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Helen Gornall is "vastly knowledgeable on legal analyses" and praised for her "strong ability to condense assessments into clear and coherent advice".
Who's Who Legal Competition 2020

Helen Gornall


  • Profession
    Solicitor, admitted to the bar in England & Wales in 2004 / Advocaat, admitted to the Bar in the Netherlands in 2007
  • Expertise
  • Languages
    English, Dutch, French
  • Education
    University of Durham, Nottingham Law School, Kings College London


Helen has extensive experience in all aspects of competition law, including merger control, cartels, dominance, vertical restraints and state aid. Clients value her in-house and private practice expertise, which allows her to understand business drivers and offer clear and practical advice, even in the most complex of matters. She has particular expertise and interest in digital markets, including mergers in this field and the convergence of competition law with consumer and data protection.


Helen joined De Brauw in September 2018, moving from her position as director of competition law at Akzo Nobel NV, where she was responsible for competition law and merger control matters globally. Prior to this, Helen spent 12 years advising clients on competition law at two international law firms in London, Brussels and Amsterdam. She has worked extensively with economists across a range of matters.


Deal highlights include advising: Takeaway.com on its acquisitions of both Just Eat and Grubhub; the shareholders’ committee of Eneco Groep NV in the context of its privatisation and ultimate sale to Mitsubishi; DAF Trucks in relation to multiple follow-on damage claims; DSM and Cargill in relation to their global joint venture for the development and commercialisation of fermented stevia; and Akzo Nobel on the antitrust aspects of PPG’s takeover bid, and on the sale of the Specialty Chemicals business to Carlyle for €10 billion.


Helen is a non-governmental advisor to the Dutch competition authority supporting its membership of the International Competition Network. She is part of the leadership team of the Dutch branch of W@, which aims to promote and mentor female competition law specialists. She teaches competition law to students of the Grotius Academie and is dual-qualified as both a solicitor (England & Wales) and Dutch advocaat.


WWL says: Helen Gornall is “vastly knowledgeable on legal analyses” and praised for her “strong ability to condense assessments into clear and coherent advice”.


Peers and clients say:

“Helen is easy to work with and very responsive. She provides pragmatic, to-the-point advice”.

“She always seeks to understand the business drivers and potential impacts in competition briefs.”

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