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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Belgium > Aviation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Aviation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Elisabeth Decat - HFW
    • Stéphanie Golinvaux - HFW
    • Charlotte Thijssen - Kennedys

Who Represents Who

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The team at HFW is well known for its aviation and aerospace capabilities in Belgium, and is also active in EU and non-EU matters, including state aid issues and airline restructurings. Practice head Pierre Frühling and senior associate Elisabeth Decat have been advising Delta Air Lines on regulatory and security matters. Other clients include Air Corsica, Wizz Air and Aviabel. Stéphanie Golinvaux made partner in April 2017.

With ‘excellent knowledge of the aviation industry’, Kennedys has a robust and highly regarded practice. The firm has seen notable growth in recent years through mergers and new hires; in a significant recent development it hired Sandro Löw, who has experience in rail and aviation law, from network operator Thalys. The team handles complex litigation, and also advises on M&A and regulatory matters. Among its household name clients are Air Belgium, Etihad Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines. Practice head Dimitri de Bournonville and associate Erwann Couty are ‘always clear, straight to the point and have practical solutions that can be understood by anyone’. Associate Charlotte Thijssen is another key member of the team.

The ‘very strong’ team at Allen & Overy LLP is active across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters in the aviation sector. In a cross-practice effort, Werner Eyskens and a team of litigation, environmental and public law experts have been representing various carriers in complex and lengthy noise limitation infringement proceedings. ‘Exceptionally talented corporate and transactional lawyer’ Pierre-Olivier Mahieu is another contact.

Established in January 2017, boutique firm Erkelens Law provides ‘appropriate, on-time and practical advice’. The team is led by the ‘very professional’ Catherine Erkelens, who has ‘excellent knowledge of the aviation business and the applicable Belgian and European laws and rules’. The team is advising Board of Airline Representatives Belgium on aviation sector developments, including issues related to the use of airports in the country.

Pierstone excels in aircraft finance and leasing negotiations and also handles a spread of contentious and corporate issues for its aviation sector clients. Practice head Giulia Mauri, who has considerable experience in the sector, has more recently expanded her work as a mediator in business aviation matters. TMT expert Patrice Vanderbeeken advises on IT and data protection issues in the transport sector.

CMS advises airports and airlines on a range of state aid and competition law issues. Recent work includes advising Montpellier Airport on the European Commission’s investigation into alleged aid granted to Ryanair. Swissport is another key client, for which the team has been handling litigation concerning the granting of licences to provide ground handling services, along with a stream of corporate and commercial issues. The ‘proactive and creativeAnnabelle Lepièce leads the team, which includes experienced associate Hanne Baeyens.

At DLA Piper, a multidisciplinary team of litigation, regulatory, finance and employment specialists handles contentious and non-contentious issues for players in the aviation sector, including airlines and airports. Ilse Van de Mierop, Bob Martens and Annelies Verlinden represented ground handling services company Aviapartner in multiple court proceedings challenging the award of licences to operate at Brussels Airport to a third party.

Aircraft financing and leasing are among the focus areas at Monard Law, where the ‘excellent and very responsiveBirgitta Van Itterbeek is ‘streets ahead’. TUI fly Belgium is an active client; Van Itterbeek and associate Julie Van Nieuwenhove recently advised the company on the lease of two B737-800 aircraft from Amentum. Aviation M&A and litigation are also strengths.

The Belgium aviation practice at Norton Rose Fulbright sits within the firm’s broader antitrust and competition department and also forms part of the firm’s global aviation practice, a sector in which it enjoys strong renown internationally. The team advises leading players in the aviation industry on state aid, competition and regulatory matters. Michael Jürgen Werner and senior associate Raluca Marian are key contacts.

The aviation team at Stibbe comprises insurance, public, employment and environmental law experts. The group handled contentious and non-contentious matters for government authorities, manufacturers, airports and other players active in the aviation and aerospace industries. Brussels Airport Company, Belgocontrol and X-air services are among its longstanding clients. David D’Hooghe leads the team.

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