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James Quinney


James specialises in all aspects of European Union and United Kingdom competition law and utility regulation.



He has extensive experience advising private and public sector organisations, and has been seconded to the European Commission and the UK Department of Trade and Industry.

James has advised:

  • Électricité de France (EdF) on complex competition and regulatory aspects of its recommended £12.5 billion takeover of British Energy Group, the biggest ever inward investment into the UK
  • Virgin Atlantic on cartel investigations in a number of jurisdictions into long-haul passenger fuel surcharges including the OFT's criminal prosecution, which was the first contested criminal cartel case under the Enterprise Act 2002
  • Fortune Brands on a break up bid with Pernod for the break up of Allied Domecq
  • Bank of Scotland on its merger discussions with Abbey National and obtaining clearance for the bank’s £28 billion merger with Halifax Group
  • TXU on the regulatory implications of its insolvency and the sale of its energy supply business to Powergen
  • Robert Wiseman Dairies on the first ever interim measures application under the UK Competition Act 1998, and the investigation into an alleged abuse of a dominant position and the subsequent proceedings before the Competition Appeal Tribunal
  • UK Department for Regional Development on the competition aspects of the reorganisation of the water service within Northern Ireland
  • Eurotunnel on the dawn raid by European Commission inspectors looking for evidence of illegal price-fixing agreements between the cross-channel ferry companies and the Channel Tunnel operator
  • Thames Water, Severn Trent and Bristol Water on exploratory price reviews
  • Stagecoach in connection with merger control issues arising from its acquisition of the East Midland passenger rail franchise
  • Anschutz in relation to the Competition Commission investigation of the merger of Livenation and Music Academy
  • Severn Trent in relation to network access requests from Aqua Resources on the basis of the Competition Act and an appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal
  • Wingas on its joint venture with Gazprom
  • British Waterways Board on the State aid, competition and procurement law aspects of its grid joint venture


At the European Commission, James worked with the unit responsible for investigating and prosecuting infringements of the EU free movement rules.

While at the Department of Trade and Industry, he advised ministers on the design of the new UK competition regime of the Competition Act 1998 and piloted the legislation through Parliament.