Spotlight on… Clare Murphy

31st May 2023

This month, we introduce you to Clare Murphy, Partner and HCR’s special advisor on Public Subsidy. She tells us about the advice she provides for her clients and her life in the Cotswolds.

Where do you live?

In Cheltenham – I love the town but am also keen on walks from the doorstep into the Cotswolds!

How long have you been a lawyer?

I qualified in 1999, so 24 years!

What type of legal advice do you provide?

As a member of HCR’s public law team I specialise in public procurement and subsidy control advice. My recent work includes the eligibility for and practical application of the public subsidy rules following the implementation of Subsidy Control Act 2022. My experience covers a great deal of public procurement work, including advice as to regulatory requirements across various sectors. I have run numerous procurement challenges for contracting authorities and consequently I understand how the principles will apply in practice.

I also give advice relating to the conduct of judicial reviews for both contracting authorities and challenging parties. For me corporate and social governance is another key area of interest. Read my recent articles

What type of clients do you find most rewarding?

One of my clients came to me for advice after they faced a challenge to a contract award – that challenge was being made by an unsuccessful bidder who had worked with a college for some years before the competition.  We worked closely together for some months whilst fighting off a series of different lines of attack from our opponent. I developed deep understanding of the motivations and rationale of my client and an excellent rapport with the key individuals.  There was a real sense of teamwork and a sense of trust in both directions. My client learned that they could lean on me and were delighted to achieve a sensible commercial outcome. They still phone me from time to time with queries and we work closely together to make sure they avoid obstacles and risks where they can. I help them understand the nature and level of risks where they can’t be avoided. Two years on they remain one of my favourite clients.

What type of work does the team do?

A good example would be our developer client who sought advice in relation to a grant of £450,000 for the construction of 30 new homes on a former industrial site. Our advice covered the general application of the public subsidy regime and the eligibility of the scheme for the proposed grant.

What is your number one tip for clients?

Don’t wait too long before getting advice. Take the initiative and benefit from achieving what you want rather than just being shoe-horned into another agenda.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Doing outdoor things! Walking, cycling, gardening. Desks are great for the week, less so the weekend.