EU Law

Our European Union law team brings together specialist advisory and advocacy skills from an exceptionally wide range of different areas of law, all of which are influenced by EU legislation and jurisprudence. The fields of commercial law, competition law, environmental law, media and information, sports, tax, employment and discrimination, and telecommunications all raise significant aspects of EU law. For our specific expertise in relation to those areas, please see the dedicated web pages. For our expertise in relation to individual rights of movement and establishment, see our immigration and asylum web page.

In addition to these specific areas of practice, members of Matrix have advised and represented clients in a large number of proceedings that involve EU law in the UK courts and tribunals (including Tax), in particular the Administrative Court, and at all appellate levels in the UK. In addition, we regularly appear in the General Court and Court of Justice of the EU, and in a range of other international fora where issues of EU law arise. Our members have also provided expert evidence on issues of EU law in non-EU litigation and arbitrations.

We cover major aspects of the following core areas affected by EU law:

Commercial Law

Many of our commercial law experts deal with issues of EU law, particularly in relation to competition and telecommunications issues, representing and advising commercial entities from a number of industries. We advise regularly in market sectors such as energy, financial services, food and pharmaceutical regulation that are subject to detailed EU legislation. Members are also involved in all aspects of EU sanctions law, in relation to their effects on states, individuals and companies.

State Aid

Our members have advised and acted in litigation involving a range of State aid issues, including the grant and restructuring of aid, aid related to different public sectors and social objectives, appeals against Commission decisions, and aid for the purposes of regeneration schemes and infrastructure projects. We are currently involved in a series of cases in the UK domestic courts concerning aid to the operators of sports venues brought by the owners of Coventry City FC against Coventry City Council.

Public Procurement

Our members have advised and acted for Government departments, local authorities, companies and contractors involved in public procurement tenders and contracts under the directives and their implementation by regulation into domestic law on the provision of sector utilities, public works, public supply, and public services. Our members are able to advise on strategy during the tendering process, adherence to the directives and appealing tender awards and civil remedies that may be available to disappointed tenderers. They have appeared in numerous cases involving challenges to decisions by public authorities to the award of contracts, both at full trials and at hearings to decide whether to lift or leave in place the ’stay’ imposed under the Public Contracts Regulations when proceedings are commenced challenging a public authority’s award of a contract. Members have also appeared in cases in the European Court, such as Uniplex, the leading case on time limits for bringing procurement claims.

Free Movement of Services and Capital, and Freedom of Establishment

The EU rules on public procurement and telecommunications are central examples of commercial fields that are fundamentally affected by the freedoms to provide goods and services protected by the EU Treaties and secondary legislation. In addition to those specific examples, our members advise on a very wide range of issues arising out of the European Single Market and the four fundamental freedom protected by EU law, goods, capital, services, and persons. In regard to the movement of goods, we have acted in cases concerning WTO issues, such as minimum alcohol pricing and export licences for cultural objects.