Herbert Smith takes on Irish electricity price-cutting case

Herbert Smith has won the task of representing Northern Ireland Electricity in its battle with the electricity regulator over price cuts.

Douglas McIlboon, director general of electricity supply in the province, had proposed that Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) cut the electricity transport, meter reading and collection elements of its bills by around 40 per cent. NIE has rejected the proposal, saying it would reduce its revenue by £45m in the next five years.

The matter has been referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and competition law experts Richard Fleck and Elizabeth McKnight have now begun drawing up NIE's submissions to the MMC.

McKnight said her firm had been recommended to NIE by Scottish Hydroelectric, which Herbert Smith had represented in the only other MMC electricity sector referral.