Nina advises clients on a wide variety of competition law issues, but primarily on EU State aid law and regulation. Her State aid practice covers ensuring compliance of public support with EU State aid law and procedure, including representing private and public clients in complaints and (pre-)notification to obtaining State aid approval by the EU Commission as well as defending against unwarranted allegations of State aid, including before the EU Courts. Nina also helps clients structure and implement their European distribution system, assists clients with implementing competition compliance programmes and defends clients in cartel investigations. She regularly represents clients in procedures before the EU Commission and the EU Courts.
Representative Legal Matters
- Advising companies on their applications for State aid support in the context of ongoing Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs), e.g., the Hydrogen IPCEI, and for aid to large investment projects including under the 2022 EU Chips Act package and the Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy.
- Providing ongoing regular assistance to an EU Member State's national development bank and a Member State's development agency with the State aid compliant design of funding schemes including the involvement of financial institutions and other intermediaries for the delivery of State aid to beneficiaries.
- Assessing proposed amendments to a Member State's Environmental Charges Act under EU State aid rules, including under the General Block Exemption Regulation, the Guidelines for Environmental and Energy State Aid and Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and proposing appropriate amendments to ensure compliance.
- Obtaining state aid approval by the EU Commission for three large projects in Sweden relating to innovative second-generation biofuels technology worth around EUR 485 million in total, and requiring detailed assessment under the Commission's Framework for R&D&I aid.
- Obtained approval for investment state aid of EUR 54.5 million for Dell's PC manufacturing plant in Poland, the total eligible costs of which is EUR 189.58 million — the first case under the 2009 Commission guidance on in-depth assessment of regional aid.
- Successfully represented Hungary-based oil and gas company MOL in its appeal to the General Court of a Commission decision ordering Hungary to recover over EUR 100 million in alleged state aid (cases T-499/10 and, on appeal, C-15/14 P).
- Successfully representing two casino operators and one shareholder in their appeals in the General Court of a Commission Decision ordering Greece to recover over EUR 190 million alleged State aid from the casinos (cases T-635/11, T-14/12 and T-36/12) as well as in defending alongside the Commission against a challenge to the resulting no-aid decision (T-757/18).
- Representing Rio Tinto, BBA Aviation and Willis Towers Watson before the EU Courts in their challenge of the Commission's Decision in the UK Foreign Controlled Company (CFC) Rules State aid investigation. The Decision ordered the UK to recover significant amounts of alleged tax aid from companies that made use of the CFC Rules, including these clients. Our London tax colleagues advise on the UK tax law and litigation aspects of the case (ongoing Cases T-755/19, T-761/19, T-762/19 and T-786/19).
- Ongoing advice to clients on the structure, introduction and development of their EU distribution systems, including multi-tiered selective distribution systems, and related compliance training.
- Successfully challenged the fine imposed by the EU Commission on Wabco and former American Standard group companies in a bathroom fittings and fixtures cartel case, achieving a reduction of the EUR 203 million fine imposed by the General Court.
- Represented Acer in the EU Commission's investigation of Intel for abuse of dominance on the global market for x86 microprocessors.
- Brussels (E-List)~Belgium (1998)
- Düsseldorf~Germany (1997)
- Oberlandesgericht / Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf (Assessor Exam) (1997)
- College of Europe (LL.M.) (1994)
- Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel (Referendar Exam) (1993)
Nina has published extensively and speaks regularly at seminars and conferences on a variety of EU State aid law topics. She is also a frequent lecturer at the Academy of European Law (ERA). In 2021 she presented for the 4rd consecutive year at the Academy of European Law event "EU State Aid Litigation".
She has again authored the chapter on EU legal protection in State aid cases (EU-Rechtsschutz in Beihilfefällen) in the 2022 German language commentary „Münchener Kommentar zum Wettbewerbsrecht (Kartellrecht)", Band 5 (Beihilfenrecht), Verlag C.H. Beck, and is the author of the earlier EU litigation chapter in "European State Aid Law: A Commentary", 2016, Sacker/ Montag (editors), C.H. Beck, Hart, Nomos. Nina also co-authored one of the first German language commentaries on Regulation 1/2003, which at the time modernized the EU's anti-trust procedure ("EG-KartellVO", Verlag Recht und Wirtschaft, 2004).
Recent publications include co-authoring with Bram Hoorelbeke the Chapter on "Origins of the notion of State aid: Competition between Businesses or between Countries?" ("El Origen de las Ayudas de Estado: ¿Competencia entre Empresas o entre Estados?"), in the 2022 publication of the Spanish Fundación Impuestos y Competitividad entitled "State aid in taxation - Spanish experience and current context " ("Las Ayudas de Estado en el Ámbito Tributario. Experiencia Española y Contexto Actual".