State aid

Government subsidies to industry – whether in cash or in kind – are controlled by EU rules. They are designed to ensure a ‘level playing field’ for competition across the EU so that, except for the smallest subsidies, government money has to be awarded in a way which satisfies EU regulations on State aids. Otherwise an individual approval decision from the European Commission will be needed. If you believe your competitors have been unfairly and unlawfully subsidised, you may be able to require repayment to the government: if you receive aid from public sources, you will need to ensure that the grant complies with the law.

We can advise on compliance with the State aids regime and approach national awarding authorities or the European Commission on your behalf if needed.


  • an airline on the implications of a European Commission decision on state aid granted to Ryanair in relation to one of its airport agreements;
  • on the state aid implications of an award for contract paid for by public funds to create upgraded technology for a standard safety product.

Latest news

  • Sheppard│Co wins Antitrust and Competition Law Firm of the Year 2015 UK by Finance Monthly (January 2015)
  • Sheppard│Co wins Regulatory Law Firm of the Year 2015 by Corporate LiveWire (May 2015)
  • Sheppard│Co sets up the Competition Damages Unit (CDU) and Competition Damages Fund (CDF) with finance from DCLG and in collaboration with CIPFA to bring competition damages claims on behalf of the public sector (February 2015)