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State Aid

The law governing the aid that governments in the 27 EU Member States provide to the private sector is an increasingly important specialist area within EU competition law. Few can match our breadth and depth of experience. In fact, we helped to set the legal framework for state aid in the EU.

The recent spate of bank mergers and rescues has highlighted the importance of this area of law and has raised challenging issues around the interaction of state aid, merger control and government action to protect financial stability. Our international antitrust team has been at the heart of these issues.

Our understanding of the Commission's position in this area is reflected in our selection to update the Directorate General for Competition's report on the Application of the EC state aid law by the Member State courts, having drafted the original report in 1999.

The text book, EU State Aids, widely regarded as the leading authority in this area, is co-edited by two of our antitrust specialists, Tom Ottervanger and Leigh Hancher, and has now gone into its fourth Edition.

We advise clients throughout the complaint or approval process, and where required provide representation before the national and European courts.

We have wide experience of acting for governments and other public sector bodies, as well for aid beneficiaries and lenders on a variety of complex financial transactions giving rise to state aid issues.