The Glasgow University Law Society (GULS) Law Review has commissioned a series of interviews with academic staff from across the School. In the second article in the series, students Laura Donohoe and Cameron McCall talk to Dr Florence Thepot.
Dr Florence Thepot is Lecturer in Competition Law and European Union Law at the University of Glasgow. Dr Thepot joined the School of Law in 2015 after studying at Sciences-Po (Strasbourg), the College of Europe and UCL.
In addition to professional experience at Linklaters and the European Commission, Dr Thepot has been awarded numerous scholarships from UCL, the ABA Section of Antitrust Law, The Competition Law Scholars Forum and the Max Planck Institute.
This academic year, Dr Thepot has kindly volunteered to be the GULS Law Review’s EU Law Honorary Editor. Below, we discuss Dr Thepot’s career, her research and her thoughts on the impact of Brexit on Competition Law.
Dr Thepot, can you detail your academic career?
This job in Glasgow is my first full academic job and I arrived in 2015. It is my third year as a Lecturer in Competition Law. I did my first degree in France at Sciences-Po in Strasbourg followed by a Masters degree in Bruges at the College of Europe and then I did my PhD in London at UCL in Competition Law.
Did you find working in different countries with different languages helpful for your career?
It’s been very helpful but also what was quite interesting was that I did my Erasmus year in the UK and after this I got a taste for the UK university system. I really liked the UK university system and I decided to do my PhD in the UK and then to continue here.
How did you end up focussing on Competition Law?
My first degree was not law, it was interdisciplinary, including law and political sciences. My final year specialisation was economics and finance. I was always very interested in law and economics courses. During my Masters degree, which was in European Economics, I discovered Competition Law as a combination of law and economics.
What research are you undertaking at the moment?
Basically I have two main research areas. One is Competition Law in the Digital Era. I’m interested in how new types of markets can affect the Competition Law assessment. For instance, the ongoing Google case shows that authorities face difficulties when applying competition law to such new and complex markets.
Second, my PhD was on the interaction between Competition Law and Corporate Governance so I’m interested in how Competition Law can affect anything that is within the company, including relationships between shareholders and manager, questions of corporate compliance, or corporate liability.
So these are the two distinct areas of research I’m focussed on as a researcher.
What are your thoughts on the impact of Brexit on Competition Law?
It’s very interesting. The impact of Brexit will mostly be on procedure rather than substance. First of all, most UK businesses will continue applying EU Competition Law whenever their practice has an effect on trade between Member States. So if they want to be involved in any aspect of the EU market they still have to comply with EU Competition Law. Also, UK competition rules are modelled on EU Competition Law anyway so on substance there won’t be much change.
However, there will need to be cooperation between two distinct jurisdictions. There will be some areas where perhaps the UK can take more freedom in the way that it does Competition Law, possibly having more public interest analysis in merger control.
And finally, what is your favourite Competition Law case?
One of the first cases I dealt with as a student was with the Dutch beer cartel case. I thought it was quite interesting, including the fact that a lot of competition law cases are about food and drinks!
~ Laura Donohoe and Cameron McCall