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Jacques Derenne

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Thought Leadership


Jacques Derenne is the head of the EU Competition & Regulatory practice at Sheppard Mullin’s Brussels office and Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Antitrust and Competition Group. He is a member of the Brussels and Paris bars. He is also a Professor at the University of Liège and at the Brussels School of Competition.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Derenne has over 25 years of EU competition law experience across all areas, including mergers, cartels, abuses of dominance and State aid. He has developed a particular expertise in EU regulatory and related competition law issues in a number of highly regulated industries, including energy, the postal sector, aviation, railways, communications (telecoms, satellites, audio-visual) and tobacco products. Mr. Derenne regularly appears at competition hearings before the European Commission, and pleads cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union, national competition authorities, the Belgian and French courts and various regulatory bodies.

Publications and Teaching Engagements

Mr. Derenne co-directed and co-authored studies for the European Commission on the enforcement of State aid rules at the national level (2006 and 2009), which contributed to the Commission's Recovery and Enforcement Notices in 2007 and 2009 respectively. He co-edited a book on the Enforcement of EU State aid law at national level - 2010 - Reports from the 27 Member States (Lexxion, October 2010), and has written quarterly comments on State aid case law and the Commission’s decisional practice in the journal Concurrences since 2004 (together with EU officials).

Mr. Derenne teaches competition law (State aid) at the University of Liège and at the Brussels School of Competition. He also publishes widely on various other EU constitutional, competition, and regulatory issues, such as on antitrust damages or on the res judicata principle vs. the principles of primacy and effectiveness of EU law. He regularly speaks at competition conferences.

Mr. Derenne is a founding member of the Global Competition Law Centre (College of Europe, Scientific Council and Executive Committee). He graduated from the University of Liège (Belgium, 1987) and from the College of Europe (Bruges, 1988).


  • Jacques Derenne is a highly regarded competition law practitioner across all Global and European EU competition rankings, including in Chambers (Europe and Global), Legal500, IFLR, GCR, The Who’s Who Legal, Guide to the World's Leading Competition Lawyers/Economists, LeadersLeague and The Best Lawyers® list. He “comes highly regarded for his State aid expertise, where he is recognised as a stellar practitioner and one of the top names in Belgium”. Clients declare that he is “clearly an expert within his subject area.” He is recognised by his clients as “a real EU-law street fighter. He is very hard-working, tenacious and is not afraid of coming up with creative solutions” (Chambers Europe). Jacques is a “Star Individual” for State aid in Chambers Europe and features among the 12 Leading Individuals in Legal500 (EU competition in Brussels). Jacques is also rated “excellent” by LeadersLeague directory and in JUVE for Competition Law.


Noteworthy Experience

Mergers - Jacques has worked on some of the most complex and challenging global merger control cases and most recently on the €12 billion acquisition by GE of Alstom energy business and the acquisition by Alstom of GE’s Intelligent Transportation Solutions business (rail signaling). The energy deal involved a series of complicated remedies and multijurisdictional filings in over 25 countries.

Cartels - Cartels and investigations is another area in which Jacques has developed a track-record and an ability to guide clients through troubled waters. Jacques represented Alstom in the EU/non-EU gas insulated switchgears (fine reduction) and power transformers (annulment of the decision) cases. He also successfully defended Korean Air in the EU air cargo investigation (no infringement finding, no fine) and SkyTeam cases.

State aid - Jacques' State aid experience spans more than two decades, during which time he has acted for beneficiaries, competitors and Member States before the European Commission, EU courts and national courts. The successful restructuring of Alstom in 2003-2004 was one of his landmark State aid cases.

EU Litigation – Jacques represented clients such as DHL, FedEx, Philip Morris, or Alstom in complex EU and competition law cases before the EU courts. Pending EU litigation cases involve clients such as Brussels Airlines (aid at airports), Ullens de Schooten (internal market, EU constitutional law issues), Tempus Energy (UK energy capacity mechanism) or Viorel Micula and others (arbitration damages award under a bilateral investment treaty, international law and EU State aid law).

EU law regulatory – Jacques has been deeply involved in the liberalization process of nearly all regulated sectors since the early 1990s: the postal sector, the telecommunications/satellite sector, the energy sector, the aviation sector, the audio-visual sector. His current regulatory practice in these sectors draws from this longstanding experience.

