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Belgium > Industry focus > IT and telecoms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Tom De Cordier - CMS
    • Nicolas Roland - Stibbe
    • Peter Van Dyck - Allen & Overy LLP

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP has ‘broad expertise’, handling technology, media and telecoms (TMT) matters by drawing on a broad team from the corporate, labour, regulatory, antitrust and tax departments. The team recently advised Toyota regarding the integration of telematics technology into its vehicles. Other active clients include Mobistar and Microsoft. Filip Van Elsen heads the global TMT group, which also includes recommended senior associate Peter Van Dyck.

Bird & Bird has ‘one of the most advanced practice groups in the IT and telecoms arena’. The focus is on IT litigation, IT security advice and data protection, as well as IT-related contracts. The team advised software solutions provider Ciena on its commercial work in Belgium; Proximus, SAP and the European Commission are active clients. Practice head Benoit Van Asbroeck is the name to note.

Crowell & Moring shows ‘strong expertise’ in the telecoms and IT industries, where the firm represents a wide range of multinational and domestic companies, mostly in regulatory and competition matters. The team acted for Telenet in a dispute with Mobistar regarding pricing clauses in their mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement. Thomas De Meese is co-head of the practice along with Flip Petillion, who has ‘deep knowledge of ICANN and the new policies regarding top-level domains’.

DLA Piper’s team has ‘in-depth industry knowledge’. The client portfolio includes IT vendors and end users, as well as domestic and international telecoms operators. Digipolis, a public IT services provider, was advised on telecommunications law for its planned fibre-to-the-home network. Practice head Kristof De Vulder and Patrick Van Eecke are recommended.

Stibbe has ‘superb knowledge of the IT and telecoms field’. The firm assisted longstanding client Proximus with a variety of matters, including strategic M&A projects as well as litigation. Practice head Erik Valgaeren has ‘excellent project management skills’. Counsel Nicolas Roland is ‘a promising attorney with great language skills’.

Altius has ‘profound knowledge of the local and European market’. The team assists Brussels Airlines with all ICT-related issues and recently advised HCL Technologies on the acquisition of Volvo’s IT business. Gerrit Vandendriessche has ‘a broad knowledge of all IT and data protection issues’. Jérôme Vermeylen is ‘very reactive’.

Fieldfisher has ‘outstanding quality’ in the IT and telecoms arena. Highlights included representing electronic payments service provider Worldline in trade mark prosecution matters. Other key clients include Freesat and Telenet. Stijn Debaene is the lead partner; recently promoted partner Tim van Canneyt has ‘a creative approach’ and Hakim Haouideg is also recommended.

Linklaters’ TMT team has ‘excellent negotiation skills’ and ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm advised BNP Paribas on the drafting and negotiation of an outsourcing service agreement linked to the operation of two data centres. TMT and data protection expert Tanguy van Overstraeten is ‘an excellent negotiator’. Bastiaan Bruyndonckx joined Lydian.

time.lex is ‘up to speed’ and ‘at the forefront of new EU legal developments’. The team represented the Belgian Privacy Commission as claimant in its court proceedings against Facebook regarding the use of cookies and social plug-ins to track non-users. Canon and SAP are new clients. Jos Dumortier is ‘a thought leader in IT law’ and Edwin Jacobs is ‘a true opinion leader in the fields of fintech and payment services’. Hans Graux, Geert Somers and Frederic Debusseré are also recommended.

Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL has a strong IT, data protection and telecoms team that is primarily recognised for its EU regulatory work. Other focus areas include e-commerce, electronic communications, media law and public procurement. Practice head Daniel Fesler and Elisabeth Dehareng are the names to note.

CMS’ combined IT and IP group is ‘strong both technically and legally’, fielding lawyers who ‘know every trick in the book’. The firm represented Mobistar and BASE in proceedings before the Belgian Constitutional Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Practice head Tom De Cordier ‘thinks strategically’ and Alexis Hallemans is very responsive. Tom Heremans is another key figure.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP handles a wide range of matters for some of the largest IT and telecoms companies. It acted for Google in the European Commission’s investigation into the client’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in online search services. Thomas Graf and Robbert Snelders are the names to note.

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘very responsive, practical and thoughtful lawyers’ have a substantial focus on EU competition law but also handle mandates at the domestic level. Miranda Cole divides her time between Brussels and London; Kristof Van Quathem has ‘an excellent service mindset’. Kevin Coates, the former head of the EC’s cartels unit, recently joined the firm.

Focusing on start-up companies, Cresco Advocatenunderstands the technological and business aspects behind a transaction’, and its ‘simply outstanding lawyers’ have ‘an eye for detail’. The firm assisted the Flemish government with reaching an IT agreement with Securitas. David Dessers is ‘extremely dedicated and versatile’; Pieter Capiau is another name to note.

Jones Day’s TMT group represents a wide range of telecoms clients and BASE is a key client. Alexandre Verheyden coordinates the department; Yvan Desmedt has ‘great expertise in Belgian competition law and telecoms regulation’. Of counsel Jörg Hladjk joined from Hunton & Williams.

Loyens & Loeff’s IT and telecoms sector-focused team forms part of the litigation and risk management department; it provides advice that is ‘accurate and to the point’. The group mainly handles corporate, IP, regulatory, tax and contentious matters. It acted for Alcatel-Lucent on the Belgian law aspects of the public takeover bid by Nokia. Practice head Yves Van Couter is recommended.

Qualified to practise in Belgium and France, the Brussels-based IT lawyers at McGuireWoods LLP are valued for their ‘outstanding level of service’ and ‘sophisticated legal engineering’. The firm has notable expertise in cloud computing, data security and data breaches. Active clients include IP Nexia and eGentic. Practice head Paul van den Bulck shows ‘creativity and personal commitment’; he regularly arbitrates in IT and IP disputes.

The TMT group at Verhaegen Walravens focuses on IT contracts, data protection, transactional matters, regulatory work, and litigation. The recommended Emmanuel Szafran heads the ‘responsive team’, which ‘provides specially tailored advice’.

Ambos NBGO Advocaten handles corporate and commercial mandates, IT-related acquisitions and contentious matters for a wide range of tech companies; IT, data privacy and web-related issues are other areas of focus. Kathleen Paisley and Bart Vandereeckt are the key partners.

Astrea’s lawyers are ‘responsive, sophisticated and strategic in their approach’. The team has specialist expertise in ICT and online gaming, handling technology transactions and advising on data privacy and outsourcing issues. Microsoft and Invenso are key clients. Steven de Schrijver ‘has been active in the IT industry for many years’. Pieter Paepe was appointed as junior partner.

Koan Law Firm’s TMT practice acts for a diverse client base across a wide range of matters, including media-related contracts, data protection, e-commerce and software licensing. Jan Decorte heads the department, which hired IP lawyer Christine De Keersmaeker from Olswang Belgium LLP.

Lydian handles mandates in the areas of ICT, data protection and privacy, mainly for international clients such as Deutsche Telekom. New practice head Bastiaan Bruyndonckx joined the firm from Linklaters. Annick Mottet Haugaard and Yves Lenders are other names to note.

NautaDutilh successfully defended Rocoluc in Brussels Commercial Court proceedings brought by several casinos regarding the use of the term ‘casino’ in its trade name. Philippe Péters is the name to note.

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