I specialise in public procurement law, subsidy control law and competition law. My clients include a wide variety of public bodies, including local authorities, government bodies, higher education institutions, housing associations and NHS bodies. I also assist private sector organisations, particularly in relation to competition law matters, but also on subsidy control law, for example where they are required to provide a legal opinion that a proposed grant will not infringe the subsidy control rules.
I have extensive experience in advising contracting authorities on compliance with public procurement law and in assisting them to design, document and run their procurement processes from start to finish. I am also a highly experienced State aid and subsidy control practitioner and have advised on a wide range of significant and often high profile projects. I already have a significant amount of experience in assessing projects against the new subsidy control principles and documenting how those principles are satisfied so am well placed to help public sector organisations navigate the new rules both now and after the Subsidy Control Act 2022 is brought into force.
My specialisms in public procurement, subsidy control and competition law complement each other very well, particularly since two or even three of these areas can be engaged on the same project. This means that I am well placed to provide holistic and comprehensive advice for public sector organisations when they are at the strategic planning stages of their projects. I am often asked to provide an options report to examine and advise on the range of different options available for structuring a project in order to achieve the intended outcomes and objectives. This is an element of my work which I find particularly rewarding because assessing application of the rules on procurement, competition and subsidy control at an early stage is so important for getting a project off to the right start and avoiding problems with the structure later on.
My clients appreciate the way in which I deliver complex advice in a very clear and pragmatic way. Furthermore, I am an experienced and skilled trainer and my clients frequently commission me to deliver tailored training on a wide range of areas from within my specialisms.
- Lead partner on a project by a London Borough to procure a private sector partner with whom to invest in a corporate joint venture to deliver and operate a fibre broadband network in the Borough.
- Lead partner advising a central government body on the procurement of a developer to design and deliver a housing development with an enhanced proportion of affordable and social homes and 'gold plated' standards in terms of environmental credentials, design quality and place making credentials.
- Lead partner providing a central government body with strategic advice on how to structure its future portfolio of public/private projects to deliver renewable energy.
- Lead partner providing a central government body with strategic advice on how to structure its future pipeline of transactions with private sector partners to deliver affordable housing on publicly owned land, ensuring the sites are developed in line with public policy aspirations.
- Lead partner advising a central government body in relation to a procurement to appoint an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) to build a high voltage grid connection to serve a publicly owned commercial and industrial estate and to maintain and operate a private electricity network and private gas and water networks.
- Lead partner advising a public sector funder on its transformation into a national development bank, advising on the most appropriate corporate structure to comply with the State aid rules and the public procurement rules. This included advice on Teckal compliance and on the State aid rules governing risk finance investments.
- Providing a range of advice, including State aid advice, public procurement advice and commercial law advice, in relation to agreements proposed to be entered into by a central government body with parties objecting to a major motorway scheme for the purpose of securing the withdrawal of those objections against the backdrop of a public inquiry into the scheme.
- Lead partner advising an independent petrol forecourt operator in respect of unfair terms and unfair trading practices on the part of a fuel wholesaler. This included advice in relation to the Chapter I prohibition, the former Vertical Agreements Block Exemption, the rules around resale price maintenance, the Chapter II prohibition and discriminatory pricing.
- Lead partner advising a retailer in relation to a deterioration in its relationship with a key supplier as a result of unfair trading practices on the part of the supplier, including limits on supplies, removal of discounts and other measures designed to deter/prevent the retailer from selling at a discount to the RRP online, and advising in relation to the making of an application under the leniency regime.
Bethan's areas of expertise
- Central Government & Agencies
- Higher Education
- Housing & Regeneration
- Independent Health
- Local Government
- Regulatory challenges
- Competition Law
- Strategy & planning
- Procurement preparation
- Running the procurement process
- Procurement after contract award
- Procurement Training & Guidance
- Challenging the procurement evalution process
- Procurement clarification
- Obtaining procurement process information
- Standstill debriefing
- Managing the risk of procurement challenge
- Subsidy Control