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Brendan Ryan


Home office: London

Brendan advises on the regulation of commercial arrangements with a public sector dimension, be that contracts awarded under the public procurement rules or funding subject to UK subsidy control.

Brendan is a partner specialising in the heavily-regulated fields of public procurement and subsidy control (formerly State aid). Prior to joining Clarke Willmott, Brendan worked for international law firms based in London and at the Competition and Markets Authority, where he was involved in setting up the Subsidy Advice Unit.

Given the nature of Brendan’s practice, he has worked with clients across a range of sectors including infrastructure, construction, social housing and regeneration, outsourcing, energy, healthcare, transport and charities. In addition to his main areas of practice, he has a wider background of advising on competition, public law, utilities regulation and international trade.

A graduate of the Masters’ programme in public procurement at the University of Nottingham, Brendan is a member of the Procurement Lawyers’ Association and has written for various publications including the Public Procurement Law Review and LexisPSL.

In his spare time, Brendan enjoys football, homebrewing and a good history book.

How Brendan can help you

Brendan’s practice includes working with public sector organisations and utilities to design and run tender processes, defend them against challenge and manage risk when modifying existing public contracts. Brendan has extensive experience of advising on the exemptions from competitive procurement, including making direct awards and contract extensions.

Brendan also provides support to bidders seeking to win lucrative public contracts. He has helped bidders to understand the regulations that apply to a procurement and to identify where strategic interventions can be made to maximise the chances of success. He has dealt with everything from the complexities of setting up bid consortia to sensitive arrangements where bidders were faced with unfair exclusion (debarment). He can help bidders to review tender submissions, clarification questions and responses and, for unsuccessful bidders, to review the outcome of an evaluation and identify possible routes to challenge the award.


  • The UK government – on a range of matters in relation to contracts for the purchase of novel antivirals from Pfizer and MSD during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Southern Water – on utilities procurement law issues in relation to its ‘western area’ strategic water infrastructure procurement
  • A central government department – on running a high-value ‘call-off’ competition for outsourced services.
  • The Crown Estate – on various matters relating to competitions for offshore energy contracts.
  • Bombardier – in relation to various procurement matters as part of its bid to supply rolling stock in the HS2 project.
  • Ørsted A/S (formerly DONG Energy) – on various matters arising under the utilities procurement rules, across a number of jurisdictions including in the UK.
  • An international micromobility tech company – bid support on its Transport for London tender submission for e-scooter trials in the capital.
  • A major software and business services company – on procurement law considerations in relation to the negotiation of a contract extension with a central government department.
  • A central government department – on public procurement compliance in relation to proposed amendments to a major IT contract.
  • A US multinational bidder – in challenging its proposed exclusion (debarment) from a tender process in the healthcare sector.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority – (in-house) on setting up the Subsidy Advice Unit and on a number of the earliest referrals to the SAU, including the Greater London Authority’s Refugee Housing Programme (a £126 million fund for the delivery of 630 affordable homes across London), Birmingham City Council’s subsidy for the Digbeth regeneration programme and the Department for Business and Trade’s subsidy to support the transition to electric vehicle manufacturing at BMW’s Plant Oxford.
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – on a number of funding programmes relating to mobile and broadband connectivity, including ‘superfast’ broadband vouchers, 5G Create and the Shared Rural Network programme.
  • The Government of Greece – on a major programme to outsource the management of regional airports, including successfully notifying the matter to the European Commission for State aid compliance purposes.
  • Various UK port operators – on their funding applications for the upgrade of port facilities to accommodate new post-Brexit customs and regulatory checks.

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