Ewan West

Ewan West
Call 2006
Education
MA DPhil (Oxon) MBA (Cranfield) LLB (London)
Contact the Clerks

+44 (0)20 7405 7211 | chambers@monckton.com

Ewan has a wide-ranging and well-established practice spanning all of Chambers’ main areas of activity, including public procurement, competition, VAT and excise law, regulatory law (especially telecommunication and utilities), information rights and public law generally. He also practises in general commercial law and sports law.

He has one of the most extensive procurement law practices at the junior Bar for which he has received widespread recognition as a highly effective and user-friendly advocate, acting for both claimants and defendants.  Ewan has appeared in many of the leading cases of the past few years including the first claim seeking a declaration of ineffectiveness and numerous claims involving automatic suspensions and other injunctive relief.  He has particular experience of dealing with the protection of confidential information and disclosure (including applications for specific disclosure) in the context of procurement disputes.

As a competition law practitioner, he has appeared in several high profile cases, including in relation to anticompetitive conduct, abuse of a dominant position and in challenges to competition regulatory decisions.  He was instructed on the first fast track claim to be brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.  He has a particularly extensive knowledge of state aid law and its practical application.

In relation VAT, he has appeared in the leading case on hot takeaway food (and several consequential appeals) and has recently dealt with cases involving abuse of rights and various exemptions, including those relating to sport and health.  He also has an active excise law practice.

As a public law practitioner, Ewan’s recent cases include challenges to a determination of ordinary residence under the National Assistance Act 1948 and an assessment of liability to care home fees under the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992 and an appeal to the High Court of a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman (now under appeal to the Court of Appeal).  He also has a very active freedom of information practice.

Ewan has appeared in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), First Tier-Tribunal (Information Rights) and before a large number of regulatory bodies including the Football Association Appeal Board, the Football Disciplinary Commission of the Football League, the Disciplinary Committee of the Six Nations Internationals and the Disciplinary Committee of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain.

Ewan also undertakes a wide range of advisory work in all areas of practice.  He particularly relishes the challenge of finding solutions which do not involve recourse to litigation or mitigate its consequences.  He has worked for a number of regulatory authorities and has a sound technical and practical understanding of economic and financial analysis. .

Before coming to the Bar, Ewan was a Senior Civil Servant in the Department for Transport and its predecessors. In his Civil Service career he was involved with a number of high profile projects, including railway privatisation, the London Underground PPP and Crossrail, developing a particular expertise in dealing with matters at the interface of the public and private sector, including regulatory compliance and state aid. As well having dealt with both the development of Government policy and its implementation through both primary and secondary legislation (including working as Private Secretary to a Minster of State), Ewan had extensive hands-on experience of running public procurements and implementing the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

Ewan is a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (B Panel).  He is authorised to accept instructions on a public access basis.

Ewan speaks German and has a good reading knowledge of several European languages including French and Italian.

  • Recent / Major Cases

    Competition

    • NCQR Limited v Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [2016]
    • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd v Associated British Ports (Ch) [2012] EWCA Civ 36
    • British Telecommunications plc v Office of Communications [2010] CAT 17
    • Stagecoach Group plc v Competition Commission [2010] CAT 14
    • BAA Limited v Competition Commission [2009] CAT 35
    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc v Competition Commission (Interim Relief) [2009] CAT 33
    • Tesco plc v Competition Commission [2009] CAT 6
    • Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Services & Others v Amalgamated Racing Ltd & Others [2008] EWHC 1978 (Ch)

    Procurement

    • Energy Solutions EU Ltd v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority [2015] EWCA Civ 1262
    • Edenred (UK Group) Ltd v HM Treasury [2015] UKSC 45
    • Group M UK Ltd v Cabinet Office [2014] EWHC 3659 [2014]
    • Blue Water Recoveries Limited v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] EWHC 2970 (QB)
    • Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2013] EWHC 2082 (TCC)
    • Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Limited [2010] EWHC 2747 (Ch) [2011] EWHC 1828 (Ch) [2012] EWHC 28 (Ch)

    Public & Administrative Law

    • Young v NHS Business Services Authority [2015] EWHC 2686 (Ch)
    • R (on the application of Walford) v Worcestershire County Council [2014] EWHC 234
    • R (on the application of Neath Port Talbot Borough Council) v Secretary of State for Health [2013] EWHC 3341 (Admin)

