mr. Howarth has undergraduate degrees in law and economics and postgraduate degrees in Australian and German law. He teaches competition law as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Sydney Law School.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Howarth was a Director in the Enforcement Division of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In previous roles, he was a Senior Associate at national law firms, a policy advisor to national consumer group CHOICE, and a legal advisor at the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.


  • Recognised in Competition and Trade as well as Regulatory Compliance and Investigations by Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, German Australian Pacific Lawyers Association
  • Council Member, Kidsafe NSW and Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia

Speaking Engagements

  • Competition Law Conference 2019, Speaker
  • Competition and Consumer Compliance for SMEs, Law Society Conference 2017 (with Michael Schaper, ACCC Commissioner)
  • Seminars on Australian Competition and Consumer Law, presentations to Taiwan Fair Trade Commission, 2017
  • Co-editor and author, Australian Telecommunications Regulation (CCH, 2012)
  • “‘Windows has performed an illegal operation’: The Court of First Instance’s Judgment in Microsoft v Commission”, (with Kathryn McMahon) (2008) 29 European Competition Law Review 117-134.
  • “Pricing Abuses under Article 82 EC – from cost-price comparisons to the search for strategic standards” in Amato and Ehlermann (ed.s), 2007, EC Competition Law: A Critical Assessment. (Hart, Oxford).
  • “The Court of First Instance in GE/Honeywell”, (2006) 27 European Competition Law Review 494-509.
  • “Tetra-Laval/Sidel: Microeconomics or microlaw?” (2005) 26 European Competition Law Review 369-375.
  • “Predatory pricing after Boral: Let the games begin.”, (2001) 8 Competition and Consumer Law Journal 1.
Experience gained prior to joining K&L Gates includes:
  • Advising AAPT and Telecom New Zealand in relation to telecommunications regulatory matters including access disputes, pricing and negotiation of terms and conditions.
  • Advising Telecom New Zealand in relation to proposed acquisition of internet service provider.
  • Advising Air New Zealand and alliance partners in relation to alliance agreements.
  • Advising Microsoft Australia in relation to a proposed acquisition.
  • Advising on a range of distribution and acquisition issues by a large supermarket operator.