Gabriela da Costa is a partner 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 advises consumer brands in luxury, fashion, electronics, homewares, beauty, and other sectors on complex competition law questions relating to their go-to-market strategies in the EU and UK, including optimized system design and execution, wholesale pricing, online marketplace policies, direct-to-consumer structuring, customer-competitor dealings, and system enforcement (including litigation). Gabi has defended the distribution models and practices of major brand owners in challenges by both European competition authorities and third parties, leading to the closure of several investigations and lawsuits without fines or damages.
Gabi also advises clients on complex horizontal competitor collaborations, including sustainability agreements. In the mergers and acquisitions context, Gabi has extensive experience coordinating multi-jurisdictional foreign investment screening assessments and clearances, including under the UK's National Security and Investment Act, as well as assisting companies on UK and EU merger control processes.
Gabi is ranked as a Future Leader by Who’s Who Legal and a Next Generation Partner in The Legal 500, where she has been described as a “unique lawyer” working at the “forefront of distribution strategy matters, particularly in the context of sophisticated issues arising in e‐commerce,” and clients say Gabi:
“is simply a rock star. The way she builds trust and relationships is second to none. She is professional, friendly and extremely engaged with any issue.”
“[is] excellent and extremely on-point: highly focused on both the material aspects of matters, but also keeping a keen eye on (cross-border) interests of clients…Gabi has a hawkeye view on aspects of cases that even we hadn’t thought of ourselves.”
“has an encyclopaedic knowledge of vertical restraints.”
“super attentive, very knowledgeable and commercial.”
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.
- Recognised by The Legal 500 United Kingdom edition as a Next Generation Partner for EU and competition in London, 2024
- Recognised by The Legal 500 United Kingdom edition as a Recommender Lawyer for Retail and consumer and Commercial contracts in London, 2024
- 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.
- “A Look At New Vertical Laws, Their Opportunities And Pitfalls,” Law360, 23 January 2023
- “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).