Regulatory frameworks in key sectors of the economy are characterised by complex and detailed technical requirements that businesses have to meet, alongside regulatory enforcement regimes with extensive powers that often lack transparency and consistency. These regulatory interventions tend to be justified as responses to market failures and to promote welfare, typically of consumers.
Our expertise has been built through working for regulators in the UK and internationally, and for regulated businesses operating in key regulated sectors of the economy.
Most regulators have wide-ranging powers to impose requirements and constraints on business, and to enforce regulatory obligations through penalties. Decision-making can lack transparency and consistency, and lead to unintended consequences. This makes regulatory relationships exceptionally important. We are especially skilled at using our knowledge of administrative and public law to support and test regulatory decision-making on the one hand, and on the other, generate innovative challenges to decisions by sectoral regulators.
We have represented regulators in numerous statutory appeals and judicial reviews, and have developed public law challenges to regulatory decision-making through the courts and in regulatory hearings. We have also advised and supported participants in regulatory inquiries.
Strategic advice to regulators. We are long-standing advisers to several key regulators in the UK and internationally, providing advice across the spectrum of regulatory decision-making; ensuring decisions are robust; and defending decisions when challenged formally in the courts. We develop and run bespoke training sessions for regulatory Boards and senior staff, and assist in framing decisions, especially in contentious situations.
Defending and challenging regulatory decision-making. Our expert team has conducted numerous formal proceedings both defending and challenging regulatory decision-making, whether in statutory appeals or through judicial review. We are especially skilled at identifying weaknesses in regulatory enforcement regimes and have a powerful toolkit, regularly deploying human rights law and public law principles on behalf of regulated business.
Advising several key regulators in the UK and internationally across the span of their regulatory activities in the following sectors: professional regulation (legal, medical, security); energy regulation (in the Island of Ireland); the regulation of members of local government in Scotland and regulators for the legal profession in Scotland.
Acting in a large number of disputes over regulatory decision-making: challenging decisions through extensive interactions with decision makers, and formally before the courts through judicial review and statutory appeals in all jurisdictions in the UK and internationally.
Advising and providing input into high-profile regulatory inquiries by government (e.g. the reliability of fingerprint analysis in Scotland), acting in Fatal Accident Inquiries and Inquests, and providing advice and support in relation to market investigations by competition authorities.