Next Generation Lawyers

EU and competition in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP has established one of the most comprehensive EU and competition services in Scotland, regularly advising major clients across the gamut of areas including antitrust compliance and investigations, merger control, state aid and subsidy control, public procurement, and pre- and post-Brexit EU law. The team is highly active across a number of key sectors including transport and infrastructure, food and drink, technology, and energy, with practice head Charles Livingstone being renowned for his expertise advising private and public sector clients in both contentious and non-contentious situations. Christine O’Neill KC brings significant competition litigation experience, having acted on a number of transport infrastructure cases, while Roger Cotton leads the firm’s State aid and subsidy control practice and has considerable commercial law expertise. Senior associate Jamie Dunne has a strong procurement law practice, regularly representing bidders and public authorities.

Practice head(s):

Charles Livingstone

Other key lawyers:

Christine O’Neill KC; Roger Cotton; Jamie Dunne


‘The responsiveness, level of expertise (on public procurement matters, including public tender disputes) and understanding of clients’ needs and priorities are incredible.’

‘The team is very responsive. Meetings are arranged at short notice and advice given very speedily.’

‘The solicitors understand the issues quickly, are very knowledgeable and provide clear advice.’

‘The individuals in the team are very approachable.’

‘Jamie Dunn consistently provides very high-quality advice while demonstrating a very thorough knowledge of subsidy rules.’

Charles Livingstone is calm and authoritative on all aspects of competition law.

‘There is a large team (for the Scottish market) so there is considerable breadth of experience depending on the issue at hand.’

Key clients

The Scotch Whisky Association

The Scottish Government

North Lanarkshire Council

AGS Airports Limited

Scottish Enterprise

Stornoway Port Authority

Clyde Gateway Developments Limited

City of Edinburgh Council

Borderlink Broadband Limited

Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Advised AGS Airports Limited on the refresh and roll-out of its competition compliance policy, including delivering training sessions to all relevant staff across Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton Airports.
  • Supported North Lanarkshire Council with a complete refresh of its procurement and contracting template documentation.
  • Supported Clyde Gateway Developments Limited with the procurement of an innovative 5G ambient heat network in a regeneration area, the Scottish element of a research project known as D2 Grids co-funded by Interreg North West Europe.


Combining considerable breadth and depth of competition law expertise, Dentons is notorious in the Scottish market for its ability to handle complex issues concerning competition litigation, regulatory and subsidy control advice to the UK government and public bodies, as well as merger control guidance at both the UK and EU level. The team is led from Glasgow by Michael Dean, who is vastly experienced in all aspects of competition law including dawn raids, cartel investigations, merger clearances, and distribution and vertical issues, with Adrian Magnus supporting the team from London. Catriona Munro is a contentious competition specialist, while Carolyn Burns has a strong reputation for regulatory and subsidy control advice, particularly in the energy sector. Melanie Martin primarily handles non-contentious matters and regularly advises the UK government.

Practice head(s):

Michael Dean; Adrian Magnus

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Munro; Carolyn Burns; Melanie Martin


‘Unrivalled sector knowledge and the ability to deliver clear and concise advice in an extremely technical area.’

‘Melanie Martin is outstanding in supporting the outcome sought and always available with clear direction and timely action.’

‘Melanie Martin takes the time to properly understand an industrial sector that was new to them, and in doing so were able to form the correct strategy.’

‘The team is pragmatic whilst always being very clear where lines need to be drawn. They understand our business well and are responsive and focussed.’

‘Michael Dean is a trusted advisor and always able to give clear, sensible advice.’

‘Melanie Martin is excellent.’

