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EU, competition and procurement

A results-driven service combining real-world experience and technical legal expertise to advise on all aspects of EU, competition, procurement and State aid law.

EU, competition, procurement and State aid laws will continue to be relevant in the UK even after Brexit. We provide advice and  training on these important areas of the law, including in relation to transitional and post-Brexit issues.

Competition

There are heavy penalties for businesses breaking competition laws including substantial fines, claims from third parties for damages and unenforceable agreements, while individuals can be imprisoned for up to five years, fined and disqualified from being directors. Competition laws also regulate potentially anti-competitive mergers and joint ventures, both UK and international.

Examples of our work include:

  • advising a consortium of greyhound track owners on competition law issues relating to the joint sale of their media rights to Arena Leisure Limited
  • representing a commercial vehicles dealer in the investigation into anti-competitive cartel behaviour in the supply of Mercedes Benz commercial vehicles
  • representing a leading biscuits manufacturer on a 'dawn raid' carried out by the OFT in relation to its inquiry into alleged retail price fixing by retailers
  • representing a major food company at an oral hearing before the Competition Commission in relation to its investigation into the groceries market
  • advising manufacturers and retailers on the Groceries Supply Code of Practice
  • establishing competition law compliance schemes and 'dawn raid' guidelines for clients.

Procurement

Our specialist EU Procurement service advises on and manages the correct procurement processes, including OJEU notices, invitation to tender, conditions of contract and tenderers' replies, as well as award of contract matters, general compliance and all types of procurement disputes, including challenges.

We have genuine insight into your concerns, thanks to lawyers with in-house experience and membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.  Our goal is to deliver value for money through a smooth, coordinated service with a single point of contact.

Examples of our work include:

  • advising Surrey and Sussex Police on their joint purchase of managed digital services from Telefonica, a £multi-million procurement.  The forces each had existing contracts in place and procured the new services from Telefonica using the Crown Commercial Service’s Managed Network Services framework under the direct award procedure;
  • advising two local authorities on the establishment of a new company to deliver marketing services, ensuring compliance with the 'in-house' or Teckal exemption under procurement rules;
  • advising University of West London on the competitive dialogue procedure for the outsourcing of its total facilities management operations, including successfully defending claims of breach of the regulations.

State aid

We specialise in State aid advice and advising on grant and loan funding, regeneration projects and contract procurement. Examples of our work include:

  • advising Stobart Group on State aid issues in connection with regional Growth Fund grant funding for Carlisle and Southend airports under the European Commission communication “Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines”.
  • advising Maven Capital Partners on State aid issues on establishment of the Northern Powerhouse North West Equity Fund;
  • advising Cumbria University on State aid issues relating to its ERDF application for funding of Eco Cumbria to fund innovation services to be provided to local SMEs in support of low carbon solutions.

The Weightmans team is recommended by the independent Legal 500 law firm directory, describing the team as "excellent" and rating practice head Laurence Pritchard as a "leading individual".

Truck cartel

The European Commission has found that five truck manufacturers participated in an illegal cartel concerning the supply of medium and heavy trucks.

News
Weightmans advises on multi-million pound sale of insurance data company

National law firm Weightmans LLP has advised on the successful sale of data company Insurance Initiatives Limited.

William Sharpe Partner

Insights
Standing up to the supermarkets

A 2008 investigation into the way that supermarkets treat suppliers concluded that they were using their strong market power to the detriment of…


Insights
Impact of the public contracts regime on the research funding marketplace

An often overlooked procurement question in the sector is the possible impact of the public contracts regime on the research funding marketplace.

Martin Vincent Partner