Margaret is a silk at both the English Bar and the Irish Bar, specialising in EU, competition and public law litigation. In the past year, she has appeared in the Supreme Courts of both the UK and Ireland, as well as the Court of Justice of the EU where she has led over 80 cases. She frequently represents the Governments of the UK and Ireland, in both national and EU Courts, and appeared as counsel for the European Commission in a number of multi-million pound fine cartel appeals.
Margaret has built-up a unique expertise in EU regulation of utilities and services between the UK and Ireland, due to her practices at the Bars of Ireland and also in Northern Ireland, in particular in competition, energy, procurement and telecommunications matters. She has advised and acted for each of the UK devolved administrations in EU matters. Margaret has had the privilege of being briefed by each of the Attorneys General of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland.
Recent work includes leading cases on the application of the doctrine of restraint of trade to land agreements (Peninsula v Dunnes Stores), the right to be forgotten and extra-territorial application of the Data Protection Directive (Google v CNIL) and a cartel follow-on damages claim. Margaret has invaluable multi-jurisdictional experience in the UK, and in cross-over competition and procurement issues. Margaret's State aid practice includes recovery and damages actions.
As a junior, Margaret was on the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel, and represented the Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland in one of the “Brexit cases” heard by the Supreme Court on the competences of the devolved administrations to legislate in the context of Brexit.
Margaret was a référendaire for Judges Fidelma Macken and Aindrias O’Caoimh at the Court of Justice of the EU.
Margaret's practice takes in the full range of EU law. She has acted in cases concerning citizenship, competition, consumer protection, employment, energy, equality, environment, intellectual property, free movement of services/broadcasting, private international law/Brussels Regulation, sanctions, insurance, shipping, structural funds (Social Funds and EAGGF), state aid, free movement of capital, taxation, public procurement, state liability, pharmaceuticals, technical standards and telecommunications. She has acted for domestic and international commercial clients, local authorities, county councils, an MEP, state and EU agencies, the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Assembly, a number of government departments, the European Commission, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Margaret has particular experience in public procurement.
She also has experience of a wide range of environmental litigation arising in the course of planning application proceedings, including the Birds and Habitats Directives, the EIA Directive and SEA Directive, and the Renewables Directive, both before the national courts and the CJEU.
Margaret has advised and acted across the full range of competition law matters, including defending over 20 complex cartel decisions for the European Commission, enforcement matters for the UK and Irish Competition regulators, and private actions, both follow-on and stand-alone claims. including (confidential) in the current Trucks cartel. Current work includes the leading litigation on land agreements and restrictive covenants currently before the UK Supreme Court.
Margaret had the unique experience of acting for the European Commission in the national court of a member state, in unprecedented proceedings brought against it in the High Court (Chancery Division) seeking to restrict the exercise of anti-trust enforcement powers under Regulation 1/2003.
Margaret has particular experience working on cases raising cross-over competition, intellectual property and free movement issues, regarding copyright, patents, trade marks, and other related rights such as marketing authorisations, as well as on FRAND licensing issues and standard-setting organisations.
Margaret has extensive experience in State aid, advising and acting before the national and EU courts for both private parties in recovery actions, and public bodies, including the Governments of UK and Ireland, and Northern Irish Departments. She frequently advises on the application of the General Block Exemption Regulation and on Services of General Economic Interest.
Margaret has a broad public law practice, largely focusing on EU and ECHR matters. She has acted for applicants and respondents in a large number of public law proceedings in the courts of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland, principally in the fields of energy, environmental law, free movement, regulation of professional qualifications, pharmaceuticals, procurement and telecommunications. She has particular experience of dealing with cases concerning EU and devolution issues.
Margaret's unique dual-silk status in England and Ireland puts her at the forefront of choice for advice on procurement procedures and court proceedings in high-profile high-value projects. Current work includes advising in highly confidential billion-euro infrastructure and tech projects. Margaret has unique litigation experience before English, Northern Irish and Irish courts as well as before Luxembourg courts, particularly in construction and pharma public contract sectors.
Margaret Gray’s Cases before the Court of Justice or General Court of the EU
Margaret Gray’s Cases before National Courts
Before the Competition Appeal Tribunal
Before the European Court of Human Rights
List of Seminars & Lectures
Margaret Gray has lectured widely on practice and procedure in EU law including competition law and state aid law. She has also provided dedicated seminars to government lawyers, as well as to the private sector.
