State Aid and Competition

As one of the UK’s leading firms advising the public sector, many of our clients are affected by the EU rules which restrict 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.

Their expertise covers a range of areas including the use of the general and SGEI de minimis exemptions and the General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER).

Our experience of advising aid providers and recipients means we are able to propose suitably tailored routes to state aid compliance for our clients.

Case highlights

  • 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 local authority on its participation / funding of a company to deliver improved broadband/Wi-Fi and a JV company to redevelop part of the town in its area – emphasis on state aid and competition law.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Advising central government department on state aid – very high profile scheme with a value of c£150 million including advice on the extent to which the state aid rules were engaged, the exemptions available and how to use them.

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State Aid and Competition

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