EU and Competition

The impact of EU law continues to grow, from social issues to environmental protection; from freedom to trade across EU borders to competition law and State aid.

Law and procedures of the European Union

We advise our clients on the interpretation of EU legislation and, in particular, on the powers of the EU institutions, the proper legal basis for legislative proposals, legislative procedure and the scope for challenging EU law or the way it is implemented in the UK.

We can work with you to:

  • Advise on EU law especially free movement of goods and services, rights of establishment and freedom to provide services
  • Advise on implementation in the UK
  • Advise on procedure, how EU legislation is formulated and what action can be taken to influence it
  • Advise on the applicability and effect of EU law
  • Draft amendments to proposed EU legislation
  • Make representations to the EU institutions, including the European Commission, and to Members of the European Parliament
  • Monitor and provide political intelligence on the EU institutions

Public Procurement

We advise contracting authorities and economic operators (bidders) on:

  • All aspects of the Public Contracts and Public Utilities Regulations 2006
  • Alcatel and standstill procedures
  • Complex procurements
  • Challenges and enforcement
  • EU Competition Law
  • Residual EU Treaty obligations
  • Related State aid

Competition law

Most anti-competitive practices, including in particular abuse of dominant position and concerted practices, are now subject to severe constraints and penalties under UK as well as EU law. It is particularly important therefore for all engaged in any form of economic activity (including public bodies exercising trading powers or supporting commercial enterprise) to take full account of competition law.

We can advise you and assist in particular with:

  • Application of block and other exemptions
  • Application of special regulatory regimes, eg in relation to the bus industry and water sectors
  • Market studies and investigations
  • Potential state aid questions and referrals to the European Commission
  • Vetting of commercial agreements