The various financial aids (subsidies, public guarantees, public loans, tax concessions, etc.) afforded to businesses by states or public bodies may disrupt competition and must, under certain conditions, be notified to and authorised by the European Commission.
Throughout the years, Gide has acquired in-depth knowledge of the various public aid schemes, with its lawyers acting upstream to ensure the legality of the aids its clients (or their competitors) may receive. Our lawyers assist clients in preparing the notification to the European Commission of aid received, or in filing complaints to the European Commission against unlawful aids. Gide also acts when the European Commission initiates investigations on a state aid, and regularly represents its clients before European and national courts when the illegality of public aid is invoked.
Our firm has also become a recognised actor in monitoring subsidies on an international level, in assisting public and private companies, financial institutions and governments alike in their administrative procedures or disputes brought before government authorities or the WTO.
- Representing the EIB in the WTO subsidy dispute concerning civil aircraft financing (Airbus/Boeing).
- European procedure against US, Argentinian and Indonesian subsidies made to the bio-fuels industry.
Gide Loyrette Nouel is representing many blue-chip French corporations facing domestic antitrust proceedings. The ‘technical and available’ team is involved in a number of cartel and other anti-competitive practice cases. It represented BPCE before the Court of Appeal in the cheque image clearing system case. The practice also handles distribution, private enforcement and merger control work. The team is led by Joëlle Salzmann, Emmanuel Reille, Dimitri Dimitrov and Antoine Choffel, ‘a smart lawyer who has in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge’.
Gide’s team ‘thinks outside the box’ across the competition law spectrum. Laurent Godfroid recently acted for Thales as a third party in the merger notification concerning the acquisition of Arianespace by Safran and Airbus. Benoît Le Bret is representing WESTBahn as the complainant in a case involving alleged Article 101 and 102 (cartel and abuse of dominance) breaches by ÖBB, and also as the complainant in a state aid matter involving the same railway operator. Stéphane Hautbourg and Olivier Prost are other names to note.
Legal 500 EMEA 2017
Offers specialist knowledge of competition issues, such as merger control, cartels, abuse of dominant position, private enforcement and vertical restraints. Lawyers also have economic skills highly valuable in the assessment of competition law matters. Links with the firm's international network allow the team to take a strongly integrated approach to its work across a range of industry sectors. Interviewees emphasise the team's capacity to think outside the box, and comment: 'Gide's competition team stands out from the other firms with its potential for innovation and its capacity to be creative and to provide tailor-made solutions for each legal issue.' They add: 'It also should be underlined that all the team members are very responsive; even at very short notice, they always find a solution to bring you a smart and pragmatic answer.'
Chambers Europe 2017