Key clients

Daimler AG

Stagecoach Group

The Edrington Group Limited

UK Government (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Department for Education)

Scottish National Investment Bank

Power by British Volt Limited

Scott Group

Nynas AB

CentralWay Limited

National House-Building Council

Scottish Equity Partners

Dye & Durham

Acorn CCUS (joint venture of Shell, Storegga, North Sea Midstream Partners and Harbour Energy)

Work highlights

  • Advising BEIS on interventions in the energy markets to reduce energy bills for households and businesses.
  • Representing SSWT in ongoing collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) brought by Justin Gutmann against SSWT and two other rail operators in relation to alleged abuse of dominance regarding boundary fares.
  • Advising on The Acorn Project, a significant project for the decarbonisation of the Scottish economy. It is a joint venture of major players in the oil and gas sector which have come together to develop carbon capture, hydrogen and direct air capture projects together with a CO2 transportation and storage network.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Offering a practice which spans all aspects of competition law, Shepherd and Wedderburn is reputable in the Scottish market for delivering on complex mandates concerning anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, Ofgem and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigations, competition litigation, and transactions. Recently, the firm has handled a steady stream of work concerning the UK’s new subsidy control obligations, which replace the previous State aid rules following Brexit. Team head Gordon Downie is highly respected in the market and active across key sectors in Scotland including food and drink, energy, technology, and real estate. John Grady brings extensive experience on the full range of competition issues, with a particular focus in dealing with regulators, while Scott Rodger offers considerable expertise of the water and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Downie

Other key lawyers:

John Grady; Scott Rodger


‘Gordon Downie leads an all round team. Better depth of knowledge than any other Scottish firm in the market that I know. Good focus on giving younger members experience, collaboration with client and counsel.’

‘Top-class communication skills and highly efficient, they go the extra mile.’

‘Gordon Downie is excellent and brings highly experienced leadership. He has unique knowledge of EU and UK competition and regulatory law.’

Key clients

SP Energy Networks

Energy Transition Zone

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Optoscribe Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the ETZ on establishing its subsidy control framework.
  • Subsidy control advice in relation to the Humber 5G Testbed project.
  • Advising a pioneering 3D photonics company on its sale to Intel Corporation.

Burness Paull LLP

The competition team at Burness Paull LLP is extremely well regarded in the Scottish market, advising major clients across the spectrum of UK, EU and international competition law, with a particular strength in the fields of merger control and subsidy control practices. One of those heading the practice from Glasgow is Colin Miller, who has extensive experience in dawn raids, abuse of dominant position and cartel investigations, particularly in the transport, utilities and logistics sectors. Co-head Graeme Palmer is an EU procurement law specialist, regularly representing public sector clients on complex issues of compliance, shared services and collaboration, with director Ruth McNaught also building a solid reputation for advisory and contentious procurement work. The firm’s membership of Lex Mundi is another bonus for clients whose competition matters have a cross-border nature.

Practice head(s):

Colin Miller; Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Ruth McNaught


‘Strong all round competition counsel in Colin Miller.’

‘Particularly strong on how competition law impacts IP and commercial agreements.’

‘Extremely strong commercial IP expertise, they really understand the agreements on which they give competition advice.’

Key clients


Independent Television News (ITN)

Elite Sports Group

Highland Spring

Scottish Enterprise

Electricite de France Renewables

Exact Sciences Corporation


Dunwoody Air Services


Work highlights

  • Acting for Elite in connection with the CMA investigation into an alleged price-fixing cartel under the Competition Act 1998, relating to an alleged anti-competitive agreement or concerted practice regarding the price at which Rangers-branded replica football kit was sold in the United Kingdom.
  • Providing competition law advice to Highland Spring in connection with its ongoing distribution arrangements to supermarkets and other major retail outlets in the UK. This involves advising on the extent to which its agreements benefit from automatic exemption from the competition rules and in particular the Verticals Regulation which exempts distribution agreements, provided they meet certain conditions.
  • Acting for The Carbon and Energy Fund Limited in connection with its procurement of an innovation partnership for the delivery of geothermal energy solutions in the form of warm water to a number of NHS Trust hospital sites in the UK.