    Information Law

    • Department for Education v Information Commissioner (EA/2014/0079)
    • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs v Information Commissioner (EA/2012/0105)
    • Robert Makin v Information Commissioner (Case No. EA/2010/0080 & 81)
    • Department of Work and Pensions v Information Commissioner (Case No. EA/2010/0073)

    VAT, Duties and Indirect Taxation

    • Maltavini Ltd v HMRC [2016] EKFTT 267 (TC) – reinstatement application
    • Chung (t/a Lake Avenue Fish Bar) v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 215 (TC) – zero rating
    • Bagel Nash v HMRC [2015] EKFTT 72 (TC) – place of consumption for food
    • Taylor Wimpey v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 74 (TC) – application of “builders’ block”
    • Sub One (t/a Subway) v HMRC [2014] EWCA Civ 773 – VAT treatment of hot takeaway food
    • Oasis (UK) Limited v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2010] UKFTT 292 (TC)
  • Competition / State Aid

    Ewan has a broad-based competition practice advising on matters such as restrictive agreements, distribution and supply arrangements, refusal to supply and potential Article 102/Chapter II infringements.  His former Government experience (including dealings with the European Commission) is particularly valued in relation to state aid matters.  As the holder of an MBA, he has an informed understanding of corporate finance, accountancy and economic issues.

    Recent and ongoing work includes preparation of an Article 102 complaint to the European Commission;  advising on a telecommunications price control determination;  advising on the application of competition law to a number of land agreements;  and state aid advice (including submissions to the UK Government and European Commission) in relation to a number of areas of economic activity including transport , urban development and assistance for unemployed workers.

    Recent cases include:

    • NCRQ Limited v Institution of Safety and Health (2016) – first fast track damages claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal
    • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee v Associated British Ports [2011] EWCH 352(Ch);  [2012] EWCA Civ 36- strike out of competition claim in Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 proceedings
    • Tesco Plc v Competition Commission [2009] CAT 6 – junior counsel for Competition Commission in Tesco’s appeal to CAT challenging proposed “competition test” remedy following Groceries Market Inquiry
    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc v Competition Commission (Interim Relief) [2009] CAT 33 – acted unled in defeating an application for interim relief relating to a divestiture remedy imposed by the Competition Commission
    • BAA Limited v Competition Commission [2009] CAT 35 – junior counsel for Competition Commission in BAA’s appeal to CAT following market inquiry into supply of airport services by BAA
    • Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Services & Others v Amalgamated Racing Ltd & Others [2008] EWHC 1978 (Ch) – junior counsel for Amalgamated Racing Ltd in challenge under Article 81/Chapter I to lawfulness of licensing arrangements for a new televised picture/data service to bookmakers
    • Liquid Petroleum Gas Market Inquiry – assisting the Competition Commission in implementation of proposed remedies following its market investigation
    • Tesco/Co-op Store Acquisition in Slough – assisting the Competition Commission in implementation of proposed remedies
    • Groceries Market Inquiry – seconded to Competition Commission to assist with preparation of Provisional Findings and Final Report, as well as implementation of remedies, including in relation to controlled land
  • Procurement Law

    Ewan is one of the most active juniors at the Bar specializing in procurement law and has appeared in many of the leading cases.

    In addition to advising on the initial procurement process, Ewan is increasingly instructed to advise on the operation of public contracts, particularly where potential variations are concerned and the need to achieve a commercial solution has to be balanced against the procurement law risk.  A growing part of this work involves representation for  adjudications and mediations.

    Given his prior experience before coming to the Bar, Ewan has a natural affinity with procurement law, especially where it relates to the commissioning of major projects.  His practical experience of managing large procurements is particularly valuable when it is necessary to consider ways to protect procurements, whether future or in progress, against the risk of successful legal challenge or alternatively to identify vulnerabilities and flaws.  By their nature, many of the cases with which Ewan is involved settle or are discontinued before reaching trial and thus do not necessarily enter the public arena.

