EU and competition in North West


DWF‘s stellar reputation in the competition law space spans the public and private sectors, as evidenced by the firm’s notable roster of blue-chip international businesses and leading public sector organisations, including both the Scottish and Welsh governments. Practice head Jonathan Branton‘s ‘really good instinct‘ has been instrumental in developing the team’s stand-out capabilities in the areas of state aid and, more recently, subsidy control; senior associate Jay Mehta and director Alexander Rose are also recommended for such work. Colin Murray, who leads the national local government offering, is another key group member.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Other key lawyers:

Jay Mehta; Alexander Rose


‘Outside of London, the best state aid and subsidy control practice in the country. Better than 95% of London practices as well.’

‘Jonathan Branton – very experienced, very knowledgeable and really good instinct.’

‘Alexander Rose – fantastically on top of his subject.’

Key clients

Homes England

Advanced Propulsion Centre



Maven Capital Partners LLP

The Arts Council

National Lottery Heritage Fund/National Lottery Community Fund

Liverpool City Council & Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Wigan Council

Wirral Borough Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

Glennon Brothers (Timber)

Cheshire & Warrington LEP


Manchester Metropolitan University

Medicines Discovery Catapult

Medina Dairies

Durham Council

Work highlights

  • Advised PepsiCo on securing CMA clearance for its acquisition of Pipers Crisps.
  • Advised the Irish Government on a State aid audit carried out by the European Commission, including putting in place measures to demonstrate the compliance of subsidies during the delivery of the funding programme.
  • Advising Homes England on the compliance aspects of multiple funding programmes.

Weightmans LLP

Under the experienced leadership of Laurence Pritchard, the team at Weightmans LLP continues to be widely recognised for its expertise in competition law damages claims. The firm’s representation of UK Trucks Claim  in its application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal on behalf of 600,000 UK purchasers and lessees of trucks who suffered loss as a result of cartel activities is just one recent example of such work. The firm is also noted for its depth of industry knowledge in the airline, energy, food and drink, and insurance sectors. Gary Jones regularly advises local authorities and universities on subsidy control issues.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Pritchard

Other key lawyers:

Gary Jones; Vincent King


‘Very good industry knowledge.’

‘Laurence Pritchard is super.’

‘The work involved such a breadth of legal areas that I needed a major firm with the necessary level of experience to assist. Weightmans were the first choice and have not disappointed. The project is led by Vincent King who calls on a further team of experts within Weightmans who together have helped to seamlessly deliver the necessary agreement which simply would not have been possible if we attempted to do it in-house.’

‘Vincent King has an encyclopedic knowledge of procurement and contract law, pays very clear attention to the important details, and distills complex legal points to the client in a very accessible way.’

Key clients

UK Trucks Claim Limited

S. Norton & Co. Limited

Chiesi Limited


John West Limited

Esken Limited

Wi-Manx Limited

Washington Mills Limited

The Integrity Foundation (HIES)

British Insurance Brokers Association

Lotus Bakeries Limited

The Double Glazing & Quality Assurance Ombudsman Scheme



All About Food

Peel Ports Group/Mersey Docks and Harbour Company


Doncaster Sheffield Airport Limited

Crafter’s Companion Limited

North Lincolnshire Council

Emko Capital LLC

Composite Ones LLC


ZO Skin Health Inc

Anixter Limited

NHS Southport & Formby CCG

The Quality Assurance Co Limited

Cumbria County Council/University of Cumbria

Wigan Council

Flintshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Representing UK Trucks Claim, which has issued 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 ZO Skin Health – a US-based manufacturer and supplier of skincare beauty products – on the European and UK merger control aspects of its proposed acquisition of the distributors of its products in the UK, Ireland and France.
  • Advised All About Food on its distribution arrangements in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, particularly post-Brexit, ensuring that those relationships operate in compliance with EU and UK competition laws.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s reputation as a go-to advisor for the full gamut of antitrust mandates ensures that a roster of major corporates instructs the team to assist with the most complex competition enforcement and merger control matters. The firm is particularly well regarded for its cutting edge work on regulated cases; in a recent example, the group was involved with the judicial review of a CMA decision made in its tribunal capacity. The London-based Bruce Kilpatrick and Mark Molyneux  take the lead on advisory and litigious work, respectively. Over in Manchester, Samantha Haigh and managing associate Mark Crane are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Kilpatrick; Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Haigh; Mark Crane; Rona Bar-Isaac


‘Rona Bar-Isaac runs a very proficient competition team.’

Key clients


Finlays (James Finlay Ltd)

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Elysian Capital

Aberdeen City Council

Tata Chemicals Europe

Asda Stores Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented SSE in the first ever judicial review of the CMA in its capacity as a tribunal.
  • Advised Finlays on global merger control issues, in particular those concerning the client’s disposal of its flowers business to Black Tulip.
  • Advising a range of public sector organisations on subsidy control issues.

Shoosmiths LLP

Competition law expertise forms the cornerstone of the practice at Shoosmiths LLP. Principal associate Angela Gregson leads the team; she has a stellar track record representing clients in CMA and European Commission cases, including merger reviews, financial penalty negotiations, and price maintenance investigations. The firm also assists clients with the day-to-day management of their competition-related risks.

Practice head(s):

Angela Gregson

Key clients

Marshall Amplification plc

CooperOstlund Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented a leading retailer in a CMA resale price maintenance case relating to the supply of guitars, ensuring that the client was not fined or identified in the CMA’s published decision.
  • Represented one of the eye consultants found to have infringed competition law in the CMA’s investigation into privately funded ophthalmology services, securing a reduction in financial penalty and minimising announcements identifying the client’s involvement.
  • Advised SIG on the CMA’s Phase 1 merger control investigation into its £37.5 million disposal of Building Solutions to Kingspan.

Squire Patton Boggs

With ‘highly practical‘ group lead Diarmuid Ryan splitting his time between the firm’s Manchester, London and Brussels offices, the team is well placed to handle the gamut of contentious and advisory EU and UK competition and state aid matters. Assisting with international merger control reviews is a particular area of strength, as is acting in CMA market investigations.

Practice head(s):

Diarmuid Ryan


‘Diarmuid Ryan provides highly practical and commercial advice delivered straight.’

Key clients

A.C. Nielsen


Bayer UK



Grafton plc

HomeServe Plc

Kongsberg Automotive ASA

Primo Water Corporation (previously Cott Corporation)

Princes Foods



S.A. Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa CIF (SAICA)

Selecta Group

SRCL Limited

Studio Retail Group PLC

Telegraph Media Group


World Sailing

Work highlights

  • Defending Vp in the CMA’s groundworks cartel investigation.
  • Advising Kongsberg Automotive on the merger control aspects of the €175m sale of its interior comfort systems business unit to Lear Corporation, including the Phase 1 review by the European Commission.
  • Advising Grafton Group on the CMA’s Phase 1 review and conditional clearance of the proposed sale of six of its businesses within the general builders merchants industry to Huws Gray.