Commercial, corporate and M&A in Belgium
Allen & Overy LLP
With offices in Brussels and Antwerp, Allen & Overy LLP combines local expertise with a full service offering to provide 'proactive and practical solution-oriented advice and innovative solutions'. The group is active in locally sourced mid-market transactions and benefits from the ability to leverage its international network in cross-border deals. 'Knowledgeable and down-to-earth' practice head Wouter Van de Voorde has particular expertise in the private equity, media, financial services and industrials sectors, and recently acted for Mediahuis on the sale of its 50% stake in De Vijver Media. Van de Voorde is based in Antwerp, while the Brussels office includes managing partner of the Belgium offices Dirk Meeus, and Pierre-Olivier Mahieu, who recently advised Brussels Airport Company on the sale of a 36% stake in the company to Swiss Life, QIC and APG Group. Brussels-based Frederiek Adams is particularly strong for private equity transactions.
‘They think with the client and look for solutions instead of simply flagging the issues.‘
‘Great team, always available, business enablers.‘
‘It’s always a true pleasure of working with Wouter Van de Voorde, he proposes innovative solutions to tricky issues and is always available for brainstorming sessions.‘
Magotteaux International SA
Brussels Airport Company NV
Roularta Media Group (RMG)
Monaco Resources Group
- Advising Brussels Airport Company on the acquisition by Swiss Life, QIC and APG Group of a 36% stake in the company from two Macquarie funds.
- Acted for Athora on its €540m acquisition of Generali Belgium.
- Acting for Mediahuis on its sale of a 50% stake in De Vijver Media to Telenet. It is also assisting the same client with setting up a new advertising sales house through a joint venture with SBS Belgium.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
With 'highly technical and skilled lawyers with strong transactional expertise', Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's corporate team attracts praise for its 'impeccable work ethic' and ability to 'bring a deal to conclusion and find common ground among parties'. The group is particularly active on cross-border transactions, and was instructed by Umicore on its acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor operations in Kokkola, Finland. Filip Moerman is frequently instructed on cross-border mandates, with particular expertise in transactions involving China, while Laurent Legein has experience in financial services M&A. Other names to note include senior counsel Jan Meyers and counsel Géraldine Bourguignon, who handles corporate and securities law issues.
‘Corporate and M&A is not just about legal expertise; the Cleary team has provided much more than a legal advisor tradtitionally would, their all-dimensional services were highly recommended.‘
‘They understand the needs of their client, no or very little guidance needed, and are pro-active in flagging issues but also opportunities.‘
‘Carlo Meert and Laurent Legein are highly technical and offer creative solutions to be able to bring together parties around a table and have a real impact on the deal.‘
Ackermans & van Haaren
Bekaert BNP Paribas/BNP Paribas Fortis
CVC Capital Partners
Groupe Bruxelles Lambert
Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe
- Acted for CVC Capital Partners on its exit sale of Continental Foods to GBfoods, a division of Spanish food group Agrolimen.
- Advised Umicore on its acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor operations in Kokkola, Finland.
- Assisted Ontex with the unsolicited takeover bid for all its outstanding shares by PAI Partners.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The corporate finance team at Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL has 'strong commercial and technical capabilities' paired with the full range of experience across corporate and commercial transactions. The group has particular expertise advising clients in the biotech and healthcare, insurance and financial service sectors, and recently advised Galapagos on its $5.1bn research and development collaboration with Gilead Sciences. Koen Vanhaerents heads up the team, which also includes Dominique Maes and Roel Meers.
‘We worked with Baker McKenzie in multiple M&A transactions in Belgium over a long period of time. We use other law firms in other countries, but get no legal services anywhere close to the services from Dominique Maes and his team.‘
‘Dominique Maes is one of the best M&A lawyers in the country, always available and always finding commercial solutions.‘
‘Dominique Maes is hands-on, an outstanding communicator and negotiator, leads a stable team of associates and delivers best-in-class work products. Always extremely motivated and committed.‘
‘Davinia Martens is an excellent lawyer, great in communication and drafting, sharp mind, very fine person, extremely motivated and committed.‘
Emerson Electric Co.
Mithra Pharmaceuticals SA
Bryan, Garnier & Co
KBC Securities NV
Sequana Medical NV
Belgian Growth Fund
VPK Packaging Group
- Advised Emerson Electric on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in AE Valves SPRL.
- Advised Galapagos on its $5.1bn research and development collaboration with Gilead Sciences.
- Advised the Belgian listed company Agfa on the strategic alliance of Agfa Graphics with Lucky HuaGang Graphics.
