EU & UK, competition & state aid

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Gateley Legal

In today’s global marketplace, competition and state aid law plays a crucial role. The risk of falling foul of the rules has never been so high.

In the interests of fairness, competition authorities are increasingly employing an ever-growing range of powers to investigate markets, mergers, cartels, alleged abuses of dominant market positions and contractual arrangements between competitors and supply chain arrangements. These controls try to ensure businesses operate in an ethical and fair way.

What do we do?


Competition authorities are increasingly involved in protecting markets and competition through merger control, looking at whether an acquisition may pose a risk of anti-competitive effects or actually has that effect. Early consideration of these issues can influence deal structure and risk sharing as well as other transaction terms such as price.

We have extensive experience of handling legal issues relating to EU and UK competition law regimes. Known for our fast response and pragmatic approach, our expert team can help protect business interests and minimise reputational damage in the event of any compliance challenges, investigations or dawn raids related to the competition regime.

We regularly advise on:

  • commercial agreements;
  • competition investigations;
  • competition compliance programmes; and
  • merger control.

Where there is a potential breach of competition rules, we will guide you through the best course of action. Should a matter proceed to investigation, our team are experienced in representing clients who face any enforcement action, including fines (which can be substantial), or who are required to appear at hearings held by competition authorities or respond to information requests.

State aid 

EU law bans states or public sector bodies from giving funding, subsidies or benefits on a selective basis, which are not on commercial terms, to organisations where these aid measures may distort competition. The UK has adopted similar rules post-Brexit. The rules are complex, with significant consequences for non-compliance including having to repay the amount of the aid plus interest. 

We provide practical, commercial, solution-driven advice to both public and private sector clients on state aid issues, including applying for public sector grant funding.

Who do we help?

We help all businesses involved in key supply chain relationships, businesses with a substantial market share and businesses involved in mergers and acquisitions.

We advise private, public and third sector organisations on competition law and state aid compliance and investigations.

Got a question? Get in touch.