James  Webber

James Webber


James is Established Industries Sector Lead and acts on merger and FDI control, joint ventures, cooperative agreements and antitrust litigation around the world, but especially in the UK and EU.

He also has a significant practice in subsidy control and EU State aid. James is consistently rated as one of Europe’s leading lawyers in this field. Who’s Who Legal 2023 recognised James as a Thought Leader in Competition – State Aid; one of only two such solicitors in the UK.

He was also voted as one of The Lawyer’s “Hot 100” in 2022, the top 100 lawyers in any field selected for excellence within and relevance to the legal profession in the UK.


Representative matters

Anglo American on its acquisition of the Serpentina iron ore deposit from Vale and Vale’s acquisition of 15% shareholding in the enlarged Minas-Rio iron ore mine. its iron ore joint venture with Vale.

Paramount Global on its SkyShowtime OTT streaming joint venture with Comcast. Awarded ‘Competition & Regulatory Team of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards, 2022.

Celanese on the global merger clearances for Nutrinova, a food ingredients joint venture with Mitsui.

British Gas on its judicial review against the UK Government’s subsidies to Bulb Energy.

Pro bono

Pro-bono advocate in The Bavarian Lager Company v European Commission C-28/08 before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice. This case was the first and seminal exploration of the relationship between data protection and transparency rights in the context of corporate lobbying of the European Commission.

The European Parliament, European Data Protection Supervisor and 3 Member States intervened in support of our client. The Council and UK intervened to support the European Commission.

Advising multiple NGOs and charities that receive UK public funding with respect to compliance with the UK’s Subsidy Control Act 2022.

Published Work

  • Webber. J, (2019) “The Withdrawal Agreement, State aid and UK Industry: How to protect UK competitiveness”, Politeia.
  • Webber. J, (2020) “All Change? UK State aid after Brexit”, Politeia.
  • Webber. J, (2014) “Access to Evidence in Market Investigations,” Competition Law Journal, Vol. 13, Issue I at 72 (C. Brown, D. Bailey & S. Long eds., Jordan Publishing Limited, 2014).

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Divergence Between the European Commission and the Courts? A New Era of Merger Enforcement,” Global Competition Review Live Leaders Europe, June 2023
  • Panelist, “Adequateness/Challenges of the State Aid Framework.”, Hydrogen Europe General Assembly, November 2022
  • Panelist, “Article 22 EUMR: No More Safe Harbours?”, 3rd International Mergers Conference, Concurrence, May 2022
  • Moderator, “A Fireside Chat with Yanis Varoufakis”, Global Energy Summit: Accelerating Action on Energy Security and Energy Transition, May 2022

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Co-convenor UK State aid Law Association (UKSALA)
He is extremely knowledgeable and very responsive, which is important in these situations with tight deadlines
Chambers UK, 2022
He is a great guy who is easy to work with
Chambers UK, 2022


  • Recognised as a ‘Thought Leader in Competition – State Aid’; one of only two such solicitors in the UK, Who’s Who Legal 2023
  • ‘Global Leader’ in competition law, Who’s Who Legal, 2023
  • Ranked for 9 years in Chambers UK, 2015 - 2024
  • Shortlisted for ‘Concurrence Antitrust Writing Awards’, 2023
  • ‘Hot 100’ – one of the top 100 lawyers in any field selected for excellence within and relevance to the legal profession in the UK, The Lawyer, 2022Recognised in ‘40 Under 40’ list of leading competition lawyers worldwide, Global Competition Review, 2015



SRA England & Wales, 2003

Practising Certificate (England & Wales), 2007

Law Society of Ireland, 2016


Bachelor of Laws, University of Birmingham, 1999

Legal Practice Course, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, 2000

Graduate Diploma in Law, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, 2005

Graduate Diploma in Law, EU Competition Law, University of London, Kings College, 2006


A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.