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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers

Professor Sir Alan Dashwood KC

‘A very nice man with a deep knowledge of international law.’

Legal 500 2020


Sir Alan Dashwood KC has a range of experience that qualifies him perhaps uniquely as a specialist practitioner in the law of the European Union. His 40-year career in EU law spans most forms of legal practice – as an advocate, scholar, teacher, author, editor and a senior EU civil servant. His familiarity with the European Court of Justice goes back to the time when he was Legal Secretary to Advocate General J-P Warner (1978 to 1980). He has appeared regularly before the European Courts over a period of more than 20 years, litigating in French as well as in English, initially as agent for the Council in its disputes with other EU institutions and with Member States, and since his return from Brussels to the Chair of European Law at Cambridge, as a barrister. He is able to advise on the interpretation of EU legislation from the perspective of one who has been directly involved in the law-making process of the Union.

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European Law and Competition

Alan specialises in the Law of the European Union and those areas of UK Law that EU Law influences, more particularly:

  • product liability and other aspects of EU regulation, including unfair commercial practices and the Services Directive; he has experience of advising and of litigation on behalf of clients in the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, among others;
  • public procurement, acting both for tenderers and for contracting authorities;
  • employment law, including age and sex discrimination and the Working Time Directive;
  • competition law, including State aid;
  • the interface between EU law and intellectual property law, including in the WTO context.
  • the interface between EU law and the law relating to foreign direct investment;
  • all aspects of the law of EU external action, including: anti-dumping; trade policy; the protection of the environment; development cooperation; foreign and security policy;
  • EU anti-terrorism measures;
  • the European Arrest Warrant and other EU measures in the area of freedom, security and justice;
  • the Brussels I Regulation and the New Lugano Agreement
  • the law of the European Economic Area.

During the past two years, Alan has advised private clients, Government Departments and Regional and Local Authorities on the following matters, among others: the Eurozone crisis; the interface between intellectual property rights and the EU rules on the free movement of goods; public procurement, including in the specialised field of defence procurement; State aid; European aspects of telecoms law; the interaction between EU law and bilateral investment treaties; Directive 2006/114 on misleading advertising; the freezing of the assets of persons suspected of involvement in international terrorism; the interpretation of the Treaty of Lisbon.

He is currently involved in proceedings relating to parallel imports into the UK that infringe a registered trade mark.

Representative cases

grid list
  • Opinion 1/09 of 8 March 2010

    On the compatibility with EU law of the draft Agreement creating a Unified Patent Litigation System.

  • Case C-431/05, Merck Genericos [2007] ECR I-7001

    On the application of the TRIPS Agreement within the EU.

  • Case C-411/06, Commission v Parliament and Council [2009] ECR I-7585

    On EU legislation governing shipments of waste.

  • Case C-178/03, Commission v Council [2006] ECR I-107

    On EU legislation concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals.

  • Opinion 1/08 [2009] ECR I-11129

    On the amendment of the GATS Schedules of the EU and its Member States.

  • Case C-13/07, Commission v Council (withdrawn, following the entry onto force of the Lisbon Treaty; see the Opinion of Advocate General Kokott of 26 March 2009)

    On the accession of Vietnam to the WTO.

Employment Law & Product Liability

Other cases of note:

Employment Law:

  • Case C-427/06, Bartsch [2008] ECR I-7245, on the compatibility with Directive 2000/78 of an age-gap clause in an occupational pension scheme.
  • Case C- 411/05, Palacios de la Villa [2007] ECR I-8531 on the compatibility with the same Directive of compulsory retirement clauses in collective agreements.
  • Joined Cases C-397 to 403/01, Pfeiffer, on the 48-hour weekly limit under the Working Time Directive.

Product Liability:

  • Alan was instructed in both the SABRIL litigation and the SEROXAT litigation.


What the directories say

"He is academic and highly regarded."
Chambers UK 2024

“He is the godfather of EU law and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area.”
Chambers UK 2023

"The grandfather of EU law."
Chambers UK 2022

"At the top of his game and has expertise in every area of EU law. He is one of the people who can give you an accurate picture of how the court will react to an argument."
Chambers UK 2022

"The extraordinary Professor Dashwood is one of the bar's leading experts on EU law, and EU competition law issues in particular. His years of experience give clients comfort that they are receiving the very best advice"
Legal 500 2021

Instructing Professor Sir Alan Dashwood KC

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  • Appointed KCMG in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List (2013)
  • King’s Counsel (QC 2010)
  • Appointed CBE (2004)
  • Bencher of the Inner Temple
  • Professor of European Law and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1995-2008)
  • Formerly, Director in the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union (1987-1994)
  • Wyatt & Dashwood’s European Union Law (co-authored), 6th ed. (Hart Publishing, 2011).
  • The General Law of EC External Relations (ed. with C. Hillion, and three chapters) (Sweet & Maxwell, 2000).
  • The Future of the Judicial System of the European Union (ed. with A. Johnston and main contributor) (Hart, 2001).
  • The Law and Practice of EU External Relations – Salient Features of a Changing Landscape (ed. with M. Maresceau and contributor) (CUP, 2008).
  • Articles and contributions to books:
  • “Decision-making at the Summit”, 3 CYELS (2000), pp. 79-105.
  • “The Constitution of the European Union after Nice: Law-making Procedures”, (2001) 26 ELRev, pp.215-238.
  • Opinion 2/00, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, 39 CMLRev. (2002), pp. 353-36.
  • “Issues of Decision-Making in the European Union after Nice” in Arnull and Wincott (eds), Accountability and Legitimacy in the European Union (OUP 2003), pp. 13-40.
  • “The relationship between the Member States and the EU/EC”, 41 CMLRev. (2004), pp. 355-381.
  • “From Van Duyn to Mangold via Marshall: Reducing Direct Effect to Absurdity?” 9 CYELS (2006-2007), pp. 81-109.
  • “The Law and Practice of CFSP Joint Actions”, in Cremona and De Witte (eds), EU Foreign Relations Law: Constitutional Fundamentals, (Hart, 2009), pp. 53-77).
  • “Article 47 and the Relationship between First and Second Pillar Competences” in Dashwood and Maresceau, (eds.), Law and Practice of EU External Relations (CUP 2008), pp. 70-103.
  • “The Institutional Framework and the Institutional Balance”, in Dougan and Currie (eds.), 50 Years of the European Treaties: Looking Back and Thinking Forward (Hart, 2009), pp. 1-17.
  • “Mixed Agreements in the Era of the Lisbon Treaty” in Hillion and Koutrakos (eds.). Mixed Agreements Re-visited: the EU and its Member States in the World. (Hart, 2010).
  • Jurisprudence, Oriel College, Oxford (1963-1966)
  • Classics, Rhodes University, South Africa (1959-1962)
Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales. For our standard contractual terms click here.

For more information about the way barristers at Henderson Chambers work, including our fee transparency statement and our complaints process, please click here.

Bar Council Number: 32468

VAT Registration Number: 740544645

Legal Status: King’s Counsel

Professional Insurance: All members of Chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd. Territorial coverage is world-wide and subject to the term of the Bar Mutual. Click here for details.

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

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