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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0131 228 9900
Fax 0131 228 1222
551970 EDINBURGH-53

Gordon Downie

Work 0131 473 5162
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Regulation and Markets.


Gordon is a partner within our regulation and markets team and an acknowledged leader in the field of UK and EU competition law and regulation. His particular focus in recent years has been on the role and functioning of markets in regulated sectors in the UK and overseas (such as the energy and water industries) and in connection with the provision of key public services. Gordon's clients include regulatory bodies, regulated entities and other stakeholders (such as complaint-handling bodies). Gordon's clients include ScottishPower, the SEM Committee and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS).


Articled Shepherd and Wedderburn; qualified 1992; partner 1998 to date.




Law Society Competition Law Committee; Law Society of Scotland.


Dunfermline High School; Edinburgh University (1988 LLB Hons); European University Institute (1990 LLM).


Walking, cycling, photography, reading.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Water

Shepherd and Wedderburn 'is without peer in its understanding of the water industry, its governance and competition framework', according to one client. Clients are especially impressed by Edinburgh's 'remarkably responsive and outstanding competition lawyer' Gordon Downie who is known as 'the thinking man or woman's lawyer', and Glasgow-based Liz McRobb who 'is supportive beyond any expectation, ploughs through the most detailed documents and produces succinct informative analyses'. Water Plus, a new commercial water retailer created by Severn Trent and United Utilities, appointed the team to draft and negotiate its ITaaS outsourcing arrangements with Crimson, and infrastructure partner Gareth Parry continues to advise a water company on the contractual changes to the operation of a waste water treatment facility. Other highlights include providing regulatory advice to clients such as the Water Industry Commission for Scotland with regards to the retail market framework. Technology and media expert Joanna Boag-Thomson and regulation and competition partner John Grady are also key names to note.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

EU and competition

Within: Leading individuals

Gordon Downie - Shepherd and Wedderburn

Within: EU and competition

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a first-rate reputation in the utilities sector, particularly energy and water, where it advises clients on the gamut of UK and EU law competition and regulatory issues. Gordon Downie, senior associate Joanne McDowall, John Grady and Liz McRobb are advising the Single Energy Market Committee on the creation of a new regulatory framework (referred to as I-SEM) to ensure compliance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1222 on capacity allocation and congestion management. Outside of energy and water, in another highlight, the firm provided state aid compliance advice to City of Edinburgh Council in relation to the Edinburgh Homes Project for accelerating housebuilding in the society. Elsewhere, in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the team has become increasingly active in the advice to clients on EU law and trade matters. Senior associate Fiona Parker is another key figure in the team, whose other clients include ScottishPower, ORE Catapult and Capital Document Solutions.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Within: Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Shepherd and Wedderburn¬†Edinburgh, which is active in high-profile¬†renewable and alternative energy projects across Scotland and the UK, has practitioners with specialist knowledge of areas such as real estate, planning and environment, M&A/private equity and project finance.¬†Patricia Hawthorn¬†recently led a team which successfully represented Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind (NNG) in judicial review proceedings brought by the RSPB, following the decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent to four offshore wind farms in the Forth and Tay including the 450MW NNG project. The group is currently assisting the same client with other issues connected with the project, including a new consent application, the acquisition of land rights and banking-related matters. Scott McCallum, Stephen Hubner, Liz McRobb¬†and others are advising¬†√ėrsted on the planning, environmental, property and commercial aspects of the 1.8MW Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm. In 2017, clean energy head¬†Clare Foster¬†(who is also the head of project finance) led a cross-practice team, which acted for AOE Windfarm in the¬†¬£16.6m¬†refinancing of a newly-acquired operational 11.5MW onshore wind farm. Gordon Downie¬†is an expert in¬†UK/EU competition law and regulatory issues. Colin Robertson, Colin Innes, Daniel Lee¬†and senior associate¬†Nicky Pascoe¬†are also recommended.

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