Thought Leadership


Since 2012:

  • Quarterly case comments on State aid in Revue Concurrences since 2004 (in French)
  • Distortion of Competition and Effect on Trade Between Member States in EU State Aid Control: Law and Economics, Chapter 5 (with Vincent Verouden), Wolters Kluwer, 2017, pp. 20 (Philipp Werner, Vincent Verouden (eds))

  • L’autorité de chose jugée à l ’épreuve du droit de l’Union européenne – Du principe d’effectivité en général et des règles spécifiques en matière d’aides d’État en particulier, in Contentieux du droit de la concurrence de l’Union européenne : questions d’actualité et perspectives (V. Giacobbo & Chr. Verdure, éditeurs), Larcier, Bruxelles, 2017, pp. 349 -383 (res judicata and primacy of EU law)

  • Chronique de jurisprudence européenne - Aides d’État (2011-2015), Chapitre 1 – Les règles de fond, Cahiers de droit européen, 2016/2, pp. 687 – 827 (a comprehensive review of the EU case law on State aid), with Marianne Dony

  • Key Developments in State Aid Law - 2015 (with Mateo Domecq), Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Oxford University Press, 2016, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 135-149
  • Key Developments in State Aid Law - 2014 (with Jan Blockx, Sofia Doudountsaki & Jaime Rodriguez-Toquero), Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Oxford University Press, 2015, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 210-217
  • Recent Developments in State Aid Law - 2013 (with Peter Citron, Mateo Domecq and Tom Mylrea-Lowndes), Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Oxford University Press, 2014, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 53-61
  • Chronique "Aides d'Etat" - Application des règles sur les aides d'Etat dans des affaires concernant la Belgique (juridictions belges et européennes, Commission européenne) - Années 2011-2013 (with Jan Blockx), Tijdschrift voor Belgische Mededinging - Revue de la Concurrence Belge (TBM-RCB), 2014-4, pp. 301-334
  • Round up of EU Competition Law Developments - 2012 (with Peter Citron), Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 4, No. 2, 192-198
  • Recovery of Unlawful State Aid and Determination of Beneficiaries: Guidance for National Courts, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, OUP, Vol. 3, No. 5, 2012 (case comment on the Residex ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 8 December 2001)
  • Chronique de jurisprudence européenne – 2008-2010 – Aides d’Etat, Cahiers de droit européen, 2012/2, pp. 679-765  (a comprehensive review of the EU case law on State aid), with Marianne Dony
  • La récupération des aides illégales et incompatibles - Un tour d'horizon sélectif de la jurisprudence européenne depuis la communication « récupération » de 2007 de la Commission européenne, Concurrences, n° 1/2012, pp. 73-86
  • Round up of key EU competition developments - 2011, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Oxford University Press, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2012, pp 217-222

Global Trade Law Blog Posts

Antitrust Law Blog Posts


Since 2012:

  • EU State Aid Control Law and Economics, Distortion of Competition and Effect on Trade chapter, Philipp Werner and Vincent Verouden (eds), Wolters Kluwer, 2016
  • Antitrust damages in EU law and policy, Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC), College of Europe, GCLC Annual Conference Series n°5, Jacques Derenne, Eric Morgan de Rivery & Nicolas Petit (co-editors) and author of the introduction, Bruylant, 2015, pp. 185
  • Sourcebook on EU Competition Law 2015, (State aid chapter) in Les Codes thématiques Larcier, 5th Ed. 2015
  • European Competition Law. A Case Commentary, State aid chapter, Verloren van Themaat Weijer and Reuder Berend (eds), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014, pp. 870
  • Competition Law in times of Economic Crisis : in Need of Adjustment?, Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC), College of Europe, GCLC Annual Conference Series n° 4, Massimo Merola, Jacques Derenne & José Rivas (co-editors), and coordinator of the Chapter on “State aid and the financial crisis”, Bruylant, 2013, pp. 649
  • The Role of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Competition Law Cases, GCLC Annual Conference Series n° 2, Massimo Merola & Jacques Derenne (co-editors), and author of “The Scope of Judicial Review in EU Economic Cases”, Bruylant, 2012, pp. 250

