When financial assistance is provided from the public purse, we help public bodies and private companies to consider state aid issues, redesigning the assistance to avoid potential problems where we can, or guiding the European Commission approval process where needed.
Recent work includes formal applications for state aid clearance of grant programmes on behalf of a government department and advising a local authority on rural broadband state aid issues. We have also provided training for local authorities about what constitutes state aid and carried out due diligence for a private business to ensure that competitors are not being given an unfair advantage.
We help our clients to identify potential state aid issues and structure aid to fit within the European Commission’s block exemption, de minimis rules and sector frameworks. We also support with notifying schemes to the European Commission for approval.
Our team includes lawyers who have previously worked in-house in the public sector. This means we are better able to put ourselves in our public sector clients' shoes and, in turn, help our private sector clients navigate and understand the system.