Claire Waterson


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Claire Waterson is a Partner in William Fry’s Competition & Regulation Department advising on all aspects of Irish and EU competition law, including merger control, restrictive practices, State aids, public procurement and free movement. Claire specialises in sectoral regulation with a particular emphasis on telecommunications.

Recent significant deals include advising:

  • Aughinish Alumina on its successful EU General Court challenge to a Commission State aid decision
  • ComReg (Irish communications regulator) on a number of regulatory enforcement matters
  • Electricity Supply Board on the Irish merger control aspects of its acquisition of the transmission and distribution assets of Northern Ireland Electricity

Chambers Global 2021 identify Claire as "extremely responsive," according to a client. She also stands out for her advice to Irish regulators.  

Legal 500 EMEA 2021 say that Claire is clever and pays keen attention to detail; she makes complex ideas appear simple. One interviewee states that "Cormac Little and Claire Waterson are quietly and thoroughly competent, conscientious yet understated in their impressive work ethic. They are both professional, absolutely reliable, easy to deal with and have a calm and comforting approach in dealing with the client. Neither seek the limelight and are discreet and thoughtful. After many years dealing with them, I feel I can approach them with any problem and they will find a solution that I can work with. For an in-house counsel that is important." with another saying that ‘Claire Waterson is a gem. She works hard, is unflappable and works well with everyone."

Claire advises on state aid appeals for public entities and beneficiary companies. She also stands out for her advice to Irish regulators: "Waterson is perfect, unbelievably organised and extremely responsive." reports one interviewee. "She is second to none on procurement and regulatory topics." Chambers Europe 2020

Claire has been described by clients as an "excellent lawyer with a calm approach"  who "provides efficient and well-reasoned responses." Another client noted that Claire "is clever and shows keen attention to detail – she makes complex ideas appear simple." Legal 500 2020

Claire is an established figure with a formidable track record in state aid, public procurement and regulated industries mandates. According to one interviewee, she "is a highly organised and efficient lawyer, very very process-driven, always thinking of the next step and how to maximise your position at every point." Chambers Europe 2019

Claire was listed in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in Competition Law.

Claire is "calm, considered and practical," according to market sources. She is regarded as an expert on competition, regulatory and procurement issues. One commentator remarks: "She is very concise, good with clients and knows her stuff. She has a good combination of business sense and competition acumen which is very good for clients." Chambers Europe 2018

Claire Waterson has "a vast wealth of knowledge in relation to domestic and EU legislation". Legal 500 EMEA 2018

According to Chambers Europe 2017 clients say that she is "very cool and measured, with a real conciseness in how she thinks about issues." Legal 500 EMEA 2017 say Claire is ‘very knowledgeable and has a good relationship with the regulatory authorities’.