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  1. Competition: Belgian law
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Led by Dirk Arts, who is ‘very strong technically’, Allen & Overy LLP’s team covers a broad spectrum of Belgian competition law issues for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Mediahuis and KPN. Arts and senior associate Karel Bourgeois recently advised Kinepolis on antitrust issues associated with its acquisition of Utopolis. Tom Schoors is experienced in private damages cases.

At contrast, the ‘solution-mindedFrank Wijckmans and Filip Tuytschaever, who has ‘impeccable business and industry knowledge’, have a strong track record in high-profile mandates. The firm successfully assisted Global Champions Tour/Global Champions League with obtaining interim measures against the International Equestrian Federation. Volvo Trucks Belgium, Samsung Benelux and Hoppecke are other clients. Senior associate Sébastien Engelen joined from CMS, while Herlinde Burez made partner.

The ‘highly solution-drivenJohan Ysewyn leads the multifaceted practice at Covington & Burling LLP, which covers areas such as merger control, state aid, abuse of dominance, cartels and other behavioural work. Highlights included acting for Medialaan during its acquisition of JIM Mobile and Mobile Vikings. Peter Camesasca and senior associate Melissa Van Schoorisse are recommended.

Laurent Garzaniti and Thomas Janssens jointly head Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s team, which excels in behavioural and transactional matters. The team recently represented Holcim before the Belgian Court of Appeal in a challenge against the Belgian Competition Authority’s cartel decision in the cement sector. Garzaniti advised Boehringer Ingelheim during an investigation into over-the-counter pharmaceutical products market. Angélique de Brousse made counsel.

Stibbe’s broad practice spans merger cases, state aid, cartel investigations and damages claims. Peter Wytinck led the advice to Carrefour in a retail sector cartel investigation. Hendrik Viaene heads the team, which includes senior associates Bram Hoorelbeke and Delphine Gillet.

Ashurst LLP’s Annick Vroninks recently successfully settled an industrial batteries cartel case for CELECTRIC. Denis Fosselard heads the practice, which also includes Denis Waelbroeck and Alexandre Vandencasteele. Apax Partners, Colgate-Palmolive and RTBF are key clients.

Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL’s practice head Kurt Haegeman, of counsel Joost Haans and senior associate Vincent Mussche represented Unilever Belgium in the groundbreaking Belgian supermarkets case. The firm also advised Utopolis on the phase two review of its takeover by Kinepolis.

Dirk Vandermeersch and Robbert Snelders are notable individuals at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, which recently acted for American Express during an antitrust investigation into the Belgian travel sector. Other highlights included merger control cases and competition-related litigation. Damien Gerard joined the merger unit of the energy and environment directorate at the European Commission.

EubeliusHans Gilliams and Jan Bocken handle a wide range of Belgian competition law issues for clients such as BNY Mellon, VRT and SNCB. Bocken is representing bpost at the Brussels Court of Appeal following the imposition of fines by the Belgian Competition Authority and the Belgian postal regulator after a pricing investigation.

Jones Day’s Alexandre Verheyden, Serge Clerckx and recently promoted of counsel Laurent De Muyter acted for BASE in litigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominance in the mobile telecoms sector. Other core elements of the practice include merger control, state aid and cartel cases.

Van Bael & BellisPeter L’Ecluse is defending Honda against a follow-on damages action arising from a long-running abuse of dominance case. Martin Favart and Johan Van Acker are other names to note.

In 2015, AltiusCarmen Verdonck assisted Sanoma with obtaining Belgian merger clearance of the sale of four magazines to De Persgroep Publishing. Beatrijs Gielen has expertise in cartel, state aid and abuse of dominance cases, among other matters.

Annabelle Lepièce is the primary contact at CMS, which is instructed by private and public sector clients in cartel investigations, merger control, state aid and abuse of dominance cases. Lepièce is representing Delhaize Group in litigation against MasterCard concerning interchange fees on card payments.

Crowell & Moring’s recent workload includes antitrust investigations, competition litigation before the Belgian courts and merger control cases. A particular area of strength is in matters involving an interplay of competition law and intellectual property. Thomas De Meese and Grégoire Ryelandt act for clients such as Henkel and Telenet/Liberty Global.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick’s Jules Stuyck, Stefaan Raes and others are representing Uber in Belgian court proceedings initiated by taxi companies alleging unfair competition. The firm’s recent work also includes state aid matters involving tax-related issues, merger cases and private damages actions.

In addition to advisory work, Quinz handles contentious cases involving areas such as restrictive practices, abuses of dominance and private damages claims. Benoît Allemeersch, Stijn Sabbe and Wim De Meester assisted Horeca Vlaanderen with an antitrust complaint against Olivier Van Obberghen is also recommended.

Yves Van Gerven and Anne Vallery are key contacts at VVGB Advocaten, which is instructed in matters involving state aid, merger control, cartels and abuses of dominance. Clients include CRIC, Mobistar and Waterwegen & Zeekanaal.

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