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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Belgium > EU regulatory > Financial services > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. EU regulatory: Financial services
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Pierre Berger - DLA Piper
    • Etienne Dessy - Linklaters
    • Sylvia Kierszenbaum - Allen & Overy LLP

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Christophe Wauters - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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Strong performer’, Allen & Overy LLP impresses with the ‘extensive breadth’ of its regulatory expertise. The group is currently advising on regulatory developments concerning derivatives, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and fintech – among other areas. Sylvia Kierszenbaum and Filip Tanghe jointly head a practice that counts BNP Paribas Fortis, Citibank and ING Belgium as clients.

Clifford Chance has expertise across the full spread of non-contentious regulatory matters, with specialist skill sets in commercial banking, asset management, insurance and retail financial services. Lounia Czupper recently advised an investment company on a new regulation banning the marketing of certain financial instruments to Belgian consumers. Managing partner Bert De Maeyer is also recommended. Clients include Banque Eni, Belfius Bank and KBC.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s practice, which is jointly headed by Christiaan Smits and competition specialist Andreas von Bonin, was kept busy advising several financial institutions (including Lloyd’s of London and AIG) on the implementation of the EU capital requirements regime. MiFID, competition and data protection-related matters are also areas of note.

Top of the market’, Linklaters’ team has ‘a strong business mind-set’ and ‘excellent knowledge of market practices’. Etienne Dessy has ‘a unique understanding of business and operation challenges’; he leads a comprehensive group that advises across the full spread of regulatory investigations, financial reorganisations, new regulated businesses and general advisory matters.

At Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL, recent work includes advising Lloyd’s of London on the regulatory design of its Brexit relocation to Belgium. Pierre Berger joined DLA Piper in July 2018.

Responsive, well connected and commercial’, Bird & Bird’s team has ‘in-depth knowledge of the regulatory issues that the whole industry is facing’. The practice, which handles the full spread of regulatory matters, has a particularly strong reputation for outsourcing, electronic banking and online payment services. Group head Scott McInnes is widely lauded as an ‘out-and-out specialist in European payments regulation’.

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Laurent Ruzette and ‘up-and-coming’ senior associate Christophe Wauters are advising Dexia on regulatory matters connected to the EC’s approved resolution plan for the banking group. Christopher Cook is also recommended.

DLA Piper regularly advises public and private companies and government entities on payment systems, capital markets, collective investment schemes, insurance matters and clearing and settlement issues. Experienced counsel Axelle Van Den Broeck advised HomeSend on obtaining its licence as a regulated payment institution. In 2017, key partner Koen Vanderheyden left the firm. Pierre Berger was a new arrival in July 2018 from Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL.

A team from Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, led by group head Tom Van Dyck, recently advised Bank Degroof Petercam on the establishment of a Luxembourg Reserved Alternative Investment Fund in Belgium. Over the past year, the team has also advised on MiFID II implementation, enforcement actions, market abuse cases and complex regulatory challenges, among other matters. Joan Carette joined Osborne Clarke.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP has a strong focus on insurance law and regulation and is also well known for its work for Swiss banks. Insurance and reinsurance expert Philip Woolfson impresses with his ‘deep knowledge and specialist advice’ and acts as EU liaison officer to the Association of International Life Offices. Jean Russotto provides ongoing legal analysis and advocacy support to the Swiss Bankers Association.

Stibbe advises a mix of financial institutions, listed companies and investment funds on regulatory, compliance, supervision and enforcement issues, including UCITS, MiFID and market abuse regulation. Ivan Peeters, who is ‘efficient and knowledgeable’, and Jan Peeters jointly head the team. Key clients include ABN Amro, Belfius Bank and the National Bank of Belgium.

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