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Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Godfried Ampe - Loyens & Loeff
    • Géraldine Bourguignon - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    • Niek De Pauw - Clifford Chance
    • Deborah Janssens - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘hands-on’ corporate team has ‘strong negotiation skills’. Among recent work, the group advised oil and gas corporation Total on its acquisition of Lampiris and assisted real estate developer Allfin during its merger with Immobel, a transaction that created the largest listed real estate development group in Belgium. Pierre-Olivier Mahieu heads the department and Dirk Meeus is ‘highly respected’.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘extremely committed’ corporate team represented Bekaert in its agreement with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to merge its advanced cords business with Bridon International. Laurent Legein is ‘a charming-but-tough negotiator’ and Filip Moerman is ‘a bright mind with valuable US experience’. Jan Meyers and counsel Géraldine Bourguignon are also recommended; Carlo Meert was promoted to counsel.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is appreciated for its ‘true sense of ownership’. The group routinely handles complex transactions, including recently advising Telenet on its acquisition of BASE Group. Department head Vincent Macq is ‘particularly strong during negotiations between different parties’. Deborah Janssens is ‘simply excellent’, and principal associate Frédéric Elens is also noted.

Linklaters has ‘perfect transactional management skills’. The Brussels team acted as European lead counsel to Delhaize Group in its merger with Royal Ahold, which created one of the largest food retailers globally. Other key clients include Fluxys and Engie. ‘Deal-savvy’ practice head Paul Van Hooghten, Eric Pottier, Philippe Remels and Jean-Pierre Blumberg are recommended along with Arnaud Coibion, who has ‘useful international contacts’.

Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL has cross-border expertise in M&A and private equity. The practice advised Flint Group on the acquisition of all outstanding shares in XBC, holding company of Xeikon, from Bencis Capital Partners and GIMV. Koen Vanhaerents heads the department, which also includes Dominique Maes.

Clifford Chance has been handling a growing number of global M&A and private equity mandates and recently advised Fosun International on an unsolicited public takeover bid for BHF Kleinwort Benson. Philippe Hamer, Xavier Remy and recently promoted partner Niek De Pauw are the key contacts. Bart Vanderstraete joined Squire Patton Boggs.

DLA Piper advises across the breadth of corporate matters, including corporate M&A and reorganisations, as well as private equity buyouts. Highlights included advising private equity firm Waterland on investments in the IT and health food sectors. Takeda is a new client. Caroline Daout took over the position of department head from Erwin Simons.

Eubelius’ ‘excellent’ corporate practice recently advised Bpost on its acquisition of the Belgian activities of Lagardère Travel Retail. Marieke Wyckaert, Matthias Wauters and Lars Van Bever are the department co-heads.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatricktruly understands the Belgian marketplace’. The group helped Argos Soditic with its acquisition of a 66.6% stake in SNCB Logistics. Practice head Christel Van den Eynden is ‘a great communicator’, who ‘can be aggressive if necessary’. Damien Conem is also recommended, while Philippe Malherbe left to found malherbe.

Loyens & Loeffalways goes the extra mile to make a transaction happen’. The firm assisted Alcatel-Lucent with the Belgian legal aspects of a public takeover bid by Nokia. New clients include Thomas Cook and Chiquita Europe. Grégoire Jakhian heads the department, which includes Stefaan Deckmyn, Peter Callens and counsel Godfried Ampe.

Clients are ‘very satisfied with the corporate advice’ provided by Stibbe, which recently handled work such as assisting Investcorp with its acquisition of SecureLink. Stefan Odeurs now heads the department, in which Marc Fyon, Jan Peeters, Pascal Vanden Borre and Dries Hommez – who is ‘easy to work with’ – are also recommended. Katrien Vorlat joined Monard Law.

Praised for its ‘high service level’, Altius’ corporate department acts for multinational companies, banks and investment management firms. The firm advised sports gear manufacturer Shimano on the acquisition of Lazer Sport. Carine Van Regenmortel, Jérôme Vermeylen and Tom Vantroyen are the practice co-heads.

CMS has ‘significant experience’ in the corporate and M&A space, where Lampiris, LafargeHolcim and Burger King are key clients. Vincent Dirckx heads the practice, which advised Delhaize on all Belgian aspects of its cross-border merger with Royal Ahold.

