EU and competition in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP is geared for a comprehensive array of competition services including merger control, antitrust compliance and investigations, market studies, dawn raids, public procurement, EU law and related disputes. Charles Livingstone leads the practice and serves as a market authority on Brexit-related issues; his team is particularly active in the transport, infrastructure, energy, food and drink, public sector and technology fields and is also home to Roger Cotton, lead partner of the firm’s state aid and subsidy control practice. Chairman Christine O’Neill provides the practice with formidable disputes expertise, most notably in respect of procurement challenges and transport infrastructure cases pertaining to breach of a dominant position, meanwhile associate Jamie Dunne is an up-and-coming name in respect of UK, EU and international merger clearance.

Practice head(s):

Charles Livingstone

Other key lawyers:

Roger Cotton; Christine O’Neill; Jamie Dunne

Testimonials

‘A highly skilled and professional team. They understand the client needs and the business. Their process is lean when needed, truly getting at the core of the issue giving valuable advice also understandable for non-lawyers.’

‘Charles Livingstone and the team provided great and timely advice. They understood the matter at hand quickly and the key factors in the business. In addition, they gave understandable advice to the organisation which was valuable.’

‘Great team work and brilliant legal knowledge.’

‘Strong team with high commitment and know-how.’

‘Charles Livingstone is insightful and concise. He understands the bigger picture and provides commercially focused advice.’

‘The ability to take complex problems/concepts and respond succinctly and strategically. A deep understanding of the landscape at a UK, Scottish and local level which is unparalleled. Excellent communication skills and professionalism. No-one else comes close to the level of service in Scotland.’

‘Christine O’Neill is one of the best lawyers I have come across. Her expertise in her area of law is unparalleled as are her communication skills (both internally and externally). She is very strategic in her thinking and approach. Christine provides a range of skills and expertise that one normally requires a team for.’

‘The team’s strengths and key capabilities in relation to the project conducted here at North Lanarkshire was their in depth knowledge of the subject matter and subsequent legislation. Due the conclusion of the Brexit transition period, this was imperative to this task and also informed our risk mitigation, indirectly. Brodies LLP demonstrated a strong track record of completing this work with our peers in local government and stood out from their competitors.’

Key clients

Accel-KKR

The Scotch Whisky Association

Scottish Water Business Stream

AGS Airports Limited

Abellio

Stornoway Port Authority

Aker Solutions Limited

The Scottish Government

Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Scottish Renewables

Work highlights

  • Advising Accel-KKR on UK and international merger clearance issues in relation to a number of deals, and on the potential application of the new UK National Security and Investment Act 2021.
  • Advised Renfrewshire Council on subsidy control compliance in relation to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, a proposed hub for advanced and high value manufacturing near Glasgow Airport with a ‘first of its kind’ 5th generation ambient loop district heating network.
  • Advised Aker Solutions on competition compliance in relation to consortium arrangements with other energy sector suppliers.

Dentons

Dentons demonstrates a tenacity for merger control, compliance, vertical supply chain, competition litigation, public procurement, utilities regulation and dawn raid mandates, deploying its far-reaching international network to handle both domestic and cross-border affairs. Practice head Michael Dean is reputed for the full array of competition law matters, a forte which he complements with extensive expertise of regulatory law, particularly within the water, post and power fields. Elsewhere, Catriona Munro is a go-to for state aid, cartel and contentious competition law affairs meanwhile counsel Carolyn Burns is forging a prominent reputation among government and regulatory clients. Senior associate Melanie Martin is also a key member of the team, having notably advised the UK government on competition, Brexit and state aid-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Dean

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Munro; Carolyn Burns; Melanie Martin; David McGowan

Key clients

Standard Life Aberdeen PLC

Daimler AG

Stagecoach Group PLC

Network Rail

The Edrington Group Limited

Aggreko PLC

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

Alexander Dennis Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Daimler in a follow-on claim brought on behalf of 21 Scottish local authorities in relation to the European Commission’s Trucks decision; the first private damages competition case in Scotland.
  • Representing Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited (SSWT) in ongoing collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal brought by Justin Gutmann against SSWT and two other rail operators in relation to alleged abuse of dominance regarding boundary fares.
  • Handling global merger approvals for KPS Capital Partners, including unconditional EC merger clearance, its €2.25bn acquisition of Crown Holdings, Inc.’s European Tinplate business, comprising 44 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Adept in all facets of competition law, Shepherd and Wedderburn handles an assortment of transactional, anti-competitive agreement, abuse of dominant position, procurement and subsidy control affairs. Gordon Downie is most often active in regulated sectors, including food and drink, real estate, energy and technology, notably serving as advisor to several Scottish and Irish regulator clients; he co-leads the practice alongside John Grady, a lawyer with 23 years worth of experience in merger control, utility regulation and cartel matters. The practice has recently noted an uptick in its transactional work in addition to instructions pertaining to the National Security and Investment Act and the UK’s new subsidy control obligations. At the more junior end, Scott Rodger is a key contact for matters in the energy and water sectors.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Downie; John Grady

Other key lawyers:

Scott Rodger

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled expertise in utility regulation and the application of competition law in regulated sectors.’

