Belgium > Banking, finance and capital markets
Index of tables
Banking, finance and capital markets
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
- Monard – D'Hulst
Philippe & Partners
Allen & Overy LLP provides ‘very high quality service’ and has ‘deep knowledge of the legal framework, market practice and developments’. The team, which works across the spectrum of domestic and international financing matters, has worked on all major PFI/PPPs in various sectors and project financings in Belgium, variously acting for the authorities, sponsors or banks. Practice head Filip Tanghe and the ‘highly experienced and professional’ Peter Bienenstock are recommended. Sylvia Kierszenbaum, who ‘excels in her field’, was part of a working group that advised Febelfin (organisation of the Belgian banking sector) on the new legislation for the covered bond framework. Senior associates Yves Van Pul and Willem Van de Wiele are also recommended.
Baker & McKenzie provides ‘an excellent level of service’ and adopts ‘a proactive commercial approach’. The team has witnessed a shift towards the US syndicated loan markets and advised various parties, including ING Bank as mandated lead arranger and KBC Bank NV as agent, on a €445m syndicated facility for the Agfa-Gevaert Group. Antoine de Raeve and Michael Van Acker ‘go the extra mile’ for clients.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘very professional and trustworthy’ practice provides ‘a high quality of service’, and frequently advises financial institutions and blue-chip companies on large financings at Belgian and European level. Recently promoted partner Laurent Ruzette led the team’s advice to BNP Paribas and Fortis Bank on various financings and capital markets transactions.
Clifford Chance has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and clients appreciate its ‘quick response times’. The practice is typically instructed on major PPP and project finance transactions in the market, and has extensive experience advising lenders and borrowers on acquisition finance transactions, such as advising Citibank on the $670m facility and the $400m secured notes offering to finance Apollo’s acquisition of Taminco Group. The ‘efficient, balanced, to the point and reliable’ Bert De Maeyer was a key lawyer in the matter. Although Yves Herinckx left to launch his own practice, the firm has maintained a strong reputation.
Linklaters has an excellent reputation and swiftly countered the loss of Jacques Richelle to DLA Piper by hiring the highly regarded Charles-Antoine Leunen from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The practice covers corporate and project finance, and has significant experience in restructuring. The team advised BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, KBC Bank and Belfius Bank on providing acquisition facilities to Accent Group’s new holding company, The House of HRmtc.
Stibbe’s ‘excellent’ team is led by the ‘responsive and reasonable’ Ivan Peeters, who is an expert in securitisations. This comprehensive practice has notable strength in project finance. Wouter Ghijsels led advice to DG Infra, Inframan, DHAM and PMF (PMV) as subordinated lenders in the €850m financing of the Northwind offshore wind farm project. The firm was recently appointed to European Investment Bank’s panel for Belgium and The Netherlands. Counsel Philip Van Steenwinkel is also recommended.
Altius (in co-operation with Tiberghien) acts for commercial banks, investments banks and corporates, and has increased its client portfolio over the past year. Recent work includes advising Hatfield Philips International on a €15m Belgian law mortgage. Johan De Bruycker heads the practice.
‘A highly professional firm’, Ashurst LLP has comprehensive expertise across banking, finance and capital markets, having evolved from its acquisition finance background. The team recently advised RPC Group on its €35m private placement of senior notes. Newly promoted partner Arnaud Wtterwulghe heads the team, which also advised RBS on the restructuring of the €190m financing of the Desmet Ballestra Group.
DLA Piper’s ‘excellent’ group handles transactional, regulatory and contentious banking and finance matters. Project finance specialist Johan Mouraux was made partner as of May 2012, and experienced finance expert Jacques Richelle joined from Linklaters. Another key lawyer is Yves Brosens, who is advising Standard Chartered Bank London on its financing of diamond companies in Antwerp. Koen Vanderheyden is also recommended.
Eubelius advises financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs as well as local public companies such as De Lijn (Flemish Public Transportation Company). Practice head Marieke Wyckaert is particularly strong in securities matters, and Sven Bogaerts has ‘an in-depth understanding of banking and securities transactions’.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer focuses on project finance or other financing, restructuring, and debt capital markets. Clients include BNP Paribas Fortis and ING Bank. After Charles-Antoine Leunen’s move to Linklaters, the ‘experienced’ Geert Verhoeven has taken over as head of the finance team.
Clients praise the ‘high level of partner involvement’ at ‘very good’ firm Laga, which recently advised ING Belgium on a new €3bn platform to attract long-term financing from institutional investors in order to provide long-term financing to the Belgian public and semi-public sector. Department head Werner Van Lembergen has strong contacts within the industry, particularly with governmental bodies. Newly promoted partner Isabelle Blomme focuses on acquisition finance, restructuring and private placements of debt instruments.
