Staying compliant when providing or receiving financial support
Whenever a government agency or other public body provides financial support to a business, the recipient must check that the support complies with applicable subsidy control rules. This needs to be considered at both a domestic and international level.
Similarly, any public support provided to businesses operating in the EU and/or Northern Ireland must be compatible with state aid rules under EU and EFTA law. Subsidy control and state aid rules may apply in a wide range of scenarios. For example: where a public body intends to invest in new infrastructure, provide incentives to companies or set up a scheme to stimulate growth in a target sector or region.
How we can help you
Our approach is to use the subsidy control and EU state aid rules as tools to help you achieve your commercial objectives. We will work collaboratively with you to develop tailored solutions to risk and any other issues you face.
We can support you with all areas of subsidy control and state aid, including:
- providing robust legal opinions on your project's compliance with all applicable subsidy control and/or EU state aid rules, including whether the public funding involved is within the scope of applicable legal definitions and exemptions
- guiding you through all engagement with public bodies and regulators in order to ensure that your project is able to proceed in a timely and compliant manner, minimising legal risk in a pragmatic manner
- advising on applicable exemptions and thresholds so that your project is tailored to access the maximum amount of public support available and on the most advantageous financial terms
- supporting you with legal challenges to unfair or distortive public funding given to your competitors which undermines fair competition
- engaging proactively with government departments and regulators to ensure that your project's applications and funding proposals progress efficiently
We have considerable experience representing clients before the European Commission and national government bodies who have responsibility for applying subsidy control policy, such as the Subsidy Advice Unit (SAU) within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Department for Business and Trade in the UK.
Our state aid and subsidy control lawyers
Our international team advises both private organisations and public bodies on the investment of public funding in compliance with subsidy control and state aid rules. We understand the UK, EU and wider international WTO regimes and excel at translating the rules into practical solutions. We are known for our work on projects involving interlinking subsidy control, state aid, competition and public procurement issues.
NTCA Green New Deal
We advised Amber Infrastructure on the launch of NTCA Green New Deal LP, a low carbon investment fund focused on the North East of England.
Advised on state aid aspects of publicly-funded project to provide 4G bandwidth for the emergency services in rural and remote areas.
Prepared a full state aid application for public funding to support a district heating and CHP project as part of wider development project.
The Green Deal
Supported the restructuring of the UK Government's Green Deal initiative to improve energy efficiency in buildings and support clean energy projects through targeted State aid.
A leading UK airport
Advising a leading UK airport on a strategy for challenging a proposed change in air passenger duty tax rules that would have adversely impacted airports in the North of England.
Providing subsidy control, state aid and wider regulatory advice in relation to investments in renewables and sustainability projects for Amber Infrastructure.
Green Frog Power
Supporting a leading provider of renewable power with its legal challenge to secure access to the capacity market (CM). Successfully challenging, at UK and EU levels, aspects of the previous CM regime that were not fit for purpose and did not enable productive capacity generators to benefit appropriately.
A leading multinational FMCG company
Helping an FMCG evaluate the compatibility of several national aid schemes with EU state aid rules, including energy efficiency measures, tax incentives and training funds.