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.
Gabi qualified in early 2012. Prior to joining the firm, 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
- Member of the Law Society of England and Wales
- 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.
- “Now screening: Europe,” Ragtrader, April 2018
- “Agency Under EU Competition Law,” A Lexis®PSL document produced in partnership with K&L Gates, June 2015
- 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).