Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Side effects of DG Comp’s work (and research all lawyers should read)

with 4 comments


(Official pictured just hours after having clicked “Send”)

Competition law enforcement is also a multi-sided industry. Optimal enforcement depends on a complex balancing of incentives between enforcers, Courts, companies, lawyers, economists, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders.

This means that we often forget about the implications of certain initiatives on other sides of the market. And there is one of these cross-side effects on which (for several reasons) I have particularly strong feelings this year.

You know the joke about how the Commission plays with lawyers holidays adopting Decisions, Statements of Objections and Information Requests just before August? Well, some lawyers are lucky enough to have just received all three.

So at a time when many are asking for summer read suggestions, this is my suggestion to DG Comp: “LEISURE AS A COPING RESOURCE“, a study of how lack of holidays impacts lawyers’ life based on a sample of 900 law firm lawyers.    😉

This is the abstract:

This article explores whether leisure is an effective coping resource in response to the demands of one’s job and in reducing depression. Karasek’s job demand-control-support (JDCS) model of psychological strain serves as a framework for empirically examining the importance of leisure in reducing depression and buffering the detrimental effects of excessive job demands. This article relies on data from a sample of 887 law firm lawyers who are renowned for working in highly stressful work settings. We find that participating in active and social leisure activities or taking a vacation are important in reducing lawyers’ depression, whereas participating in passive leisure is not. None of the leisure variables buffer the harmful effects of job demands on depression. We discuss the implications of these findings“.


Enjoy your time off! 

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

27 July 2018 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. While it is surely attractive to point the finger at DG Comp for its apparent holiday-driven timing, and not without reason, as competition lawyers surely we can recognize that the bigger problem here is the economic incentives for law-firm lawyers, a function of the firms’ business models. It turns out that when you bill by the hour, and that when you have high fixed costs (e.g., rent) and earn all your profits on the margin, it gets very hard not to work that next hour. Not a problem for those of us who are in-house! We have different stressors to cause our depression.


    27 July 2018 at 6:51 pm

  2. Having been on both sides, I know it can also mentally help to know that some of us DG COMP people are also working on holidays and dealing with poor internet connections by the sea 😦


    31 July 2018 at 9:11 am

  3. For some people, the most interesting bit of the pending Servier GC judgment is what the Court makes of the third plea that the length and timing of the Decision denied Servier the right to an effective remedy. The GC judges directly asked the Commission why it was necessary to issue the (> 900 page) Decision immediately before the summer break…

    En Vacances

    31 July 2018 at 10:37 am

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