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DLA Piper

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Aviation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, a multidisciplinary team of litigation, regulatory, finance and employment specialists handles contentious and non-contentious issues for players in the aviation sector, including airlines and airports. Ilse Van de Mierop, Bob Martens and Annelies Verlinden represented ground handling services company Aviapartner in multiple court proceedings challenging the award of licences to operate at Brussels Airport to a third party.

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Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, the integrated transactional finance and finance regulatory practice has a strong profile for infrastructure, real estate and renewables financing. Its expertise in infrastructure financing was demonstrated by its involvement in the refinancing of the north-south Kempen road PPP, where it represented the sponsor. Johan Mouraux and counsel Axelle Van Den Broeck are the names to note.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

At the ‘business-orientedDLA Piper, the team provides ‘very accurate and to-the-point answers’. The broad corporate practice handles M&A, reorganisations, capital markets, private equity and venture capital transactions. It has developed an impressive start-up practice, where its corporate partners work alongside colleagues in the IP and technology department. It is also a popular choice for multinational companies; clients include Pfizer, GE and Waterland Private Equity. Koen Selleslags has ‘a down-to-earth and easy-going personality with a genuine focus on customer satisfaction’. Caroline Daout heads the corporate team and also co-chairs the firm’s Africa group.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The ‘client-oriented team’ at DLA Piperlives up to high expectations’, under ‘dedicated and effective’ group head Annelies Verlinden’s leadership. The group also includes Christian Van Buggenhout, who provides ‘phenomenal strategic legal insight’, and Bob Martens, who ‘always strives to find the winning argument’. Highlights included representing Aviapartner in challenging the award of ground handling licences by The Brussels Airport Company to Swissport and Flightcare.

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Employment - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘very responsive and supportive’ team provides ‘sound and pragmatic advice’. Employment head Eddy Lievens is ‘a clear communicator’ and advised Feilo Sylvania Lighting Belgium on the closure of its Tienen manufacturing plant and the subsequent dismissal of 170 employees. It also has strong experience in health and safety matters, pensions law and contentious work.

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Fraud and white-collar crime
Fraud and white-collar crime - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

The ‘extremely committed team’ at DLA Piper advises on a diverse spread of fraud and white-collar crime matters relating to bribery, money laundering and environmental fraud offences, tax-related issues and compliance. The ‘very strategicChristian Van Buggenhout heads a group that was recently boosted by the arrival of senior associate Catherine Gysels from Advo.Noord Advocatenkantoor.

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Insolvency and restructuring
Insolvency and restructuring - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

The ‘top-tier practice’ at DLA Piper is commended for ‘always going that extra mile for clients’, with experienced group head Ilse Van de Mieropa market leader’. The team also includes ‘excellent lawyerChristian Van Buggenhout and the ‘great to work withJoris De Vos. Van de Mierop and Van Buggenhout are acting as trustees in the headline bankruptcy of major Belgian airline Sabena. Creditors and investors also regularly turn to the firm for assistance and other clients include Lone Star and Icici Bank.

Leading individuals

Ilse Van de Mierop - DLA Piper

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The ‘great team’ at DLA Piper handles IP cases at a national and international level, forming an integral part of the firm’s global IP and technology group. Aside from its client base of well-known and well-established companies, it has developed an active practice advising start-ups on IP issues surrounding new and disruptive technologies. Alexis Fierens is ‘a rising star’.

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Not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper maintains a strong commitment to pro bono work across its offices. Through the firm’s "new perimeter" programme, its lawyers provide long-term pro bono assistance in emerging markets. In Belgium, the social responsibility and pro bono practice is headed by finance and project expert Johan Mouraux. In recent work, Annelies Verlinden advised OCMW Balen on new housing and care infrastructure and service flats.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

A good competitor in the Belgian real estate market’, DLA Piper is noted for its ‘constructive and solution-driven advice, which is outstanding compared to other law firms’. Areas of focus and specialism for the practice include retail, offices, elderly care, logistics and warehouses. Clients include Wereldhave Belgium, KBC Real Estate and Prowinko. Dirk Caestecker is ‘dedicated, smart and fast’ and Michaël Bollen has ‘in-depth market knowledge’.

Leading individuals

Dirk Caestecker - DLA Piper

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Tax - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The ‘responsive’ team at DLA Piper provides ‘to-the-point’ advice. Practice head Ortwin Carron is noted for his ‘ability to understand and respond to clients’ needs in an efficient and no-fuss manner’; he advised Pfizer on the tax aspects relevant to the simplification of the legal structure in which it owns and uses a large office building in Brussels.

