European state aid
White & Case offers sound advice at all levels and practical solutions for state aid law matters of great commercial and legal complexity. The advice we provide is rooted in thorough knowledge of state aid law and a precise analysis of your particular sector and your goals. The services our clients receive bring with them the benefits resulting from our global position and the many years of experience we have in a very wide spectrum of proceedings and sectors.
We regularly advise banks on state aid aspects of financing operations, and are already working on cases involving aid under the new Temporary Framework for COVID-19 relief, notably in France.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, we advised numerous operators in the financial sector regarding the crisis and post-crisis state aid regime, which bears a number of similarities to the European Commission's current approach to state aid.
A full-service state aid practice
We represent state aid beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries, complainants (competitors of companies granted aid) and national authorities in investigation procedures before the European Commission and the national or European Courts. We have steered many aid beneficiaries and national authorities through the process, obtaining approvals in cases concerning restructuring, R&D, financial crisis measures and coal plant closures, as well as "no aid" decisions. We also provide legal advice on negotiations with the public sector, for example by drafting or providing opinions on privatization agreements that may contain state aid elements.
- Unparalleled knowledge and expertise in dealing with the European institutions and national competition authorities
- Multilingual and multinational EU competition and state aid law experts
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Only team to win "Competition Group of the Year" 7 times
Top 5 in the "Global Elite"
GCR 100 2021
Chambers Global 2021
"[T]he firm's combination of state aid expertise and sectoral knowledge sets it apart."
The Legal 500 EMEA 2019
"White & Case's antitrust team is unique in its depth of knowledge, practical knowledge, agility and cross-jurisdictional cooperation. They are also very up to date on new trends and innovations, and provide assistance to clients with legal issues."
The Legal 500 EMEA 2023
Successfully represented a number of Romanian investors who succeeded in obtaining an award of damages of €82 million against Romania for a breach of a Bilateral Investment Treaty, but faced a European Commission decision that the payment of such damages constitutes illegal state aid that must be repaid. The EU General Court annulled the decision in full in June 2019.
Advised Electricité de France (EDF) in a case before the European Courts relating to the Commission’s preliminary assessment that investments made by EDF prior to market liberalization in Poland and its accession to the EU constituted illegal state aid.
Achieved a significant victory for České aerolinie, a.s. (Czech Airlines). The European Commission determined that CZK 2.5 billion in restructuring aid was in line with EU state aid rules. Following an in-depth review, the Commission noted that the airline's restructuring plans, consisting of capacity reduction, efficient cost and revenues management and the sale of assets, should ensure the company's viability.
Successfully represented a number of Greek casinos before the EU General Court in an appeal against a European Commission state aid decision.