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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 > Private equity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Private equity
  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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Highly regarded firm Allen & Overy LLP is well known for its prominence in the private equity sector, having taken lead roles on numerous high-profile transactions over the years. With a strong presence in the Benelux region and globally, the team is a popular choice among domestic and international players in the market, including investors, arrangers and management teams, and, on the other side of the table, it also represents investee companies. Highlights included Wouter Van de Voorde and senior associate Frederiek Adams advising CVC Capital Partners on the purchase of Corialis from Advent International for €1bn. Other key contacts include department head Pierre-Olivier Mahieu and Dirk Meeus.

Loyens & Loeff provides ‘a very good and commercially minded service’ to its clients, which include leading Belgium, Benelux and international private equity houses. In recent developments, the firm established a multidisciplinary and cross-office start-up team in 2016, headed by senior associate Robrecht Coppens. It also has a strong track record in venture capital transactions. Its capacity to advise on fund formation and structuring, through its cooperation with the firm’s Benelux funds practice, is another distinguishing feature. A team led by Grégoire Jakhian and Wim Vande Velde recently assisted new client Iconiq Capital with an investment in Belgian company Collibra. Other clients include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Lion Capital and Doughty Hanson. Stefaan Deckmyn heads the practice.

The ‘strong team of business professionals’ at Stibbe has vast experience in private equity and venture capital investments, either working with major funds directly or through collaboration with leading international law firms. Recent highlights include its work as investor’s counsel to Belgian private equity fund Fin.Co on its acquisition of Sipm Group, where Dries Hommez took a lead role. Practice head Stefan Odeurs assisted Gilde with the buy- and carve-out of Linde subsidiary Chemogas. The team also counts Gimv, Creafund and KKR among its longstanding clients. Jan Peeters and Wouter Ghijsels are also noted.

Koen Vanhaerents heads the private equity practice at Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL, the strengths of which echo those of the firm as a whole, and include a strong capacity to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions for well-known clients. On the seller side, recent highlights include its advice to Oystershell on its acquisition by Gilde; Luc Meeus and Davinia Martens led the advice. Meeus also assisted Valience with a substantial new financing round of Feops. The highly experienced Dominique Maes is another key figure.

Clifford Chance has extensive experience in private equity, a market in which it saw high levels of activity during 2016 and 2017. Among its major work highlights was its work for the sellers Advent International and the management of Corialis on the sale of the latter to CVC Capital Partners; a cross-border team including Philippe Hamer in Brussels handled the transaction. Private equity also forms a key part of Niek De Pauw’s practice.

A ‘preferred firm’ in private equity and corporate M&A, Dechert LLP fields ‘a very efficient and responsive’ team helmed by Eric Deltour, who draws broad praise from clients and peers. It has significant experience in mid-market private equity transactions in Belgium, and benefits from a strong office network in high-profile, global deals. In addition to acting for traditional private equity funds, it also advises high-net-worth individuals and families. Senior associate Geoffroy Fink is also noted.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acts for UK-based private equity firms and leading firms in Belgium and the Benelux region. Vincent Macq heads the department, in which principal associate Frederic Elens is an active member. The pair were part of a cross-office team which advised CVC Capital Partners on the sale of one of its Belgian portfolio companies, Praesidiad, to The Carlyle Group. Geert Verhoeven assisted the sellers, which included Belgium-based private equity and venture capital funds, with the sale of Multiplicom to Agilent Technologies.

White & Case LLP acts for a wide range of private equity players and corporate clients on investments, acquisitions, capital increases and reorganisations. The team recently advised angel investment fund Belcube on an equity increase in start-up company Qover. Practice head Thierry Bosly, associate Camille Deveseleer and Muriel Alhadeff, who was promoted from local partner to partner in 2017, receive praise for their ‘accuracy, availability and negotiation skills’. Hadrien Servais advises corporates, private equity investors and banks.

Altius’ private equity practice spans investments, buyouts, recapitalisations and exits. In the venture capital space, the team has developed expertise in investments in early-stage life sciences and technology companies. Tom Vantroyen has been providing ongoing advice to Blackstone on various real estate investments and exits. Jérôme Vermeylen, Carine Van Regenmortel and counsel Marie Brasseur are other key contacts. Access Capital Partners and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity Belgium are also clients.

Boutique corporate, tax and banking firm Argo Law has an impressive private equity practice, where it acts for well-known actors in the market. It is also well versed in fund formation, tax structuring and regulatory issues. Nico Goossens, Kris Verdoodt and Bert Van Ingelghem are the key names.

Linklaters combines a deep insight into the Belgium market with global capabilities in corporate, finance and private equity. Arnaud Coibion leads the team, which collaborates with colleagues in the IP, pensions and tax groups to provide a full-service offering to private equity clients. In one headline matter, Coibion and associate Michael Heene advised The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of Praesidiad from CVC Capital Partners.

Monard Law is praised for the ‘exceptionally good quality of its partners and senior lawyers’. The private equity practice excels in domestic transactions and also handles acquisitions, add-on acquisitions, investments and capital increases. Youri Steverlynck and Pieter Van den Broeck are recommended.

The ‘excellent partners’ at Strelia have ‘an eye for detail’ and provide ‘objective solutions at the point of deadlock’. The team acts for buyers and sellers on a range of private equity transactions, and is particularly active in the biotech sector. Gisèle Rosselle and Laurent Verhavert are recommended.

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