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Gabriela R. Da Costa

Special Counsel
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Gabriela da Costa is a special counsel in the London office of K&L Gates' antitrust, competition and trade regulation practice group and a key member of the firm's cutting-edge e-commerce and vertical distribution practice.

Gabi’s niche e-commerce and selective distribution work is recognised in the Legal 500 2020 rankings, where she is named as a “Rising Star” in EU and Competition Law and described as a “unique” lawyer. She has previously been described as “incredibly efficient and very personable” in Legal 500; is ranked in the “Who’s Who Legal: Future Leaders – Competition” 2017, 2018, and 2019 listings; and was nominated as a “Rising Star in Competition and Antitrust” by the 2018 Euromoney Expert Guides.

Gabi has led the design, implementation, execution, and enforcement of numerous high-profile European go-to-market strategies for major brands in the electronics, fashion, health care, home appliances, nutrition, pet product, and consumer goods sectors. She also coordinates significant global distribution projects across multiple regions, with the aim of achieving broad strategic consistency and legally enforceable tools against brand erosion and marketplace disruption worldwide.

Gabi has successfully defended a number of brand owners in challenges by the European competition authorities as well as third parties against their distribution practices. She is currently acting in the main online resale restrictions case in the United Kingdom in recent years, on appeal before the Court of Appeal. She has also represented numerous clients, including industry associations, in advocating their concerns and interests to the European Commission in the context of the e-commerce sector inquiry and the ongoing consultation into the EU competition rules on vertical agreements.

Professional Background

Ms. da Costa qualified in early 2012. Prior to joining K&L Gates, she trained and worked in the London office of a Magic Circle law firm and for the Civil Justice Division of the UK Ministry of Justice.


  • Awarded Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Medal for Excellent Undergraduate Academic Achievement (highest University of Pretoria academic award for student in any faculty)
  • Awarded Butterworth’s Prize for final year student with best dissertation
  • Awarded Law Society of the Northern Provinces of South Africa Prize for best student in Legal Practice

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member of the Law Society of England and Wales

Speaking Engagements

  • Regularly speaks on optimizing go-to-market and marketplace strategy design, including at industry and e-commerce events and seminars.
  • Delivers competition law compliance training to client sales teams, distributor partners, and trade association committees.

Additional Information

  • Regularly writes on online marketplace and e-commerce developments under EU vertical distribution laws, including for publications such as Lexology, the Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, and specialist industry papers.
  • Author and reviewer of numerous competition law publications for LexisNexis PSL Service, including guidance and drafting notes on:
    • vertical commercial agreements between non-competitors, including supply and distribution agreements;
    • vertical commercial agreements between competitors;
    • horizontal commercial agreements between competitors, including joint production, commercialization, purchasing, and research and development agreements;
    • competition law issues in intellectual property agreements;
    • technology transfer agreements; and
    • competition law issues in corporate agreements.
  • Has published articles and case notes in Croner’s Europe and Thomas Reuters.
  • Research assistant and editor of Cloete (ed.) 2005 Introduction to Sports Law in South Africa (Durban: Lexis Nexis Butterworths).
Vertical distribution advice, strategic design, and litigation
  • Advising major product manufacturers on go-to-market, e-commerce, online marketplace, and pricing issues, including leading the design, implementation, execution, and enforcement of sophisticated and innovative selective distribution strategies. Clients include electronics and tech brands, such as Bose, Google, Bang & Olufsen, Jabra, Master & Dynamic, Maytronics (Dolphin), and Zebra Technologies; fashion and cosmetics brands such as Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Church’s English Shoes, Canali, Diesel, DSquared2, Billabong, Osprey and Coty; sports products manufacturers including Nike, Vista Outdoor (previously Bell Sports), Brompton Bicycles, and Campagnolo; pet product makers such as KONG; consumer products brands such as Energizer, Otterbox, and Bigmouth; and cosmetics and over-the-counter supplement makers Nutramax Laboratories and Nutraceutical Corporation.
  • Advising Ping, the golf club manufacturer, on its challenge to the Competition and Markets Authority’s finding of infringement in relation to its online sales policy before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.
  • Successfully defending a major sports brand against allegations of suspected resale price maintenance by the Competition and Markets Authority, leading to closure of the initial inquiry without a formal investigation being opened.
  • Successfully defending a premium sports brand against allegations of unlawful cross-border resale restrictions by the Swiss Competition Commission, leading to closure of the investigation.
  • Advising numerous leading industry players, such as Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Varian Medical Systems, Formula One Management, The Hershey Company and Ball Packaging on the competition law aspects of complex commercial arrangements and agreements.
  • Advising on and assisting with the preparation of agreements between competing companies, including joint purchasing, research and development, production, and commercialization.
Merger control
  • Advising Darling Ingredients Inc., the leading provider of rendering and recycling solutions to the U.S. food industry, on its acquisition of Europe-headquartered Vion Ingredients for approximately €1.6 billion, creating the global leader in converting bio-nutrients streams into specialty products and ingredients for multiple industries.
  • Advising NEP Group Inc. on various transactions, including its recommended takeover of Avesco Group plc., acquisition of SIS Live, and the acquisition of joint control in NEP Inc. by Crestview Partners and Carlyle Group.
  • Advising Lockheed Martin Corporation in successfully advocating before the European Commission for remedies in the Airbus Safran Launchers joint venture.
  • Advising Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation on its acquisition of the Akers business.
  • Advising Euro Car Parts on its acquisition of the Andrew Page Business, seeking consent from the Competition and Markets Authority and involving an initial enforcement order.
  • Advising EuroChem on its fertilizer production joint venture with Migao Corp.
  • Advising a leading media company in a high-profile Phase II merger review by the then Competition Commission, being the second ever “fast-track” reference case and involving the third public interest intervention in history by the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport.
Abuse of dominance
  • Advising a major European football body on several high-profile projects, including potential competition law and governance challenges before the European Commission and national competition authorities against the rules and practices of UEFA and FIFA.
  • Advising a major international chemicals company on its formal response to the preliminary findings of the Ukraine Competition Authority regarding alleged abuse of dominance.
  • Advising a leading diamond wholesaler on negotiations with and a possible complaint against several industry participants for potential cartel/coordinated activities and abuses of dominance in relation to commercial terms.
Trade associations
  • Advising numerous trade associations in various industries on multiple aspects of EU and national competition law, including:
    • monitoring meetings between competitors;
    • advising on competition law compliance of association agreements, activities, statistical studies, standard-setting, rules and recommendations, publications, communications, and benchmarking;
    • developing competition law compliance policies and protocols and providing training on best practices; and
    • advising on disputes involving allegations of price fixing and group boycott.
  • Representative clients include national associations in the fashion sector (e.g. the National Chamber for Italian Fashion), tech space, business (e.g., the Young Presidents’ Organization), transport and travel (e.g., the European Tour Operators Association and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations), real estate (Commercial Real Estate Finance Counsel Europe), and metals and mining (e.g., the International Tungsten Industry Association, International Molybdenum Association, and International Iron Metallics Association).