Jonathan Branton > DWF > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile
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I lead the firm in EU/Competition issues, specialising in behavioural antitrust, merger control, public procurement and State aid, and all related issues of public funding, including the UK's Regional Growth Fund, ERDF and ESIF. I also head up the firm's Brussels office and the firm's cross-discipline Public Sector group.
Partner, Head of Public Sector, Head of EU Competition
I specialise in all aspects of EU and UK Competition law including restrictive agreements, abuse of dominant position, merger control, State aid, public procurement, EU/international trade and now Brexit. I deal with various regulators on a regular basis, such as DG COMP, DG REGIO, the CMA and the UK government departments such as DCLG and DBIS.
I have been an EU/Competition specialist for more than 20 years and in addition to regular aspects of Competition Law such as behavioural antitrust, cartels and merger control, he has a particularly strong reputation in handling all aspects of EU State aid law and practice, and public procurement. I am particularly involved and experienced in a number of different sources of public funding, including the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), and European structural funds such as ERDF and the new ESIF (including audit and clawback experience and dealing with the European Court of Auditors (ECA). I have also acted in a large number of EU trade defence proceedings such as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, and advised in WTO and related trade disputes and procedures.
Prior to joining DWF, I practised in Brussels for over 12 years, having been a partner in an international law firm based there. I now manage the firm’s Brussels office in addition to the leading the firm’s EU/Competition team generally, and the firm’s Public Sector group. I am also qualified as a solicitor in Ireland.
Lawyer Rankings(Leading individuals)
DWF recruited projects partner Allison Page, the former head of DLA Piper‘s Leeds office, to grow its public sector real estate and infrastructure office. Andrew Flounders assists with major public development projects. Another key figure is Alexander Rose, who is an expert in state aid, procurement and EU funding and financial instruments. Planning specialist Helen Robinson is also of note. Colin Murray leads the nationwide local government practice from the Manchester office, while Jonathan Branton is head of public sector and also leads the competition practice.
DWF is highlighted for its strengths in infrastructure and urban regeneration schemes, and it is also adept in public procurement work; the latter is an area in which Colin Murray is recommended. Murray jointly leads the team with Jonathan Branton, who specialises in subsidy control, state aid and EU competition matters. Other key areas of work include governance, health and safety, environmental and other regulatory advice for local authority clients. The practice also handles insurance work, defending claims for historical abuse and failures of social care, with a specialism in the recovery of outstanding care debt. Associate Bradley Martin focuses on public procurement and outsourcing transactions.
DWF acts for a combination of high-profile private and public sector clients, including local authorities, energy companies, banks, and other financial institutions, handling an array of major national and international projects, particularly within nuclear and renewable energy. Practice head Darren Walsh joined from DLA Piper in early 2020, and is widely recognised for his expertise in international nuclear energy projects, and innovative renewable energy schemes in areas such as green hydrogen and solar. Catherine Haslam heads up the firm’s solar team, and is a leading figure on wind, solar and biomass projects, advising developers, funders, and investors. Jonathan Branton provides expertise on competition and state aid issues, while senior associate Melissa Hutchinson is noted for her work on battery storage projects.
- Leading individuals - Yorkshire and the Humber > Corporate and commercial > EU and competition
- Local government - Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Employment > Health and safety
- Public sector > Local government
- Real estate > Planning
- Insurance > Professional negligence: defendant
- Real estate > Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
- Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax
- Projects, energy and natural resources (including PFI) > Infrastructure and energy
- Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
- Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant