Elisabetta Righini is counsel in the Antitrust & Competition Practice in Latham & Watkins' Brussels office. Her practice centers on international and European law, with a particular focus on State aid and EU regulation.
Ms. Righini routinely advises companies, industry associations, and public authorities on State aid compliance and assists them with European Commission investigations and litigation before the European courts. Her State aid clients are active in a variety of sectors, including cinema, energy, transport, infrastructure, postal, technology, automotive, and chemicals.
Ms. Righini also has strong expertise in EU regulatory aspects, in particular in the telecoms, energy, and transport sectors. She regularly advises clients on regulatory developments in their industry and helps them develop and execute effective strategies.
Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Ms. Righini worked at the European Commission for 15 years, initially as a member of its Legal Service, and most recently for five years as a senior member of the Cabinet of former Competition Commissioner and Vice-President Joaquín Almunia.
As legal and policy advisor to the Vice-President on EU State aid control, Ms. Righini was the interface between the Vice-President, DG Competition, and other stakeholders including Member States authorities at the Ministerial level, CEOs, and industry representatives. She was actively involved in the State Aid Modernisation package, from conception to adoption. She also advised on other areas such as international trade and WTO, energy, environment, and climate change.
Ms. Righini also has extensive experience as a litigator, having served for 10 years as a member of the Legal Service at the European Commission where she appeared before the European Court of Justice in over 100 cases relating to state aid, external relations, anti-dumping, services, and fiscal matters. She has also appeared before the World Trade Organization in over 20 cases relating to sanitary and phytosanitary measures, genetically modified organisms, subsidies, tariffs and non-tariffs, barriers, and telecoms.
She is a visiting professor at the Centre of European Law of Kings College’s Dickson Poon School of Law in London, where she teaches State aid law and EU energy law, and a member of its Advisory Board.
Ms. Righini is the local Chair of Latham’s Women Enriching Business (WEB) committee and a member of the European Network of Women in Leadership.
A selection of Ms. Righini’s recent experience includes:
- Representing confidential client in its appeal of the decision by the European Commission in the State aid investigation regarding Belgian corporate tax sweeteners
- Advising a global investment fund regarding renewable energy financing and the interplay of EU law and international arbitration
- Advising a major European rail company on public financing of local transport services
- Advising an advertising company in connection with a Commission’s State aid investigation into the public service compensation it receives for the management of the city’s public bike system
- Advising three Lithuanian energy intensive users on the conformity of Lithuanian electricity regulations with EU State aid and energy directives and representing them in preliminary rulings proceedings at the European Court of Justice
- Advising a digital broadcaster on State aid and regulatory measure adopted at national level and their conformity with EU law
- Advising digital platform provider on the rights and obligations for OTT providers deriving from existing EU and Member States’ regulation as well as on the changes foreseen by the Digital Single Market proposals
- Advising digital platform provider in an investigation by the Italian antitrust authority regarding the alleged unfairness of the client’s terms of service under the Italian Consumer Code
- Advising provider of satellite services in multiple EU jurisdictions in disputes regarding the tender process for in-flight broadband connectivity, including in appeal before the EU General Court, in negotiations with governments and national regulators responsible for spectrum allocation and the European Commission
- Advising a service company on the European Commission proposal to modify consumer protections rules and the potential impact on its sale model
- Advising an airline on the potential impact of Brexit on the EU
- Advising a digital platform on the compatibility of Member States’ legislation with EU law