Portrait of Nicole Robins

Nicole Robins : Partner

Nicole heads Oxera’s State Aid practice. She leads Oxera’s advice to clients on economic and financial issues associated with a diverse range of state aid matters across sectors including energy, financial services, health, post and telecoms, transport and sports infrastructure. Her advice covers a broad range of economic and financial issues in state aid cases relating to assessments of the market economy operator principle (MEOP), the application of state aid rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI), and the compatibility of aid. She provides advice on state aid compliance, and advises beneficiaries, complainants and member states during investigations by the European Commission and in state aid litigation cases in front of the European courts. She has given expert economic evidence on state aid matters in front of the General Court on several occasions.

Nicole teaches the state aid module on the postgraduate diploma in Economics for Competition Law at King’s College London, and provides training for EU Judges on the economics of state aid. Nicole has a wide breadth of experience in the field of state aid, and regularly speaks at, and chairs, state aid events. She publishes on state aid matters in the leading competition journals.

Nicole speaks English.

Tel: +32 (0) 2 793 07 14

Nicole's specialisms include:

Selected
professional experience

  • Leading Oxera’s advice to clients in the aviation sector on the estimation of state aid compensation for damages caused by COVID-19 (2020)

  • Leading Oxera’s advice on economic and financial matters associated with the notification of restructuring aid for clients in the aviation sector (2020)

  • Leading Oxera’s advice to EU member state governments on the pricing of proposed debt and equity transactions to ensure compliance with the MEOP (2020)

  • Advising a client in the energy sector on economic and financial issues as part of a state aid complaint to the European Commission (2020)

  • Expert evidence on behalf of a client in the transport sector in front of the Court in an EU member state on a commercial dispute (2019–20)

  • Advising an energy company in Germany on economic and financial analysis in relation to the compatibility of aid (2019)

Selected
publications

  • Robins, N., Puglisi, L. and Yang, L. (2020), ‘State Aid Tools to Tackle the Impact of COVID-19: What Is the Role of Economic and Financial Analysis?’, European State Aid Law Quarterly Journal, 19:2, pp. 137–149.

  • Robins, N. (2019), ‘Tax rulings: An overview of EU state aid cases’, Concurrences’ e-Competitions Special Issue Tax rulings, 12 June.

  • Robins, N. and Geldof, H. (2018), ‘Ex Post Assessment of the Impact of State Aid on Competition’, European State Aid Law Quarterly Journal, 17:4, pp. 494–508.

  • Robins, N. (2017), ‘Assessing state aid in the beautiful game’, Global Sports Law & Taxation Reports, 8:2, 2017/17, June, pp. 26–30.

  • Shamsi, S., Solomon, P. and Robins, N. (2017), ‘Compensatory measures in the banking sector’, chapter 6, in F.-C. Laprévote, J. Gray and F. de Cecco (eds), Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector, Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Robins, N. and Geldof, H. (2017), ‘The Ryanair Charleroi judgment: What Is Its Legacy?’, in C. Buts and J.L. Buendía Sierra (eds), Milestones in State Aid Case Law, lexxion.

Qualifications

  • MSc Economics and Finance, Warwick Business School, UK

  • BSc Business Economics with Computing, University of Surrey, UK

Latest Insights:  Nicole Robins

In July 2020, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s decision that Ireland had granted illegal state aid of at least €13bn to Apple through two tax rulings. The…
On 8 May 2020, the European Commission introduced new state aid rules to tackle the effects of the crisis by extending the Temporary state aid Framework. Under specific conditions, member…
At the time of writing this note, the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected a number of EU Member States. In addition to the severe impact…
In 2015, the European Commission ordered Starbucks and Fiat to each pay €20m–€30m in the Netherlands and Luxembourg, respectively, as their tax arrangements were found to constitute illegal state aid.…

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