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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 > Industry focus > Energy > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Energy
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP has cemented its leading position in the energy market through its involvement in numerous high-profile projects and corporate transactions. The team has a strong track record in renewable energy projects, particularly in the wind energy sector. In a recent highlight, practice head Tom Schoors and corporate partner Wouter Van de Voorde acted for Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe on an investment into offshore wind farm Norther. Other work includes Joost Everaert acting for a major energy company in CEPANI arbitration against a gas supplier. The team is also well versed in state aid issues connected to subsidy regimes.

The ‘very client friendly’ team at Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick provides ‘cutting-edge advice’ and is considered by some as ‘the very best practice in Belgium’. The Belgium member of the Energy Law Group network, the team counts market leading energy companies including Total and Veolia as clients. Its procurement, permitting and regulatory practice was further bolstered in January 2017 by the arrival of regulatory experts François Tulkens and Vincent Ost from NautaDutilh. Practice head Damien Verhoeven advised Elia on the regulatory aspects of its offshore grid project, which will be connected with wind farms in numerous jurisdictions. Olivier Vanden Berghe is active in commercial contracts with a particular focus on the energy sector.

A ‘top-notch team in the Belgian energy sector’, Loyens & Loeff is ‘able to mobilise an impressive legal machine to get the job done, never compromising on quality’. The ‘very client-oriented’ group is praised for taking a ‘pragmatic, helicopter view approach’. The broad practice takes in litigation, projects, regulatory matters, financing and public law. ‘Very meticulous’ practice head Thomas Chellingsworth, who ‘leads the team with a great deal of expertise’, and ‘up-and-coming’ senior associate Christine Delagaye are noted. Banking and finance partner Marc Vermylen is active in renewable energy project financing.

Stibbe is highlighted for its ‘in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience’, ‘quick, to-the-point responses’ and ‘practical and business-oriented approach’. In addition, the firm ‘understands the sector, including the policy makers, energy market regulators, communal entities and private sector players active in the field’. The team had another successful year in 2017, expanding its client base with new client wins and strengthening its footprint in the offshore wind and gas sectors with involvement in significant projects. Frederik Vandendriessche heads the practice. Other names to note are ‘quick and smart corporate lawyerJan Peeters, counsel Sofie Heremans and associate Cedric Degreef.

Clifford Chance provides ‘high-quality answers and input’ and demonstrates ‘excellent knowledge of the market’. The team has a hand in major projects and corporate transactions in the energy market. In a recent highlight, it advised Elia on the structuring, regulatory and public procurement aspects of its modular offshore grid project. The department is led by Xavier Remy, who is ‘an authority in the Belgian energy sector’. ‘Professional and solution-driven lawyer’ Patrice Viaene also receives high praise. Counsel Pieter De Bock is a key contact for public and environmental law issues.

DLA Piper fields a multidisciplinary team which is active in regulatory, procurement, antitrust, project finance and state aid issues. The team cooperates closely with the firm’s European energy working committee, where Alec Van Vaerenbergh plays a key coordination role. Annelies Verlinden is particularly active in the Belgian and German offshore wind sectors. Bob Martens has complementary expertise in public and environmental law. Clients include the City of Antwerp, Deme Group and Vleemo.

Fieldfisher’s practice is notable for its expertise in energy regulatory law and its ability to handle EU-wide energy matters affecting numerous member states. Highlights included advising Axpo Benelux on contractual matters and energy tariffs, which required comprehensive analysis of regional and federal legislation; David Haverbeke led the team. Wouter Vandorpe is another key name. New client wins include STIB-MIVB, 3E and Valeco.

Arnaud Coibion heads the energy group at Linklaters, which counts Engie, Fluxys and Essent among its clients. The practice spans regulatory issues, dispute resolution, M&A and project finance. Dispute resolution specialist Xavier Taton, who was recently made partner, was appointed by Ores Assets to challenge the first ex-post review of distribution tariffs from 2015 and is acting for the same client in challenging the tariff methodology of the Walloon Commission for Energy (CWaPE) for the regulatory period 2019-2023. David Ballegeer and a team advised Elia System Operator on its €250m issue of series 5 fixed-rate notes due 2027.

Niche energy firm Blixt is quickly making a name for itself in the market. The ‘very knowledgeable’ team acts for energy suppliers and producers and large industrial consumers. The three-lawyer team comprises Tinne Van der Straeten, Tim Vermeir, who is highly regarded, ‘particularly for pleading complex technical cases in front of courts’, and associate Kathelijne Houben.

Modo advocaten / avocats has an impressive regulatory practice that takes in energy. It is particularly active in power exchanges and provides ‘an excellent service’. Its lawyers ‘look for good business solutions’ and ‘keep cool heads, even in stressful situations’. Practice head Régine Feltkamp and associate Joeri Danhieux are highly regarded.

Monard Law’s team operates from its Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt offices and handles a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters for energy sector clients. In one highlight, Koen Geelen represented NPG Energy in multiple litigation proceedings following an incident at one of its sites. Natalie Ulburghs is another senior member of the team.

The ‘very responsive’ team at NautaDutilh is particularly renowned in the renewable energy space. Patrick Peeters heads the department and has notable expertise in public law, environmental law and dispute resolution. Corporate lawyers Nicolas de Crombrugghe and Dirk Van Gerven are active in energy M&A.

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