Valentine Korah is an eminent EC competition lawyer, author of many critical books and articles on competition law and policy and the beneficiary of effusive forewords by distinguished experts from the UK, Belgium and the United States.
Throughout her long career she has made it easier for lawyers and economists to work together. In the 1960s she started an LL.M. course on UK competition law and policy together with Professor Basil Yamey, a notable economist who produced and supervised theoretical and empirical work on problems concerning competition policy. He attended every week to ask naïve questions which upset the misguided preconceptions of Val and the students. At that time there were no other courses on competition for lawyers in the UK, although there were many in North America and some for economists in the UK. At much the same time, Jeremy Lever started to teach a postgraduate course for lawyers at Oxford.
In 1970, Val worked for 8 months nearly full time as a civil servant helping to draft a Bill to replace the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission by the Prices and Incomes Board and to modify the legal framework. At that time academics were never or hardly ever recruited to the Civil Service for a limited period and part time. In May 1970 the Commission for Industry and Manpower Bill fell with the government and never came into force, but many of the instructions to Parliamentary Counsel and notes on clauses which she had drafted were used when the Fair Trading Bill was passed. In 1973 she was invited to advise a quango, the Price Commission, and did so for some months, also nearly full time. On both occasions she continued to teach full time at UCL.
Her basic academic home has been UCL since 1946 when she came up as an undergraduate. She taught and wrote there from 1951 until her formal retirement in 1993. She has taught many subjects, but recently competition law and policy on a part time basis as Professor Emeritus of Competition law.
Her reputation is international. She has taught also in many other universities and institutions for short periods of time. She was responsible for the dominant course in English on EC competition law at the College of Europe in Bruges for nearly twenty years. This function was discharged during about 7 visits to the College each academic year. On her retirement she was appointed Honorary Professor at the College at a time when there were only four at the College. For 14 consecutive Spring semesters, she was Visiting Professor at Fordham University School of Law in New York City, teaching competition and IP licensing to LL.M., 2nd and 3rd year JD students. This was the only time when she ceased to teach at UCL for a whole term at a time.
She has made shorter visits to many other universities: in Australia to Monash and Melbourne Universities more than once, coupled with shorter visits to the Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Western Australia, and several other Australian and New Zealand Universities In Europe, she has taught at the University of Lund (where she received an honorary doctorate), Valencia, Carlos Tercera and Amsterdam. She also visited several famous law schools in the US, to give occasional lectures. Despite her age (80) Val is still in demand around the world. Last academic year she lectured in Hong Kong and Macau as well as at Fordham and in Athens and Rome. She spoke at a policy meeting organized in Brussels by the legal service of the EC Commission on the aims of competition law. This year she spoke at Budapest and at the Como Summit and was a distinguished visitor for a week at Fordham Law School. She has agreed also to lead seminars in Athens, Rome and Singapore.
Her influence through many books, other writing, lectures and the many excellent student she has taught, has been significant. Many influential people now believe that economics has a substantial contribution to make to competition policy and consulting economists are routinely called in to help when a merger or alleged abuse of a dominant position is being screened in Europe. Competition specialists in the leading law firms expect to make economic arguments themselves when transactions are being negotiated or litigated. Many have contributed to the interdisciplinary approach. Young specialist lawyers are now familiar with economic way of thinking, but Val was an innovator. Her criticisms of the old Restrictive Trade Practices law on the grounds that it was formalistic and often restricted competition contributed to its repeal and replacement.
Research Professor Korah's research interests are in the areas of European Community and other competition laws and policy.
Introductory Guide to EC Competition Law and Practice, 9th ed. (2007), Hart Publishing;
The Lisbon chapter, "Competition Law and Economics", eds Mateus and Moreira (2007), 301-324.