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Rob is an experienced leader practicing in competition law, procurement law, and other regulatory litigation. He acts for the range of commercial and public sector clients, and has been described in the Legal Directories as:
Since 2015, Rob has been Standing Counsel to the Competition and Markets Authority.
Rob is recommended by the directories as a leading silk in his main practice areas. Before taking silk, Rob was awarded Competition Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards in both 2019 and 2017.
Rob’s work is principally divided between the High Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and he appears frequently in the appellate courts. Rob has appeared in many of the leading cases in competition and public procurement law.
Before joining Monckton Chambers, Rob worked as an in-house advocate at a large City law firm. His experience has given him a particular insight into the needs of both solicitor and lay clients at all stages of the litigation process, and as a result, Rob places particular importance on being user friendly and accessible.
Rob is an established competition law leader and is recommended as a leading silk in competition law by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. In 2019 and 2017, Rob was awarded Competition Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards.
Examples of Rob’s work include:
Competition Act enforcement work:
As Standing Counsel to the CMA, Rob advises the CMA on anti-trust investigations including a number of ongoing matters. His prior experience includes:
Rob has acted on many of the most high-profile merger decisions and challenges in recent years, including:
Rob has advised on many of the market investigations carried out since the Enterprise Act 2002 was established, including the following:
Rob is recommended as a Band 1 leading junior for Public Procurement Law. He has been described as “a standout junior in high demand for the most high-profile challenges”, “technically superb” and “very user friendly”. Rob advises public authorities, utilities and contractors on a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters concerning both the public sector and utilities rules. He has taught public procurement law at Kings College London.
Rob’s current and recent major cases include:
Rob has a significant experience in relation to telecoms regulation. He has acted in relation to numerous appeals to the CAT and CC in relation to price control and other matters, and advised on a number of Ofcom’s market reviews.
His case work includes:
Rob has extensive experience of regulatory proceedings and litigation in relation to energy and utilities regulation, including:
Rob advises the CMA on the enforcement of consumer protection legislation.
Specific matters include:
Competition Law: “Rob is incredibly responsive, thoughtful, strategic, and very persuasive on his feet. The team loves working with him.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2023
Public Procurement: “He has a filing cabinet of a brain stuffed with procurement case law.” “Rob provides clear and easy-to-understand opinions.” – Chambers UK, 2023
Leading Silk in Competition – Legal 500, 2023
Leading Silk in Public procurement – Legal 500, 2023
Recommended in Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal Global Guide 2022
“Rob Williams QC wins high praise from market sources for his work advising public bodies and contractors on utilities-related legislation”.– Government Contract, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2022
Recommended in Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2022
Competition Law: “Very intelligent, with a superb grasp of detail.” “I think he is someone who is effective under fire from the judges and has the ability to manage difficult questions.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2022
Public Procurement: “He gains the confidence of the client straight away and works incredibly hard.” “He is measured, sensible and a good tactician.” “Rob is a tremendous advocate who is extremely decisive.” – Chambers UK, 2022
New Silk in Competition: “Rob is an understated advocate who comes across as very measured and considered, which is an approach that works very effectively in English courts.” – Legal 500, 2022
New Silk in Public procurement: ‘‘Rob is able to explain technical legal concepts to clients in a user-friendly way. His advice is clear, concise and directive.’’ – Legal 500, 2022
“Rob Williams QC is known among respondents as a public procurement silk who is “incredibly sought after” and “practical, commercial and easy to work with”. ”.– Government Contract, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2021
Competition Law: “He’s excellent with clients, very thoughtful and responsive, and really is everything you would want from a competition silk.” “He is going to be a superstar.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2021
Public Procurement: “Clients praise his ability to provide clear advice in often uncertain areas of law.” “He’s practical in his approach, commercial, down to earth and user-friendly.” – Chambers UK, 2021
New Silk in Competition: “He is hugely intelligent and also realistic.” – Legal 500, 2021
New Silk in Public procurement: ‘‘A measured, sensible, lovely advocate. Excellent judgement and also a voice of reason in the room.’’ – Legal 500, 2021
“An “insightful advocate” who is “commercially switched on” and “works exceptionally well as part of a team”. He has considerable experience in damages claims, mergers and enforcement matters”.– Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020
“Hailed as “a great barrister” and “a go-to counsel for public procurement work”. – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020
Competition Law: “Displays excellent attention to detail, is robust in his advice and is strong in court.” “He gets on top of quite complex factual legal situations very quickly, is hands-on and is easy to work with.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020
Public Procurement: “He has a first-class brain and is very strategic and very commercial.” “He is brilliant, super pragmatic and gives really good, commercial advice.” “Rob is exceptionally effective at identifying the key issues in a matter early on and giving clients clear and appropriate advice, not just on the legal issues but on a wider strategic level.” – Chambers UK, 2020
Leading junior in Competition: “He always gets to the root of the issue.” – Legal 500, 2020
Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘One of the top four juniors for procurement.’’ – Legal 500, 2020
“Distinguished as one of the leading competition juniors at the Bar. He is described as “insightful, approachable, thorough and a joy to work with” – Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019
“Extremely knowledgeable” government contracts junior who stands out for his excellent work advising contractors, public authorities and utilities companies” – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019
