Belgium > Corporate and M&A
Index of tables
Corporate and M&A
Allen & Overy LLP
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘excellent, knowledgeable’ and ‘pragmatic’ practice acted for 3i on the merger of Aviapartner Group with the Worldwide Flight Services Group, which created one of the largest global players in ground-handling services. Department head Pierre-Olivier Mahieu is ‘very dedicated’ and excels at finding ‘business-driven solutions to complex transactions involving multiple jurisdictions’. Dirk Meeus, who manages the Antwerp and Brussels offices, is also recommended.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘among the best’ law firms in Belgium, and continues to attract major new instructions as well as handling ongoing work for longstanding clients such as Telenet. Capital markets and private equity expert Laurent Legein is acting as lead counsel to Dexia on its entire restructuring and dismantling plan. Other key lawyers include the very highly regarded Jan Meyers, and ‘very good’ counsel Deborah Janssens. Laurent Ruzettewas promoted to the partnership in January 2012.
Linklaters’ ‘excellent’ and ‘very knowledgeable team’ advised KBC Group on its divestiture programme imposed by the European Commission. The energy sector is a lucrative source of work, and the team represented EDF Energies Nouvelles on the sale of its stake in C-Power and also acted for Fluxys on its pan-European gas transport joint venture with Snam. Practice head Paul Van Hooghten specialises in M&A and private equity transactions. Jean-Pierre Blumberg and Eric Pottier are also recommended.
Baker & McKenzie’s ‘pragmatic’ team shows ‘good business acumen’, and has a strong track record across many sectors including emerging areas such as biotech and cleantech. Luc Meeus and Roel Meers led advice to Electrawinds on its business combination with European CleanTech I SE. Department co-heads Koen Vanhaerents and Peter Leys are recommended, as is new international partner Dominique Maes.
Clifford Chance’s comprehensive practice has ‘top-notch industry knowledge’ and ‘a high degree of seniority’ within its ranks, and benefits from the firm’s wider resources. The department is co-headed by Philippe Hamer, who focuses on listed companies, private equity and the financial sector, and Xavier Remy, whose core focus is the energy and utilities sector. Active clients include Fluxys G, Magotteaux, Dexia, Publi-T, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, and Eneco.
DLA Piper’s ‘business-minded, proactive and solution-driven’ corporate and M&A practice is complemented by separate tax and corporate litigation teams. The ‘very experienced’ Erwin Simons heads the team, which includes the ‘very creative’ Ortwin Carron, who joined from Monard – D'Hulst in September 2011, and recently promoted partner Koen Selleslags, who is ‘pragmatic, accurate’ and ‘flexible’, and whom clients appreciate for his ‘no-nonsense approach’. Selleslags recently led the advice to BASF on the sale of its Belgian fertiliser business to EuroChem. Caroline Daout is ‘outstanding’.
Eubelius’ ‘strong’ practice is ‘excellent value for money’. ‘Excellent corporate lawyer’ Tom Boedts recently advised Doosan on its sale of a 49% stake in Doosan Industrial Vehicle to Standard Chartered Private Equity. Other clients include Belgacom, Ablynx and UCB. The experienced Koen Geens co-heads the department with ‘very good negotiator’ and ‘fantastic lawyer’ Marieke Wyckaert.
Vincent Macq heads the corporate department at ‘very good firm’ Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which is staffed by ‘highly professional and reactive’ lawyers. The team advised AB InBev on its $20.1bn acquisition of the remaining shares in Grupo Modelo, to take control of the company. The firm has advised Solvay on all of its M&A deals over the past five years, including the €4.5bn acquisition of Rhodia in 2011. Geert Verhoeven and Chris Sunt are highly regarded, as is ‘concise and clear’ principal associate Frederic Elens.
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick is an ‘excellent firm’ with ‘top-level lawyers’. The team, headed by Thierry Tilquin, has experienced a rise in corporate advisory, corporate governance and restructuring work, and advised the Belgian government on the Dexia Bank bailout in October 2011. The ‘intelligent’ and ‘inspiring’ Philippe Malherbe assisted BMW with the Belgian aspects of the auction to buy ING Car Lease. Valérie Simonart and Christel Van den Eynden are also recommended.
