You are here

State Aid and Subsidy Control

Navigating the legal complexities of State aid and subsidy control laws

State aid and subsidy control have become increasingly prominent as Governments continue to take a more interventionist approach to pursuing public policy objectives. 

In the EU, the European Commission has also been actively using the State aid rules to advance broader policy interests, in particular in relation to the energy sector and in addressing multinationals’ tax planning practices.  In the UK, the Government is seeking to adapt its own new subsidy control regime to best support its economic agenda.

Our team is ideally placed to help clients navigate the legal complexities of this evolving State aid and subsidy control landscape.  We have extensive experience advising  public bodies, utilities, private companies and governments on the State aid aspects of major projects and transactions.  In recent years have been involved in numerous “Phase II” in-depth State aid investigations before the European Commission and in significant appeals of State aid decisions and related litigation in the EU and national courts. Our team comprises experienced State aid lawyers in Brussels and London but also in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

We routinely provide advice on how to best reduce possible State aid and subsidy control risk and avoid that our clients’ projects or transactions become the subject of formal proceedings.  We have also successfully assisted clients whose confirmed subsidies were blocked for alleged reasons relating to State aid law or who were requested to pay back large amounts of fiscal support.

Building on our established EU State aid expertise, we have already amassed significant experience advising in relation to the UK’s nascent subsidy control framework and we are currently advising clients in relation to a number of projects that are “first of their kind” cases under the new regime.

Recent Experience


We have advised a number of multinational companies in relation to European Commission State aid investigations into the tax ruling practices of EU Member States.


We have advised a number of clients in relation to State aid and subsidy control matters (EU and UK) arising in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, including under the European Commission’s Temporary State Aid Framework.


On all State aid aspects of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project in the UK. The case represented the European Commission’s first-ever State aid approval in relation to new nuclear capacity and serves as the precedent for other nuclear projects.


In obtaining unconditional State aid clearance following an in-depth Phase II investigation, for UK support measures to convert a third unit of Drax's coal power station to biomass.


In three cases before the EU Courts appealing State aid decisions concerning the UK's aggregates levy, an environmental tax which affects hundreds of quarries across the UK, and with respect to related litigation in the English Courts.


On the State aid, procurement and regulatory aspects of its successful bid for the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.


Learn more about how we help our clients in

Competition, Regulation and Trade

View Service

Learn more



Competition enforcers across the globe are working to identify, investigate and sanction cartels and other anti-competitive behaviour...
See more
Competition disputes

Competition Litigation

Competition disputes are now firmly part of the antitrust landscape, with private enforcement of competition law – both multimillion follow...
See more
Economic regulation

Economic Regulation

Major infrastructure owners and service providers in industries such as energy, telecommunications, rail, water, aviation and ports are...
See more
EU law and litigation

EU Law

The EU is at the origin of an ever-increasing amount of complex regulation. EU laws are constantly evolving and must be implemented and...
See more
Foreign investment regulation

Foreign Direct Investment

Public interest scrutiny in the M&A process is on the increase globally, against the backdrop of amplified protectionist rhetoric and...
See more
International trade and WTO

International Trade and WTO

Our international trade group is dedicated to assisting clients in maximising the opportunities and minimising the risks deriving from the...
See more
Merger Control

Merger Control

Merger control regimes have multiplied across the globe, with effective merger control strategy and its execution key to the timing and...
See more