    He particularly enjoys working as part of a team with solicitors and lay clients (whether on the claimant or defendant side) in constructing practical and commercial solutions that avoid the cost and risk of litigation.  His private sector clients have been drawn from a wide variety of sectors, including construction, pharmaceuticals, waste, property development, medical services and facilities management, while his public sector clients range from large central Government departments down to the smallest local authorities and NHS bodies.

    Recent cases include:

    • Energy Solutions EU Ltd v Nucjear Decommissioning Authority [2015] EWCA Civ 1262 – preliminary issue on causation and principles governing award of damages in procurement claims
    • Edenred (UK Group) Ltd v HM Treasury [2015] UKSC 45 – challenge to proposals for delivery of tax-free childcare
    • Group M UK Ltd v Cabinet Office [2014] EWHC 3659 [2014] – application for specific disclosure/application to lift suspensory effect
    • Blue Water Recoveries Limited v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] EWHC 2970 (QB) – application for preliminary issue on limitation
    • Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2013] EWHC 2082 (TCC) – application for specific disclosure
    • Darlington College v Secretary of State for Defence  – application to lift suspensory effect
    • Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Limited [2012] EWHC 28 (Ch)  –  preliminary issue as to status of Eurostar under Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006
    • Matrix SCM v London Borough of Newham [2011] EWHC 2414 (Ch) – strike out application (limitation)
    • Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Limited  [2011] EWHC 1828 (Ch) – application for a declaration of ineffectiveness
    • Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Limited [2010] EWHC 2747 (Ch) – jnterim injunction application
    • Community Care North East (a partnership) v Durham County Council [2010] EWHC 959 (QB) – implications of termination of a procurement
    • Croft House Care and others v Durham County Council [2010] EWHC 909 (TCC) – treatment of confidential information for purposes of a procurement challenge
    • Lion Apparel Systems Ltd v Firebuy Ltd – damages action for breach of procurement regime
  • Public & Administrative Law

    Ewan advises across the field of public and administrative law. His former experience as a Senior Civil Servant is particularly valuable in this regard given his intimate acquaintance with the process of public sector decision-making and the practical constraints that bear upon public authorities.

    As a civil servant, Ewan was also intimately involved in the development of legislation, working at all stages of the process from broad policy initiatives (formulated at Ministerial level) through to the enactment of specific measures, whether by means of primary or secondary legislation. He has experience of preparing briefing for and attending Parliamentary debates on legislation. In his career at the Bar he has also been involved in drafting secondary legislation.

    Current/Recent Cases:

    • Young v NHS Business Services Authority [2015] EWHC 2686 (Ch) – appeal of decision of the Pension Ombudsman
    • R (on the application of Walford) v Worcestershire County Council [2014] EWHC 234 (Admin) – assessment of liability for care home fees
    • R (on the application of Neath Port Talbot Borough Council) v Secretary of State for Health [2013] EWHC 3341 (Admin) – determination of ordinary residency under National Assistance Act 1948
    • R (on the application of Welsh Water Limited) v Water Services Regulation Authority [2009] EWHC 3493 (Admin)  – challenge to Ofwat policy on “inset” apopintments
  • Information Law

    As a Civil Servant Ewan was involved with the practical implementation of compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 prior to coming to the Bar.  He now regularly appears before the General Regulatory Chamber (Information Rights) and much of his other litigation involves matters of information and data protection law.   He is particularly experienced in dealing with the interface between those obligations and the protection of commercially confidential information, for example not least in public procurement and competition litigation.

    Current / Recent Cases:

    • Department for Education v Information Commissioner (EA/2014/0079)
    • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs v Information Commissioner (EA/2012/0105)
    • Robert Makin v Information Commissioner (Case No. EA/2010/0080 & 81)
    • Department of Work and Pensions v Information Commissioner (EA/2010/0073)
    • Alan Fisher v Information Commissioner (Case No. EA/2010/0044)
    • Chief Constable of Surrey Police v Information Commissioner (Case No. EA/2009/0081)
    • Ceri Gibbons v Information Commissioner (Case No. EA/2009/002)
  • Telecommunications

    Current / Recent Cases:

    • British Telecommunications plc v Office of Communications [2010] CAT 17 – junior counsel for
      Ofcom in appeal of a dispute determination relating to charges to mobile operators for termination of calls to 080 numbers
    • Cable & Wireless UK v Office of Communications  – leased lines charge control

    Ewan has advised on various aspects of telecommunications regulation and in relation to contractual disputes, including for example in relation to termination charges for SMS messages.

