"Noel is extremely knowledgeable in his area; very easy to work with; and he makes competition law, which I find quite dense and confusing at times, seem quite simple. He's got a very good way of explaining quite complex concepts."

Acritas Stars – now Thompson Reuters

I enjoy advising clients across the full spectrum of UK competition law and economic regulatory matters, from the smallest questions to very complex and detailed matters which are business critical.

I provide practical and constructive advice that enables clients to get on with achieving their goals, minimising the time and effort they need to spend on the legal process.

I have an LLM in European law and an MSc in Economics.  Over more than 25 years I have gathered experience advising a wide variety of private and public sector clients in a diverse range of different sectors.  I started at Ashurst in London was seconded to the OFT (the predecessor to the Competition and Markets Authority) and spent six years at Ofwat (the water sector regulator with concurrent Competition Act enforcement powers) where I was Director of Legal Services.

My interests cover advising clients on:

  • M&A: advising domestic and international clients on obtaining UK merger control and National Security & Investment Act clearances from BEIS (particular expertise includes failing firm assessments, de minimis arguments and local market analysis in the transport, retail and other sectors);
  • Commercial contracts: competition issues arising from contracts such as distribution frameworks and complex joint ventures involving information sharing between competitors;
  • Compliance: implementing effective and tailored competition and regulatory compliance and training programmes for businesses;
  • Investigations (including cartel, antitrust, dominance, market and regulatory investigations): defending clients’ positions, making leniency applications and negotiating commitments to avoid infringement or contravention findings, with a view to minimising fines and other negative consequences including time costs and reputational issues;
  • Regulatory (including price reviews): specialist regulatory matters including compliance with statutory duties (by companies and regulators) and licences, including matters such as infrastructure investment and sustainable urban development particularly in the water sector.

Recent experience

Advising Deutsche Post DHL Group on the UK merger control aspects of its €1.5 billion acquisition of global freight forwarding group Hillebrand, including obtaining UK Phase I clearance from the CMA

Advising a number of water and sewerage undertakers in relation to the OFWAT and Environment Agency investigations into sewerage discharges, and advising a water and sewerage undertaker in relation to collective action proceedings brought on behalf of customers related to wastewater discharges

Advising Loop Interiors in relation to the CMA’s investigation into design, construction and fit-out services which resulted in substantial fines for a number of companies and 6 Director disqualifications (although none at Loop)

Advising John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose on the competition law aspects of a range of commercial supply and joint venture type matters

Advising the Department for Transport (Office for Zero Emission Vehicles) on the CMA’s market study into electric vehicle charging, the subsequent CMA abuse of dominance investigation into the supply of electric vehicle chargepoints on or near motorways and obtaining commitments from Gridserve and service station operators to support DfT’s policy of market opening to facilitate its net zero policy objectives