According to the OECD, corporate taxation has steadily fallen since 1994 and today represents around 8.5 per cent of all taxes raised by governments across the globe. The proliferation of tax-efficient structures that route profits to low tax countries in the form of interest payments and royalties has been a big drain on revenues. The European Commission has made several unfruitful attempts to coordinate ‘anti-avoidance’ measures. In a recent effort to crack down on ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ [BEPS] to safeguard the future of corporate tax and curb competition between Member States based aggressive tax rulings, the European Commission has embarked on a ‘fairness’ crusade using antitrust prerogatives. Apple, Starbucks, Amazon, McDonalds and many more others have been accused of benefiting from illegal State aid resulting in orders to pay (back) billions of euros. Are American companies really being targeted by the European Commission? How will corporate taxation in the European Union evolve from here?
Jacques Derenne is the head of the EU Competition & Regulatory practice at Sheppard Mullin’s Brussels office. He has over 28 years of competition law experience in all areas (mergers, cartels, abuses of dominance and State aid), in EU regulatory and related competition law issues in a variety of regulated industries such as energy, the postal sector, aviation, railways, telecoms, satellites, the audio-visual sector and tobacco products. He regularly appears at competition hearings before the European Commission, and pleads cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice of the EU, national competition authorities, the Belgian and French courts and various regulatory bodies.
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. He 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).
Jacques also publishes widely on various other EU constitutional, competition and regulatory issues. He 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), and teaches competition law (State aid aspects) at the University of Liège and at the Brussels School of Competition.
Yaniss Aiche is a Counsel in the EU Competition and Regulatory Practice in Brussels. His practice focuses on the intersection between public policy, government affairs and legal advocacy. He brings corporations, financial institutions, non-profit organizations and government bodies an integrated strategic insight that combines a deep legal, political and business expertise to help them with policy risk assessments and compliance, monitor relevant policy developments and effectively advocate their interests towards key EU institutions and EMEA governments.
Yaniss has over 15 years of experience in EU Policy, international trade and strategic business development. Yaniss started his career in 2000 in Brussels as an expert advisor on international trade and trade negotiations within the WTO's Doha Development Agenda where he advised governments, corporations and trade associations on a range of intricate political and legal challenges including investment promotion, cultural services and goods, defense contracting an free trade. In 2007, Yaniss joined AHEL, the consulting arm of The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London where he focused on advising F500 companies at executive and board level on geopolitical and military risk, investment policy development. In this role he supported the business expansion of European and US companies in the Far and Near East.
In more recent years Yaniss has worked in senior positions for leading global law firms assisting them with their regional expansion, client development strategies and legal services packaging.
Yaniss holds a JD from the University of Gent, a Masters from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Chicago Booth.