  • VAT & Customs

    Recent / Current Cases:

    • Maltavini Ltd v HMRC [2016] EKFTT 267 (TC) – reinstatement application
    • Chung (t/a Lake Avenue Fish Bar) v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 215 (TC) – zero rating for takeway food
    • Bagel Nash v HMRC [2015] EKFTT 72 (TC) – place of consumption for food
    • Taylor Wimpey v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 74 (TC) – application of “builders’ block”
    • Sub One (t/a Subway) v HMRC [2014] EWCA Civ 773 – VAT treatment of hot takeaway food
    • Foster v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 900 (TC) – restoration appeal
    • Logistical Transportation Limited v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 167 (TC) – restoration appeal
    • Battle Club v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 302 (TC) – amusement machine licence duty
    • Matthew Davies t/a Special Occasions/2XL Limos v HMRC [2012] UKUT 130 (TC) – VAT on stretch limousines
    • Oasis (UK) Limited v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2010] UKFTT 292 (TC) – categorisation of machine under s.23 VATA 1994 and application of lottery exemption
    • ERF Limited v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2012] UKUT 105 (TCC)
    • RM Education v HMRC [2009] STI 451 – exemption under Schedule 6 Schedule 9 VATA 1994

    Ewan has experience of a wide range of VAT matters, including single/multiple supply, place of supply, exempt and zero-rated supply and MTIC fraud. He also has some experience in Insurance Premium Tax.

    He has been instructed by both the taxpayer and HMRC in proceedings before the First Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal and has appeared in the Court of Appeal on VAT matters. Recent advisory work has included consideration of the partial exemptions regime, single/multiple supply and the VAT treatment of property transactions.

  • What the Directories Say

    Government Contracts: regularly acts for tenderers and local authorities on the full range of procurement matters. Sources remark that “he has built a first rate junior practice in procurement law.”WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Public Procurement: “Dedicated and immensely thorough, he has a natural flair for procurement law and an unbending commitment to delivering the top-quality service our clients expect.”Chambers UK, 2016

    ”Not afraid to get to grips with the technical detail.” Leading junior in Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2015

    Public Procurement: “Ewan is clever, articulate and committed to finding answers to difficult questions.” “He’s responsive, practical and firm in his dealings.”Chambers UK, 2015

    ‘Great insight into how authorities think and work.’ Ewan is recommended as a leading Junior under Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2014

    Public Procurement: Clients benefit from his familiarity with central government proceedings. He handles a broad range of procurement instructions and is qualified to undertake direct access work. “He’s very well organised, and has good judgement and a good knowledge of the subject.” Chambers UK, 2014

    Ewan West is ‘extremely approachable and knowledgeable’.” He is recommended as a leading Junior under Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2013

    Public Procurement: “Nothing is too much trouble for” Ewan West, say those that instruct him. This former civil servant has “an invaluable understanding of the workings of central government.” Sources find him to be a man who “provides practical and creative solutions.” Chambers UK, 2013

    Ewan West has a wide-ranging procurement practice. Formerly a Senior Civil Servant in the Department for Transport, he understands the workings of the public sector better than most. This additional perspective proved invaluable when he successfully represented Eurostar after Alstom sought an interim injunction preventing it from entering a contract to purchase trains from Siemens. Interviewees note that he is “personable and intelligent; he gets the bigger picture as well as the finer details, and goes beyond the extra mile to get the job done.”Chambers UK, 2012

  • Education and Prizes
    • 1981: Bachelor of Arts ~ Oxford University (First Class)
    • 1985: Master of Arts ~ Oxford University
    • 1992: Doctor of Philosophy ~ Oxford University
    • 1998: Master of Business Administration ~ Cranfield University
    • 2004: Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)
    • 2005: Bachelor of Laws – London University (First Class)
    • 2006: Bar Vocational Course (all legal studies part-time)
  • Publications

    Contributor to Value Added Tax:  Commentary and Analysis (London:  Sweet & Maxwell, 2009)

     

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