‘John Grady has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history and development of utility regulation in the UK and combines this with astute commercial judgement. Added to this he is incredibly hard working and a strong team player.

‘Gordon Downie is rightly recognised as one of the pre-eminent competition lawyers in the UK, with a particular focus on its application to regulated utilities.’

‘Shepherd and Wedderburn are outstanding in their knowledge and experience in EU and competition law in the energy sector.’

‘John Grady is an absolute master of all aspects of EU and competition law as regards the energy sector.’

‘Gordon Downie is vastly experienced, particularly in state aid matters.’

‘I have worked with Shepherd & Wedderburn for over 10 years: they are really pro-active and can turn around very quickly complex legal requests. Their billing is very transparent. The quality of their staff is simply outstanding and matchless.’

‘Really effective in understanding the client’s needs, work cost-effectively and always to the highest standard. The partners and the team have the deepest legal knowledge of economic regulation.’

Key clients

Scottish Sea Farms

Epic Games Inc

ScottishPower

Water Industry Commission for Scotland

Single Electricity Market Committee

Energy Transition Zone

CBRE

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

City of Edinburgh Council

Water Plus

Work highlights

  • Advised Scottish Sea Farms on its acquisition of the Scottish business of Grieg Seafood, creating the second largest Scottish salmon farming business in the UK, with the transaction being cleared at phase 1 by the CMA.
  • Represented SP Transmission plc on its appeal to the CMA against Ofgem’s RIIO-T2 price control determination, resulting in success or partial success on 3 of the 4 grounds appealed.
  • Advised Epic Games (makers of the Fortnite video game) on merger control aspects of its acquisition of Tonic Games (makers of the Fall Guys video game).

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is particularly knowledgeable of matters in the technology, food and drink, public, oil and gas, energy and renewable energy sectors. Colin Miller demonstrates a track record in cartel, merger clearance and abuse of a dominant position proceedings, serving as practice co-head alongside Graeme Palmer, an expert in procurement and subsidy control. Beyond partner-level, director Ruth McNaught is an up-and-coming name for state aid, regulatory compliance and publicly procured contractual affairs. The practice is well placed to support on matters of UK, EU and international significance, leveraging its membership with Lex Mundi to oversee matters of a cross-border nature.

Practice head(s):

Colin Miller; Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Ruth McNaught

Key clients

Independent Television News (ITN)

Elite Sports Group

ROC Health Services

Tillicoultry Quarries

Highland Spring

Scottish Enterprise

Ross Safety and Survival

Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK

Energia Group NI Holdings (formerly Viridian Group)

Wave Energy Scotland

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

ScottishPower

South Lanarkshire Council

North Ayrshire Council

Banner Group Limited

Scottish Futures Trust

Work highlights

  • Acting for Elite Sports Group on a CMA investigation into an alleged price-fixing cartel in relation to the sale of Rangers Football Club strips.
  • Acting for Grieg Seafood Hjaltland, a Norwegian Atlantic salmon producer in relation to the sale of its business to Scottish Sea Farms. The team successfully secured a merger clearance after persuading the CMA that there were no serious competition law issues.
  • Acted for Banner Group Limited in court proceedings against the Scottish Ministers in respect of procurement of a circa £80m framework agreement.

CMS

CMS, a firm with a broad national and international network, is famed for its merger control, antitrust, subsidy control and disputes work. Practice head Graeme Young is knowledgeable of both UK and EU competition law, having spent the bulk of his career practicing in Brussels, and is also knowledgeable of public procurement, state aid, sales practice and regulatory investigation matters; he is supported Judith Aldersey-Williams who is a go-to for competition and regulatory matters within the energy sector, specifically in relation to cost pressures and the new UK oil and gas regulatory system.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Young

Other key lawyers:

Judith Aldersey-Williams

Testimonials

‘CMS provide great support to us in matters concerning public procurement law. The dedicated team are industrious and are adept at turning work around in a timely manner. The technical knowledge and practical advice really enhances the decision making process and drives sensible pragmatic solutions to problems.’

‘Graeme Young is outstanding in the field of competition and procurement law. His deep technical knowledge of the law combined with his practical understanding really assists us as a client to make the best decisions. Graeme really understands his clients and has a thorough knowledge of the water utility sector. Timely, useful legal advice that informs strategy and decision making alike.’

