University of Tilburg Baker Botts (Brussels) Florence School of Regulation (FSR)

Leigh Hancher

University of Tilburg, University of Bergen, Baker Botts (Brussels), Florence School of Regulation (FSR)
Professor & Special Advisor

Leigh Hancher is skilled in European competition and regulatory law. Over the past three decades, she has worked extensively on advising a wide range of clients in regards to European energy law, European state aid law and European health law. She advises on both institutional and substantive EU legal issues and her practice includes advising clients before the European Commission and national competition and regulatory authorities, and in arbitration proceedings. Although not a member of the Dutch Bar, as a professor of law, she has a right of audience and she has also pleaded a number of cases before the Court of Justice as counselor, most recently in state aid litigation. Leigh has most recently advised a number of clients involved in the mid and downstream energy sectors. She currently advises on regulatory frameworks for major pipeline and electricity interconnector projects across Europe. She has also been involved in a number of cases for clients in the financial community seeking redress for cancellation of national renewable tariffs. She has counselled a number of firms on the legality of long term power purchase agreements. She has also advised major exporters of LNG into EU markets.Dr. Hancher is a Professor of European Law at the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands, and part time Professor responsible for EU Energy Law and Policy at the Florence School of Regulation (European University Institute). She has recently been re-elected to the ’Mijnraad’ - a body which advises the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs on various issues in the context of oil and gas exploration and production licensing. Dr. Hancher held the Chair of European Public Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam from 1990 to 1998 and the Visiting Chair of Energy Resources Law at the University of Calgary, Canada in 1996. She was previously Head of Legal Affairs at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Belgium (1998-2000).

Linked authors

Baker Botts (New York)
The Univeristy of Sheffield
Baker Botts (London)
Baker Botts (Washington)
Baker Botts (Washington)


2614 Bulletin

Leigh Hancher Energy & State aid: An overview of EU and national case law


State aid to the energy sector has grown steadily in volume and as consecutive issues of the Commission’s ‘State Aid Scoreboard’ have confirmed, it is after emergency or crisis aid granted on the basis of Article 107(3)(b), the second most important type of aid in terms of spending across the 27 Member States. The current set of ‘soft law’ guidelines for the assessment of the compatibility of state aids for climate, energy and environmental objectives – the CEEAG – is an extensive document covering many forms of support to combat climate chain and promote the energy transition. Nevertheless, the adoption of the new CEEAG has coincided with the outbreak of the war in the Ukraine and the onset of a major energy crisis in Europe and elsewhere. A large volume of aid is now being screened under the Temporary Crisis Framework (TCF), discussed below.

Matthew Levitt, Daniel Vasbeck, Leigh Hancher, David Gabathuler The UK Government and the EU Commission issue a Trade and Cooperation agreement providing a set of substantive and procedural rules on subsidy control


On 24 December 2020, the EU and the UK concluded the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”). The TCA, which is still subject to formal ratification by the EU, has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. One of the major issues of contention in the negotiations was to what extent (...)

Matthew Levitt, Leigh Hancher, Dina Jubrail The UK Competition Authority publishes guidance on its functions to explain the effects of Brexit on the application of competition law in the UK during and after the transition period


The EU and the UK have now both set out their negotiating mandates for the forthcoming trade negotiations. On 25 February 2020, the Council of the EU adopted a formal decision authorising the commencement of trade negotiations with the UK, together with a revised version of the European (...)

David Gabathuler, Leigh Hancher, Santos Miguel Leyva Rubio, Daniel Vasbeck The EU Court of Justice reinforces its strict approach and holds that alterations to an approved aid scheme are to be cleared by the Commission (Dilly’s Wellnesshotel)


The EU’s State aid procedures are complex and often slow and not always easy to navigate. Many companies may be content to leave the process of obtaining a green light from the European Commission (the “Commission”) to government authorities. Or they may take comfort from the fact that a large (...)

Matthew Levitt, David Gabathuler, Daniel Vasbeck, Leigh Hancher, Brian Byrne, Ella Adler The EU General Court delivers two judgments clarifying how State aid rules apply to national tax rulings and determines whether a transfer pricing ruling in respect of intra-group transactions confers a selective advantage under the State aid rules (Fiat / Starbucks)


On 24 September 2019, the General Court (the ‘Court’) upheld the European Commission’s (the ‘Commission’) ruling ordering Luxembourg to recover EUR 23.1 million from Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe (‘FFT’) and annulled the Commission’s ruling ordering the Netherlands to recover EUR 25.7 million from (...)

8401 Review

Frédéric Jenny, Christian Ahlborn, Jeremy Bacharach, Christoph Barth, Christian Bovet, Marcel Boyer, Jacques Buhart, Maria Pilar Canedo Arrillaga, Carpagnano Michele, Daniel A. Crane, Aymeric de Moncuit, Valentine Delaloye, Jacques Derenne, David-Julien dos Santos Goncalves, David Gabathuler, Mark Griffiths, Leigh Hancher, David Henry, Pierre Horna, David Kupka, Siún O’Keeffe, Christian Ritz, Giulio Cesare Rizza, Matthias Schlau, Mario Siragusa, Anastasia Usova, Viala Faustine, Masako Wakui Competition law and health crisis


The unexpected shock provoked by the Covid-19 crisis and the measures taken to limit the spread of the pandemic have affected the functioning of many markets. Throughout the world, competition authorities which, in the last decade, had been enforcing their laws in the context of steady economic (...)

Adrien de Hauteclocque, Dorte Fouquet, François Lévêque, Jean-Michel Glachant, Leigh Hancher, Marcelo Saguan, Patrick Thieffry, Sébastien Douguet, Vincent Rious Nouvelles interactions et tensions entre la politique énergétique européenne et l’approche de la Commission en matière d’aides d’État


The growing number of challenges on energy policy that the European Union faces call for a review and an update of the current mechanisms implemented for market integration and energetic transition. A new paradigm regarding the utilisation of State aid by EU member States to serve national and (...)

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