Laura Guttuso is currently a doctoral researcher at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Australia, as well as being a Research Scholar at its Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law (CPICL). She teaches Business and Corporations Law, and is a Guest Lecturer on the LLM Competition Law module at the University of Queensland.
Laura started her legal career working as an Associate and Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills in London, specialising in EU and UK competition law. In 2006, she moved to the UK competition authority, where she performed a number of roles, notably, Senior Legal and Policy Adviser, Team Leader in the Cartels Group, and, more recently, Assistant-Director in the General Counsel’s Office.
Laura holds a BSc (Economics) degree from the London School of Economics, and a law degree from Wolfson College, Cambridge University. In 2013, she obtained First Class Honours in her LLM from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, for her research on the treatment of leniency materials in competition litigation proceedings. Laura received the 2015 Owen Fletcher Publication Award for her book chapter ‘Leniency and the Two Faces of Janus: Where Public and Private Enforcement Merge and Converge’ in Caron Beaton-Wells’ and Christopher Tran’s book edition Anti-Cartel Enforcement in a Contemporary Age: The Leniency Religion (Hart Publishing, 2015). Her current PhD research project is entitled ‘In pursuit of cartels: a critical analysis of the dynamics between public and private enforcement’, supervised by The Honourable Justice Andrew Greenwood and Professor Kit Barker.
Her project analyses the challenges resulting from the interplay between public and private actions against cartels, and performs a comparative review across a number of key jurisdictions, these being the United States (US), the European Union (EU), and Australia. Her research seeks to make a novel contribution to answering the important question as to how public and private enforcement mechanisms against cartels could be better optimised, particularly in Australia. This also means reassessing the role not just leniency applicants, but also competition authorities, and the courts, can play in the wider system. The US has ample experience of both public and private enforcement, and therefore provides a key comparator. During her visit, Laura proposes to study the interplay between criminal and private proceedings in the US in more detail. For example, the scope of the US discovery process, and the circumstances under which a civil court will grant prima facie preclusive effect to a prior judgment, are all relevant to her research. The aim is to learn from a jurisdiction in which criminal cartel powers are already deeply embedded in the system.