EU and competition in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP's team has expertise in a broad range of EU and national competition law matters, including merger control, antitrust compliance and investigations, competition litigation, state aid and public procurement. A distinguishing feature of the firm is that it has a Brussels office, which has made it well-placed to advise on Brexit-related issues. Glasgow-based Charles Livingstone, who heads up the practice, handles contentious and non-contentious competition matters. Christine O’Neill in Edinburgh is renowned for her expertise in procurement litigation; she counts the Scottish government as one of her key clients.

Practice head(s):

Charles Livingstone


‘Brodies has an enviable depth of experience in EU and competition law matters.’

‘Brodies has strong litigation capabilities across the Board, with a good mix of senior practitioners and able younger lawyers.’

‘Christine O’Neill is a class act, technically excellent, great client manner, strategic in approach and calm under fire. A very impressive lawyer and the senior litigator you want on your side in Scotland.’

‘Charles Livingstone combines incisive intellectual quality with attention to detail and the willingness to put in the long hours and hard yards for his clients.’


Key clients


Banks Renewables Limited

The Scotch Whisky Association

Scottish Water Business Stream

AGS Airports Limited

Aberdeen City Council

Scottish Government

Applied Medical Limited

Highlands & Islands Enterprise

City of Edinburgh Council

Lothian Buses


Work highlights

  • Advised Abellio on tender bid, merger clearance strategy and procurement litigation.
  • Acted for Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd (Business Stream) in purchasing the non-domestic customer base of Yorkshire Water Business Services and Three-Sixty from the Kelda Group.
  • Advised the economic development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise on a number of State aid and procurement matters.


The competition team at Dentons stands out for its contentious expertise in areas such as dawn raids, anti-bribery work and modern slavery issues. Other areas of focus include merger control, compliance, public procurement and state aid. Practice head Michael Dean is experienced in the full gamut of EU and UK competition law proceedings. Catriona Munro is recommended for cartels work, contentious competition law and regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Dean


‘The team are all excellent – incredibly skilled and knowledgeable, very articulate drafters, great attention to detail by all, and operate very well under pressure and tight deadlines without quality slipping.’

‘The team seeks to understand how my business works and they feel like an extension of my own team when working together on complex and evolving matters. I believe they always have the best interests of my business as their focus.’

‘The knowledge held by David McGowan is superior and he is a clear expert in his field, while being engaging and willing to share his experience to help others grow.’

Key clients

Standard Life Aberdeen PLC

Daimler AG

AL-KO Kober Holding Limited

Stagecoach Group PLC

Network Rail

C&C Group PLC

Aggreko PLC

UK Government (Department for International Development; Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Baxters Food Group Limited

Alexander Dennis Ltd

Spectis Robotics Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited (SSWT) in ongoing proposed collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal brought by Justin Gutmann against SSWT and two other rail operators.
  • Representing Daimler AG in litigation in the Scottish courts following on from the European Commission’s Trucks decision.
  • Advising Stagecoach Group PLC on their response to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s consultation on bus franchising in Greater Manchester.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles the full range of competition law matters, including transactional and behavioural mandates, procurement, state aid and litigation. It is noted for its specialist public law and commercial litigation experience. The practice generates mandates in the key sectors of utilities, including energy and water, and telecoms. Gordon Downie is recommended for regulatory matters and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Downie

Other key lawyers:

John Grady; Fiona Parker


‘Gordon Downie has stand out expertise and attention to detail; his client handling skills are super. Easy access and fast, considered responses are valuable qualities.’

‘Fiona Parker has excellent client-management skills and is a very sound drafter.’

‘The team is led by Gordon Downie who has huge experience and particular expertise in the energy sector. He is highly effective and pragmatic.’


Key clients

ScottishPower (SP)

Single Electricity Market (SEM) Committee

Water Industry Commission Scotland

City of Edinburgh Council

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Ltd.

The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Miller Homes Limited

BT Global Services

Work highlights

  • Advising on a wide spectrum of competition and State aid issues in relation to the operation of the Integrated Single Electricity Market on the Island of Ireland (I-SEM).
  • Advising Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) on a wide range of State aid issues related to a number of innovation projects in the offshore wind sector.
  • Continuing to advise BT Global Services (in conjunction with the French firm Vogel & Vogel) on a crucial follow-on damages case in France arising from a 2015 anti-trust decision against Orange.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP’s competition practice was bolstered this year by the arrival of new practice head Colin Miller from DWF. Miller is renowned for his experience of cartel investigations, technology transfer and advice to public sector clients. The team generates mandates from clients in the technology, food and drink, public sector, and oil and gas sectors. Its expertise spans UK, EU and international competition law. Graeme Palmer, who jointly leads the team with Miller, is noted for his expertise in procurement and state aid law.

