Annabelle Lepièce is a European law specialist, particularly in relation to European competition law (State aid, merger control, anti-trust law). She also has expertise with the freedom of services, free movement of goods and freedom of establishment.
Her legal practice includes drafting and submitting public intervention notifications to the European Commission (rescue and restructuring aid) and representing the Belgian authorities in European investigations on illegal aids.
She advises public entities on the setting up aid schemes, including measures co-financed with European structural funds (RDI aid, de minimis aid, public guarantees, rescue and restrucuting aid scheme).
She files merger notifications, lodges complaints for abuses of dominant position and represents undertakings in investigations on cartels before national and European Competition authorities.
She also assists public authorities in relation to their compliance with applicable European law, for instance in the implementation of European directives.
She represents undertakings in litigations with the European Commission regarding European subsidies.
The firm has an extensive experience in EU litigation, representing both public authorities and private undertakings before the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
She has a recognized expertise in relation to air transportation and the aviation sector (financing of airport activities and infrastructure, contracts with airlines, handling, airport licenses, safety, etc.), the banking sector, the steel manufacturing industry, energy and government investments (capital financing, guarantees, loans). In the aviation sector, she has acted on behalf of Belgium in relation to the investigation conducted by the EU Commission in relation to the financing of the Charleroi and Ryanair airport since 2002. She has assisted French, Dutch, Romanian and Spanish regional authorities and airports in European Commission investigations and has advised them in relation to their compliance with financing and commercial commitments pursuant to contracts with airlines under European law and in relation to State aid provisions thereto. She also advices airlines on the public investments they may benefit from their public shareholders.
Annabelle is a recommended lawyer in the 2017 edition of the 100 Global Competition Review as well as in the Chambers 2016 and 2016 editions in Competition and State aid and in the 2016 edition of the Legal 500 EMEA.
She regularly lectures on State aid at the Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne [Panthéon-Sorbonne University], at the Ecole d’Administration publique commune à la Communauté française et à la Région wallone [Common Public School of Administration to the French Community and the Wallonia region],at the Ecole Nationale d’Aviation Civile [National School of Civil Aviation] and at the Assembly of European Regions, at Connect, etc.
She is regularly invited to hearings by the Committee of the Regions as an expert in State aid. Thus, as a specialist in the practice of these matters, on 19 September 2016 she participated, along with representatives of the European Commission, in a briefing to the members of the Committee of the Regions on the notion of State aid (see the programme: http://cor.europa.eu/en/events/Pages/notion-stateaid.aspx)
She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Revue du droit des Industries de réseau [Network Industries Law Review] (“RDIR”), of the “Competition Women’s Network” and the Belgian Competition Law Association.
1996 - Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB (Law Degree)
1996 - University of Aberdeen (Certificate in Legal Studies)
1997 - Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB (Postgraduate in European Law)
1997 - University of Cambridge (Certificate of English Legal Methods)
1997 - Bar admission (Brussels, Belgium)
2001 - University of Edinburgh and British Council (European Young Lawyers Scheme)
Since 2011, Annabelle Lepièce has been giving yearly a seminar on state aid in the aviation transport sector at the national school of civil aviation (ENAC – Toulouse) as part of the Masters degree programme in airport management and the management of aviation transport. She also gives this seminar at the University of Panthéon – Sorbonne, Paris, as part of Master II – International Transport