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Who Represents Who

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Brodies LLP is at the forefront of the most current EU law issues, which was recently illustrated by Christine O’Neill’s role as a member of the Lord Advocate’s legal team in Gina Miller’s Supreme Court Article 50 Brexit appeal. O’Neill leads the firm’s Brexit advisory group with Charles Livingstone. Elsewhere, the firm’s competition work includes CMA and EU merger control, cartel defence, abuse of dominance, state aid and public procurement. The practice also covers antitrust compliance advice, internal investigations, regulatory audits, dawn raids and litigation. Practice head Rod Lambert, who has more than 27 years’ competition experience, assisted Scottish Water Business Stream with obtaining UK merger clearance of its acquisition of Southern Water’s non-household business. Livingstone, O’Neill and associate Gemma McKinlay are representing the Scotch Whisky Association, spiritsEUROPE and CEEV in a Supreme Court appeal challenging the compatibility of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 with EU free movement of goods law. O’Neill is also acting as junior counsel on behalf of the Scottish government in state aid litigation brought by an engineering services company. Roger Cotton leads the public procurement team.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLPreally holds its own against the London Magic Circle firms’, with its capabilities spanning merger control, European Commission (EC) and UK cartel investigations, market investigations and challenges to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and EC, procurement and state aid. Follow-on damages actions are a growing area of work, one in which the team represents claimants and defendants. The practice is also developing a specialism acting for financial services clients in competition law matters. In one recent highlight, Catriona Munro, practice head Michael Dean and associate Jennifer Marshall advised British Polythene Industries on the EU merger control aspects of its takeover by RPC Group. In another matter, Dean’s team have been assisting Aberdeen Asset Management with the merger control aspects of its merger with Standard Life. Directors David McGowan and Carolyn Burns are recommended, as is senior associate Melanie Martin.

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.

Burness Paull LLP handles merger control aspects of high-value and high-profile transactions, advises on competition issues arising from commercial agreements and manages competition disputes. A dedicated team led by director Graeme Palmer focuses on procurement and state aid. Although the practice attracts competition law work from clients in a wide range of sectors, particular areas of strength are financial services, food and drink, and energy. Complementing its work for private sector organisations, the practice also has a notable public sector offering, where key clients include Highlands & Islands Enterprise and City of Edinburgh Council. Practice head David Goodbrand advised Highland Spring on developing key relationships with its distributors, which included managing competition issues. On the transactional side, Goodbrand handled the competition aspects of Standard Life’s acquisition of Baigrie Davies Holdings.

CMS acts for Scottish clients and non-Scottish entities with operations in Scotland in a wide range of matters. Senior associate Lynsey Brown is particularly experienced in EU state aid and public procurement work. Other core pillars of the firm’s practice include compliance advice, investigations and litigation, as well as merger control. Aberdeen-based Judith Aldersey-Williams, who has more than 25 years’ experience in competition and regulatory matters, focuses on acting for clients in the energy sector, particularly in oil and gas. Elsewhere, the firm draws work from clients in other sectors, including utilities, financial services, life sciences and infrastructure. Graeme Young leads the practice. Clients include SSE Plc, Standard Life, University of Glasgow and Clydesdale Bank.

DWF has a strong track record of handling the state aid and public procurement aspects of Scottish infrastructure projects. A recent highlight involved advising Dundee City Council and Angus Council on their joint procurement of residual waste management services. The firm also advised Energi on its UK franchising strategy, including managing associated competition law issues. Visit Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets and The Central Marketing Agency, are also key clients. Colin Miller heads the practice, which also covers CMA cartel investigations and merger control.

Harper Macleod LLP’s behavioural and transactional work includes public procurement, state aid, merger control, abuse of dominance and anti-competitive agreements. In addition to acting for private sector organisations, the firm has a particularly strong public sector client following, which includes City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow Council and Forestry Commission Scotland. Practice head James McMorrow and associate Jill Fryer advised Renfewshire Council on state aid compliance associated with recent City Deal projects, including the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside Project. In 2016, McMorrow acted for the University of St Andrews in the public procurement of a development partner for the development of student accommodation.

MacRoberts LLP provides EU and UK competition law compliance advice on behavioural matters, and also handles cartel investigations, state aid (acting for public authorities and private sector businesses) and merger investigations. Practice head David Flint has nearly 40 years’ competition law experience, and is particularly knowledgeable about issues associated with the transport sector. Duncan Osler undertakes a significant amount of work for public sector clients, including NHS boards and local authorities, with particular expertise in public procurement. Senior associate John Reid is another notable practitioner in the team.

Pinsent Masons LLP assists clients with contentious and non-contentious public procurement issues associated with major projects in Scotland and the wider UK, and also provides advice on state aid. Practice head Caroline Ramsay is particularly experienced in acting for UK government departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Homes and Communities Agency. Elaine McLean specialises in state aid and utilities procurement. Christopher Murray is also recommended.

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