 

Key clients

SSE Plc

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 Financial Enterprise (SFE)

University of Glasgow

The City of Edinburgh Council

Scottish Power

MetLife

Gridserve

West Dunbartonshire Council

Opportunity North East Limited

Scottish Futures Trust

Northern Ireland Water

Centrica Plc

Places for People Leisure Management Limited (PfP)

ISS UK

NeuConnect

Atos UK

Stagecoach Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for Canadian-listed Dye & Durham, a leading provider of cloud-based software and technology solutions, on the CMA’s merger investigation into its completed acquisition of TM Group. D&D and TM Group are both leading UK providers of property searches for conveyancing transactions.
  • Advising on merger clearance relating for the sale of SSE’s entire 33.3% stake in gas distribution operator Scotia Gas Networks Ltd (SGN) to a consortium comprising existing SGN shareholder Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) and Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners (Brookfield) (the Consortium).
  • Advising new client, Gridserve, on competition issues in the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging market. Gridserve is a highly innovative business, recently launching a new concept Electric Forecourt at Braintree.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern counts disputes, state aid and general competition advice as the three keystones of its practice. Katrina Lumsdaine delivers ‘first-rate’ representation in competition-related litigation, leveraging over 25 years worth of experience; she heads the practice which is also home to Douglas McLachlan, an investigation, day-to-day compliance and enforcement specialist, as well as Simon Brown who provides the department with energy, retail, technology and financial services expertise.

Practice head(s):

Katrina Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Douglas McLachlan; Simon Brown

Testimonials

‘I have worked closely with Katrina Lumsdaine; she is a first-rate lawyer who is perfectly able to marry technical knowledge with deep strategic and tactical sense. She is also incredibly adept at dealing with clients – in this case she acts simultaneously for a large number of Scottish public authorities, which is a real client management challenge.’

 

Key clients

22 Scottish Local Authorities and Scottish Water ((Angus Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Dundee City Council, East Ayrshire Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, East Lothian Council, Edinburgh Council (City of), Fife Council, Glasgow Council (City of), Midlothian Council, North Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Perth and Kinross Council, Renfrewshire Council, Scottish Borders Council, Stirling Council, South Ayrshire Council, Tayside Contracts, West Dunbartonshire Council, West Lothian Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar/ Western Isles Council)

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 action arising out of the Truck Cartel case. These are a high value complex Competition law claims with 22 pursuer, 5 defenders and 11 third parties, all represented by Senior and Junior Counsel.
  • Advised INEOS and Petroineos on strategically important procurement and supply contracts, including competition law issues.
  • Advising Allied Vehicles Limited on competition law and Brexit matters in a highly specialised sector.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP endeavours to support on the full suite of competition law matters, directing a large bulk of its attention towards public procurement and subsidy control affairs. James McMorrow heads the practice and holds the distinction of litigating all the way up to the Competition Appeals Tribunal. The team is predominantly focused on public sector representation and is also home to Jill Fryer, who previously worked at the European Commission, in addition to litigation risk, statutory obligation and compliance expert, Jennifer Jack.

Practice head(s):

James McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

Jill Fryer; Jennifer Jack; Jamie Watt

Testimonials

‘The team take time to understand our business – our culture and our objectives – to give tailored advice. The team can provide cover and response to our requirements irrespective of individual people’s availability, providing us with a reliable and robust legal support. Knowledge and understanding of their subject area is excellent.’

‘The staff team at Harper Macleod are expert in their fields. It is not only the well researched and scoped answers to our original questions which makes their service stand out, it is their capacity to identify the wider issues which we need to resolve before we have even thought about them or come up against them as an obstacle. Jill Fryer provides excellent, responsive and tailored service.’

‘Extremely responsive, very practical advice.’

‘Jill Fryer – extremely responsive, really quick turnaround, always able to deal with urgent queries in a very practical way.’

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Inverclyde Council

The Capital City Partnership

East Renfrewshire Council

NatureScot

Scottish Fire and Rescue

Forestry and Land Scotland

Energy Saving Trust

Historic Environment Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advising Inverclyde Council in relation to its investment to extend current facilities at Inchgreen Dry Dock, Greenock under the Glasgow City Region City Deal.
  • Advising Forestry and Land Scotland in relation to proposed public-private joint venture arrangements for the planting and harvesting of timber.
  • Advising Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in relation to their procurement of a hard facilities management contract in respect of the entire SFRS estate.

MacRoberts LLP

Well-placed to support on compliance and investigation affairs, MacRoberts LLP is especially active on merger, subsidy control, state aid, dominance, horizontal competition and public procurement mandates. Practice head Robin Fallas represents a mixture of public, private and third sector clients and is adept in all aspects of EU law, a forte which he supplements with extensive regulatory knowledge.

Practice head(s):

Robin Fallas

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Osler; Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor; David Gourlay

Testimonials

‘The team are accessible and offer practical advice.’

Work highlights