EU, Competition & Trade law

EU, Competition & Trade law

The EU, Competition & Trade law team of EY Law advises on all aspects of EU law, with a particular focus on state aid, international trade and competition. The team has extensive experience in European Commission investigations, litigation before EU and domestic courts and advisory work on a wide range of EU law issues. The team handles complex cases of national and international clients in various industries, while at the same time benefitting from the vast business network of EY with in-depth tax, accounting and financial expertise. The EU, Competition & Trade law team of EY Law works closely with the other offices of the EY Law global network of firms, comprising over 3,500 lawyers in 80 jurisdictions of which over 60 are dedicated competition lawyers.


Competition law is of strategic importance in relation to mergers and we specialise in offering pre-transaction merger advice to help clients improve their business modelling of proposed transactions. In this regard we often work with EY Transaction Advisory teams. We advise on merger control filing requirements anywhere in the world, working with the EY Law global network to ensure a consistency of communication and coordinated engagement with competition authorities. We draft filings and engage with competition authorities until the natural end of the matter. We have leading experience in relation to mergers involving local (retail) markets, often working with EY Advisory economists to present an integrated legal and economic argument to the authorities on market definition. In this regard we use specialised teams of data analysts to determine the metrics that contribute to defining the local markets.
In relation to pre-integration planning, we are particularly well placed to provide an overall package that addresses the competition law compliance concern of gun-jumping, working with our global EY Law network as necessary to address the potentially diverse jurisdictional and linguistic demands that this can have. We are particularly effective and efficient in providing this service given our ability to cooperate with EY Transaction Advisory services, who have significant process tools to ensure compliance is robust and communications are traceable.
In recent years we have increasingly advised on the interface between competition law and the digital aspects of doing business, including competition law aspects of: blockchain, AI, data monetisation and data ownership. Our work on such issues has been for major corporations, governments and international institutions.
We also advise on the competition aspects of commercial agreements, such as licensing, distribution and co-operation agreements between competitors (frenemies) and at different levels of the value chain.

State aid

State aid has become one of the main areas of competition law enforcement in the EU. The European Commission actively enforces State aid rules in a wide range of sectors, such as banking, aviation, manufacturing, (air)ports and public services, touching upon different types of measures, such as tax rulings, restructuring aid, environmental schemes, R&D incentives and State guarantees.
EY Law has a leading State aid practice with a strong track record in complex European Commission investigations and court proceedings before the European Court of Justice. A clear focus of our practice is tax-related State aid and we are involved in some of the current high-profile State aid cases concerning tax rulings. Our close collaboration with EY’s international tax consultants enables us to offer our combined expertise to clients.

EU Regulatory & Public Affairs

The EU produces a significant body of laws regulating business. The global influence of the EU market has resulted in many EU rules influencing the laws of other countries around the world. We advise clients on forthcoming EU policy initiatives, on engaging with EU institutions and on legislative drafting proposals. Finally, we advise clients on the foreseen and actual implementation of EU laws in the Member States, working with the EY Law network in the EU and EFTA States and beyond to provide local inputs as appropriate.


We advise on a wide range of trade law matters. Our collaboration with EY’s Global Trade and Customs team enables us to provide an integrated service offering to meet clients’ needs. Our team has offered legal and practical advice on several trade defence cases. We have represented exporters and EU importers in trade proceedings before the European Commission and have advised on the potential effects of EU trade regulations. As can be expected, in recent years we have been engaged in advising clients in relation to the consequences for business of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.