Latham Secures Victory Before the General Court in Lithuanian RES Electricity State Aid Case

Ruling strengthens the procedural rights of private parties in the State aid control procedure.

April 16, 2021

Latham & Watkins has secured a significant victory for its clients AB Achema and Lifosa, by annulling a decision made by the European Commission (EC) in 2019 to approve Lithuanian State aid to support electricity producer RES Energy. 

The decision concerned unlawful aid granted by Lithuanian authorities in the form of compensations for the provision of public interest services in the electricity sector, as well as exemptions from levies and support to generators of electricity from renewable energy sources. AB Achema, Lifosa, and AB ORLEN Lietuva had complained about the provision of this and other aid in 2016 and 2017. 

The General Court found that the adoption of the decision without a formal investigation procedure deprived AB Achema and Lifosa of their procedural rights.

The verdict to annul the EC’s decision strengthens the procedural rights of private parties in the State aid control procedure and clarifies the admissibility standard for legal action against State aid decisions adopted without formal investigation (so-called ‘phase 1’). 

Latham represented AB Achema, Lifosa, and AB ORLEN Lietuva in the administrative procedure in front of the Commission and AB Achema and Lifosa in their appeal before the General Court, with a Brussels-based team led by partner Elisabetta Righini, with associates Natália Solárová and Apostolos Papadimitriou. 

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