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EU and competition in North West


At DWF, practice head Jonathan Branton splits his time between Leeds and Manchester, handling high-profile work such as advising PepsiCo and subsidiary Walkers Crisps on the acquisition of Pipers Crisps. In addition to acting on merger control, the department is distinguished for its handling of EU state aid matters, EU procurement matters and EU funding regulatory issues. Cartels are a further area strength for the team, which also includes Colin Murray, an expert on public law, procurement and governance. Senior associate Jay Mehta’s strengths lie in representing education sector clients, local authorities and combined authorities.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton

Other key lawyers:

Colin Murray; Jay Mehta; James Lupton

Key clients

Homes England

Irish Government

OSRAM Licht Group

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham


Maven Capital Partners LLP

University of Liverpool


National Lottery Heritage Fund / National Lottery Community Fund

Liverpool City Council & Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

Stockport Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Cheshire & Warrington LEP

Barnfield Group

Welsh Government

Marshall Construction

Northern Trust Limited

Lancashire County Council (& LEP)

Work highlights

  • Acted for OSRAM in securing CMA clearance for its acquisition of Ring Automotive.
  • Advised Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in a series of grant funding scenarios in administering its SIF (Strategic Investment Fund).
  • Advised Maven on the administration of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP has expertise in cartel damages, state aid and procurement law. Under the leadership of Laurence Pritchard, a merger control and anti-competitive practice expert, the team is particularly knowledgeable in the airline, airport, food and drink and insurance industries. It also represents a number of local authorities, listed companies, universities, developers and venture funds in relation to state aid issues with grants, deal structures and loans.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Pritchard

Other key lawyers:

Tristan Feunteun; Gary Jones

Key clients

UK Trucks Claim Limited

S. Norton & Co. Limited

Chiesi Limited


John West Limited

Stobart Group

Wi-Manx Limited

Washington Mills Limited

Motor Insurers’ Bureau

British Insurance Brokers Association

Lotus Bakeries Limited




All About Food

Peel Ports Group


Doncaster Sheffield Airport Limited

Mondi Group

North Hertfordshire D.C.

Work highlights

  • Acted for UK Trucks Claim Limited on issuing proceedings on behalf of owners and lessees of over 600,000 trucks which were sold by way of unlawful anti-competitive practices undertaken and admitted by a cartel of European truck manufacturers over a 14 year period.
  • Advised Swissport in obtaining unconditional clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority of its acquisition from Air France of the remaining 50% of Heathrow Cargo Handling Limited.
  • Advising Rutland County Council on State aid compliance in obtaining grant funding through the DCMS Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund under the Public Sector Building Upgrades programme.

Addleshaw Goddard

The ‘very commercial-thinking team’ at Addleshaw Goddard is entrusted for antitrust investigations, competition enforcement, merger control, state aid implications and advisory matters. In addition, the department is active in respect of competition litigation, led by Mark Molyneux, particularly in respect of matters concerning the retail and financial services sectors. Clients single out managing associate Mark Crane, who recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Kilpatrick; Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Mark Crane


A very commercial-thinking team that is competent, quick and swift to reply‘.

I have worked specifically with Mark Crane. He struck me as really excellent with great judgement and a get-things-done attitude.’

Key clients

Inspired Entertainment Inc

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Road Haulage Association

Co-operative Group Limited

PZ Cussons

Office Depot Europe

NKT group of companies

British American Tobacco

KCom Group Ltd

Scotia Gas Networks

Terra Firma

Department for Transport

Brenntag UK

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Office Depot (ODE) in relation to two claims in the English High Court for follow and stand-alone damages against addressees of a decision of the European Commission in relation to the Envelopes Cartel and/or companies in their respective corporate groups, for losses arising from the purchase by ODE of envelopes caused by the Envelopes Cartel.
  • Instructed by six companies in the NKT group across two claims. Some of the first follow-on claims from the Power Cables decision were brought in the UK by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (NGET) and, separately, companies within the Scottish Power group of companies.

Squire Patton Boggs

The Manchester team at Squire Patton Boggs is part of a broader practice spread across London and Brussels; key partner Diarmuid Ryan divides his time between all three offices. Director Nicola Elam, who is based in the Manchester office, benefits from previous experience at the European Commission, and advises many of the team's key clients on UK and EU competition law.

Other key lawyers:

Diarmuid Ryan; Nicola Elam


‘Providing legal competition argument to required narrative in a punchy style.’

‘Diarmuid Ryan cuts to the chase and sees the bigger picture and points of detail extremely quickly.’


Key clients


Cathay Pacific

Citron Hygiene UK

Funeral Partners

Studio Retail Group PLC


Work highlights

  • Defending Vp PLC in the CMA’s ongoing Groundworks cartel investigation.
  • Advising Funeral Partners on the CMA’s funerals market investigation.
  • Advising Studio Retail Group PLC in securing CMA approval for its sale of Findel Education Limited to YPO.