We’re well known for our in-depth experience of all aspects of State Aid, from funding applications and projects, through to public-private collaborations and partnerships, including major regeneration, infrastructure and inward investment projects.
We’re trusted by clients to find the right solutions to make projects happen. Our approach is grounded in experience, deep knowledge of this complex area of law, economic and financial awareness and a practical, ‘can do’ style.
Our public sector clients include over 100 local authorities, education and healthcare providers, Local Enterprise Partnerships and many central government agencies. We also act for private businesses from multi-nationals to SMEs and charities seeking public financial assistance, and businesses concerned that competitors may have received illegal State Aid.
We have advised on numerous European Commission State Aid investigations and actions before the EU and national courts, and other investigations with national authorities. Many of these matters involve large, high-profile projects with considerable public investment, resulting in a high risk of challenge. What sets us apart is our genuine niche expertise in this area which enables us to support our clients in structuring state intervention with minimal distortion and a strong success rate in finding the right solution to complete the project.
The Government has published its prospectus for the £3.6bn 'Towns Fund' and revealed it will soon select the strongest proposals for the first round of Town Deals in early 2020. State aid compliance is expected to feature strongly during the selection process.
At 2am on 23rd September 2019, Thomas Cook "ceased trading with immediate effect" after 178 years of operation. The decision followed speculation over the weekend that the Government may take action to rescue the tour operator and airline using public funds. This article explores whether such intervention could be undertaken in compliance with State aid law.
Boris Johnson's appointment as Prime Minister has greatly increased the chance of a "No Deal Brexit", with Cabinet Minister Michael Gove announcing that the Government is now "working on the assumption" that the UK will leave the European Union without a deal on 31 October 2019.
The UK Government has lodged an annulment application to the General Court in respect of a recent EC decision which found certain parts of the CFC Group Financing Exemption gave rise to unlawful State aid.
The case means that Real Madrid will now receive a windfall of €18.4 million, which Real Madrid had been ordered to repay to Madrid City Council in 2016, and compound interest of over €2 million.
On 2nd April 2019 the European Commission concluded that a tax break introduced in the Finance Act 2012 constitutes unlawful State aid to certain multi-national businesses.
Local authorities preparing bids for the Government's new £675m Future High Streets Fund have been reminded of the need to factor State aid compliance into the design of their proposals ahead of the first round submission date of 22 March 2019.
The European Commission has announced it is extending seven State aid Regulations and guidelines which would otherwise have expired on 31 December 2020. The exemptions, which include the commonly used General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) and De Minimis will now expire on 31 December 2022. The Commission has also opened a consultation exercise on whether to further prolong or refine the rules after 2022.