Portrait of Helen Ralston-Smith

Helen Ralston-Smith : Partner

Helen has 15 years of professional experience in applying economic principles to issues of strategic importance for businesses, predominantly in the context of litigation and competition investigations. Much of her work has focused on high-profile cases such as the European Commission’s investigations into foreign exchange trading and government bond trading, as well as national competition and regulatory authority investigations into parity clauses and allegations of excessive pricing.

Helen testified at the UK CAT on behalf of Comparethemarket in its appeal of the CMA’s infringement decision regarding its use of MFNs in home insurance, where she was described by the CAT as ‘a formable witness, clearly master of her discipline’. She has also presented oral evidence to the European Commission and the CMA, as well as to international regulators and authorities such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Mexican competition authority.

Helen has been listed in ‘30 in their 30s’ Notable Women Competition Professionals and nominated in 2023 Women@ Shining Star category.

Helen speaks English.

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6623

Helen's specialisms include:

professional experience

  • Economic adviser to an international benchmark provider in the context of the FCA’s market study into benchmarks, credit rating agencies and data vendors (2023–)

  • Economic adviser in the context of an arbitration joint venture non-compete (2022–)

  • Economic adviser to the Home Office in the CMA’s market investigation into emergency services radio network services (2021–)

  • Testifying expert for comparethemarket.com in its appeal at the UK Competition Authority Tribunal of the CMA’s investigation into its use of most favoured nation clauses in home insurance (2021)

  • Economic adviser to an international derivatives exchange group into the FCA’s investigation into wholesale market data (2021–)

  • Economic expert for an international bank in its appeal of the European Commission’s European Government Bond market decision and US class action (2021–)


  • Antuca, A., Niels, G. and Ralston, H. (2023), ‘Compare the markets: Two-sided market definition in the Comparethemarket case’, CPI Antitrust Chronicle, January.

  • Alimonti, R., Neurohr, B. and Ralston, H. (2021), ‘Digital markets and implications for competition policy: Evidence from recent economic analysis’, in Parcu, P.L., Monti, G. and Botta, M. (eds), Economic Analysis in EU Competition Policy: Recent Trends at the National and EU Level, Edward Elgar Publishing, Chapter 6, pp. 113–146.

  • Ralston, H. and Niels, G. (2021), Two-sided market definition: some common misunderstandings, European Competition Journal, 17:1, pp. 118–133.

  • Ralston, H., Leslie, W., O’Reilly, E., Masters, R. and Heinen, V. (2021), Choosing the right filter: Market definition in two-sided markets, Competition Law & Policy Debate, July, pp. 67–73.


  • MSc Economics, University College London, UK

  • BA Economics, University of Cambridge, UK

Latest Insights:  Helen Ralston-Smith

10 minute read
Most-favoured-nation clauses (MFNs) remain a hot topic in competition policy. The direction of travel has generally been one-way, with the UK and European vertical block exemption regimes designating wide MFNs…
10 minute read
The European Commission is consulting on updating its 1997 Market Definition Notice, which provides important guidance on identifying relevant markets in competition cases. One hotly debated topic is defining markets…
10 minute read
On 2 June, the European Commission launched consultations on proposals for a New Competition Tool (NCT) and its Digital Services Act package. As an NCT based on a market structure…
6 minute read
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on businesses across the world. Many have turned to their insurance providers to claim compensation under their business interruption (BI) insurance. However,…

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