Loyens & Loeff’s ‘highly professional’ and ‘very commercially minded’ team provides ‘a very high standard of service’. Grégoire Jakhian, who is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and is ‘plugged into the industry and political environment’, recently led advice to Apollo Global Management during its acquisition of the Belgium-based Taminco Group Holdings. The experienced Peter Callens is also well regarded.
Stibbe provides ‘a high quality of service’ and maintains a strong corporate practice despite the departure of Olivier Clevenbergh, who left to found a new practice following the firm’s dissolution of its alliance with Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Practice head Marc Fyon is ‘very experienced’, and is ‘pleasant to work with’. The ‘very good’ Katrien Vorlat recently advised KKR on its $2.375bn acquisition of Pfizer’s Capsugel division.
Altius (in co-operation with Tiberghien)’s well regarded corporate practice has attracted a number of new clients including Heineken, which practice co-head Carine Van Regenmortel advised on the 100% share acquisition of Stassen. Alexis Goeminne is the other practice co-head. The firm attracts a steady deal flow from companies such as Delhaize Group, ISS and Sanoma Magazines Belgium.
Vincent Dirckx heads CMS’ ‘business-minded team’, which provides ‘practical solutions’ and ‘great responsiveness’. Recently promoted partner Arnaud Van Oekel advised Orchestra-Kazibao on its takeover of distressed Belgian baby products retailer Prémaman, including the consequent integration and reorganisation. The ‘always solution-oriented’ Cedric Guyot is also recommended.
Laga’s corporate and M&A department is co-headed by founding partner Hilde Laga and David Roelens, who are recommended along with Emmanuel Leroux and Christoph Michiels. The team advised Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe Belgium on its acquisition of Citibank Belgium.
Lydian handles M&A, restructuring and divestments. Peter De Ryck recently led advice to Naxicap during its €220m acquisition of Accent from GIMV, the Belgian private equity fund, which was one of the largest private equity deals in 2012. Patrick della Faille is also recommended.
Monard – D'Hulst has ‘a hands-on mentality’ and is ‘quick to adapt to the specific needs of the client’. M&A experts Nicole Segers and Natalie Ulburghs are recommended. Dirk Van De Gehuchte is ‘excellent’ in corporate disputes and restructuring matters.
Dirk Van Gerven heads NautaDutilh’s ‘knowledgeable’ five-partner corporate team, which attracts substantial work from other departments such as energy. The ‘very good’ Elke Janssens advised Tomra Sorting AS on its acquisition of sorting machine business BEST² NV.
Simont Braun’s corporate team, led by Sandrine Hirsch, earns a strong work flow from longstanding clients such as P&V Assurances and the family holding of UCB, Compagnie du Bois Sauvage. New clients include AXA Private Equity, which David Ryckaert recently advised on the sale of Manacor Holdings to Saveur Group.
Van Bael & Bellis has been busy advising domestic and multinational companies on M&A, restructuring, advisory and litigation matters. Michel Bonne advised PostNL, the Dutch postal operator, on its acquisition of trans-o-flex Belgium and Netherlands, a Benelux parcel delivery subsidiary of Österreichische Post.
White & Case LLP Avocats Advocaten’s ‘dedicated’ practice is responsive and has ‘a business-minded approach’. Department head Stefan Odeurs and the ‘excellent’ Dries Hommez advised the shareholders of Accent Jobs For People NV, a major player in the Belgian temporary employment market, on the auction sale of a portion of shares. Former partner Gisèle Rosselle recently left the legal profession.
Ambos NBGO’s nine-partner team is ‘extremely responsive’ and ‘approachable, efficient and pragmatic’. The ‘very experienced’ David Dessers advises Clear2Pay NV on all its business and legal needs, including having acted on various recent acquisitions. New clients include ThromboGenics and Thetys Petroleum. Jens Van Hecke shows ‘great legal acumen’, and is recommended along with Kurt Faes, ‘dedicated’ senior associate Anneleen Vander Elstraeten and up-and-coming associate Pieter Capiau.
Ashurst LLP’s ‘flexible’ and ‘professional’ practice is advising AVEVA Group plc on its acquisition of Bocad Group, a leading provider of CAD/CAM solutions. Managing partner and practice head Carl Meyntjens is recommended along with ‘very good’ counsel David Du Pont.
