State aid & competition

As one of the UK’s leading firms advising the public sector, many of Sharpe Pritchard’s clients are affected by the EU rules restricting the provision of financial and other assistance to organisations in a way that would distort fair competition. As such, we have accumulated a wealth of experience in advising on matters relating to state aid and when it can be validly given.

Our recognised team of experts, many of whom lecture on the subject, are able to break down the complexities of legislation governing state aid to give pragmatic, solution-focused advice, covering a range of areas from the use of the general and SGEI de minimis exemptions and the General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER).

We are able to use our years of experience of advising aid providers and recipients to propose suitably tailored routes to state aid compliance for clients with particular desired outcomes.

Recent work

  • Drafting numerous acts of entrustment, including for the National Association of Citizens Advice bureaux in relation to SGEI advice services for benefit claimants and the provision of online advice centres;
  • Advising a local authority on its participation in and funding of a company to deliver improved broadband and Wi-Fi and a joint venture company to redevelop part of the main town in its area, with particular emphasis on state aid and competition law issues;
  • Advising a single purpose Waste Disposal Authority on state aid and competition law issues in connection with it making capital contributions in a PPP/PFI project;
  • Advising a central government department on the state aid compliance of a multi-million pound grant to a number of Scottish local authorities for services of general economic interest (SGEIs); and
  • Conducting, in conjunction with a senior BIS adviser, an all-day seminar on state aid issues and the notification process for civil servants operating a national grant funding programme;


What others say

"Sharpe Pritchard offers outstanding advice” Chambers UK, 2015

"They're very thorough, consistent and clear, and they have fast turnaround times. We've been absolutely delighted" Client


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