The corporate team at Clifford Chance handles the full range of corporate transactions and governance advice. The group counts large domestic and international companies and start-ups on its client roster. It also has particular experience assisting financial institutions and energy sector clients, and has been increasingly active in technology sector transactions; the group recently advised Sitecore on its acquisition of Stylelabs. Energy sector expert Xavier Remy heads up the team with Niek De Pauw. Other names to note include Henri D’Ursel, who has particular experience in corporate transactions in the real estate sector.
SPI (Sales Performance international)
Banque Degroof Petercam
Gilde Buyout Partners
Monaco Resources Group
- Advised a consortium on its successful acquisition of Macquarie’s stake in Brussels Airport.
- Advised Agrolimen on its acquisition of Continental Foods.
- Acted for a consortium on its acquisition of Euroports, one of the largest port terminal operators.
The corporate and M&A team at DLA Piper provides 'a combination of strong local teams, global network, sector knowledge and domain specific expertise which is relatively unique in Belgium'. The group is frequently instructed by international clients on local transactions and the domestic aspects of international mandates; it recently handled Prima Solutions Holding's acquisition of Belgian software company OOliba, and advised Pfizer on the global restructuring of its business into three business units: innovative, established and consumer healthcare. Caroline Daout, who frequently handles M&A and reorganisation transactions, and Erwin Simons, who has particular pharmaceuticals, logistics, manufacturing and infrastructure sector expertise, are both based in the Brussels office; while Koen Selleslags, who 'is excellent with great business acumen and problem-solving skills', is based in Antwerp alongside 'young, dynamic and upcoming partner' Michaël Heene, who recently arrived from Linklaters.
‘Good M&A practice with lawyers that are available and focused on bringing value for money.‘
‘They offer a combination of excellent technical legal skills and a pragmatic approach.‘
‘Combination of strong local teams, global network, sector knowledge and domain specific expertise which is relatively unique in Belgium.‘
‘The commercial, corporate and M&A team of DLA Piper has the talent of combining top-quality advice with a huge amount of pragmatism.‘
‘Knowledge of client’s corporate structures and policies.‘
‘Michael Heene offers a fresh wind at DLA Piper in Belgium; he is young, eager to deliver and perform.‘
‘Koen Selleslags is excellent with great business acumen and problem solving skills.‘
‘Koen Selleslags stands out as a partner for his client commitment and out-of-the-box mentality. He understands the commercial interests of his clients and masters his legal toolbox such that he is able to respond to their explicit requests and implicit needs alike.‘
‘Patrick Van Eecke is very knowledgeable around GDPR and is able to clarify complex matters in a brief and concrete manner.‘
‘Frederik Ringeloot is very responsive, pragmatic and to the point.’
Waterland Private Equity
Group Forrest International
Picsolve International Limited
- Advised Actility Benelux and its shareholders on the sale of its energy business to Veolia.
- Assisting Pfizer with its global restructuring of its business into three business units: innovative, established and consumer healthcare.
- Advised Belfius on its acquisition of the private portfolio management business of Candriam.
Eubelius' corporate team 'has a unique practice thanks to its in-house academic relations' which it leverages to provide 'top-notch advice on a wide variety of matters.' The group has particular experience assisting public entities and private clients, particularly in highly regulated sectors including the financial services, energy, food, data and new technology industries, with the full range of corporate and M&A transactions. The team, which includes individuals in Brussels, Antwerp and Kortrijk, is jointly led by Matthias Wauters, whose experience encompasses private and public M&A, restructurings and corporate litigation; Marieke Wyckaert, who frequently assists banks and private equity houses with transactions and governance matters; Lars Van Bever, who has particular expertise in corporate real estate, capital markets, private equity and venture capital work; and commercial partner Ignace Claeys. All noted individuals are based in Brussels.
‘With extensive knowledge of all corporate law related matters, the corporate/M&A team at Eubelius is always able to provide hands-on advice.‘
‘Eubelius is extremely constructive and is always thinking of solutions instead of simply identifying the issue. As such, they are applying a constructive approach to all negotiations and issues and can be construed as business enablers.‘
‘Excellent project management and in-depth knowledge of both legal framework and particulars of the case. Perfect combination of partner involvement and junior work.‘
‘Hands-on, proactive, very professional, adding real value for the customer with their solution-driven approach.‘
‘Felix Dobbelaere is a rising star in the Kortrijk office with his down-to-earth and pragmatic approach, combined with academic skills.‘
‘Philippe Mulliez and Marieke Wyckaert are also highly recommended.‘
‘Filip Jenné is a top lawyer. He is a go-to-man for all legal issues. A true partner in the client relation.‘
‘Erwin Destuyver is extremely knowledgeable about all matters related to M&A, PE, and corporate law and is always available to give innovative solutions to issues. He is always readily available to discuss matters with his clients. No issue is too complex and he will always come up with the best solution to any issue. It is a true pleasure working with him.’
