Francesco Pili focuses on EU and Italian competition law.

His practice includes advising clients in EU and multi-jurisdictional merger proceedings, and in antitrust and abuse of dominance investigations. He has a particularly strong expertise in the field of State aid, where he has assisted public bodies and companies in the aviation, infrastructure, tax and other sectors. His most recent assignments in this field include several high-profile cases concerning Tax rulings and Regional aid.  

In addition, Francesco advises clients on a range of EU regulatory matters, with focus on the automotive and environmental sectors. He also has a significant expertise in assisting public bodies and individuals targeted by EU sanctions.

Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis, Francesco worked as a référendaire in the Chambers of the then Vice-President of the European Court of Justice, Prof. Antonio Tizzano, where he gained experience in the fields of EU procedural and substantive law across a wide array of areas, including antitrust and State aid law, data protection, access to documents, free movement rules and fundamental rights. He was also responsible for interim measures proceedings in the fields of EU public procurement law, REACH and State aid.

Francesco is also active in the academic field. He has authored and contributed to several academic works and delivers guest lectures in the field of EU law. 


Italian, English, French, German


  • University of Leuven, Master of EU and International Law, magna cum laude, 2015 
  • University of Turin, Bachelor of Law, summa cum laude, 2013 
  • University of Göttingen, Erasmus exchange, 2011-2012


“Art. 40 dello Statuto della Corte di giustizia, Artt. 129-132 del regolamento di procedura della Corte, Artt. 142-145 del regolamento di procedura del Tribunale”, C. Amalfitano-M. Condinanzi-P. Iannuccelli (eds.), Le regole del processo dinanzi al giudice dell’Unione europea, 2017.

(Contributor) “Manuale di diritto dell’Unione europea”, R. Adam-A. Tizzano, 2nd edition, 2017.

(Contributor) “De la Cour CECA à la Cour de l’Union: le long parcours de la justice européenne”, K. Lenaerts (ed.), 2018.

(Contributor), Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence (GCYILJ), Court of Justice of the European Union, Introductory Note, A. Tizzano, 2018, 2019, 2020.

(Contributor) Competition Law of the European Union, Van Bael & Bellis, 6th edition, 2020.

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Publications and insights

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    • 04/01/2021
    • News

    Implications of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on trade in goods

    On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom announced the conclusion of their negotiations of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part (“EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement” or “the TCA”) intended to settle their future relationship. The United Kingdom left the European Union at the end of 31 January 2020 but a status quo was maintained as a result of the Withdrawal Agreement. That agreement provided for a transition period due to end on 31 December 2020. On 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom (“UK”) will no longer form part of the European Union (“EU”) Single Market (comprising the free movement of persons, goods, services and the freedom of capital) and the EU customs union. The TCA does not alter that fact. Instead, it sets separate terms for the relationship between the EU and the UK. The TCA consists of seven parts and a series of annexes and protocols. The TCA must also be read together with a series of declarations. The main substantive parts of the TCA concern: (i) trade, transport, fisheries and other arrangements (Part Two); (ii) law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (Part Three); (iii) health and cyber security (Part Four); and (iv) participation in Union programmes, sound financial management and financial provisions (Part Five). Part Six establishes a dispute settlement system and sets out a series of horizontal provisions. The parties to the TCA might conclude further bilateral agreements, supplementing the TCA (Article COMPROV.2.1). This client alert offers a general overview of the aspects of the TCA (especially Part Two) affecting generally trade in goods as well as digital trade. This alert does not cover the provisions of the TCA concerning notably services, investment and intellectual property rights. It must be read together with other client alerts on more specific aspects of the TCA that Van Bael & Bellis will prepare.

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    • 08/04/2020
    • Articles

    New Italian measures to cope with covid-19 in light of EU and WTO law

    On 6 April 2020, the Italian Government adopted a Law Decree (so-called “Decreto Liquidità”) laying down additional measures to support companies negatively affected by the economic consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak. These measures aim at alleviating the devastating effects of the outbreak on the Italian economy. However, it would appear that some of the measures may raise issues in light of EU and WTO law. Since the final text of the Law Decree has not yet been published in the Italian Official Journal, this flash alert is based on the measures as described in the press release issued by the Italian Government on 6 April 2020.

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    • 20/03/2020
    • Articles

    European Commission adopts Covid-19 Temporary Framework for State Aid

    On 19 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak (the “Covid-19 Temporary Framework”). This Temporary Framework complements the Communication on a Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak adopted on 13 March 2020. The Covid-19 Temporary Framework outlines the conditions that the Commission will apply when analysing aid granted by Member States under Article 107(3)(b) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). As a general rule, Member States must notify the planned State aid to the Commission and demonstrate that it is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of the Member State concerned, and that it complies with all the conditions set out in the Covid-19 Temporary Framework.

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