CMS is a go-to firm for the gamut of strategic competition advice, with a particularly strong track-record advising on the most high-profile investigations and mergers in the Scottish market, recently seeing rapid growth in the amount of subsidy control mandates handled. Graeme Young leads the team from Edinburgh, bringing over two decades of experience advising major clients on competition compliance, commercial agreements and sales practices, competition and regulatory investigations, and merger control. The team was bolstered by the addition of Wendy Nicolson and senior associate Emma Blundell from Pinsent Masons LLP, the former specialising in public procurement, especially in the life sciences, energy, utilities and defence sectors.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Young

Other key lawyers:

Wendy Nicolson; Emma Blundell

Key clients


NatWest Group Plc (NWG)

BP Plc

Dye & Durham Corporation (“D&D”)

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

The Common Services Agency (commonly known as NHS National Services Scotland (“NSS”)

Braid Logistics

David Macbrayne Limited / CalMac Ferries

Scottish Water

South of Scotland Enterprise

Highland and Islands Enterprise

Scottish National Investment Bank p.l.c. (SNIB)

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE)

University of Glasgow

The City of Edinburgh Council

Scottish Power



West Dunbartonshire Council

Opportunity North East Limited

Scottish Futures Trust

Northern Ireland Water

Centrica Plc

Places for People Leisure Management Limited (PfP)



Atos UK

Stagecoach Plc

BAE Systems

Work highlights

  • Acting for Canadian-listed D&D, a leading provider of cloud-based software and technology solutions, on the CMA’s merger investigation into its completed acquisition of TM Group.
  • Acting for Microsoft as defendant in an action brought by a second-hand software reseller claiming damages and injunctive relief for infringement of the Chapter II Prohibition Competition Act 1998.
  • Advised BAE Systems PLC (BAES) on the sale of NetReveal, a provider of fraud detection platforms for the finance industry.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern is primarily notable for its expertise advising on competition litigation, subsidy control, and general competition matters, with particular strength in the public sector. Katrina Lumsdaine heads the team and specialises in high-value and complex litigation, while Douglas McLachlan brings considerable experience of investigations such as dawn raids, as well as competition enforcement in courts. Head of corporate Simon Brown is also a key contact, with particular expertise in the energy, forestry and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):

Katrina Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Douglas McLachlan; Simon Brown


‘Highly effective in providing advice and strategy in a complex group action.’

‘Katrina Lumsdaine is always clear and reassuring.’

Key clients

22 Scottish Local Authorities and Scottish Water

INEOS Chemicals Grangemouth Limited

The Skills Development Scotland Company Limited

Allied Vehicles Limited

John Martin Group Limited

Superfeet Worldwide Inc

Work highlights

  • Pursuing damages on behalf of 22 public bodies, in relation to an action arising out of the high-profile Truck Cartel case.
  • Advise INEOS and Petroineos on strategically important procurement and supply contracts, including competition law issues.
  • Advised Crown Estate Scotland in relation to the competition law aspects of the ScotWind project.

Harper Macleod LLP

Led by Donnie Munro, Harper Macleod LLP advises both public and private sector clients on the full range of competition matters, primarily public procurement and subsidy control, but also a steady stream of merger control, anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance mandates. James McMorrow heads the team and regularly advises on subsidy and procurement rules, as well as having experience representing clients in the Competition Appeals Tribunal. Other names to note include Jennifer Jack, who has a stellar reputation for dealing with challenges to decisions of public authorities.

Practice head(s):

Donnie Munro

Other key lawyers:

James McMorrow; Jennifer Jack

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Inverclyde Council

Cairngorms National Park Authority


Scottish Fire and Rescue

Forestry and Land Scotland

Energy Saving Trust

Historic Environment Scotland

Water Industry Commission for Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised Glasgow City Council in relation to a further part of its project to raise funding in order to fund a significant equal pay settlement agreed by the Council and its employees. The project has a total value of £209m and is complex, high profile and business critical to the Council and one of its arm’s length vehicles.
  • Advised Glasgow City Council, Fire Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council in relation to numerous applications for funding from the UK Levelling Up Fund, including in relation to subsidy control assessments.
  • Advising Inverclyde Council in relation to its investment, alongside Peel Ports Clyde port to extend current facilities at Inchgreen Dry Dock, Greenock under the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

MacRoberts LLP

With a particular strength in subsidy control work, the competition team at MacRoberts LLP is also well known for advising clients on anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance matters, particularly in a number of key growth sectors including renewables, food and drink, and technology. Team head Robin Fallas has a substantial practice advising on procurement, subsidies, and investigations and mergers, focusing on heavily regulated sectors such as water, electricity and communications.

Practice head(s):

Robin Fallas

Work highlights