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Belgium: Competition

EU and global
Competition: EU and global - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Responsive and pragmatic’, DLA Piper equips clients with the tools to ‘make informed decisions and implement business objectives’. Group head Bertold Bär-Bouyssière has ‘a wealth of experience’ and represented Merck & Co in the EC investigation into reverse patent settlements; he also has strong expertise in merger review and state aid cases. Daniel Colgan is another key name in a team that also acts for Bayer, Campine Recycling and Duracell.

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Belgium: EU regulatory

Chemicals and environment
EU regulatory: Chemicals and environment - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s diverse practice spans environmental litigation, defence of environmental prosecutions, REACH matters, waste management and transactional support. Litigator Bob Martens advised Suez on deploying a new form of waste collection for recycling purposes.

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Financial services
EU regulatory: Financial services - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper regularly advises public and private companies and government entities on payment systems, capital markets, collective investment schemes, insurance matters and clearing and settlement issues. Experienced counsel Axelle Van Den Broeck advised HomeSend on obtaining its licence as a regulated payment institution. In 2017, key partner Koen Vanderheyden left the firm. Pierre Berger was a new arrival in July 2018 from Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL.

Leading individuals

Pierre Berger - DLA Piper

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Information technology
EU regulatory: Information technology - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

The ‘highly professional’ practice at DLA Piper is jointly headed by ‘exceptional ICT leaderKristof De Vulder and data protection specialist Patrick Van Eecke. The group acts for customers and vendors on the full range of regulatory IT matters including outsourcing, cloud projects and litigation. Adobe, Amazon and bpost are among its key clients.

Leading individuals

Kristof De Vulder - DLA Piper

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Pharma, medical devices and biotech
EU regulatory: Pharma, medical devices and biotech - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Bertold Bär-Bouyssière heads DLA Piper’s multidisciplinary pharmaceutical practice, which handles a broad mix of EU regulatory matters, competition, data protection, corporate support and litigation. The team provides ongoing support to Vifor Pharma in its efforts to combat parallel trade.

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s group is led by Patrick Van Eecke, who has a strong record in data protection, electronic signatures, consumer protection and advertising. Recent work includes assisting Zoetis with its GDPR readiness project. Kristof De Vulder is another key contact in a group that also counts Nike, Porsche and Salesforce as clients. Antoon Dierick left to become chief legal officer at DR Gaming Technology. Peter Craddock joined from legal consulting company Consilio.

Leading individuals

Patrick Van Eecke - DLA Piper

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Belgium: Industry focus

Industry focus: Energy - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

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.

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Food and beverage
Industry focus: Food and beverage - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, an interdisciplinary team of lawyers with backgrounds in technology, regulatory, IP and commercial law handle significant mandates from food and beverage sector companies. Practice head Patrick Van Eecke has extensive experience in the food sector, where his work encompasses e-commerce, privacy, advertising and IP. Longstanding clients include Mondelēz, Barry Callebaut, Coca-Cola and Hard Rock Cafe.

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Healthcare and life sciences
Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a multidisciplinary approach, covering everything from antitrust to employment to data protection for its life sciences clients. A multi-jurisdictional team led by Bertold Bär-Bouyssière is representing Merck & Co in high-profile litigation concerning reverse patent settlements. Other clients include Abbott, GSK and Pfizer. Data privacy and security specialist Patrick Van Eecke is another key contact.

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IT and telecoms
Industry focus: IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

The ‘highly committed and professional’ team at DLA Piper acts for IT vendors and users, and national and international telecoms operators on large-scale projects and disputes. As part of its pro bono practice, the team also advises charities and international institutions on data protection, IP and technology. Practice head Kristof De Vulder is ‘an exceptional ICT leader in Belgium’; he and Raf Schoefs advised an IT provider on negotiating and drafting a new outsourcing agreement with the client’s largest customer. Patrick Van Eecke and Ivanka Zdravkova are also noted.

Leading individuals

Kristof De Vulder - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

Ivanka Zdravkova - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice spans all sub-sectors of the media and entertainment industry, including gaming, where the firm has developed particular expertise, as well as film and television and music. Patrick Van Eecke has been assisting Unibet with regulatory matters affecting its gambling platform across Europe. Raf Schoefs is another key contact.

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Industry focus: Retail - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, the ‘legal thinking is combined with a lot of experience’; it is highly recommended for its knowledge of the retail sector, which is among the firm’s global focus areas. The team’s client base includes household-name retailers as well as landlords and investors. Employment partner Eddy Lievens is praised for his ‘in-depth strategic thinking’; real estate specialist Dirk Caestecker is also noted.

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Industry focus: Transport - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Under the leadership of Bob Martens, DLA Piper is active in the field of transport, including aviation, ports, harbours, rail and light rail. It benefits from an office in Antwerp as well as Brussels, and is also regularly engaged in EU-wide and multi-jurisdictional work. Carole Maczkovics ‘provides very comprehensive and very understandable advice regarding transport and logistics regulations’.

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in Belgium

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