EU and competition in North West


DWF handles the full range of competition and EU-related matters, including CMA and international merger filings, state aid and public procurement proceedings Its work includes litigation, and regulatory issues relating to Brexit. Another area of focus for the firm in 2020 was access to COVID-19 subsidies in areas such as construction and infrastructure. The team is led by the 'truly outstandingJonathan Branton  and Colin Murray, who offer international state aid and public funding expertise, and notable local government and public procurement capabilities respectively. Also noted is senior associate Jay Mehta, a specialist in state aid and public sector work, and director Alexander Rose, who has extensive expertise in public funding.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Other key lawyers:

Jay Mehta; Alexander Rose


‘DWF are simply the best Subsidy control and State aid practice outside the City of London. They have unrivalled experience acting for applicants for subsidy and subsidy granting bodies, right across the board, large and small. They have also acted in a number of court cases both for and against subsidy awarding bodies. ’

‘Jonathan Branton heads the practice in this area. He is truly outstanding in his knowledge of subsidy control and State aid law. He is highly experienced, very clever and knowledge and ruthlessly pragmatic in his approach. Clients love his down to earth approach.’

Alexander Rose is a former government lawyer specialising in this field, who has also spent time working for the European Commission. He is deeply knowledgeable, has real practical insight into the workings of government and is also a very pragmatic practitioner.

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)

Barnfield Construction Limited

Redsun Developments Limited

Manchester Metropolitan University

Medicines Discovery Catapult

EnergieSprong UK

Durham Council

Work highlights

  • Advised for 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 of multiple funding programmes

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard handles complex and high value competition enforcement, merger control, and competition litigation, working closely with its national teams on major cases, including high-profile CMA investigations in the retail, pharmaceutical, and funeral services sectors. The team includes Mark Molyneux, who is regularly involved in competition litigation, including several follow-on damages cases, and managing associate Mark Crane, who advises and represents clients across a range of competition and regulatory matters. Managing associate David Milne advises on phase 1 and in-depth phase 2 merger enquiries. Rona Bar-Isaac also divides her time between London and Manchester, and is a highly regarded competition practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Kilpatrick; Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Mark Crane; David Milne; Rona Bar-Isaac

Key clients

YPO (formerly Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation)

The Co-operative Group Limited

Brenntag UK


City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council


Manchester Energy Partnership Limited

Saga PLC Bennetts Motorcycling Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised YPO on the CMA’s Phase 2 merger investigation into its acquisition of Findel Education.
  • Advised Co-op on a wide range of competition law matters across its Food, Funerals and Consumer Services businesses.
  • Advised Bruntwood Group on the on the state aid/ subsidy control and merger control aspects of projects including the development of a £210m life sciences campus in Birmingham.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP has a strong focus on competition law damages claims, particularly with regard to ongoing cartel claims including the European truck cartel. The firm also has capabilities in state aid and public procurement work, with sector expertise across retail, aerospace, energy, insurance, and food and drink. The team is led by the vastly experienced Laurence Pritchard, a specialist in merger control and anti-competitive practices, while Gary Jones specialises in state aid advice for local authorities and aerospace clients.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Pritchard


‘A wealth of knowledge within the team concerning Competition Law, especially in the context of a retail environment.’

‘Laurence Pritchard is outstanding, his knowledge of competition law knows no bounds. A true seasoned professional who considers his advice against the backdrop of commercial realities.’

‘I highly value Laurence Pritchard’s advice on competition law as the best there is.’


Key clients

UK Trucks Claim Limited

S. Norton & Co. Limited

Chiesi Limited


John West Limited

Stobart Group

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


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

NHS Blood and Transplant

Chorley Borough Council

Merseytravel Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented UK Trucks Claim Limited in 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.
  • Represented the Integrity Foundation in a challenge to the withdrawal of its operational permissions by regulator MCS.
  • Representing NHS Blood and Transplant in public procurement proceedings, including a range of contractual and regulatory matters associated with the national response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP represents national clients in significant cartel investigations and merger control cases, regularly engaging with the CMA in review proceedings, leniency applications, and cartel defence. The team is led by principal associate Angela Gregson, who has City expertise and has represented clients in CMA and European Commission cases, including merger reviews, financial penalty negotiations, and price maintenance investigations.

Practice head(s):

Angela Gregson


‘We selected Shoosmiths due to their Competition Law specialism and support. ’

‘Despite our sector being relatively niche and with very minimal published evidence to support our claim, Angela Gregson took the time to fully understand what is a complex sector and matter within that sector, and this time and effort has been reflected in the correspondence on the matter that she has drafted on our behalf. Angela carefully explained each of the options available to us and as the matter progressed, Angela has been both supportive and clear in respect of both the options available to us and their varied likelihood of success.’

‘We have always found Shoosmiths capable of providing the right person with the right expertise for the issue and that was the case again on this occasion. The work was reasonably priced and the individual clearly had experience as well as knowledge in the areas required.’

‘We found Angela Gregson to be very knowledgeable and approachable for our issue. She listened to our issues and provided thoughtful and accurate advise for us as an SME.’

‘Angela Gregson provides behavioural advice which is practical, enabling and commercially-minded. In an area of law which can be overly complex, or where it is easy to hedge your bets, Angela does not provide overly academic analyses and does not sit on the fence. Her advice, and her style of delivery, is perfectly suited to the day to day issues that we need to address. ’

‘Angela Gregson was very responsive and engaged. Provided constructive advice and supported me through the process.’


Key clients

Marshall Amplification plc

CooperOstlund Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading retailer on a CMA resale price maintenance case relating to the supply of guitars.
  • Advised 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 plc in relation to the CMA’s Phase 1 merger control investigation into its £37.5m disposal of Building Solutions to Kingspan plc.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs acts for major national and international clients in antitrust disputes, competition litigation, merger review proceedings, and investigations by the CMA and European Commission, including cartel proceedings and sector-wide market investigations. The team is led by Diarmuid Ryan, who divides his time between London and Manchester, while director Nicola Elam plays a leading role in major merger control and cartel investigations, as well as advising clients on competition law compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Diarmuid Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Elam


‘They provide a very personal service. They are client friendly, pragmatic, and the quality of their advice is very good. ’

‘Diarmuid Ryan: Highly value his collaborative nature and thoughtfulness. Nicola Elam: Excellent synthesizing complex information into clear and compelling legal submissions.’

‘Squire Patton Boggs has a really outstanding competition law practice. They provide top-notch legal advice across the gamut of competition law that is focused on being practical and to the point. ’

‘Partner Diarmuid Ryan is an extremely able competition lawyer who has an excellent manner with clients. He is great at providing pragmatic and real-world advice and his ability to strategise is second to none. His negotiating skills are also top-notch.’



Key clients

A.C. Nielsen

Bayer UK

Funeral Partners

Studio Retail Group plc

Telegraph Media Group

Vp plc


ClearCourse Partnership LLP

Work highlights

  • Representing Vp PLC in the CMA’s Groundworks cartel investigation.
  • Advising Funeral Partners on the CMA’s Funerals market investigation.
  • Advising Studio Retail Group PLC on the CMA’s P1 and P2 review of its sale of Findel Education Limited to YPO.