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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0131 228 9900
Fax 0131 228 1222
551970 EDINBURGH-53

Gordon Downie

Work 0131 473 5162
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Regulation and Markets.


Gordon is a partner within our regulation and markets team and an acknowledged leader in the field of UK and EU competition law and regulation. His particular focus in recent years has been on the role and functioning of markets in regulated sectors in the UK and overseas (such as the energy and water industries) and in connection with the provision of key public services. Gordon's clients include regulatory bodies, regulated entities and other stakeholders (such as complaint-handling bodies). Gordon's clients include ScottishPower, the SEM Committee and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS).


Articled Shepherd and Wedderburn; qualified 1992; partner 1998 to date.




Law Society Competition Law Committee; Law Society of Scotland.


Dunfermline High School; Edinburgh University (1988 LLB Hons); European University Institute (1990 LLM).


Walking, cycling, photography, reading.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Water

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s water team, primarily based in Scotland, provides ‘a bespoke service, industry-specific knowledge and expertise, and consistently strong and accurate advice’ under the leadership of Gordon Downie, who ‘has a wealth of experience and is greatly respected in the field’. Liz McRobb and competition law expert John Grady also attract praise from clients. The team was recently appointed to the advisory panel of Water Plus, a joint venture between Severn Trent and United Utilities, and has also been advising Wessex Water and Water2Business on the opening of the non-household retail market. The Glasgow-based George Boyle acted for Albion Water on the sale of 51% of its shares to Wessex Water and in related joint venture agreements. Other highlights included assisting 2020 Renewables with obtaining consent and planning permission from the Scottish Ministers for the development of the Glenmucklock pumped hydro storage project. Edinburgh-based senior associate Fiona Parker is noted as strong ‘in the interpretation of knotty new regulations’ and works in the Edinburgh office.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

EU and competition

Within: Leading individuals

Gordon Downie - Shepherd and Wedderburn

Within: EU and competition

At Shepherd and Wedderburn, ‘work conducted is always very well researched, considered and legally sound’. Led by Gordon Downie, the team handles competition and other regulatory issues for public and private sector clients active in the utilities industry (with a particular focus on the energy and water markets). State aid, public procurement work and market investigations are the other mainstays of the practice. In recent highlights, Downie and senior associate Natasha Durkin acted for ScottishPower in the CMA’s investigation into the British energy market. Other clients include Scottish Enterprise, ORE Catapult and Water Industry Commission Scotland. Also reflecting the firm’s first-rate reputation in the energy sector, it was appointed to act as adviser to the Singapore Energy Markets Authority. Since the UK referendum on EU membership, the team has been particularly active in advice on EU law and trade issues. John Grady is ‘immensely hardworking and will leave no stone unturned to get to the right answer’. The group works closely with the London team, which is led by John Schmidt.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Within: Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s team is singled out for its depth of expertise; ‘it really understands the issues they face’, according to one client. Its wide-ranging knowledge encompasses areas such as competition and regulatory (including advice on non-contentious matters and assistance with investigations), planning and consenting, property, corporate and construction across the whoe renewable/alternative energy spectrum, including onshore and offshore wind, biomass, energy from waste, hydro, and small-scale renewables. A team including Scott McCallum and Liz McRobb is acting for DONG Energy on the 1.8GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm project in the Southern North Sea, which involves advising on associated planning and environment, property and commercial issues. In another matter, Gordon Downie and senior associate Natasha Durkin are handling a UK Competition and Market Authority investigation into the energy supply market in Great Britain for ScottishPower, while Clare Foster acted for UK Green Investment Bank on the £6.8m financing to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for the replacement of 14,790 streetlights with energy-efficient LED alternatives. James Saunders, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish Law, has been advising on the restructuring of the UK energy sector since the late 1980s. Corporate specialist Daniel Lee, planning expert Colin Innes and Patricia Hawthorn are other highly regarded partners. Key senior associates include Fiona Parker and Joanne McDowall. Jamie Grant joined from MacRoberts LLP.

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