The Legal 500

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24 BAB
Aberdeen, Algiers, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing and 70 more


Aviation - ranked: tier 3


CMS advises airports and airlines on a range of state aid and competition law issues. Recent work includes advising Montpellier Airport on the European Commission’s investigation into alleged aid granted to Ryanair. Swissport is another key client, for which the team has been handling litigation concerning the granting of licences to provide ground handling services, along with a stream of corporate and commercial issues. The ‘proactive and creativeAnnabelle Lepièce leads the team, which includes experienced associate Hanne Baeyens.

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Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 3


CMS is particularly active in real estate and acquisition finance and is also noted for its capital markets expertise. In recent work, counsel Benoît Vandervelde advised Deutsche Bank on the €100m bonds issuance by SPGE. Arnaud Van Oekel and Bruno Duquesne are the key partners.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 3


Good all-round firmCMS has a highly regarded corporate department, which is ‘very committed’ and ‘very responsive’. Recent highlights include advising Burger King on the potential acquisition of Belgium fast food chain Quick, and assisting ABN Amro Lease with a cross-border merger with Dutch entity ABN Amro Lease NV. Key practitioners include practice head Vincent Dirckx, ‘outstanding lawyerArnaud Van Oekel, Stéphane Collin and senior associate David Prync.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3


Among CMS’ recent caseload, counsel Marie Canivet successfully represented Medicare-Market in a case brought by Ordre des Pharmaciens, the Association Pharmaceutique Belge and several pharmacies challenging its economic model. IP specialist Renaud Dupont heads the department.

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Employment - ranked: tier 3


Top choice for sensitive files’, CMS’ group impresses with its ‘quick responses and solutions’. Practice head Gaël Chuffart, who is ‘authoritative and knowledgeable’, advised Toyota on a restructuring involving several dismissals. The newly promoted Sophie Berg provides ‘commercial and spot-on advice’ and Jef Degrauwe is also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Sophie Berg - CMS

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Insolvency and restructuring
Insolvency and restructuring - ranked: tier 3


At CMS, the team has ‘a decisive, practical and business-like’ approach and the ability to ‘consider the continuity of the business at all times’. Practice head Jean-François Goffin recently advised Idempapers on its judicial reorganisation. On the creditor side, Goffin is advising Namur Invest on Promomed’s bankruptcy proceedings.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2


CMS represents companies in highly regulated sectors, including TMT, chemicals, food and beverage and pharmaceutical. The IP team covers patents, copyrights and trade marks, with ancillary expertise in anti-counterfeiting and customs actions. Tom Heremans heads the department; Renaud Dupont and Tom De Cordier are also active members of the team.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 3


At CMS, the real estate group’s ‘local experience, connections and insights are invaluable’ and it is also highlighted for offering ‘good value for money’. Transactional real estate and property finance are among the team’s areas of expertise. In addition, its urban planning and environmental law capabilities were strengthened by the arrival of counsel Gregory Verhelst in 2016 from a Belgian firm. Pierre-Axel Chabot is active in the hotels industry. Bruno Duquesne is also recommended.

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Tax - ranked: tier 4


CMS has experience in the gamut of taxation matters, covering direct and indirect tax. It regularly advises its multinational clients on the tax aspects of real estate and corporate transactions. Olivier Querinjean and real estate tax expert Didier Grégoire are the names to note.

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Belgium: Competition

Belgian law
Competition: Belgian law - ranked: tier 3


CMS’ merger with Olswang boosted its competition practice through the arrival of Dirk Van Liedekerke, whose experience covers an expansive range of merger clearance, investigations, compliance issues and litigation. Annabelle Lepièce is also a key contact and has ‘a practical and pragmatic approach’. Recent work includes advising AMP, as a subsidiary of Lagardère Travel Retail, on its acquisition by bpost.

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Belgium: EU regulatory

Privacy and data protection
EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection - ranked: tier 1


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.

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Belgium: Industry focus

IT and telecoms
Industry focus: IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2


CMS’ team ‘has excellent knowledge in Belgian and EU telecom and data privacy matters’ and provides ‘pragmatic advice with the business perspective in mind’. The group has recently been acting for Proximus in appeals against various decisions of the telecoms regulator. Other clients include Facebook, Amazon Web Services and Swift. ‘Excellent’ practice head Tom De Cordier ‘provides comprehensive regulatory and business advice’. Dirk Van Liedekerke specialises in EU law and telecoms. Associates Anne-Michèle Goris and Adrien van den Branden are also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Tom De Cordier - CMS

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Media and entertainment
Industry focus: Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2


CMS has a good track record handling M&A and commercial and IP litigation for sports and media companies; it also benefits from the firm’s extensive European office network in EU-wide matters. Key practitioners in the multi-disciplinary team are Tom Heremans, Tom De Cordier and Renaud Dupont.

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Further information on CMS

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about CMS in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Dubai


Offices in Tirana



Offices in Vienna


Offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Brussels, Brussels, and Brussels

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Offices in Sarajevo


Offices in Sofia and Sofia


Offices in Beijing, Beijing, and Shanghai


Offices in Zagreb

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague


Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, and Munich


Offices in Algiers


Offices in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona


Offices in Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong and Hong Kong


Offices in Budapest

Latin America: International firms


Offices in Rome and Milan


Offices in Beirut


Offices in London EC4N and London EC3A


Offices in Luxembourg


Offices in Casablanca


Offices in Podgorica


Offices in Utrecht and Amsterdam

North West

Offices in Manchester


Offices in Muscat


Offices in Warsaw and Poznan


Offices in Lisbon


Offices in Bucharest


Offices in Moscow


Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen

South East

Offices in Reading


Offices in Singapore, Singapore, and Singapore


Offices in Ljubljana

South West

Offices in Bristol


Offices in Zurich and Geneva


Offices in Kiev and Kiev

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield S2 and Sheffield S2


Offices in Belgrade

Legal Developments by:

  • Access to justice: protective costs orders in planning challenges

    Third parties and competing developers have no rights of appeal to the Secretary of State against planning decisions. Disappointed applicants can appeal to the Secretary of State and can have the merits of the application reconsidered. The only remedy available to a disappointed third party is a challenge by way of judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. The sense of frustration and disempowerment this creates has not been helped by the increasing complexity of the planning process and the use of consultation to legitimise decisions that many perceive may already have been taken.
    - CMS Group

Legal Developments in Belgium

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