Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)

Ciara Barbu-O’Connor

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
Lawyer (Associate)

Ciara Barbu-O’Connor is an associate in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group in the firm’s Brussels office. Ciara is a member of the firm’s EU Competition & Regulatory practice and advises on all aspects of European, UK and Belgian competition law, including mergers, cartels, abuse of dominance as well as State aid across all sectors and industries. Her past experience includes work in the antitrust groups of other international law firms in Brussels and in the Directorate-General for competition of the European Commission where she worked on the transposition of the EU Directive for antitrust damages.

Linked authors

Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)

Articles

1289 Bulletin

Jacques Derenne, Dimitris Vallindas, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor The EU Commission adopts a series of measures implementing a flexible approach for approving urgent aid granted by member states to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak

192

The unique EU State aid control law requires, in principle, prior notification by Member States and approval by the Commission of all State aid. During a time of crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, EU law allows for a flexible approach for approving urgent State aid. In this post, we discuss (...)

1217 Review

Jacques Derenne, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor Advantage : The General Court of the European Union dismisses an action for annulment of a European Commission decision finding a selective advantage in a tax ruling granting illegal State aid to an energy supplier (Engie)

54

On 20 June 2018, the Commission decided that the Engie group had benefited from state aid through two sets of Luxembourg tax rulings (SA.44888). Background Starting in September 2008, Luxembourg issued several tax rulings concerning the tax treatment of two similar financial transactions (...)

Jacques Derenne, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor Guidelines: The European Commission adopts revised regional aid guidelines setting out the rules under which Member States may grant state aid to companies to support the economic development of disadvantaged regions of the European Union, while ensuring a level playing field between Member States

42

On 19 April 2021, the Commission adopted revised guidelines on national regional aid (the ’Regional Aid Guidelines’). The revised guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2022. They are the first set of revised state aid rules following the announcement of the European Green Deal and the (...)

Jacques Derenne, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor, Richard Masquelier COVID-19 : The General Court of the European Union dismisses for the first time two actions for annulment of decisions of the European Commission approving aid schemes in favour of airlines under Article 107(2)(b) and (3)(b) TFEU respectively (Ryanair)

135

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 450 "no objections" decisions (decisions in preliminary examination phase) have been adopted by the Commission to approve aid schemes and individual aid notified by Member States (see, in particular, Jacques Derenne, Catalina Chilaru, (...)

Jacques Derenne, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor State resources: The Court of Justice of the European Union dismisses an appeal against a judgment of the General Court of the European Union upholding a decision of the European Commission declaring unlawful and incompatible aid resulting from increases in the capital of a ground-handling company carried out by the manager of an airport owned by a public entity (Comune di Milano)

107

On 10 December 2020, the Court held, on appeal, that the Court of First Instance was entitled to dismiss an action against a Commission decision applying the private investor test to aid granted in the form of increases in the capital of a company responsible for groundhandling at two airports. (...)

Jacques Derenne, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor Notion of SME: The European Court of Justice clarifies the definition of small and medium-sized enterprises within the meaning of the General Block Exemption Regulation, in particular the concept of independence in this context (NMI Technologietransfer / EuroNorm)

211

On 24 September 2020, the Court of Justice delivered a preliminary ruling (on a reference from the Berlin Administrative Court) on the definition of small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") within the meaning of Article 3(4) of Annex I to Regulation No 651/2014 declaring certain categories (...)

Jacques Derenne, Ciara Barbu-O’Connor Selectivity : The General Court of the European Union upholds decisions of the European Commission classifying the Spanish tax scheme as State aid incompatible with the internal market (Deutsche Telekom)

273

On 15 November 2018, the Tribunal delivered several judgements following the World Duty Free judgement of 21 December 2016 (cases C-20/15 P and C-21/15 P - see our commentary in ConcurrencesNo. 1-2017, pp. 153-163.), which had set aside two judgments of the Court of First Instance (Judgments of (...)

Ciara Barbu-O’Connor, Jacques Derenne Economic activity: The General Court of the European Union annuls a decision of the European Commission assessing that State measures granted to health insurance regimes did not constitute State aids (Dôvera zdravotná poist’ovňa)

221

A Commission decision did not classify as State aid a series of Slovak measures (capital increase, debt repayment, grants and risk equalisation scheme) in favour of a Slovak health insurance organisation: according to the Commission, this organisation is not an undertaking within the meaning of (...)

Ciara Barbu-O’Connor, Jacques Derenne Serious difficulties: The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms the General Court of the European Union’s judgment by which the latter partially annulled a European Commission’s decision for an erroneous calculation method of the aid element of the litigious guarantees (Land Hessen / Pollmeier Massivholz)

174

Pollmeier Massivholz is a German company that operates several sawmills near the border of the state of Hesse. Background to the case In 2007, the Commission received a complaint from Pollmeier Massivholz alleging unlawful aid to support the establishment of a new sawmill in the Land of (...)

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