Aviation in Belgium
The aviation team at HFW has established expertise across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters in the sector, with solid capabilities in EU and non-EU issues. In an example of the latter, practice head Pierre Frühling provides ongoing advice to Delta Air Lines on security and regulatory matters, most recently on implementing the updated EU Package Travel Directive legislation. Stéphanie Golinvaux is another key member of the team. Senior associate Elisabeth Decat left the firm in May 2018.
Kennedys' 'very responsive and knowledgeable' team is highly regarded for its expertise in complex litigation, and also assists clients with regulatory and M&A issues. Air Belgium is an active client; practice head Dimitri De Bournonville leads the advice to the company on setting up a long-haul airline with a Belgian base. Etihad Airways, Ryanair, Emirates and Rotana Jet are also clients. Senior associates Charlotte Thijssen and Cyril-Igor Grigorieff are key members of the group.
Allen & Overy LLP
At Allen & Overy LLP, key contact Werner Eyskens leads a multidisciplinary team of environmental, public law and litigation specialists in acting for various carriers in ongoing noise limitation infringement proceedings. KLM Airlines is another key client. Regulatory matters are another area of expertise.
The team at boutique firm Erkelens Law attracts praise for its 'expert advice' and 'in-depth knowledge', and practice head Catherine Erkelens stands out for her 'knowledge and expertise' in aviation law. Recent work includes representing KF Aerospace and Lufthansa in separate noise standards infringement proceedings.
At Monard Law, Birgitta Van Itterbeek is the key contact for aviation work. Aircraft leasing and financing are core strengths of the practice; Van Itterbeek leads the advice to Equatorial Congo Airlines on its complex cross-border restructuring, and in another matter, assisted longstanding client TUI Airlines Belgium with leasing four B737-800 Max aircraft, marking the first operation of the model in Belgium. Associate Julie Van Nieuwenhove left the firm in December 2017.
The 'dynamic and very responsive' team at CMS has notable strength in handling state aid and competition law matters for a client base of airlines and airports. Recent work includes representing Tahiti Airport in a dispute with another airline regarding the application of a start-up aid scheme. The group also assisted Sowaer, a company which owns airport infrastructure in the Wallonia region, with issues pertaining to the European Commission's investigation into alleged aid granted to Ryanair by the region and Charleroi Airport. Annabelle Lepièce is the key name, and associate Hanne Baeyens is also recommended.
Ilse Van de Mierop and Bob Martens are two of the key names at DLA Piper for non-contentious and contentious aviation sector matters, which are handled by a cross-practice group of regulatory, finance and litigation experts. Key clients include Sabena, Securitas Transport Aviation Security, Aviapartner and the region of Wallonia.
Michael Jürgen Werner is the key contact for Norton Rose Fulbright's Belgian aviation practice, which is housed within the firm's antitrust and competition department and is part of its highly regarded global aviation practice. The client base includes prominent names in the aviation sector, which the group assists with competition, regulatory and state aid issues.
Stibbe's 'strong' group, comprising public, employment, corporate, litigation and environmental law specialists, handles a range of aviation work. The team represents a client base of airports, government authorities and manufacturers, among others, across a spread of non-contentious and contentious matters. Key clients include Belgocontrol and Brussels Airport Company. David D’Hooghe heads the practice.