Luca Rubini

Colleges, School and Institutes


Luca Rubini joined Birmingham Law School in the Summer of 2007. Previously, he was lecturer at the University of Leicester and before that legal secretary to Sir Francis Jacobs QC, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Luca had held visiting positions in various academic institutions in the UK, US, Switzerland and Italy, including King’s College London, the Institute of International Economic Law (Georgetown University), the European University Institute, Bocconi University and the World Trade Institute (University of Berne). He is fellow of the Centre of European Law, King’s College London, and visiting professor at ASERI, the Graduate School of Economics and International Relations of the Catholic University, Milan, and at the World Trade Institute, MILE programme. In the 2012-13 academic year, he was a Robert Schuman Senior Research Fellow at the Global Governance Programme (GGP) of the European University Institute. This prestigious fellowship, which is for ‘established academics with an international reputation’ is awarded by invitation only.

Luca has law degrees from the Catholic University in Milan (JD) and King’s College London (MA and PhD) and is admitted to the Bar in Italy and to the Law Society of England and Wales as solicitor (non-practising). 

Research interests

Luca is the author of various works in the areas of international economic law, European law and competition law. His monograph The Definition of Subsidy and State Aid – WTO Law and EC Law in Comparative Perspective  (Oxford University Press, 2009; Oxford University Press USA, 2010).  is the first – and still the only - attempt to offer a conceptual framework of analysis of the various (legal, economic and political) definitional issues of subsidy in the WTO and the EU. It has been extremely well received and reviewed (more than five years since its publication, it is still generating book reviews in leading journals), and has been cited by the WTO Panel report in the China – Countervailing and anti-dumping duties on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel from the United States (China – GOES), WT/DS414/R, footnote 104 to para 7.86. Academic citations in WTO judicial reports are an extremely rare occurrence. The monograph is currently being translated into Chinese.

Building on conferences organized in 2008 and 2010 in Birmingham and Milan, Luca edited Microsoft on Trial: Legal and Economic Analysis of a Transatlantic Antitrust Case  (Edward Elgar, 2010) and co-edited (with F. Bestagno) Challenges of Development: Asian Perspectives (Vita e Pensiero, 2010) and (with M. Trybus) The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of the European Union (Edward Elgar, 2012).

Luca’s current research focuses on various strands, notably:

  • the impact of the digital economy on competition,
  • the case for introducing competition laws in the WTO,
  • the legal status of green energy subsidies in the WTO and the possible case and challenges for law reform,
  • the assessment of the third modernization in EU State aid laws
  • the legal history of state aid and subsidy laws 

Research grants and fellowships:

  • British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, Small Research Grant (2015£9,850
  • Robert Schumann Senior Research Fellowship, Global Governance Programme, Robert Schumann Advanced Centre, European University Institute, Florence (2012-13), Euros 30,000
  • British Academy, Small Research Grant (2012),  £9,950
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship (2011£63,820
  • British Academy, Small Research Grant (2010£7,405
  • British Academy, Small Research Grant  (2007£2,890

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Luca is interested in supervising doctoral students in the following areas:

International economic law, and in particular international trade law
EU, global and international competition law
Law and policy of subsidies
Law and policy of EU State aid
Energy, trade and climate change linkages
EU / WTO parallels