Bird & Bird’s corporate practice is well regarded, particularly in the life sciences industry. The team advised Intel Capital on its purchase of a stake in IT company Amplidara NV. Alain Costantini, Ludo Deklerck and practice head Paul Hermant are also recommended.
Dechert LLP’s broad practice, which is particularly strong in the energy sector, acts for clients such as EPS, Deficom Group and Fluxys. Eric Deltour has ‘an outstanding ability to handle complex negotiations with international parties’. Department co-head René Gonne and associate Filip Meire are also recommended.
Jones Day’s global reach is a key asset for the firm in its representation of US and European clients. Luc Houben heads the firm’s substantial Japanese practice, which regularly advises clients such as Daihatsu and Toyota Motor Corporation. Howard Liebman advised NextiraOne Europe on the divestiture of its Swiss subsidiary to Sunrise Communications.
Olislaegers & De Creus’ corporate advisory and transactional practice ‘excels in its commitment’ and ‘hands-on approach’. Practice head Michael Olislaegers and the ‘extremely committed and dedicated’ Kristof De Creus are recommended.
Altra Law’s recent highlights include advising Société Anonyme de la Rue Royale on the acquisition of 100% of Barese’s shares. New clients include GreenWatt, Patch Pharma and Windeo Green Future Benelux. Practice head Didier Leclercq and Benjamin Haberkorn are recommended.
Cadanz, which was established by Jan Stoop and Dirk Strobbe in 2008, specialises in corporate and commercial law, and recently advised the Flemish government sponsored investment fund ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen NV on its investment in Newtec NV, a Belgian satellite equipment developer.
contrast’s ‘diligent and hardworking team’ is ‘highly responsive’, and gives ‘simple and direct advice’. Practice head Bart Bellen is ‘very knowledgeable in Belgian corporate governance’ and ‘a skilful counsellor with an easy communication style’.
Crowell & Moring provides ‘timely, well-reasoned advice at great value’. The practice is mainly active in mid-market deals as well as Belgian law aspects of larger transactions. This ‘service-oriented’ team includes the ‘excellent’ Emmanuel Gybels, counsel Frederik Van Remoortel, who has ‘solid legal knowledge’, and counsel Emmanuel Plasschaert.
De Wolf & Partners mainly advises foreign companies on Belgian investment projects, M&A, corporate restructuring, IPOs, and liability and compliance issues. Frank Weinand and practice head Patrick De Wolf are the key partners.
Koen Devos leads Eversheds’ corporate and commercial team, which is particularly strong in complex cross-border matters thanks to the firm’s international resources.
Field Fisher Waterhouse’s ‘excellent, business-minded’ team has ‘very good negotiation skills. Practice head Marie Evrard is ‘focused’ and ‘responsive’, and the ‘client-devoted’ Jacques Meunier is also recommended.
Hunton & Williams LLP’s corporate and regulatory practice has a good reputation for cross-border matters. Hervé Cogels is the key contact.
K&L Gates LLP established its Brussels office in February 2011. The firm represents various Belgian and international companies and financial institutions. Patrice Corbiau is the name to note.
Laurius advocaten provides ‘an excellent quality of work’ and ‘fast response times’. Practice head Dirk Wellens provides ‘fast and to-the-point solutions’. Recent work includes assisting Aviacare with new joint ventures in Sudan and Morocco.
Marx, Van Ranst, Vermeersch & Partners’ combined corporate, tax and finance practice group includes corporate expert Nicole Van Ranst and Kristoffel Vermeersch, who is an experienced corporate and tax lawyer.
Quinz, which opened its doors in September 2011, has quickly established itself as an up-and-coming firm, and has attracted a number of high-profile clients. The team advised Beherman on its acquisition of Mitsubishi Belgium. Other clients include Holding Communal and UCB Pharma. Pieter Wyckmans heads the practice.
Verhaegen Walravens’ corporate practice, which is led by Jacques Verhaegen and Anouk De Graef advised French group Labco on developing its business in Belgium, including negotiations and extended due diligence concerning the contemplated acquisition of two clinical biology laboratories. The team is also particularly strong in corporate real estate.
WilmerHale’s contentious and non-contentious corporate and commercial practice advises Danaher Corp on all of its M&A transactions involving Belgian companies, as well as on Belgian corporate, commercial and employment issues. Paul von Hehn and counsel Frank De Paepe are recommended.