Lectures include the following:
“EU Procedural law and Litigation”, University of Milan, 5-6 May 2011
“EU law rights and remedies in Irish Courts” University College Dublin, October 2011
“Enforcement of EU environmental law: recent case-law of the ECJ” UCC Law and the Environment Conference, April 2011
“EU law remedies in Irish Courts”, ICEL Conference, 28 January 2011
“Luxembourg v Strasbourg: the future of fundamental rights” (Chaired conference session at the European Circuit’s Annual Conference, Paris, November 2010
“Enforcement of EU environmental law: recent case-law of the ECJ” UCC Law and the Environment Conference, November 2010
“Practising EU law” ISEL lecture, Law Society of Ireland, November 2010
“How the Lisbon Treaty will affect EU litigation for Government lawyers” Office of the Chief State Solicitor, Dublin, September 2010
“Remedies in EU law revisited” (Organiser and session commentator at UKAEL conference at King’s College London, June 2010)
“EU Procedural law and Litigation”, University of Milan, 29-30 April 2010
“An update on EC law of competition, state aid and public procurement: focus on Ireland” Office of the Attorney General, Dublin, June 2008
“Liability of parent companies for subsidiaries’ anti-trust infringements” Brick Court Chambers Litigation Conference, London, March 2010
“Criminalisation of cartels” Competition Law Forum, Dublin, October 2009
“Enforcement of EU environmental law: recent case-law of the ECJ” UCC Law and the Environment Conference, 23 April 2009 and on 22 April 2010
“Top 10 ECJ judgments of the past year” to be presented at McCann FitzGerald solicitors, Dublin, 11 June 2009
“Copyright collecting societies and competition law (Article 82 EC): the Kanal 5 judgment” Mayer Brown International LLP, London, 23 March 2009
“The Akzo Nobel judgment of the CFI” Office of the Attorney General, Dublin, June 2008
“State liability for breaches of EU law: basic principles and recent developments” McCann FitzGerald solicitors, Dublin, May 2008
“Legal professional privilege, in-house lawyers and the Akzo Nobel judgment of the CFI” Competition Press Conference, Dublin, April 2008
“Parent companies and competition law infringements: the developing law on liability” Freshfields, London, March 2008
“A practical approach to the private enforcement of competition law”, Barlow Lyde Gilbert, London, 28 June 2007
“Corporate liability for infringements of competition law”, Reed Smith Richards Butler, London, 13 June 2007
“Litigating competition law”, basic introductory talks, practical talks and lectures addressing recent case-law in various law firms in Bristol, May 2007
“Competition law and Article 234 EC references”, Brick Court Chambers Conference on Private enforcement of competition law, London, November 2006
“An introduction to litigating EC law”, an in-house talk focusing on recent pharmaceutical cases at the ECJ, Arnold & Porter, London, June 2006
“Lessons from Luxembourg: recent developments in practice and procedure at the ECJ” Brick Court Chambers, London, 4th April 2006
“Article 234 EC references”, ERA, Trier, June 2005
“Sex discrimination law at the ECJ”, ERA, Trier, January 2005
“Information and consultation of workers: recent developments at the ECJ” (works councils and transfers of undertakings), ERA in Copenhagen, November 2004
“An overview of the EC law of trade marks”, ECJ, Luxembourg, October 2004
“Practice and Procedure before the ECJ”, ERA, Trier, September 2004
“Employment law at the ECJ”, ERA, Trier, September 2004
“EC law and general principles – a guide for judges and practitioners”, TAIEX-EC Commission seminars, Bucharest, May 2004
“Recent developments in ECJ discrimination case-law”, ERA in Oslo, Norwegian Labour Lawyers Group, May 2004
“Litigation at the ECJ: direct actions and procedural tips for practitioners”, ERA, Trier, September 2002 and 2003
“Using EC Law in practice – interpreting legislation”, Bar European Group Continuing Practitioner Seminars, Inns of Court School of Law, London, February 2002
“Litigating competition law post Courage v Crehan”, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London, February 2002
“Challenging a tribunal on grounds of bias”, Blundell Lecture, London, June 2001
“Judicial review and the Northern Ireland Act 1998”, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Belfast, April 2001
“Litigating the Human Rights Act 1998”, Practitioner Seminars at Allen & Overy, London, September 2000
“An Introduction to the Human Rights Act 1998”, Practitioners’ Group at Roiter Zucker, 4 July 2000
“Contentious Competition Law: The Competition Act 1998”, Brick Court Chambers Practitioner Seminar, London, 16th May 2000 and 24th May 2000
“Enforcing Competition law in Member States: The UK Reaction to the Commission’s White Paper”, EC Section of the UIA Annual Conference, The Hague, 12th May 2000
“Human Rights in Northern Ireland: Incorporating the European
Convention on Human Rights through the Northern Ireland Act 1998”, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Belfast, 4th April 2000
“E.U. Law and the Human Rights Act 1998”, Bar European Group Continuing Practitioner Seminars, Inns of Court School of Law, London, 11th April 2000 and 30th March 2001
“The Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights”, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Belfast, 11th March 1999