Competition Law: “Very user-friendly, responsive and hard-working.” “He is very committed to the case and really cares about getting the right result.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2019
Public Procurement: “Commercial, down-to-earth and very user-friendly, he takes a very practical approach to the law.” “A really impressive and hard-working senior junior with an excellent eye for detail.” – Chambers UK, 2019
Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘A truly outstanding senior junior: super clever, brilliant drafting and outstanding judgement.’’ – Legal 500, 2018
Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘He is very impressive both in his written advice and in conference.’’ – Legal 500, 2018
Competition Law: “He is very user-friendly with a very inclusive approach and he delivers focused advice.” – Chambers UK, 2018
Public Procurement: “He takes a down-to-earth and pragmatic approach and can be relied on to defuse heated situations.” – Chambers UK, 2018
Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘An extremely talented, approachable and diligent lawyer, who works well under pressure.’’ – Legal 500, 2017
Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘A standout junior in high demand for the most high-profile challenges.’’ – Legal 500, 2017
Competition Law: “He is a first-class competition law junior who is good at drafting, very user-friendly and good with clients.” – Chambers UK, 2017
Public Procurement: “He’s one of those barristers who actually seems to care about what the outcome is and works really hard to get you where you need to be.” – Chambers UK, 2017
Leading Junior in EU and Competition: ‘‘A strong junior with a razor-sharp intellect.’’ – Legal 500, 2016
Leading Junior in Public Procurement: ‘‘A filing cabinet of a brain for procurement case law.’’ – Legal 500, 2016
Competition: Receives strong praise for his “pervasive commercial insight and intelligence”. He has been involved with several notable damages claims and judicial reviews before the commission. – WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016
Government Contracts: Stands out as “a star junior”, who is often instructed to act on high-profile procurement cases. He is described as “technically superb” and “very user-friendly”. – WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016
Competition Law: “His pleadings and skeleton arguments are particularly good.” – Chambers UK & Chambers Global, 2016
Public Procurement: “He inspires confidence as he demonstrates a clear depth of knowledge and has an instinctual feel for this kind of work. He is a go-to junior if you need a creative solution to a new problem.” – Chambers UK, 2016
”Hugely enthusiastic and responsive; a great team player.” Leading Junior in EU and Competition Law. Legal 500, 2015
”Pragmatic and thorough.” Leading Junior in Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2015
Competition Law: “A joy to work with, he’s extremely accessible and easy to get hold of despite being in high demand.” “I have been really pleased how he has got stuck into the issues.” – Chambers UK, 2015
Public Procurement: “He’s very knowledgeable on his subject and a good team player, who is very easy to work with.” “Very sensible and pragmatic in his advice, he gives a credible and clear view on the merits of a case.” – Chambers UK, 2015
‘He is experienced in both the High Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal.’ Rob is recommended as a leading Junior in EU & Competition Law. Legal 500, 2014
‘Fast becoming an encyclopaedic mind on procurement case law.’ Rob is recommended as a leading Junior in Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2014
“Truly outstanding” Rob Williams regularly acts for central government and specialises in procurement-related matters in the energy and transport sectors. Who’s Who Legal 2014
Under Competition Law: Singled out for his practical approach to competition issues. Frequently instructed by the main competition authorities including the OFT and the Competition Commission. His background in commercial litigation also attracts significant damages work. “His ability to quickly grasp immense amounts of detail and his unimpeachable analytical skills enable him to provide advice that is relevant and of great value.“ Chambers UK, 2014
Under Public Procurement: Has been instructed in a number of landmark cases, working in tandem with silks, and has also appeared in matters unled. He is a popular choice for public and utilities clients, as well as City law firms. “His calibre and the impression he gives clients are beyond his years of call. He’s very bright but not stuffy.” Chambers UK, 2014
“Rob Williams is a leading figure in damages actions.” He is recommended as a leading Junior in EU & Competition Law. Legal 500, 2013
“Rob Williams is ‘very effective on his feet and in conference’,” he is recommended under Public Procurement Law as a leading Junior. Legal 500, 2013
“Rob Williams is well known for his tenacity when handling public procurement work. Testament to his standing, he was involved in the signature case of the past year, Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Limited and Siemens plc.” Chambers UK, 2013
Under Competition / European Law: “”Thorough, practical and user-friendly,” Rob Williams is steadily increasing in market prominence, and has respected public law, commercial and regulatory expertise. His “unimpeachable analytical skills” were particularly highlighted by sources, as was his “ability to think creatively about new issues.” He recently advised the OFT with regard to the investigation it undertook into Reckitt Benckiser and its Gaviscon product.” Chambers UK, 2013
“Rob Williams has had a busy year, being involved in the high-profile case of Alstom v Eurostar Project and also acting for Mehler in a successful challenge concerning the procurement of armoured vests by the Metropolitan Police. He is “an excellent analyst and a sensible advocate who always has his feet on the ground,” say commentators.” – Chambers UK, 2012
Recommended in Public Procurement Law, “Rob Williams wins support in the market as “a fine procurement lawyer who is very approachable and great to work with.” He recently acted for the Home Office in relation to a challenge brought by 3M to a procurement concerning the production of the new biometric e-passport.” – Chambers UK, 2011
Rob has a first class law degree and a postgraduate BCL degree from University College, Oxford. On graduating, he worked as a research assistant to the Law Commission for two years, following which he was awarded a Jules Thorn Scholarship by Middle Temple.
In 2000, Rob was called to the Bar and started his career at Keating Chambers. After a number of years in practice, he joined Denton Wilde Sapte’s Advocacy Group, the first and longest established “in-house chambers” in the City. He joined Monckton Chambers in 2006.
Rob has taught public procurement law at Kings College London with Michael Bowsher KC. He has previously been a tutor in law at University College, London.
In 2002, Rob was the judicial assistant to Lord Phillips MR (as he then was).
Rob is a member of the Bar European Group, ALBA and the Procurement Lawyer’s Association.