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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 > Privacy and data protection > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Cédric Burton - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
    • Jan Dhont - Alston & Bird LLP
    • Catherine Erkelens - Erkelens Law
    • Henriette Tielemans - Covington & Burling LLP
    • Benoit Van Asbroeck - Bird & Bird
    • Patrick Van Eecke - DLA Piper
    • Tanguy Van Overstraeten - Linklaters

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Guillaume Couneson - Linklaters
    • Tim Van Canneyt - Fieldfisher
    • Peter Van Dyck - Allen & Overy LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Privacy and data protection clients in Belgium using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Allen & Overy LLP’s thorough coverage of data protection law across its international network marks it as a key player in cross-border matters. In a recent example, practice co-head Filip Van Elsen advised Alibaba and Ant Financial on several data protection issues, including on the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data retention policies and transfer of data to third countries. Group co-head Peter Van Dyck was promoted to partner in 2017.

At Alston & Bird LLP, ‘market leader’ Jan Dhont heads a specialised team, which routinely advises on data protection compliance initiatives, operations support, the implementation of privacy programmes and litigation. Clients include Adient, Johnson Controls and eBay. Counsel Jon Filipek recently left to join the EC, and associate Lauren Cuyvers joined from Altius.

Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL’s group has ‘great expertise in privacy matters’, with notable strength in cross-border data transfers. Data security obligations, international investigations and GDPR compliance are other areas of note. Belgium managing partner Daniel Fesler heads a team that includes ‘excellent negotiatorElisabeth Dehareng. Clients include major multinationals operating in the technology, telecoms, logistics and financial services fields.

Benoit Van Asbroeck’s group at Bird & Bird regularly assists with GDPR compliance, data breaches, the processing of sensitive data and other data protection issues. Marc Martens and senior associate Julien Debussche are also key contacts. The firm is part of a consortium advising on an EU-funded big-data project.

At CMS, the ‘responsive and pragmatic’ team excels in multinational data protection compliance projects and also handles local data protection work, security breaches and data transfers. Department head Tom De Cordier has ‘in-depth knowledge and business understanding’ and is assisting McCain with GDPR compliance across its European business.

DLA Piper’s group is led by Patrick Van Eecke, who has a strong record in data protection, electronic signatures, consumer protection and advertising. Recent work includes assisting Zoetis with its GDPR readiness project. Kristof De Vulder is another key contact in a group that also counts Nike, Porsche and Salesforce as clients. Antoon Dierick left to become chief legal officer at DR Gaming Technology. Peter Craddock joined from legal consulting company Consilio.

The group at Jones Day, which is led by of counsel Jörg Hladjk, has a strong focus on pan-European and global data protection compliance projects. Data transfers, binding corporate rules, investigations and data security breaches are also significant areas of activity. Highlights included advising Acelity on its GDPR compliance project. Of counsel Laurent De Muyter is also recommended.

Linklaters’ team has ‘a hands-on approach’ and ‘in-depth expertise in privacy and data protection regulation’. Global group lead Tanguy Van Overstraeten is ‘one of the best privacy specialists in Europe’ and ‘very promising’ counsel Guillaume Couneson has ‘strong business insight’. Among its recent cases, it advised Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations on GDPR implementation. It also handles data transfers, compliance audits and cloud-based solutions.

Knowledgeable and commercial’, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s team has ‘specialist expertise’ and core strengths in EU regulatory compliance, investigations, data transfers, cybersecurity and litigation. Group head Cédric Burton has ‘strong experience in the data protection field’ and is assisting Mastercard with GDPR compliance.

Crowell & Moring’s group, which is composed of ‘excellent data privacy experts’, has a focus on advising clients from the healthcare, life sciences, energy and TMT sectors. Senior counsel Frederik Van Remoortel provides ‘practical and to-the-point advice’ and heads a team that also benefits from the experience of competition and regulated industries partner Thomas De Meese and employment specialist Emmanuel Plasschaert.

The leading niche firm in this field’, Erkelens Law’s name partner Catherine Erkelens is ‘a pioneer in data protection law in Belgium’. Johan Vandendriessche advised Bluebee on GDPR implementation. The processing of sensitive data is also a sweet spot.

Committed, reliable and practical’, Fieldfisher’s team has ‘a strong ability to consider the business implications’. Tim Van Canneyt is ‘very knowledgeable on complex outsourcing and GDPR’ and advised AGC Glass Europe on its GDPR compliance project. Newly promoted partner Olivier Proust advised Avaya on binding corporate rules applications.

Lawyers at Loyens & Loeff have ‘an excellent eye for detail’. Group head Yves van Couter has ‘great strategic insight’ and associate Stéphanie De Smedt has ‘very good knowledge of current data protection legislation and GDPR’. The team recently advised on compliance audits, security breaches, cybercrime and data transfers.

McGuireWoods LLP’s comprehensive practice has expertise in GDPR, data security issues, international data transfer and sensitive data matters. The group recently advised a US-based multinational on its GDPR compliance project. Paul Van den Bulck joined AKD in December 2018.

Alex van der Wolk’s team at Morrison & Foerster LLP advises on the full spread of EU privacy and data protection matters, but data breaches and cybersecurity stand out as particular sweet spots. Among other matters, the group advised a global logistics company on various compliance and breach response issues.

In 2017, Osborne Clarke hired new department head Benjamin Docquir from Simont Braun. Counsel Ann-Sophie De Graeve is also a key contact. GDPR compliance issues provided the bulk of instructions over the past year, but the team also has experience in data security, data transfer and outsourcing.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s team has ‘deep knowledge across many areas of data protection’. GDPR compliance, data transfer, data breach cases and binding corporate rules are key areas of activity. Group head Sylvie Rousseau ‘finds solutions that combine compliance and pragmatism’.

time.lex advised Eurostat on its review of EU and member state statistics and data protection legislation – the ‘quick and practicalGeert Somers led that work. In addition to its high-profile public sector work, it also routinely advises private companies on compliance audits and other data protection matters. Other key names include the ‘resourceful and pragmatic’ Frederic Debusseré; Edwin Jacobs, who is ‘very knowledgeable’; Jos Dumortier; and Hans Graux.

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