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Crowell & Moring

RUE JOSEPH STEVENS 7, 1000 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Tel:
Work +32 2 282 40 82
Fax:
Fax +32 2 230 63 99
Web:
www.crowell.com

Thomas De Meese

Tel:
Work +32 2 282 1842
Email:
Crowell & Moring LLP

Work Department

Competition law (Belgian, EU and Global), technology, media and telecommunications, litigation and trial.

Position

Thomas focuses on antitrust law in Belgium and the EU. He is a skilled and experienced litigator before the Belgian courts and represents complainants and defendants in competition investigations before the Belgian Competition Authority and the European Commission. Thomas represents clients in merger control matters at the Belgian and EU level. He is involved in complex litigation affecting the media and telecommunications sectors. Thomas regularly advises on distribution issues, technology licensing, patent pools, big data, joint bidding, standard setting, trade associations, pricing by dominant companies, etc. He assists clients on e-commerce and Internet-related issues such as ISP liability, online services, distance selling, and e-advertisement. He regularly drafts and negotiates complex telecommunication  agreements such as MVNO deals or interconnection agreements. Thomas regularly represents one of the main players in the field of internet, telephony and interactive digital TV in Flanders in contentious and non-contentious matters. In addition, Thomas has inter alia successfully represented online and land-based bookmakers in litigation against government-owned incumbent operators.

Career

Associate, Price & Partners 1993-96; associate, De Bauw & Maeyaert 1996-2000; partner, De Bauw & Maeyaert 2001; partner, Crowell & Moring 2001 to date.

Languages

Dutch, French, German, English.

Member

Lawyer, member of the Dutch-speaking Brussels Bar 1993. Registered foreign lawyer with the Law Society of England and Wales 2001. Member of the International Bar Association 1996; Ligue Internationale du Droit de la Concurrence; Interactice Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Education

University of Antwerp (Licence en Droit 1992); College of Europe (Master of Advanced European Studies, 1993).


Belgium

Competition: Belgian law

Within: Competition: Belgian law

Crowell & Moring's competition and intellectual property practices work closely together in matters involving an interface between the two disciplines. This is particularly evident in the firm's work for life sciences sector clients, but is also illustrated in matters involving other industries; competition group head Thomas De Meese and intellectual property partner Kristof Roox are co-leading a team which is representing the Federation of Music Festivals in Flanders at the Court of Appeal in Brussels in proceedings concerning the increase by Sabam of copyright royalties for licenses to use the works of its members. The team also undertakes a significant amount of competition work for clients in the gaming industry; names such as EGBA and Unibet turn to the firm for advice. The TMT sector is another core area of strength of the team, as was illustrated recently when De Meese and others assisted Telenet with obtaining unconditional clearance from the Belgium Competition Authority of its acquisition of Nextel. Elsewhere, the firm has been involved in three out of the seven interim measure cases undertaken by the BCA since 2013. In addition to De Meese, the group also includes senior counsel Jules Stuyck and counsel Karl Stas; the latter is a recent hire from Jones Day. Grégoire Ryelandt moved to Deprevernet.

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Competition: EU and global

Within: Competition: EU and global

Crowell & Moring has a well-established reputation assisting US and Europe-headquartered clients with their most significant, cross-border competition issues. Although its team is particularly well-known for its work in the TMT and life sciences sectors, the practice generates mandates from clients in other industries, such as automotive, food and drink, and gaming. Group head Thomas De Meese and associate Evi Mattioli are advising Liberty Global on obtaining EC clearance of its acquisition of sole control of De Vijver Media and the set-up of an ad-sales joint venture with Mediahuis. In another matter, following the EC's decision to fine European truck manufacturers for their alleged involvement in a price-fixing cartel, De Meese, Sean-Paul Brankin and others are gathering together  a group of claimants (by way of a special purpose vehicle known as Stichting Truck Cartel Recovery) to pursue litigation in the Netherlands against the members of the alleged cartel that was investigated by the EC, as well as other truck manufacturers. Unibet, DuPont/Chemours, Bloomberg and Nestlé are among other clients. Senior counsel Jules Stuyck, who joined from Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick in 2017, is also recommended. Counsel Karl Stas is a recent hire from Jones Day.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Dispute resolution

Crowell & Moring handles the full range of patent litigation for a number of prominent pharmaceutical clients, and is active in arbitration, cross-border and TMT cases. Thomas De Meese and Kristof Roox, who specialises in IP litigation, jointly lead the team.  Emmanuel Plasschaert is also highly regarded.

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EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection

Within: Leading individuals

Thomas De Meese - Crowell & Moring

Within: EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection

Crowell & Moring's practice is well known for advising a client base that spans the energy, healthcare, life sciences and TMT sectors, and the firm reports an increase in instructions from the automotive and media industries; Mercedes Benz is a key client. Senior counsel Frederik Van Remoortel heads the department. Thomas De Meese, who is highly regarded for his expertise in competition law, and employment expert Emmanuel Plasschaert are key names. Senior counsel Maarten Stassen, who has extensive experience in data protection matters, joined from Deloitte Legal in October 2017.

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Industry focus: IT and telecoms

Within: Leading individuals

Thomas De Meese - Crowell & Moring

Within: Industry focus: IT and telecoms

Crowell & Moring's TMT practice is highlighted for its regulatory advice and telecoms sector expertise. Thomas De Meese is representing Telenet, alongside counsel Karl Stas, who was a new arrival from Jones Day, in an appeal of the Belgian regulators' decision relating to open access to the client's cables. The group also counts Liberty Global and Melita among its clients. Flip Petillion left to establish boutique firm Petillion. Emmelie Wijckmans is now with contrast.

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Industry focus: media and entertainment

Within: Leading individuals

Thomas De Meese - Crowell & Moring

Within: Industry focus: media and entertainment

'Excellent firm' Crowell & Moring has 'a highly specialised' and 'very accessible' technology, media and entertainment team which has strength handling the full range of contentious and non-contentious, IP, regulatory, corporate and commercial matters in the space. The department successfully represented Federatie van Muziekfestivals in Vlaanderen in opposing the Belgian Association of Authors, Composers and Publishers (Sabam)'s increase in copyright royalties. Thomas De Meese led a team representing Unibet in a dispute following the termination of a sponsorship agreement with Belgian football club Standard Liège. 'Sharp lawyer and good litigator' Jan-Diederik Lindemans has 'a proactive approach' and heads the team alongside De Meese. Telenet, Universal Music and  Liberty Global Europe are also clients. Counsel Karl Stas' arrival from Jones Day bolsters the team's antitrust offering in this space. Flip Petillion  left to establish boutique firm Petillion.

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