John Houlden > Burges Salmon LLP > Bristol, England > Lawyer Profile

Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage

Work Department

Projects/procurement/state aid.


Advises on procurement, subsidy control/state aid, projects, competition and regulatory issues on a number of major projects. Clients include the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Eurostar, FirstGroup, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Ofcom, Affinity Water, Department for Education, Environment Agency, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, Babcock, Ministry of Justice, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and UK Atomic Energy Authority.


Trained Burges Salmon; qualified 1999; partner 2008.




Board member of the Procurement Lawyers Association; member of UK State Aid Lawyers Association.


Educated at University of Leeds (BA Hons); College of Law (Dip Law; 8+ years PQE).


Enjoys sports and theatre.

Lawyer Rankings

South West > Corporate and commercial > EU and competition

(Leading individuals)

John Houlden – Burges Salmon LLP

At Burges Salmon LLP, the competition practice remains a popular choice from a wide range of clients stemming from the retail, transport, healthcare, and technology sectors. The firm is able to advise on the full breadth of EU and competition matters and counts areas such as merger control work, compliance issues and antitrust litigation among its strengths. Practice head Chris Worrall has a strong track record with regard to antitrust issues, while John Houlden focuses on state aid and subsidy control work. Anti-competitive agreements, economic regulatory matters, and merger controls form part of director Noel Beale‘s advisory work portfolio.

South West > Public sector > Education

Burges Salmon LLP‘s strong focus on university-driven mandates is complemented by work for governing institutions such as OFSTED and providers of work-based training and apprenticeships – an area of growing activity for the firm. Matthew Ramus, who leads the Bristol education team, frequently works with the Department for Education on education and children’s services transition projects, among other matters. Luke Bowery‘s contentious and non-contentious expertise notably covers employment tribunal claims, while John Houlden frequently advises on procurement issues for major education projects.  Huw Cooke is recommended for his business immigration expertise.

South West > Public sector > Local government

Burges Salmon LLP‘s multifarious local government team covers local authority pension schemes, the outsourcing of children’s services and major regeneration projects – the latter often goes hand in hand with the compulsory purchase expertise present at the firm. Practice head Gary Soloman is an authority on the compensation aspects of regeneration projects. John Houlden is a key contact for complex local authority mandates, advising on issues such as procurement and state aid matters. Matthew Ramus possesses considerable experience advising on major Children’s Services restructuring programmes. Additional names to note in the Bristol-based team include Emma Andrews, Paula McGeady and Sarah Sutherland.

London > Public sector > Local government

Burges Salmon LLP‘s Bristol-based local government practice excels at handling energy infrastructure schemes, having advised the likes of Bristol City Council on major net-zero and renewable energy investment projects, and is also well-equipped to handle other development work in connection with cultural, residential, and transport infrastructure. The team is also capable of advising on contentious and non-contentious procurement work in the course of these development projects. Practice head Gary Soloman is regarded as an expert on planning and compulsory purchase matters and accordingly provides planning and consenting advice on a number of major transport and energy projects. Procurement expert John Houlden is also highly recommended, as is Matthew Ramus, who is a key contact for restructuring work.

London > Corporate and commercial > EU and competition

The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ team at Burges Salmon LLP possesses wide-ranging expertise in all manner of merger clearance mandates, investigations, state aid, subsidy control, and procurement matters, earning specific praise for its ‘excellent experience in NSIA notifications.’ The practice assists clients across a range of sectors including technology, financial services, healthcare and utilities. Splitting his time between the London and Bristol offices, practice head Chris Worrall is regularly instructed by a number of household names on the competition aspects of complex and high-profile acquisitions. John Houlden is noted for his expertise in state aid and subsidy control work, while senior associate Shachi Nathdwarawala has developed particular expertise in the financial services and healthcare sectors.