Margaret Gray

Year of Call: E&W 1998, Ireland 2005, N. Ireland 2009

Clerk: Tony Burgess

Margaret Gray

Year of Call: E&W 1998, Ireland 2005, N. Ireland 2009

Clerk: Tony Burgess

"Thorough, professional and determined to win."
- Legal 500 2016 (EU and Competition)

"Very bright and willing to work as a team."
- Legal 500 2015 (Administrative & Public Law)


Margaret Gray specialises in EU, Competition and Public law. She has appeared in more than 30 cases before the Luxembourg courts, unled on more than 20 occasions. In the past year, Margaret has represented the Governments of the UK and Ireland, and appeared as counsel for the European Commission in a number of multi-million pound fine cartel appeals. She is currently acting in the UEFA/FIFA proceedings in the ECJ concerning exclusive broadcasting of the World Cup and UEFA Cup in the UK. As a former référendaire at the ECJ, Margaret has extensive experience of EU litigation.

Margaret was one of the 12 barristers featured in "The Hot 100 2012" published by The Lawyer. She regularly advises on EU law matters arising before the national courts of the UK and Ireland, appearing in the Supreme Courts of both jurisdictions in the past few months. She 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 Northern Ireland, in particular in energy and telecommunications matters. She has acted for each of the UK devolved administrations in EU state aid and procurement matters.

Margaret enjoys exercising her EU free movement rights and is a visiting lecturer in EU law at the Universities of Milan and Liège.

practice areas



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, and is currently acting in a multi-party challenge to the award of a public contract for health services before the High Court in Northern Ireland.

She also has current 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 ECJ.


Margaret is experienced in all areas of competition law, in particular complex cartels, horizontal co-operation agreements and price regulation, acting both for private clients and regulators. She 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.

She is currently briefed in a dozen cartel appeals before the General Court in Luxembourg dealing with issues of corporate liability of parent companies, immunity and leniency applications under the 2006 Leniency Notice, the application of the Fining Guidelines. 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.

Public Law

Public and administrative

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 is on the "B" panel of counsel for the Attorney General of England and Wales, and has also been instructed by the Attorneys General of Northern Ireland and of Ireland. She is currently junior counsel to the Attorney General of Northern Ireland who is acting personally in a judicial review challenge to the criteria applying to the giving of blood in the High Court in Northern Ireland.

Reported Cases

Before the European Court of Justice

  • Case T-208/11 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam v Council (sanctions)
  • Case C-455/11 P Solvay v Commission (competition cartel appeal)
  • Case C-374/11 Commission v Ireland (fines and penalty payments)
  • Case C-358/11 Sweetman and others (environment; habitats)
  • Case C-201/11 UEFA v Commission (broadcasting)
  • Case C-205/11 FIFA v Commission (broadcasting)
  • Case C-204/11 FIFA v Commission (broadcasting)
  • Case C-619/10 Trade Agency Limited (Brussels Regulation)
  • Case C-106/09 P Commission v Gibraltar and UK (state aid and corporate taxation)
  • Case C-107/09 P Spain v Gibraltar and UK (state aid and corporate taxation)
  • Case C-337/08 X Holding (corporate taxation)
  • Case C-567/07 Servatius (state aid)
  • Case C-336/07 Kabel Deutschland Vertrieb and Service (broadcasting)
  • Case C-217/08 Rita Mariano (equality)
  • Case C-394/07 Gambazzi (Brussels Convention)
  • Case C-52/07 Kanal 5 and TV 4 (copyright and Article 102)
  • Case T-406/10 Emesa and Galycas v Commission (pre-stressing steel cartel)
  • Case T-399/10 ArcelorMittal v Commission (pre-stressing steel cartel)
  • Case T-540 /08 Sasol v Commission (paraffin wax cartel)
  • Case T-541/08 Esso and others v Commission (paraffin wax cartel)
  • Case T-186/06 Solvay v Commission (hydrogen peroxide cartel)
  • Case T-191/06 FMC Foret SA v Commission (hydrogen peroxide cartel)
  • Case T-197/06 FMC Corporation v Commission (hydrogen peroxide cartel)
  • Case T-199/06 Akzo Nobel and others v Commission (hydrogen peroxide cartel)
  • Case T-53/06 FLSmidth v Commission (industrial bags cartel)
  • Case T-59/06 Low & Bonar and others v Commission (industrial bags cartel)
  • Case T-64/06 FLS Plast v Commission (industrial bags cartel)
  • Case T-65/06 UPM-K and others v Commission (industrial bags cartel)
  • Case T-256/07 OMPI v Council (sanctions)
  • Case C-453/99 Courage v Crehan (remedies and Article 101)

