State aid

State Aid

The firm has many years of comprehensive experience advising on State aid law. We advise undertakings and public authorities in the run‐up to State aid cases and providing support in the context of ongoing EU investigations by the Directorate‐General for Competition.

Our areas of expertise

  • Advice on State aid law
  • Sector‐specific State aid law
  • Assistance in funded projects
  • Subsidies
  • Representation of clients before the European Commission and the European Courts
  • Main practice areas: media and transport, infrastructure provision.
  • Representation of clients before the European Commission, European Courts and German Courts
  • Main practice areas: transport and infrastructure provision (air, inland waterways, ocean shipping, rail, public transport, broadband infrastructure, e‐mobility), research and development, education, services of general economic interest, finance and insurance, energy, fiscal aid measures, public broadcasting, postal services and telecommunications


Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Länder, associations of savings banks (“Sparkassenverbände”), financial institutions, private companies and public‐sector entities before the European Courts and German Courts. Court proceedings involving the legality and recovery of State aid before the European and German Courts, for example in connection with energy and environmental law (inter alia in the “PreussenElektra” and “Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall” cases). Court proceedings involving the privatisation of publicly‐owned undertakings (“Warnow Werft” and “Berliner Bankgesellschaft”). Advising ministries, municipalities and their public‐sector entities, financial institutions as well as research and development centres regarding financial aid and guarantee measures. Representation in notification proceedings and complaints before the European Commission. Several proceedings concerning the rescuing and restructuring of publicly‐owned banks in the financial crisis.

Selected references*

ECJ proceedings

  • E.ON, RWE, EnBW, Vattenfall on tax exemption of so‐called reserves established by nuclear power station operators (cases T‐92/02 and C‐176/06 P).
  • The Federal Republic of Germany on the relationship between emission trading law and State aid law (case T‐387/04).
  • Saria Bio Industries et al. regarding services of public interest in the rendering sector (case T‐309/12; case C‐447/14 P).
  • Free State of Saxony and the Land Saxony‐Anhalt regarding training aid for DHL (case C‐459/10 P).
  • Westphalia‐Lippe savings banks and clearinghouse association on the restructuring of WestLB (case T 457/09).
  • Investment bank of Saxony‐Anhalt on court cost exemption for public agencies (case C‐404/08).
  • State media authority of North Rhine‐Wetphalia on State aid in the context of the introduction of DVB‐T (case T‐2/08).
  • Savings banks associations of North Rhine‐Westphalia regarding WestLB (cases T‐22/11, 27/11).
  • PreussenElektra regarding the Power Input Act (case C‐379/98).
  • The Federal Republic of Germany regarding State aid recovery claims on the grounds of unapproved zonal border development (case T‐308/00).
  • Vattenfall regarding the Renewable Energy Sources Act (case T‐260/14).
  • Hydro Aluminium, Trimet, et al., in the formal investigation procedure conducted by the EU Commission regarding the Renewable Energy Sources Act (cases T‐263/14 and T‐291/14).
  • Representation of a Slovak producer of raw materials in proceedings concerning an investment aid granted to a competitor (case T‐745/17).

Representation before German courts

  • Steag in a State aid related competition complaint in emissions trading (BVerwG EuZW 2013, 274‐279).
  • Saria Bio Industries, among others, in State aid related competition complaints against a special purpose association (BVerwGE 138, 322‐336) and on State aid recovery claims (OVG Koblenz EuZW 2013, 677‐680 and others).
  • Treuhandanstalt and BvS on State aid claims without legal basis, among others in the Aker Warnow shipyard proceedings (OVG Berlin NVwZ 2006, 104‐108, inter alia).
  • Rheinland‐Palatinate in the “Alcan” proceedings on the protection of legitimate expectations in the event of State aid recovery claims (BVerwGE 106, 328‐388).

With regard to our commitment to professional discretion, the list of references is restricted to representation cases published by the courts/that are public knowledge (section 43a (2) BRAO)