State aid

State aid

EU State aid rules control the way in which public funds can be used to support commercial activities.

The rules are complex, and failure to apply them correctly could result in a company that has received aid being ordered to repay it.

This could lead in turn to disruption of projects and damage to the reputation of the public body that granted the aid.

Our State aid team has considerable experience in advising on the State aid rules, offering practical, commercial advice to both public and private sector clients.

Public sector clients value our ability to help them design compliant funding measures, whether through application of a block exemption or approved aid scheme, or through a commercial public sector investment 'no aid' route.

Where clearance is required, we are on hand to assist with the process. We regularly deliver State aid training sessions, which help clients to understand and apply the rules correctly.

We also regularly work with private sector clients on the State aid implications of the projects they are involved in. We recognise that businesses value a clear understanding of whether funding constitutes State aid, and if it does, what that means for them in practice.

Work highlights

  • Advising a public sector client on a significant urban regeneration public/private joint venture¬†
  • Advising a public sector client on the State aid implications of its investment in a failing private company
  • Advising on how to avoid State aid issues where a public body carries out both commercial and non-commercial activities
  • Advising higher education institutions on the how the State aid rules apply where research and development is undertaken by publicly funded bodies
  • Advising a developer on how the State aid rules would apply to changing a development agreement entered into before the financial crisis