Jones Day’s corporate team handles the full spectrum of transactions. Recent highlights include assisting Cardinal Health with its acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s cardiology devices business. Perstorp and Wabtec are new clients. Practice head Thomas De Muynck is ‘highly competent’.

Laga is particularly active in mid-market transactions, most notably in the public and social services sectors. David Roelens heads the department, which is appreciated for its ‘good team play’ and recently advised Argos on the merger of its Belgian oil storage facilities with Varo Energy. Emmanuel Leroux, Benoît Feron and Marc Van tieghem are recommended. Anne Tilleux joined from NautaDutilh.

Lydian handles a broad range of corporate, M&A and private equity mandates. The team assisted Naxicap and The House of His Royal Majesty the Customer NV with several acquisitions. Peter De Ryck and Patrick della Faille are the practice co-heads.

Monard Law’s ‘flexible’ corporate department combines transactional, advisory and contentious work. The firm assisted the shareholders of Mobile Vikings with selling their shares to Medialaan. Erik Monard, Natalie Ulburghs and Nicole Segers are recommended along with Pieter Van den Broeck, who has ‘good interpersonal skills’. Katrien Vorlat joined the firm from Stibbe.

NautaDutilh gives ‘good advice at a reasonable price’. Dirk Van Gerven heads the corporate department, which recently assisted FedEx with the sale of TNT Airways. Elke Janssens is ‘knowledgeable and responsive’. Anne Tilleux joined Laga and Gerald Van Walle went to K Law.

Simont Braun has ‘in-depth knowledge of Belgian corporate and securities law’. The firm assisted online retailer Vente-Exclusive.com with the divestment of a majority stake to Vente-Privee.com. Practice head Sandrine Hirsch is ‘smart and tenacious’. Steven Callens joined the group from Loyens & Loeff and Axel Maeterlinck was promoted to partner.

Van Bael & Bellis’efficient and responsive’ corporate practice is recommended for its ‘great customer care’. The client roster includes Brussels Airlines and Hitachi Medical Systems. The team assisted Far Eastern Group as an ongoing shareholder in Martens Brewery Group with regard to Unibra’s acquisition of a 30% stake in the brewery. Practice head Michel Bonne is ‘a savvy negotiator’.

Apart from handling general corporate mandates, White & Case LLP also covers joint ventures, multi-jurisdictional mergers and public tenders, management buyouts and buy-ins. The practice advised Degroof on its merger with Petercam. Department head Thierry Bosly and Muriel Alhadeff are recommended.

Ambos NBGO Advocaten’s ‘extremely responsive’ corporate team assisted Temco with its merger into French company Atalian. Caroline Wildemeersch and Christina Trappeniers jointly head the department, which includes the ‘dedicated and focusedJens Van Hecke as well as Alexis Goeminne, who has ‘a pragmatic approach’.

Niche firm Argo Law handles corporate, M&A and private equity work with recent mandates including advising Medialaan on its acquisition of Mobile Vikings. Nico Goossens is the managing partner and Kris Verdoodt is recommended.

Bird & Bird has an ‘efficient and dedicated’ corporate team, which recently added Etouches, Flyterra and Kreos Capital to its client portfolio. Counsel Peter Parez is ‘extremely responsive, creative and personable’. Practice head Paul Hermant is also recommended.

The ‘proactive and accessible’ team at Cresco Advocaten advises entrepreneurs, start-up companies and investors. Recent work includes assisting Projective with the sale of a controlling stake to Wincor Nixdorf. David Dessersimpresses with his business insight’, and Pieter Capiau is ‘an efficient negotiator’. Filip De Schouwer and Tessa Gijbels are also recommended.

Dechert LLP advises public and privately held entities on a broad range of domestic and multi-jurisdictional mandates. Recent work includes advising Indian company Tech Mahindra on its acquisition of 100% of Lightbridge Communications. Eric Deltour is the key figure.

Fieldfisher’s ‘extremely efficient’ group recently assisted hearing aid manufacturer Sonova Holding with its acquisition of AudioNova International. Marie Evrard heads the practice, which includes Louis-François du Castillon and Jacques Meunier.

Laurius’ ‘modern and approachable team’ advised the management team of Xeikon on the sale of its participations in GIMV and Bencis, as well as its reinvestment in Flint Group. Dirk Wellens gives ‘sound, practical advice’; he and David Ryckaert are practice co-heads. Stefaan Wauman and Karen Vermaere are also recommended.