Practice head(s):

Colin Miller; Graeme Palmer


‘Colin Miller is a very careful technical lawyer, as well as a seriously astute tactician.’

‘London quality competition advice, from Edinburgh.’

‘Michael Bryceland has excellent technical skills, experience and ability to explain complex concepts to clients in plain English.’

Key clients

Highland Spring

Oil & Gas UK (trade association for Oil & Gas industry)


Inspired Energy plc

University of St. Andrews

The Weir Group plc

EDF Energy Renewables

FKA Brands

Scottish Enterprise

Carron Bathrooms

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cytosystems on competition law implications arising from collaboration agreements to commercialise its patented technology relating to the methodology for diagnostic tests for bladder cancer.
  • Advised Oil & Gas UK on the creation and structure of a supplier accreditation scheme for approval of its suppliers to the oil and gas industry.
  • Instructed by EDF Energy Renewables (Electricite de France) to advise on competition law implications of the proposed acquisition of a UK renewable energy developer, including process for merger clearance for the Competition and Markets Authority.


CMS handles antitrust investigations, market studies and market investigations, antitrust compliance and merger control. It is noted for its focus on the energy, utilities, transport, infrastructure and financial services sectors. Edinburgh-based Graeme Young, who is the head of the team, is well regarded for his knowledge of EU and UK competition law, including public procurement and state aid. Kenny Henderson, who joined from Stewarts Law LLP, splits his time between London and Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Young

Other key lawyers:

Kenny Henderson


‘They are a very accessible team that quickly become your own trusted colleagues.’

‘Humility, technical expertise and empathy. Graeme Young was a great support during challenging times.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable team with very good interaction between departments to ensure full client coverage. CMS are very responsive and speak the same language as we do in-house. They understand our business and the advice is tailored and to the point.’


Key clients

Scottish Water


Northern Ireland Water Limited

CalMac Ferries Limited

The City of Edinburgh Council

Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise

Centrica Plc



Ei Group Plc

AbbVie Ltd.

Utilita Energy Limited

University of Glasgow

Greenlink Interconnector Limited

Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus

National Grid

Opportunity North East

iPlato Healthcare


Public Health England

Vattenfall UK


La Farge Holcim


University College London

Orkney Islands Council

The University of Sheffield

Secure Chorus Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on the UK and EU merger control aspects of the sale of ConocoPhillips entire UK North Sea upstream oil and gas business to Chrysaor.
  • Advising on the procurement of a new strategic capital delivery alliance framework for the delivery of Scottish Water’s capital investment programme for the next SR21 regulatory period (for work valued at over £5.2 bn).
  • Advising Utilita Energy on the CMA’s review of prepayment price cap, introduced as part a series of remedies following the Energy Market Investigation.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern is best known for handling competition litigation cases, and also providing state aid and general competition advice. Clients include public and private organisations. Katrina Lumsdaine leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Katrina Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Douglas McLachlan


‘Anderson Strathern have a top tier team in EU and competition law. The team is extremely commercial and highly organised and skilled, and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Katrina Lumsdaine is a very sharp legal mind, coupled with extraordinary organisational skills.’


Key clients

Scottish Government Framework – All Lots

Skills Development Scotland

Edinburgh City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Superfeet Worldwide Inc and UK subsidiary Superfeet Worldwide UK Limited on commercial contract issues, which included competition issues.
  • Advised Allied Vehicles Limited on competition law issues.
  • Advised John Martin Group Limited on EU competition rules.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP’s competition team focuses on handling public procurement and state aid matters for public and private sector clients. Other areas of expertise include merger control, anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance. James McMorrow leads the team. Jill Fryer was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

James McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

Jill Fryer; Jennifer Jack; Jamie Watt


‘Great advice, very responsive, very much a “can do” attitude and solution driven. Tuned into our needs and responded accordingly.’

‘Very down to earth and pragmatic, approachable and extremely helpful.’


Key clients

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited

Inverclyde Council


East Renfrewshire Council

Scape Group

Energy Savings Trust

Forestry and Land Scotland

Work highlights

  • Acted for Glasgow City Council in relation to its project to raise £646m funding in order to fund a significant equal pay settlement agreed with its employees.
  • Recently assisted Highlands and Islands Airports Limited with a number of procurement procedures for business-critical equipment and services.
  • Advising Glasgow City Council in relation to its procurement of a complex alliance contracting solution to prevent and alleviate homelessness in Glasgow under the competitive dialogue procedure.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP is noted for its strengths in compliance matters and investigations. It also excels in the competition law aspects of corporate transactions, such as mergers, acquisitions (including the acquisition of companies holding publicly awarded contracts) and joint ventures. David Flint, who was the former head of the team, departed for Inksters Solicitors. Robin Fallas, who recently made partner, now jointly leads the group with Duncan Osler.

Practice head(s):

Robin Fallas; Duncan Osler