Portrait of James Kavanagh

James Kavanagh : Partner

James has over 11 years of professional experience in competition economics, with a focus on state aid and litigation. He has worked on economic and finance issues in cases in all major European jurisdictions. He has advised companies such as Australia and New Zealand Bank, Deutsche Bahn, EDF, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ryanair, as well as authorities such as DG Competition. James is co-author of Economics for Competition Lawyers, a leading textbook, and teaches on the postgraduate course Economics for Competition Law at King’s College London.

James has been appointed as expert in UK litigation and arbitration proceedings, and has experience of cross-examination in court. He has also participated in mediations, particularly in cases involving follow-on damages. He has an exceptional breadth of experience in state aid, and is recognised as a leading specialist in this area. For several years James has been listed in the International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists and in the Guide to the World’s Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers & Economists.

James speaks English.

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 253047

James' specialisms include:

professional experience

  • Damages litigation arising from a European Commission decision on taxation and state aid (2012–)

  • Advising RWE and Drax in the European Commission investigations into energy CFD contracts (2014–15)

  • Expert for an international IT company in prospective A102 litigation on exclusive contracts (2014–15)

  • Expert reports in cases before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) regarding aviation (2014)

  • Acting for EDF and the UK government in the European Commission investigation into UK support for new nuclear (2014)

  • Advising the Polish state on restructuring state assets (2014)


  • Niels, G., Jenkins, H. and Kavanagh, J. (2016), Economics for Competition Lawyers, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press.

  • Kavanagh, J. (2013), ‘Financing Services of General Economic Interest: The European Commission’s Economic Tests’, in E. Szyszczak (ed.), Financing Services of General Economic Interest: Reform and Modernization, Springer.

  • Kavanagh, J., Niels, G. and Pilsbury, S. (2011), ‘The market economy investor: an economic role model for assessing State aid’, chapter 5, in E. Szyszczak (ed.), Research Handbook on European State Aid Law, Edward Elgar.

  • Adler, E. and Kavanagh, J. (2010), ‘The General Court’s interpretation of the MEIP in the banking sector’, European State Aid Law Quarterly, 4, pp. 949–54.

  • Adler, E., Kavanagh, J. and Ugryumov, A. (2009), ‘State aid to banks in the financial crisis: the past and the future’, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, 1:1, pp. 66–71.


  • MSc Economics, University College London

  • BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford

Latest Insights:  James Kavanagh

On 5 July 2018 the European Commission published draft guidelines to help national courts estimate the share of overcharges ‘passed on’ to indirect purchasers and final consumers of goods affected…
This article was nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. In light of recent accounting scandals, there are widespread calls for the UK competition authority to re-examine the audit market.…

The Economics of Climate Change at COP26

Oxera will be presenting on The Economics of Climate Change at COP26—the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference—in Glasgow, on one of the world leaders’ days on 2 November 2021. The aim of COP26 is to increase global alignment on climate action. We will be demonstrating to the world’s governments,… Read More

Image depicting The Economics of Climate Change at COP26