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Antitrust and competition

State aid and subsidies

State aid and state-backed subsidies play an increasingly prominent role for companies doing business in Europe, driven by geopolitics as well as rapid digitisation and green transformation. We have unrivalled experience in assisting both governments and companies across multiple industry sectors to navigate this constantly changing regulatory environment.

Businesses in the EU, faced with unprecedented global events, are increasingly making use of state aid rules, whether as a sword to challenge unfair advantages, or a shield to benefit from state support. These rules provide significant funding opportunities for companies investing in the twin transformations promoted by the EU – digital (infrastructure, services, innovation) and decarbonisation (the European Green Deal).

In addition, state aid remains an important factor in transaction planning. The EU’s new Foreign Subsidies Regulation has added further complexity, and we have been at the forefront of preparing clients for its impact on deals and have advised on many of the first cases reviewed by the European Commission under the new regime.

Across the Channel, the UK’s subsidy control regime continues to take shape, with the CMA’s new Subsidy Advice Unit already reviewing a number of cases and the Competition Appeal Tribunal having handed down its first review judgement. As the regime develops further, companies operating in the UK must assess its impact on their businesses.

Our expertise gained over many years across all types of industry, and involvement in cutting-edge cases, equip us to provide clients with informed, strategic and decisive advice on their most complex projects. We also draw on decades of experience of working on high profile matters with both the European Commission and EU member states. For example, we represented clients on the major financial crisis cases and on the European Commission’s ground-breaking investigations of national tax measures, where our end-to-end expert advice spanned initial investigations to subsequent litigation in the EU courts.

Awards & Recognitions 

Winner of the Financial Times ‘Standout innovation’ award for ‘Reshaping the rules around European state aid’Financial Times, Innovative Lawyers Awards