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Jonathan Branton

Partner // Head of Public Sector // Head of EU Competition, Leeds

Jonathan is a dual-qualified UK and Irish solicitor and leads the business in EU/Competition issues. He also leads the cross-disciplinary Government & Public Sector group in DWF.
+44 (0)3333 203 101

+44 (0)7736 563 202

Jonathan Branton


He has been advising on EU/Competition issues for 25 years, more than half of which was spent living and working in the EU capital of Brussels.  Jonathan is particularly well known for advising on all forms of State aid and public funding issues (including ESIF/ERDF, eRGF and many other funds) and public procurement.  Jonathan also has long experience in international trade defence and WTO law issues, and more recently has advised extensively on Brexit and related transformation issues between the UK and the rest of the EU.  

He specialises in all aspects of EU and UK Competition law including restrictive agreements, abuse of dominant position, merger control, State aid, public procurement, EU/international trade and BREXIT. He deals with various regulators on a regular basis, such as DG COMP, DG REGIO, the CMA and especially UK government departments such as MHCLG, DBEIS and DfT. 

Jonathan has been an EU/Competition specialist for more than 20 years and in addition to regular aspects of Competition Law such as behavioural antitrust, cartels and merger control, he has a particularly strong reputation in handling all aspects of EU State aid law and practice and broader public funding, and public procurement.

Jonathan acts for a wide range of clients, from large scale manufacturing multi-nationals, through to central and local government bodies, mid-range corporates and a number of public sector institutions, funds and charities.

He is particularly involved and experienced in a number of different sources of public funding, including the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), Local Growth Fund, Housing Infrastructure Fund, and European structural funds (ESIF), including audit and clawback experience and dealing with the European Court of Auditors. He has also acted in a large number of EU trade defence proceedings such as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, and advised in WTO and related trade disputes and procedures.

Before joining DWF, Jonathan practised in Brussels for over 12 years having been a partner in an international law firm based there. He now manages the firm's Brussels office in addition to leading the firm's EU/Competition team generally, and the firm's Public Sector group. He is also qualified as a solicitor in Ireland.

Jonathan regularly appears before national and international regulators such as the Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission, and has successfully pleaded before the General (European) Court in Luxembourg.

Away from DWF Jonathan spends time with his family. He particularly enjoys international travel which ties in with his love of the outdoors and rugby.


The leading legal directories are consistently generous and variously make comment such as him offering "excellent technical knowledge"; that he is "technically knowledgeable but also understands the practical application of the law"; "approachable and flexible"; and "the best State aid lawyer in the country".

Jonathan Branton is singled out by sources as "a star player in state aid," and is particularly noted for his "deep knowledge of European state aid issues." As such, he is the first port of call for many clients, from both the private and public sector.

Chambers & Partners 2014

"Jonathan Branton has a great reputation for EU state aid law".  Sources report that he is "very personable and great at explaining issues in easy terms."'

Chambers Global 2015

"Exceptional" and "highly regarded for state aid matters."

Legal 500 2017

" strength in state aid matters"  and "gives practical, clear advice".

Chambers & Partners 2018


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