Before the National Courts

  • JR 65 (regulation of blood donation in NI; EU and ECHR rights)
  • Care Plus and others v Western Trust (public procurement in health service in NI)
  • Bloomsbury v DEFRA (levies on imports of fish products into the UK)
  • Sweetman v An Bord Pleanála (environment; habitats)
  • Viridian and others v Commission for Energy Regulation (price regulation; construction of licence)
  • Casey v GMC (statutory appeal from fitness to practice panel)
  • Conex Banninger v European Commission (restriction by national courts of Commission anti-trust enforcement powers)
  • R (ex p Law Society of Ireland) v Solicitors' Regulatory Authority (free movement and recognition of qualifications)
  • R (ex p JTI) v Secretary of State for Health (tobacco display ban)
  • Norbrook Laboratories Ltd v Veterinary Medicines Directorate (marketing authorization for veterinary medicines)
  • R (ex p CGTSN Ltd) v Civil Aviation Authority and others (fleet liens, Article 1 of Protocol 1, and Articles 102 and 106)
  • Black and Clements v Accountants and Actuaries Disciplinary Board (disciplinary powers and Article 6 ECHR)
  • VIP Communications v OFCOM and others (mobile telecoms and state liability)
  • Qualcomm Incorporated v Nokia Corporation (mobile telecoms patent infringement, FRAND terms licensing, standard-setting and Article 101)
  • Sweetman v An Bord Pleanála (EU Commission infringement proceedings and discovery of documents)
  • O'Leary v An Bord Pleanála (EU Commission infringement proceedings and obligation to stay national court proceedings)
  • R (exp Association of Pharmaceutical Importers) (pharmaceuticals, free movement and competition)
  • In re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (remedies and Human Rights Act)
  • In re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (judicial bias)
  • In re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (pharmaceuticals and resale price maintenance)
  • Esso v Parks (commercial agents and Article 101)
  • In the matter of an application by CNN to the Shipman Inquiry (broadcasting and Article 10 ECHR)
  • Locabail and others (judicial bias)
  • R (ex p A and others) v Lord Saville (Bloody Sunday Inquiry and anonymity of witnesses)

Before the Competition Appeal Tribunal

  • London Metal Exchange v OFT (Competition Appeal Tribunal)

Administrative proceedings

  • OFT investigation into replica kit

Before the European Court of Human Rights

  • McGonnell v UK (Bailiff of Guernsey, Article 6 ECHR and right to independent and impartial tribunal)



  • 1998 Called to the Bar of England and Wales (Gray's Inn)
  • 1999 to date Tenant, Brick Court Chambers
  • 2002 - 2005 Référendaire at the ECJ to Judges Fidelma Macken and Aindrias Ó'Caoimh


  • 1996-1997 College of Europe, Bruges, LL.M. in European Law
  • 1995-1996 Oxford University (Hertford College), BC.L. (First class)
  • 1992-1995 Oxford University (Hertford College), B.A. Jurisprudence
  • 1985-1992 Ballyclare High School, Co. Antrim

Lectures and memberships

  • Over 30 lectures on a broad range of EU Law subjects.
  • Awarded Diplôme Juridique en Droit Français (Chambre de Commerce et de l'Industrie de Paris)
  • Committee Member of United Kingdom Association for European Law and Irish Society for European Law; Member of Bar European Group, European Circuit, Irish Centre for European Law, Copyright Association of Ireland, Irish Environmental Law Association and the Amicales des Référendaires


Publications include:

  • EU Competition Law: Procedure and Remedies (Richmond, 2006)
  • Free Movement Rules and Sport (in Sport: Law and Practice (Butterworths, 2008)
  • Litigating in Luxembourg: the role of the advocate (in Change and Continuity in EU Law (Oxford, 2008

Directory Quotes

  • "Very bright and willing to work as a team." (Legal 500 2016, Administrative & Public Law)
  • "Thorough, professional and determined to win." (Legal 500 2016, EU & Competition)
  • "She is good academically and has strong international experience." (Legal 500 2016, Public Procurement)
  • "She is very responsive and delivers succinct advice." (Chambers & Partners 2016, Public Procurement)
  • "She has an instinctive grasp of her practice area combined with a user-friendly, personable style." (Legal 500 2015, Administrative & Public Law)
  • "A popular choice for EU cases before the national courts of the UK and Ireland." (Legal 500 2015, EU & Competition)
  • "Particularly strong on healthcare issues." (Legal 500 2015, Public Procurement)
  • "Very good, succinct advice delivered within a short timeframe." (Chambers & Partners 2015, Public Procurement)
  • "Very user friendly and collaborative." (The Legal 500 2014, Administrative & Public Law)
  • "Really gets to grip with the details of complex cases." (The Legal 500 2014, Public Procurement)
  • "Margaret Gray of Brick Court Chambers, who is noted for her expertise in the energy and environmental sectors, and has appeared in more than 30 cases before the Luxembourg courts." (The Legal 500 2013, Public Procurement)
  • Recommended as a leading junior in Administrative & Public Law in the Legal 500 2011 – 2013, in EU and Competition Law the Legal 500 2012 – 2013,  and Public Procurement, in The Legal 500 2013.
  • ‘Dedicated, committed and hardworking' (The Legal 500 2011, EU and Competition Law)


French (fluent)

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