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's niche e-commerce and selective distribution experience is recognized by rankings including The Legal 500, where she has been named as a Rising Star in EU and Competition Law for the last three years and described as a “rock star,” “unique lawyer,” “super attentive, very knowledgeable and commercial,” and “friendly and extremely engaged with any issue.”
Gabi has led the design, implementation, execution, and enforcement of numerous high-profile go-to-market strategies for major consumer and B2B brands, both in Europe and globally. She advises product manufacturers across a range of sectors on complex and in-flux competition law questions relating to the sale of their products in Europe, including selective distribution system terms and practical mechanics, pricing policies, online marketplace restrictions, direct-to-consumer sales strategies, customer-competitor dealings, market communications, partner termination, and related interactions with intellectual property and data protection laws.
Gabi has led some of the most significant cases against or involving unauthorized resellers in Europe. She has also defended several major brand owners in challenges by the European competition authorities as well as third parties against their distribution practices, leading to the closure of several investigations without fines.
In addition to vertical restraints and dominance matters, Gabi regularly advises clients on horizontal competitor interactions, including advising on compliant cooperation agreements and 'rules of the road' and monitoring industry association meetings.
In the M&A context, Gabi has extensive experience coordinating major multi-jursdictional foreign investment screening assessments and handling national clearances, including under the UK’s new National Security and Investment Act.
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.
- “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).