Public Subsidies/State Aid Law

Whether you are dealing with large infrastructure projects, privatisations, financing transactions, investments, acquisitions or the award of individual contracts: our in-depth industry knowledge, our team’s many years of experience in state aid law and the fact that we can always draw on the knowledge of our experts in other fields of law make us the ideal partner for your project. The presence of our team of experts in Germany and Brussels ensures our clients have the best possible chances of making use of opportunities and handling regulatory challenges successfully.

Companies, be they organised under private or public law, receive state aid in all conceivable forms: guarantees, capital grants, reduced interest rates, real estate at a reduced price, tax privileges, etc. If such aid is subsequently withdrawn, this causes enormous problems – such as higher financing costs – for the companies and may even threaten a company’s existence. Working with the public authorities and the benefitting companies, we find a way to ensure that state aid is granted in a manner which allows the beneficiary to keep it.

We develop secure funding structures and successfully address any objections raised by competitors and the European Commission. If competitors unlawfully receive state aid, companies can insist on equal conditions of competition being created again. We help such companies obtain the same type of state aid, or to ensure that the state aid that was unlawfully granted to the competitor is withdrawn again. Companies that have received subsidies from non-EU countries may have to obtain the European Commission’s approval under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) before acquiring companies, or shares or interests in companies, in the EU – we can help you navigate the preparations for such approval and the Commission procedure.

Here at Luther, we strive to provide transparent and professional advice. We invite you to rely on our experience and international expertise for your success.

Our range of advisory services

State aid compliance

We can help you minimise risks and ensure compliance with the law.

  • Providing preventive advice on the best funding structure from a legal perspective
  • Developing compliance management systems for the prevention and early identification of risks under state aid law
  • Devising strategies for how to defend against claims for repayment
  • Defending against claims for repayment before national and European authorities and courts
Project structuring and corporate transactions

We can help you develop the ideal structure for your projects and for mergers and acquisitions in order to meet the legal requirements under public subsidy and state aid law.

  • Advising on the pitfalls of state aid law prior to corporate transactions and developing legally sound solutions
  • Advising on the state aid aspects of privatisations, investments, PPP projects, and re-municipalisation
  • Carrying out state aid due diligence reviews for corporate acquisitions
  • Identifying hidden state aid received by the target company
  • Identifying notification obligations to the European Commission under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation
State aid procedures before the European Commission

Together with your company and the relevant Member State authorities, we efficiently prepare state aid procedures before the European Commission, thus creating the ideal conditions for a smooth and successful approval procedure. With our team in Brussels, we have comprehensive experience in this area of law.

  • Preparing state aid notifications to the European Commission
  • Coordinating with Member State authorities
  • Providing legal assistance with the Commission procedure
  • Defending clients in state aid investigations conducted by the European Commission
  • Bringing legal actions before the European courts against state aid decisions of the European Commission
Legal protection for competitors

In the event of competition disputes, we can provide effective legal protection aimed at defending and safeguarding your interests.

  • Supporting companies that have been placed at a disadvantage and wish to proceed against funding granted to competitors
  • Advising on the available options
  • Filing state aid complaints with national authorities and the European Commission and taking court action
Services of general interest

Ensuring the provision of services of general interest is of central importance to the federal, state and local governments. Our experts can help you achieve this objective in conformity with state aid law.

  • Identifying services of general economic interest that are eligible for compensation
  • Determining the scope of potential compensation payments
  • Preparing the appropriate acts of entrustment
  • Assisting with the implementation of separate accounting in conformity with state aid law
Applications for funding

Our lawyers can advise you on the legal aspects of applying for funding to ensure that the support which you receive for your projects is in compliance with the law.

  • Advising on all legal aspects of public funding for projects
  • Negotiating with funding institutions
  • Drafting grant and syndicate agreements in connection with state aid for research and development

Providing assistance when it comes to quickly obtaining rescue or restructuring aid for companies in crisis or in need of reorganisation

Foreign subsidies

With our international presence, we can provide comprehensive advice to companies wishing to receive subsidies from abroad.

  • Identifying notification obligations to the European Commission under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation and assisting with approval procedures
  • Advising on how to proceed against subsidised imports from non-EU countries and conducting negotiations with the European Commission
  • Advising on how to deal with adverse measures taken by the EU

Key Contact >>

Key Contact

Dr Helmut Janssen, LL.M. (King's College London)


T +32 2 627 7763 / +49 211 5660 18763 / +49 1520 16 18763