Main content

Freshfields represents E.ON in its nuclear fuel tax claim

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) has represented German energy company E.ON in its complaint against the nuclear fuel tax law before the German Federal Constitutional Court. The judges agreed with the firm’s argument that the German parliament did not have the requisite power to introduce the tax and declared it unconstitutional. This is the first time a tax law has been retroactively rendered null and void due a lack of legislative competence.  
Freshfields has advised E.ON, RWE and EnBW regarding the nuclear fuel tax law since 2010, the year it was introduced. As early as that year, there were concerns about the constitutionality of the tax, which were expressed by the affected energy companies in their 2010 agreement on the climate protection levy. The nuclear fuel tax was active from 2011 until the end of 2016, amd the energy companies will now be reimbursed for tax by the German government.
Commenting on the judgment, Freshfields partner Jochen Lüdicke said, "The success of the energy companies is also expected to be of the benefit of provincial finance ministers and treasurers, because it will ultimately increase the amount of money they are able to tax."
The Freshfields team was led by partners Jochen Lüdicke and Georg Roderburg. Partners Herbert Posser, Benedikt Wolfers and Ulrich Scholz also advised.

Notes to editors:

About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multi-national expertise and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most. 

The Freshfields team was led by: