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Editorial

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Who Represents Who

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The ‘top-tier practice’ at Allen & Overy LLP excels in domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes, providing ‘concise and tailor-made advice’ across a broad range of corporate litigation, antitrust, contentious insolvency, arbitration and white-collar crime. Among the names to note, Koen Van den Broeck is ‘absolutely brilliant’, Joost Everaert has ‘great experience in white-collar crime cases’, Werner Eyskens is ‘a go-to lawyer for complex cross-border disputes’ and senior associate Thales Mertens ‘consistently thinks three steps ahead’. Group head Tom Schoors recently represented an industrial contractor in a construction case brought by a petrochemical company.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick is ‘the best in Belgium’ and provides ‘unmatched responsiveness and quality of service’. Group head Hakim Boularbah, who ‘quickly analyses complex situations to provide tailored advice’, represented Proximus in a class action filed by Belgian consumer protection organisation Test-Achats. Nicolas Angelet is ‘outstanding in constitutional law’ and is representing the Democratic Republic of the Congo before the International Court of Justice in a war reparations claim. Other senior figures include Arnaud Nuyts, who has ‘a great eye for detail’, and Aimery de Schoutheete. Senior attorney Olivier van der Haegen is ‘a very strong advocate – both in writing and in the courtroom’.

Linklaters has a prominent reputation for dispute resolution, regulatory investigations and white-collar crime cases and also houses ‘one of the most established arbitration practices in the market’. Françoise Lefèvre is widely recognised as a market leader and successfully acted for Delhaize Group in blocking an injunction sought by Ferrero. Joost Verlinden represented Cingilli before the European Court of Human Rights in its human rights claim against the Republic of Turkey. Stefaan Loosveld is also highly regarded.

NautaDutilh is lauded for its ‘consistently high quality’ and for its ability to deliver ‘impeccable results within the shortest deadlines’. The diverse practice excels in financial services, real estate, insolvency and commercial and corporate litigation and also has robust arbitration capability. Stan Brijs is ‘proactive and to-the-point’ and jointly heads the team alongside Sophie Jacmain. Jacmain is advising Artexis as a creditor in the Fisa Decofair bankruptcy. Of counsel Jean-François van Drooghenbroeck is also a senior figure in the team.

Stibbe impresses with its ‘broad and in-depth knowledge of different industries’ and its ‘strong cross-border expertise’. Hans Van Bavel, who is a specialist in white-collar crime, oversees a comprehensive practice that also includes Paul Van der Putten, Oliver Stevens and the ‘bright, knowledgeable and practical’ Nicolas Résimont. Résimont represented Perrigo in initiating a post-acquisition arbitration against the sellers of Omega Pharma Invest. Other clients include AB InBev, Airbus and Carrefour Belgium.

The ‘client-oriented team’ at DLA Piperlives up to high expectations’, under ‘dedicated and effective’ group head Annelies Verlinden’s leadership. The group also includes Christian Van Buggenhout, who provides ‘phenomenal strategic legal insight’, and Bob Martens, who ‘always strives to find the winning argument’. Highlights included representing Aviapartner in challenging the award of ground handling licences by The Brussels Airport Company to Swissport and Flightcare.

Eubelius has ‘a deep and experienced’ dispute resolution group, which is led jointly by Patrick Hofströssler and Herman De Bauw. The practice has a diverse focus, which encompasses civil and commercial disputes, administrative and constitutional matters, regulatory issues and criminal cases. De Bauw and Tom Bauwens are representing British American Tobacco in a dispute concerning tobacco advertising.

Hanotiau & van den Berg is sought after for its international arbitration expertise, with Bernard Hanotiau singled out as ‘top of the list for complex arbitrations’. Albert Jan van den Berg and Paul Lefebvre are also highly regarded. Lefebvre successfully represented Facebook in a case against the Belgian Privacy Commission concerning its use of cookies.

Dedicated, responsive and pragmatic’, Janson Baugniet provides ‘excellent value for money’. Group head Dominique Blommaert is ‘highly driven and committed’ and is representing Herman Verwilst in disputes stemming from his role as CEO of Fortis prior to the financial group’s collapse. The team also has strong experience in white-collar crime cases, administrative law and arbitration. Cédric Alter impresses with his ‘big picture view’, and François Glansdorff and Céline Masschelein are also key contacts.

Sébastien Champagne’s group at Jones Day includes ‘brilliant litigator’ Michèle Grégoire, who is highlighted as ‘top of the bill in Belgium and beyond’. Cross-border disputes, trade litigation, product liability and arbitration are all significant sources of instructions. Recent cases include representing Natixis in complex litigation concerning a €70m swap agreement. Vanessa Foncke is also recommended. Werner Derijcke left to join the newly established Malherbe.

At Loyens & Loeff, the ‘knowledgeable and practicalMartine De Roeck heads a team that is ‘service oriented’ and ‘great to work with’. Other key names include ‘top notch and customer-centric’ IP litigator Yves Van Couter and ‘rising starAhmed Tayane. The firm is advising AIG, as insurer of Watlow Electric Manufacturing, in a damage claim arising from a fire.

Lydian stands out for its ‘broad international experience’ and ‘outstanding record in insurance files’; it also handles commercial and corporate disputes, contentious construction matters, competition litigation and, increasingly, white-collar crime cases. Department lead Hugo Keulers, who is ‘very knowledgeable and efficient’, represented ZF Wind Power in a product liability-related case against AXA Corporate Solutions. Litigator and new ICT head Bastiaan Bruyndonckx joined from Linklaters in 2017. Yves Lenders, Annick Mottet Haugaard and Sandra Lodewijckx are also key contacts.

Simont Braungets the job done’, according to clients. Among the names to note, Lucien Simont is a seasoned litigator with a strong reputation for arbitration, Supreme Court lawyer Paul Alain Foriers is ‘a market heavyweight’ and Caroline De Baets is also highly rated. The sizeable group handles the full range of corporate and commercial, tax, employment, IP and administrative law matters.

Responsive, knowledgeable and accurateVan Bael & Bellis is ‘an excellent collaborator’. The life sciences, competition, IP and arbitration areas are particular sweet spots under the leadership of Catherine Longeval, who provides ‘on-point advice irrespective of the complexity of the case’. Martin Favart is also recommended and represented Ce.m.o.n. in arbitration proceedings arising from its termination of distribution and production agreements with Unda.

White & Case LLP has strong expertise in financial services, technology and white-collar crime disputes and is regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional cases. Group head Nathalie Colin advised Facebook Ireland on several matters in Belgium and the Netherlands. Thierry Bosly and Colin successfully defended Bank Indonesia in a dispute brought by the trustees of its former Dutch subsidiary.

Altius’ department co-lead Christophe Ronse acted alongside the firm’s sports law group to represent UEFA in proceedings brought by Doyen Sports and football club RFC Seraing regarding the nullification of the FIFA prohibition on third-party ownership of players. Alexander Hansebout co-heads a group that also acts for Daikin, Dell and Roche Belgium.

At Ambos NBGO Advocaten, group head Kathleen Paisley has an enviable reputation for arbitration and mediation. The team is also well versed in commercial and corporate litigation, contentious employment, IP and transport matters. Ingrid Van Clemen handles litigation for Synergie Belgium. Bart Vandereeckt is also recommended.

Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL has been kept busy handling IP and IT litigation but also excels in financial services, construction and environmental-related matters. Koen De Winter and Daniel Fesler co-lead a practice that counts Air Liquide, British American Tobacco and Colt Technology Services as clients.

Among CMS’ recent caseload, counsel Marie Canivet successfully represented Medicare-Market in a case brought by Ordre des Pharmaciens, the Association Pharmaceutique Belge and several pharmacies challenging its economic model. IP specialist Renaud Dupont heads the department.

Clifford Chance’s ‘highly responsive and knowledgeable’ team provides a service that is ‘second-to-none’. Banking litigation and white-collar criminal disputes expert Sébastien Ryelandt ‘applies legal knowledge in a commercial context’ and is the key contact in a team that counts Apax Partners, Belfius Bank and ING Belgium as clients. Counsel Dorothée Vermeiren is ‘excellent’.

Crowell & Moring’s diverse practice has particular expertise in life sciences, TMT, arbitration and cross-border matters. Group co-head Thomas De Meese and Emmanuel Plasschaert defended Telenet in a claim concerning its acquisition of four cable networks from four municipal companies without prior tender. IP specialist Kristof Roox co-leads the team.

Fieldfisher handles a broad range of criminal law, civil law, commercial law and ADR. Practice head Jean-François Germain recently represented Vizzion Europe in a shareholder dispute. Emmanuel Roger France and Eric Cusas are also senior figures.

At Laga, group head Jürgen Egger has strong experience in commercial litigation, IP, TMT and business crime disputes, while Annick Visschers is the key contact for tax litigation. Clients include Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and Unibet.

Quinz is widely lauded for its ‘hands-on approach’ and ‘solid understanding of business needs’. Practice head Benoît Allemeersch is ‘a leading lawyer’, Vincent Van Obberghen is ‘very strategic, commercial and determined’ and senior associate Stijn Sabbe is ‘one to watch’. Work includes defending Belfius Bank in a major class action.

Combining ‘academic quality with practical advice’, Schoups excels in major construction disputes. Managing director Marco Schoupsprovides sustainable solutions based on a pragmatic approach’; Kris Lemmenshas a keen eye for out-of-court settlements’; and Siegfried Busscher is ‘very experienced’. Carrefour, CFE Infra and Cordeel Zetel Hoeselt are key clients.

Strelia’s group head Jean-Pierre Fierens has ‘great commercial insight’ and is representing Fortis’ chairman in criminal and civil proceedings stemming from the collapse of Fortis Bank. Olivier Clevenbergh and the ‘clear, concise and decisive’ Bart De Moor are also recommended.

Good quality boutique’ firm Verhaegen Walravens has considerable expertise in corporate litigation and also handles commercial and contractual matters. Philip Walravens, who is ‘a knowledgeable litigator with valuable M&A expertise’, represented Atmosphere Architects in its dispute challenging the validity of tariffs imposed by SABAM, a Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers. Jean-Pierre Renard and Thierry Ghilain joined elegis - Huybrechts Engels Craen & Partners in 2017.

Arcas Law was established in 2016 by six litigators from Stibbe and Monard Law. The firm’s exclusive focus on contentious matters translates into a broad practice that acts for an impressive roster of multinational and domestic clients, particularly in the financial and life sciences sectors. Karel Schulpen and Bart Volders are key contacts for commercial and corporate litigation.

Astrea’s practice is comprised of ‘top lawyers’ including Marc Van Looveren, who ‘dares to take calculated risks’, and Louis Verstraeten, who is ‘pragmatic and business savvy’. Olivier Van Fraeyenhoven is also a senior name in a group that counts Bridgestone Belux, Cargill and Zurich as clients. Corporate disputes, administrative law and contentious insolvency matters are core strengths.

Bird & Bird’s Paul Hermant successfully defended Schneider Electric in civil and criminal law proceedings concerning allegedly undervalued public takeover bids. Benoit Van Asbroeck heads a diverse practice that is also well known for defence and security disputes, financial services litigation and corporate disputes. Proximus, WIPO and Canon are other clients.

Fast and approachable’, contrast’s team is co-led by Frank Wijckmans, senior counsel Luc Demeyere and the ‘practical and knowledgeableFilip Tuytschaever. Highlights included representing the EC in a case brought by Icelandic association Education and Training Service Center concerning the termination of a subsidy agreement. The team also has a strong reputation for competition litigation.

Cresco Advocaten has strong experience in corporate, commercial, insolvency and real estate-related disputes. Natalie Lemense heads a practice that counts AXA Belgium, Schindler and Devlieghere Invest as clients.

Daldewolf has ‘significant ADR expertise’ but is also active in traditional litigation. Patrick Van Leynseele is ‘a first-class mediator’; Thierry Bontinck is ‘an expert in making his voice heard by judges’; and Marc Dal has ‘emerged as one of the leading litigators in Belgium’. The team handles commercial disputes for bpost.

The ‘meticulously well-informed’ team at Laurius benefits from the expertise of ‘highly experienced’ group head Bert Luyten and the ‘diplomatic and commercialKaren Vermaere. Recent work includes representing a multinational company in a complex arbitration. The group is also well known for public procurement disputes and corporate litigation.

Monard Law successfully defended ID&T in a high-profile case brought by several individuals who were denied access to its Tomorrowland festival for safety reasons; Koen Geelen led that work. Corporate dispute specialist Erik Monard, Daan De Jaeger and Nicole Segers are the key names.

At Olislaegers & De Creus, department lead Michael Olislaegers has a solid profile for contentious work, particularly in the corporate sphere. Highlights included representing an IT company in a shareholder dispute.

Rulkin and Partners has ‘a frank and no-nonsense approach’ and Guy Rulkin is ‘very precise and business friendly’. The firm regularly handles commercial and corporate litigation and arbitration.

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