Monckton Chambers (London) King's College (London)

Michael Bowsher

Monckton Chambers (London), King’s College (London)
King’s Counsel / Visiting Professor

Michael Bowsher KC has a busy practice in public procurement, competition and commercial law, particularly in disputes concerning major public and public-private projects. He is particularly known for his unique practice in regulated procurement in the United Kingdom, Ireland, elsewhere in the EU and beyond. Michael Bowsher QC has appeared as counsel in many of the major procurement cases over more than a decade. He is also heavily involved in providing advice on procurement law and practice in non-contentious situations. He is also increasingly involved in matters involving application and interpretation of investment treaties and trade agreements. Michael Bowhser is active in a range of other dispute resolution arrangements. He is often appointed as arbitrator, mediator and expert by CEDR, LCIA, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association. Most of his appointments involve disputes concerning investments or long term contracts involving the public sector or utility sectors. Michael is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London where he teaches EU Public Procurement on the LLM degree course and is Director of the Distance Learning Diploma and Masters in Public Procurement law at King’s. Each of these courses includes substantial components concerning procurement by international organisations beyond the EU. He is called to the Bar and practises actively in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as in England and Wales.

Linked authors

King’s College (London)
King’s College (London)
King’s College (London)
London School of Economics
Monckton Chambers (London)


800 Bulletin

Michael Bowsher Public procurement: An overview of EU and national case law


The overlap between competition law and public procurement regulation is more than just an interface of academic and practical significance. For me, and many others this was the genesis of our involvement in the field of public procurement. In common with many public procurement lawyers of my generation, I came to public procurement from a competition law context. That context is significant because at the time (before any Government Procurement Agreement) the gains to be made from public procurement legislation were seen to be much the same as the gains to be derived from the whole package – the benefits of trading in a larger single market where resources would be better allocated, efficiencies built into the system and so forth. Curiously, given the core place for competition in the building of European legal order up to that point, there was little or no explicit reference to the competition law issues that arose in public procurement in discussions around the new directives. Indeed in 1992/1993 there was still widespread debate about whether competition law had any business interfering in traditional tendering practices. This debate took off following the SPO decision in the Netherlands but was a common topic of discussion in construction law circles beyond the Netherlands. Many arguments continued to be made then and for many years afterwards in the UK and elsewhere that the implementation of a fully competitive market in public sector construction was foolhardy and likely to lead to disastrous consequences.

Send a message