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "General Introduction, Origins, Sources, Notion of Aid (general), Administrative Procedure and Role of National Courts," Brussels Summer School on EU Competition Law, September 8, 2018
  • Panelist, "Prospect of Brexit and EU Competition Law," 100th GCLC Lunch Talk, May 22, 2018
  • Speaker, "The EU State Aid Law," New State Aid Law in Ukraine: Opportunities and Challenges, October 3, 2017
  • Panelist, "State Aid and Tax Rulings: Is There Really a Competition Issue?" New Frontiers of Antitrust 2017 Conference, June 26, 2017
  • Keynote Speaker, "Brexit: Effects in EU and Asia in Competition Law," 6th Annual Global Competition Law Summit, Hong Kong, April 26, 2017
  • Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel, "European Competition Law in the Nationalist Era: What You Need to Know at the Dawn of Divergence", April 21, 2017
  • Academic Teaching
  • University of Liège (since 2006) - Le droit des aides d'Etat, LL.M on Competition and IP law
  • Brussels School of Competition (since 2011) - The Law and Economics of State Aid (with Joachim Wiemann, DG COMP, European Commission and Vincent Verouden, E.CA Economics, former deputy Chief Economist for State aid, DG COMP)
  • University of Lille (since 2015) - Teaching élèves-avocats (Lille Bar - IXAD Ecole des Avocats Nord-Ouest, Faculté de Droit) on the procedure of preliminary reference from national courts to the Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Recent Competition Conferences
  • French association for State aid monitoring (ASAE), French Business confederation, discussing State aid control in the EU in the context of globalization, February 20, 2017
  • EBP & Sheppard Mullin, Marchés publics et aides d’Etat, co-organising, chairing and speaking at the EBP Public Procurement Conference; speaking on the interaction between public procurement and State aid, Brussels, 13 December 2016
  • Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC), College of Europe, chairing the 87th lunch talk of the GCLC - The Fate of Complaints in the post-Modernization Context: What Complainants Should Know, Brussels, 12 December 2016
  • Master Class du Droit public de l'économie d'Assas, Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), concurrence et aides d'Etat (speaking on latest State aid developments in 2016) , Paris, 8 December 2016
  • GCR GCR Live State Aid, State aid in infrastructure investment (rail and road infrastructures), Brussels, 30 November 2016
  • ERA, Academy of European Law, co-organizing and chairing the Annual State aid conference, Trier, Germany, 24-25 November 2016
  • Cuckoo’s Nest/BootUp Ventures, Is Europe Still an Attractive Unified Market for U.S. Corporations? Successfully Expanding Into Europe, Palo Alto, 14 November 2016
  • Stanford University, The Europe Center, The Future of Multi-National Corporate Taxation in the European Union –Impact of On-Going EU State Aid Investigations, Stanford, 14 November 2016
  • Florence School of Regulation Energy Law Training, EU State Aid And The Energy Sector, Implications For Network Operators After The EEG State Aid Case, Brussels, 8 November 2016
  • Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC), College of Europe, chairing the 85th lunch talk on Merger Control Series (3) - Post mortem: Pitfalls for remedies and their implementation, Brussels, 24 October 2016
  • Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC), College of Europe, chairing the 82nd lunch talk on Selectivity on Trial: a Critical Discussion of Recent State Aid Developments, Brussels, 8 July 2016
  • LIDC, International League of Competition Law, Financial Services and Competition Law, State aid Aspects: From Rescue To Restructure, Geneva, 7 October 2016
  • ERA, Academy of European Law, Summer Course on State aid, Trier, 8 July 2016
  • European State aid Law Institute (Estali), Workshop on Tax Rulings Under State Aid Scrutiny, Brussels, 10 June 2016
  • ERA, Academy of European Law, State aid proceedings and litigation - Recovery of unlawful and incompatible aid, Brussels, 19 May 2016
  • Chillin’Competition Conference, Into Uncharted Territory – Panel presentation on State Aid Brussels, 19 November 2015
  • IBC Conference,Competition Law and Regulation in the Energy Sector 2015 - Recent developments in State Aid, Brussels, 17 November 2015
  • ERA, co-organising, chairing and speaking at the Annual State aid conference - Tax rulings and State aid - Recovery of State aid, latest developments, Trier, Germany, 12-13 November 2015
  • ERA, Summer course on competition law, course on State aid, Trier, Germany, 10 July 2015
  • ERA, State aid proceedings and litigation, Recovery of unlawful aid, Brussels, 21 May 2015
  • Association pour l'étude du droit de la concurrence (Belgian association for the study of competition law) - State aid modernisation, Brussels, 16 December 2014
  • French National Assembly - Testifying as EU State aid expert before the Committee of Economic Affairs on the international dimension of EU State aid control in the context of the needs for innovation within the international competition between regions of the world, Paris, 10 December 2014
  • ERA, Co-organising, chairing and speaking at the Annual State aid conference -Recent case law on notion of aid, role of national courts, impact of financial crisis State aid modernisation: the way forward, Trier, Germany, 13-14 November 2014
  • Revue Concurrences, State Aid workshop on the new EU guidelines for rescue and restructuring aid, Brussels, 4 November 2014
  • ERA, summer course on EU State aid rules at the ERA Summer Course on EU Competition Law, Trier, Germany, 11 July 2014
  • Brussels School of Competition and Liège Competition and Innovation Institute (BSC-LCII) - Chairing a conference on commitments under EU competition law, Brussels, 5 June 2014
  • French Association for the Study of Competition Law, AFEC, University of Versailles and the Paris Commercial Court -– La Réparation des dommages concurrentiels en France et en Europe: état des lieux et changements à venir – Speaking on antitrust damages actions, and the new EU directive, Paris, 13 May 2014
  • PubAffairs Bruxelles – Chairing a panel debate on the notion of aid (with Clemens Kerle, DG COMP and Bertrand Jéhanno, French State) - Consultation on the draft notice on the notion of State aid launched by the Legal Service and DG COMP of the European Commission, Brussels, 4 March 2014



  • Avocat, member of the Brussels and Paris Bars
  • Professor (chargé de cours à temps partiel), University of Liège
  • Professor, Brussels School of Competition