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Belgium > Competition > Belgian law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Competition: Belgian law
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Delphine Gillet - Stibbe
    • Melissa Van Schoorisse - Covington & Burling LLP

Who Represents Who

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One of the best competition practices in Belgium’, Allen & Overy LLP scores highly for its ‘top-notch knowledge’ and ‘practical advice tailored to the client’s industry’. Group lead Dirk Arts has ‘unique in-depth expertise’ and acts across a wide range of matters, with strong expertise in cartel investigations and merger reviews. Arts recently advised DEME Group on its acquisition, through its subsidiary GeoSea, of A2SEA. In 2017, state aid specialist Karel Bourgeois was promoted to counsel.

contrast’s ‘outstanding’ team ‘makes every client feel like its only client’. Individuals singled out in the ‘fast, practical and approachable’ team include ‘classy litigatorFrank Wijckmans and Filip Tuytschaever, who provides ‘pragmatic and business-savvy’ advice. Highlights included advising Cebeo on the merger review aspects of its acquisition of Cheyns. The firm also excels in behavioural and state aid matters. Associate Anouk Focquetinstils trust’.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s domestic competition practice is led jointly by Laurent Garzaniti and Thomas Janssens. The pair, together with Onno Brouwer, successfully defended AB InBev in Alken-Maes’ challenge to its acquisition of Belgium-based Bosteels. The firm also routinely advises on behavioural investigations and litigation. Senior associate Tone Oeyen is establishing a strong reputation in the area.

Among the top five in Belgium’, Stibbe impresses with its ‘strong combination of experience and knowledge in all key areas’. Team lead Hendrik Viaene is ‘trustworthy’ and provides ‘value-for-money’ advice; he represented Emrol in the first cartel investigation under the new Belgian Competition Act. The firm also has strong expertise in merger control and state aid matters. Other names to note include the ‘knowledgeable and solution-focusedPeter Wytinck and ‘excellent’ senior associate Delphine Gillet.

Ashurst LLP’s well-balanced practice handles merger control issues, cartel cases, abuse of dominance matters, state aid issues and public procurement. Annick Vroninks successfully advised Shanks on its acquisition of competitor Van Gansewinkel. Denis Waelbroeck, Alexandre Vandencasteele and Denis Fosselard are also recommended.

The ‘hands-on’ group at Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL is led by Kurt Haegeman and includes ‘practical and responsive’ counsel Joost Haans and senior associate Bram Hoorelbeke, who recently arrived from Stibbe. Highlights included successfully intervening for Belgian publisher IPM to secure commitments following bpost’s acquisition of the Belgian activities of Lagardère Travel Retail in Belgium. It also has an active behavioural practice.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a solid domestic competition practice, with senior counsel Dirk Vandermeersch particularly active in this area. Vandermeersch paired up with Romano Subiotto QC to represent American Express in an antitrust investigation into the Belgian travel sector, and is also acting alongside Antoine Winckler to advise JCDecaux on a state aid complaint concerning the Villo contract in Brussels.

Among Eubelius’ recent cases, Jan Bocken advised bpost on its acquisition of the Belgian activities of Lagardère Travel Retail, which was cleared subject to commitments. Highly regarded group head Hans Gilliams oversees a comprehensive practice that also has significant capability in the state aid, investigations and compliance areas.

Jones Day acted on a steady stream of merger reviews, abuse of dominance and cartel cases and state aid matters over the past year. Notable engagements included successfully acting for Mastercard to dismiss a damage claim brought by the Delhaize supermarket chain concerning interchange fees – Bernard Amory led that work. Serge Clerckx and practice head Alexandre Verheyden are also key contacts.

At Van Bael & Bellis, Peter L’Ecluse has a strong profile for cases before the Belgian competition authorities, particularly in the telecoms, life sciences, energy and consumer goods sectors. Martin Favart and Johan Van Acker are also recommended. Clients include Coca-Cola Enterprises, Honda and Nike.

Carmen Verdonck’s group at Altius has a strong record in merger control matters and has increased its share of restrictive practices and abuse of dominance cases. Highlights included representing Siemens in its settlement procedure with the Belgian Competition Authority following an investigation into collusion in a public procurement process organised by Infrabel.

CMS’ merger with Olswang boosted its competition practice through the arrival of Dirk Van Liedekerke, whose experience covers an expansive range of merger clearance, investigations, compliance issues and litigation. Annabelle Lepièce is also a key contact and has ‘a practical and pragmatic approach’. Recent work includes advising AMP, as a subsidiary of Lagardère Travel Retail, on its acquisition by bpost.

Crowell & Moring leverages its market-leading IP capability to provide strong expertise in pharmaceutical, life sciences and TMT-related competition issues, for clients such as Telenet, Liberty Global and Medicines for Europe. Group head Thomas De Meese and counsel Grégoire Ryelandt are the names to note. In 2017, senior counsel Jules Stuyck joined from Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick.

New entry Daldewolf provides ‘high-quality advice for a better price than the Belgian branches of foreign firms’, according to some. Pierre Goffinet is ‘a brilliant individual with extensive experience’. Thierry Bontinck is also a key contact. Investigations, competition litigation, merger control and regulatory matters are all areas of expertise.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick’s group is led by Stefaan Raes, who ‘knows his business and the relevant players in the area’. Raes represented AEG Belgium in the first bid-rigging case before the Belgian Competition Authority. Facebook, Multipharma and Uber are also clients. Jules Stuyck joined Crowell & Moring.

Recent work for Linklaters includes advising Celesio on its acquisition of the Belgian distribution business of Welcoop, which was approved subject to remedies; group head Gerwin Van Gerven led the advice. The team has also recently handled abuse of dominance, cartel and state aid cases.

Quinz has been kept busy recently handling behavioural matters and competition litigation but also has significant expertise in state aid and merger control cases. Benoît Allemeersch represented Horeca Vlaanderen in its antitrust complaint against Booking.com.

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