Alexandra is an internationally recognised EU & Competition legal expert with more than 20 years’ experience gained in international private practice (of which 12 years in the UK), international organisations and academia. Her services are particularly appreciated by those who are seeking high-quality EU/Competition law advice that is also, at the same time, commercial and practicable. She is passionate about helping businesses of whatever size to succeed in a highly regulated UK and EU legal environment that applies to every business providing services or goods in the UK and/or the EU.
Alexandra is one of the very few legal advisers specialised in the legal aspects of trade under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (‘TCA’), the Digital Services and Markets Acts, and how these laws impact on large online as well as smaller digital service providers, as well as the UK subsidy regime. She also regularly advises on the compliance of commercial agreements with UK and EU competition rules and has special expertise in dominance issues.
Alexandra’s experience further includes advising on the compliance of public fund structures with state aid and general EU law, the EU Green Deal and how it applies to businesses, as well as bringing institutional challenges under EU law, with a focus on EU citizenship and other issues of fundamental EU law.
Alexandra is dual-qualified (solicitor in England & Wales, as well barrister at the Berlin Bar, Germany), and holds post-graduate degrees in EU business law from Panthéon-Assas University, Paris, France (distinction), as well as Lausanne University, Switzerland (PhD, Summa cum Laude).
Alexandra also holds diverse visiting professorial/lecturer roles around the globe, including at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA; the International School of Management, Berlin, Germany; and the European Rights Academy, Trier, Luxembourg. She is also an expert course tutor for leading legal seminars provider MBL.
Alexandra has published two books on EU and competition law, one of which won a book prize from one of the largest publishers for German-speaking legal publications.
Alexandra can assist in English, German and French. She also speaks Spanish and Dutch.
Alexandra serves her clients commuting between London, Brussels and Berlin.
Alexandra combines comprehensive knowledge of her practice areas with clear, helpful and reliable advice. Her input was essential to the successful launch of our £120m, publicly-backed venture capital fund.
Alastair Smith, Director of Legal, Compliance & Operations
The North East Fund
Mr Morar, Jisc
- UK & EU competition law
- Trade under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (‘TCA’)
- EU Digital Services and Markets Acts and how these laws impact on large online as well as smaller digital service providers
- UK subsidy regime
- Compliance of commercial agreements with UK/EU competition law
- Dominance issues
- Public fund structures and state aid schemes
- EU Green Deal and how it applies to businesses
- EU citizenship
- Launch of a high-profile landmark case before the Court of Justice of the European Union seeking judicial review of the loss of EU citizenship of UK nationals through the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement of 2020. This case, which does not question Brexit as such, has already been widely discussed in the press and raises fundamental issues of EU law. If successful, all British nationals who held EU citizenship upon withdrawal of the UK from the EU would have to be consulted on whether they would like to keep their EU citizenship or not. The case been successfully crowd-funded by the co-initiator and main applicant, Professor Joshua Silver, raising over £140,000 from over 5,000 supporters by mid-2021: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/eu-citizenship-is-a-permanent-status/updates#start
- Advising Jisc, the UK’s biggest provider of digital solutions for UK education and research, on compliance with all the changes that have been arising from Brexit. This is one of many examples where Alexandra has been accompanying clients through legal changes resulting from Brexit, enabling them to provide seamless services to their own customers while taking the necessary measures to stay compliant with the law.
- Advising a wide range of SMEs, such as Equazen, on how to legally trade under the TCA, including advice on rules of origin and the provision of digital services under the TCA.
- Regular provision of public affairs advice and guidance through actual and potential changes of EU law, including the EU Digital Services and Markets Acts, the Green Deal, the Clean Vehicles Directive, the Insurance Mediation Directive, the Public Procurement Directives and many EU laws.
- Setting up a £80 million fund for the British Business Bank and advising on several schemes, such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (with facilities of more than £400 million).
- Advising North East Access to Finance on its launch of the second-generation EU structural fund to provide investment capital, financed by public sector grants and a loan from the European Investment Bank for SMEs in the region.
- Acting as specialist competition law advisor for Royal Mail Group in respect of the compliance of over 50 business proposals advice with UK competition law.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
“Practice head Alexandra von Westernhagen is noted for her ‘diverse knowledge of EU law’ and ‘ability to explain complex topics in clear terms’.” The Legal 500 (EU and Competition) 2020
Clients say “she is an excellent lawyer with lots of experience and practical solutions … She is also robust and very focused on achieving the right result.” Chambers (EU and Competition) 2015
She is also “esteemed for her magisterial knowledge of EU and UK processes. Dual-qualified in England and Germany, she adds strong cross-border perspective to the team.” Chambers (EU and Competition) 2017
- British Chamber of Commerce in Germany (BCCG)
- UK State Aid Law Association (UKSALA)
- The Law Society of England and Wales
- The Bar Association of Berlin, Germany
- Competition Policy International (CPI)
Nomos book prize 2006 (one of the largest German-speaking legal publishers)
PhD of the year (2006), Lausanne University, Switzerland
Alexandra qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2011 and in Berlin, Germany, in 2001. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2021, she worked at the following firms and international institutions:
- DAC Beachcroft (London office, 2009–2021; and Brussels office, 2006–2009)
- Latham & Watkins (Brussels office)
- European Commission (DG Competition)
- German American Chamber of Commerce (New York office)
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)