EU State Aid

Recent and ongoing developments in the European Union’s state aid rules present complex challenges for governments planning and implementing measures that may entail state aid and, more significantly, for companies conducting business transactions with EU member states or state-controlled entities.

A grant by any EU member state of public subsidies (state aid) to an individual or to a defined group of companies that creates an undue distortion of competition is, in principle, unlawful. A finding of illegal state aid can result in a recovery amount equal to the state aid granted plus interest.

Our lawyers have an extensive track record advising governments, public bodies, and companies throughout the EU state aid control process, as well as representing them in state aid investigations before the European Commission and in subsequent litigation before the EU courts.

We are ready to assist our clients and friends with any issues related to EU state aid. This page is a go-to resource for the latest information and developments on the topic. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers or register for one of our upcoming events to learn more.

Our lawyers offer in-depth analysis of the complex issues concerning the application of state aid rules to help our clients understand, avoid, and manage the risks inherent in the EU state aid control process. Our state aid work spans a host of matters. Our lawyers routinely:

  • Work with clients to design deal structures that reduce state aid risk—particularly in the context of divestments of state-owned assets (including privatizations), state guarantees, and loan agreements
  • Advise on the state aid aspects of infrastructure projects, including any requisite state financing and the conclusion of concessions
  • Counsel on the state aid aspects of bank rescues, recapitalizations, and resolutions, including on negotiations of relevant restructuring plans with the commission
  • Advise on the state aid aspects of tax rulings on transfer pricing
  • Defend EU member states or state aid recipients in relation to EU investigations into allegedly illegal state aid
  • Lodge complaints with the commission on behalf of companies adversely affected by measures that may entail state aid
  • Advise on the impact of Brexit on existing state aid schemes and future subsidies in the United Kingdom
  • Represent governments and companies in the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding judicial review of the commission’s state aid decisions
  • Advise on the enforcement of state aid law in national courts, including national recovery procedures