State Aid

Our expertise includes:

  • General advice on state aid law, relating to the existence of state aid and the possible justification of state aid
  • Notifications to the EU Commission
  • Establishment of collaborations between public and private businesses
  • Establishment, financing, operation, purchase and sale of public and semi-public businesses
  • Trading with businesses receiving state aid
  • Complaints against allegedly unlawful state aid
  • Public business establishment and operation of activities of a private law character.

How can we help?
Our state aid team includes some of Denmark's leading experts. We advise on all aspects of state aid law in a wide range of sectors, including transport, media, broadcasting, energy, agriculture and infrastructure as well as financial services and taxation.

Our clients encompass public authorities and state aid recipients who need to ensure that aid is in compliance with state aid law, as well as businesses affected by aid granted to competitors.

We regularly litigate state aid cases representing our clients before the competition authorities and courts in Denmark and the EU.

Common challenges
State aid encompasses direct subvention and indirect aid from a public authority to a business or a sector. State aid regulation seeks to ensure that competition between EU businesses is not distorted and, in recent years, state aid regulation has increasingly become a focus area.

This is primarily due to the fact that authorities run the risk of being ordered to claim back unlawful state aid and because competitors of state aid recipients can now bring compensation claims before the national courts.

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Our ratings

Chambers and partners

Chambers Europe Rating 2018
-  Competition and European Law

What the team is known for Market-leading competition law practice covering complex merger filings, compliance and contentious cases. Its lawyers have notable experience in a range of industries, including transport, media, broadcasting and waste. Also represents municipalities in national public procurement cases. Highly active in the energy and renewable energy markets, handling both competition and procurement mandates related to the sector.

Strengths One client praises the department's "very good organisation and a high level of communication," and adds that "they are flexible and there for the client." The same client concludes: "In the area of competition law, they are leading the pack in Denmark."

Interviewees also highlight the firm's "great knowledge of the relevant fields" when handling procurement matters and describe the firm's overall approach as "efficient and service-oriented."

Work highlights Advised Boeing on projects regarding the procurement of supplies to the Danish Ministry of Defence.

Acted for Danfoss on merger control filings relating to its acquisition of Sondex Holding.

Notable practitioners
Managing partner Simon Evers Kalsmose-Hjelmborg is an expert on EU law and a broad range of competition law matters. He is also known for his abilities in public procurement and litigation.

Peter Stig Jakobsen is described by clients as a "good communicator" who is "very passionate about his cases." Particularly well regarded for his activity in contentious matters and competition litigation, he handles both competition law and public procurement mandates. He recently represented Skou Gruppen in a criminal case regarding the violation of competition law following a dawn raid.

Claus Berg is a notable figure in public procurement law who also frequently handles contentious matters relating to procurement in infrastructure and construction projects. His "grasp of construction sector cases" and "knowledge of local authorities" is particularly highlighted by sources.

Tina Braad is a procurement law specialist, assisting a client base predominantly emanating from the public sector. She is experienced in complex tender contracts and procurement processes.

Jesper Kaltoft is favoured by clients for the commercially minded approach he takes to competition matters, with one reporting that he is "very good at understanding complex business matters and at putting himself in our position," adding: "He really understands the commercial side." His expertise includes distribution law, merger control and other EU law issues.

Michael Honoré is well regarded by both peers and clients for his abilities in state aid work. Sources also highlight his litigation skills and his "good understanding of EU legislation and the rules of the EU courts." He defended Energinet.dk against a complaint made to the EC of alleged illegal state aid, as well as a related action for damages brought against the client in the Danish courts.

Chambers and Partners Europe, Competition/European Law

Bech-Bruun Recommended by Legal500

Legal500 Rating 2018
-  EU and Competition

Bech-Bruun’s ‘very reliable, professional and competent’ competition team is ‘among the best in the country’. Led by ‘incredibly determinedPeter Stig Jakobsen, the nine-partner team regularly acts for private and public sector clients in competition law proceedings and state aid matters. Jesper Kaltoft handled the merger control for Danfoss in the Sondex acquisition. Michael Honoré is recommended and Anne Bergholt Sommer was made partner.

Legal 500, EU and competition

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