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick’s team has ‘a very high level of knowledge’ and Thierry Tilquin recently led advice to the Belgian government’s Federal Participation and Investment Fund on the bailout of Dexia Bank. Jan Vincent Lindemans is the key debt finance lawyer with experience in cross-border finance deals. Financial regulatory expert Tom Van Dyck is 'knowledgable and strategic’.
Loyens & Loeff has ‘great expertise and industry knowledge’. The firm advises lenders and borrowers on financing and is particularly expert in project finance. It recently acted as lead counsel to Northwind and its shareholders on the refinancing of its 216MW offshore wind farm. Practice head Marc Vermylen is ‘highly knowledgeable’, ‘reliable and responsive’ and takes ‘a very commercial, practical approach’.
NautaDutilh’s ‘strong lawyers’ provide ‘a good service’ with ‘excellent response times’. Practice head Yvette Verleisdonk recently advised Travelex on its refinancing by a new facility granted by Barclays Corporate and Lloyds TSB Bank. Up-and-coming counsel Thibaut Willems advised a group of banks led by Crédit Agricole CIB on the refinancing of Foncière des Murs’ real estate portfolio.
White & Case LLP Avocats Advocaten’s ‘excellent and dedicated’ team advises lenders, sponsors and developers on project finance, and excels at arranging both corporate and finance aspects of transactions. Department head Thierry Bosly has ‘a sharp mind’ and is ‘very much client-oriented’.
CMS provides ‘a good quality of service in banking law’. The team recently advised the Delhaize Group, Belgium’s largest food retailer, on Euronext Brussels and NYSE listings. Practice head Catherine Houssa has ‘a good knowledge of the industry’, and Bruno Duquesne has expertise in property and structured finance.
Lydian’s ‘creative, thoughtful and extremely responsive’ team ‘understands the needs and expectations of international financial institutions’. The ‘excellent’ Tom Geudens recently led the team's advice to the initial purchasers – Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Securities, Standard Chartered, Crédit Agricole, Nordea, UniCredit, KBC Bank and RBS – on the partial refinancing of Sappi Group. ‘Hardworking’ associate Pieter Meeus was also involved in the deal. Peter De Ryck and Patrick Della Faille are also recommended.
Simont Braun focuses on financial services regulations and litigation, and recently successfully acted for Banque Degroof in litigation with real estate developer Wilhem & Co. Practice head Vanessa Marquette is ‘available, responsive’, ‘business-oriented and has excellent knowledge’.
Wilfred Goris heads Ambos NBGO’s team, which is ‘responsive, knowledgeable’, ‘hands-on’, and has ‘particular expertise in the technology sector’. David Dessers, who is ‘pragmatic’ and ‘extraordinarily available and responsive’, recently advised MarkaVIP on its $5m Series A funding led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Lumia Capital. Associate Pieter Capiau is also recommended.
Bird & Bird handles regulatory banking and finance matters. The highly regarded Paul Hermant, who heads the corporate and finance department, continues to assist Ethias with the filing of several proofs of claim in the Lehman Brothers Chapter 11 proceedings, and the settlement of several derivative contracts and the unwinding of structured products.
Janson Baugniet is particularly strong in contentious matters and represents a number of banks in litigation. Dominique Blommaert recently led the firm’s representation of Dexia in litigation against Publi-T regarding the winding up of Holding Communal. Other key clients include HBC and Citibank. Didier Bracke and Cédric Alter are also recommended.
‘Very good’ firm Jones Day provides ‘a high level of service’. The team recently advised Amedes in a complex cross-border matter involving the financing of the acquisition of biological laboratories in Belgium and the refinancing of acquisitions through new secured syndicated credit facilities totalling €270m. Of counsel David Roger heads the practice.
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP focuses on the regulatory side of banking and finance work, including a high volume of compliance work for traditional credit and payment institutions as well as investment funds. Key contact Nora Wouters is particularly expert in EU regulatory matters.
Monard – D'Hulst’s ‘excellent’ team recruited aircraft finance expert Birgitta Van Itterbeek in April 2012. Van Itterbeek also has valuable experience in general banking and finance. There is a strong contentious element to the practice, and Erik Monard represented the Flemish Federation of Investors (VFB) in proceedings arising from Dexia Bank’s downfall.
Philippe & Partners advises local and multinational clients on contentious and non-contentious banking matters. Denis Philippe heads the practice.