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Public law

Public, administrative and regulatory law has a huge impact on businesses,as well as on governmental and public bodies.

“Norton Rose Fulbright advises a number of regulators on public law matters. Clients include Ofwat, the Office of Rail Regulation, and the Civil Aviation Authority.” Legal 500 UK, 2013

We have a wealth of experience giving realistic, practical advice on a vast range of regulatory and public law matters to both public and private sector clients. As part of our global regulation and investigations team, we can draw upon experience across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia. We provide advice to a range of high-profile clients including a variety of governments, public sector bodies and regulated businesses. 

As one of the leading legal practices in project finance, we have vast experience of public sector, PFI and PPP projects in the United Kingdom and globally. Our public law experience is particularly strong in the energy and transport sectors, and we have recently focused on urban regeneration. Our experience also covers prisons, road, rail, defence, waste, energy, schools and infrastructure projects.

We deliver

A real understanding of the role of public bodies, with members of our team having worked both for – and within – governmental and regulatory agencies. We believe that this gives us a sensitivity to the mix of legal, economic, political and public relations issues which government, public sector bodies and regulators face – and the broader policy context in which they operate – to the benefit of regulators, the businesses they regulate and those that wish to invest or participate in public sector projects

Our areas of work include


  • protecting rights
  • responding to consultations
  • representing companies before public authorities and in judicial review proceedings
  • environmental and health and safety law and regulation
  • EU state aid rules
  • financial services regulation
  • planning law
  • public procurement
  • sector regulation

Governmental and regulatory bodies

  • public law compliance
  • drafting legislative instruments
  • advice on consultations
  • “JR-proofing” in decision making
  • judicial review defence

Our recent work

  • Ofwat (UK water regulator) - contesting judicial review brought by Albion Water.
  • Rose Bowl Cricket Ground - defending Eastleigh Borough Council in judicial review of its proposals for redevelopment of the home of Hampshire Cricket Club.
  • Secretary of State for Transport (UK) - legal advisers to the “Brown Review” on the future of UK rail franchises.
  • Department of Health (UK) - advising UK Government Department on tendering for major new service contracts on electronic staff records and pension scheme administration services for National Health Service.
  • ORR (UK rail regulator) - advising on regulatory provisions in UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
  • National Lottery Commission - successfully making representations in consultation about in regulatory consultation on whether regulators should consent to the licence operator diversifying into ancillary activities.
  • UK Post Office state aid - representations to the European Commission on behalf of a competitor of the Post Office.
  • Ofwat (UK water regulation) - advising on all aspects of project to modernise price control regime for water industry in England and Wales.