At Quinz, ‘the quality of service is remarkably consistent’. The firm assisted imaging and electronics firm Ricoh with its acquisition of Upfront, an IT services provider. Practice leader Bart Lintermans is ‘an excellent negotiator’. Olivier Van Obberghen and recently promoted partner Klaas Thibaut are also recommended.

Strelia’s ‘strong and efficient’ corporate law team recently assisted Gaumont Pathé with the acquisition of Belgian movie theatres operator Cinépointcom. Carrefour is another client. Gisèle Rosselle is recommended along with Olivier Clevenbergh, who ‘gets straight to the point’.

Niche firm Van Olmen & Wynant represents a broad client base, including ING Belgium and Aurelius Group, and recently advised Collibra on an investment led by Index Ventures. Luc Wynant heads the department.

Ashurst LLP’s ‘excellent’ corporate practice is in transition under David Du Pont, following the departure of Brussels managing partner Carl Meyntjens along with counsel Kelly Cherrette, who both joined Simmons & Simmons LLP.

Astrea’s ‘very accessible’ team of corporate attorneys routinely advise multinational companies, start-ups, venture capital investors and private equity firms. Recent work includes advising Belgian brewery Martens on a transaction with Unibra and Far Eastern Corporation. Frédéric Verspreeuwen and Steven De Schrijver are practice co-heads.

Corporate, commercial and real estate law are the areas of focus at Cadanz, which recently advised EDF Luminus on the acquisition of a wind farm in the Evolis business park. Jan Stoop, Dirk Strobbe and Steven Snaet are the key contacts.

contrast is ‘a good local firm with excellent team spirit’. The client base includes leading names in the retail, renewable energy and manufacturing sectors. Key figure Bart Bellen is ‘a good dealmaker’, and Herlinde Burez was promoted to partner.

Handling small to mid-market M&A transactions, Crowell & Moring represents clients such as Jacoti and D’Ieteren. Emmanuel Plasschaert, head of corporate and employment law, and senior counsel Frederik Van Remoortel are recommended.

Curia’s corporate team is ‘good at explaining Belgian legal structures to non-Belgians’. The group advised Care Property Invest on the acquisition of a healthcare complex for the elderly. Philip Daenen and the ‘trustworthy’ Bart Windey are practice co-heads.

The team at HVG advocaten-avocats combines ‘excellent advice’ and ‘good value for money’. It is affiliated with the EY Law network, through which it has access to legal professionals in many jurisdictions. The corporate team is led by recently promoted partner Peter Suykens. Jan De Monie retired.

K&L Gates GP handles mid-cap transactions, mainly for international corporations. Patrice Corbiau and Jeroen Smets are the practice co-heads. Fatiha El-Boubsi joined the firm from HVG (Holland Van Gijzen) Attorneys At Law and Civil Law Notaries LLP’s New York office.

Koan Law Firm handles traditional M&A transactions, mostly for clients in the media, TMT and biotechnology sectors. The firm advised Caviar Group on its acquisition of a Belgian media and photo agency. Jan Decorte and Pierre Willemart jointly head the group. Thomas Daenen left the firm to establish Beyond Law Firm.

Very solid firmMcGuireWoods LLP has ‘a good international corporate practice’, which advised biotech company Pluriomics on a €1.5m investment by various investment funds. Practice head Timothy Speelman and Hubert André-Dumont are names to note.

Olislaegers & De Creus provides ‘great and very friendly customer service’. Michael Olislaegers, the ‘brilliantKristof De Creus and Werner Vanderhaeghe are recommended.

Osborne Clarke operates across various major industries, including the digital, life sciences, real estate, and retail sectors. Recent work includes assisting TiGenix with two private placements. David Haex heads the practice.

Anthony Van der Hauwaert moved with his team to Racine, following the demise of KWM. The team, which has a strong record in M&A, investments and corporate support, brought over a number of high-end international clients from manufacturing and private equity.

Rulkin and Partners has seen a steady growth in mandates since its inception in 2011. Adrien Hanoteau heads the corporate practice, which also includes the ‘solution-oriented’ Guy Rulkin.

Verhaegen Walravens handles corporate and M&A work in various industries, including the hospitality, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, real estate, high-tech and energy sectors. Jacques Verhaegen heads the department.

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