‘Erwin Destuyver: for his extremely high availability and responsiveness, eye for detail and pragmatism, and helicopter view in every case.‘
‘Very accessible, down-to-earth people with a good sense of humour and a focus on the bigger picture.‘
Care Property Invest (CPI)
Damier/Vision Health Care
Domo Investment Group / Dovesco
ECS European Containers
Fedrus / APOK
Port of Antwerp
- Assisted Gilead with its ten-year worldwide research and development collaboration with Galapagos.
- Acted for the shareholders of Asco Group on its sale to Spirit AeroSystems Holdings.
- Acted for Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation on its acquisition of Praxair’s European gas business.
The corporate and finance team at Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick 'combines excellent local expertise and a full-service practice with a client-first mentality'. It is particularly recognised for its experience in infrastructure projects and has been active in corporate transactions in the energy, telecoms and technology sectors. Christel Van den Eynden heads up the practice, which includes Damien Conem who has 'a combination of strong technical knowledge, interpersonal skills and client focus'. Other names of note include counsel Wim Dedecker, who handles a range of corporate and capital market transactions.
‘They are a very responsive team and easy to work with. They give accurate fee estimates and do not surprise with unexpected fees. Their lawyers are first-rate and provide commercially sensible and comprehensive advice.‘
‘Very reliable, reactive and sound approaches to issues at stake, avoiding unnecessary complexities but nevertheless achieving the objectives. A really effective and practical approach to legal advice!‘
‘Professionalism and collegial approach works perfectly. Working with them now for a number of years leads to a business understanding which gives a quick understanding of the issues leading to better/fast solutions.‘
‘The team led by Damien Conem is extremely well organized, prompt, competent and pragmatic. They make complex projects seem simple and run smoothly. Fees are reasonable.‘
‘Customer-oriented, dedicated and flexible.‘
‘Pleasant and perfect to work with, well skilled and up-to-date knowledge.‘
‘Damien Conem is incredibly hardworking, knowledgeable and dedicated. He will get the deal done as efficiently as possible.‘
‘We had a very good experience working with Wim Dedecker and Charlotte Schaumans. They are very pleasant to deal with, responsive and reliable.‘
‘Christel Van den Eynden is unusually available and truly listens to her clients, building a strong rapport and understanding of expectations so that she can deliver the desired result. She is a pleasure to work with and can stand up to defend the client concerns arduously.‘
‘Ellen Vermeire is an up and coming young associate who makes sure that things are done when needed and is understanding and attentive to client requests, expectations and desires.‘
‘Damien Conem makes the difference. He’s not ‘simply’ one of the best M&A experts in the kingdom. He has a pragmatical approach and understands directly where we want to go (or not). Given our regular collaboration over the last years he knows very well our DNA in the aerospace sector, which is a strong and valuable advantage.‘
Grottes de Han
- Assisted Veolia with its acquisition of the HCI group.
- Advised Bilia, a Swedish listed large car dealership chain, on its acquisition of BMW and Mini dealer Verstraeten.
- Advised Global Graphics as target company on a mandatory public takeover bid launched by Congra.
Linklaters' corporate practice sits as part of the firm's merged corporate and finance group, which includes individuals with expertise spanning corporate and M&A transactions, securities and capital markets work, and restructuring issues. Antwerp-based Jean-Pierre Blumberg heads up the team, which includes Eric Pottier, Arnaud Coibion and Filip Lecoutre in Brussels. The latter was promoted to partner in May 2020. Michaël Heene moved to DLA Piper.
The 'dedicated and efficient' corporate and M&A team at Loyens & Loeff has 'strong technical skills' and 'a high-level of expertise and broad experience in corporate matters, especially cross-border transactions'. Practice head Grégoire Jakhian attracts praise for being 'an outstanding lawyer' with particular expertise in the aviation and energy sectors, while Wim Vande Velde is frequently instructed in transactions in the real estate sector. Other names to note include Robrecht Coppens, who is particularly active in the start-up and venture capital space, and counsel Godfried Ampe, who specialises in cross-border corporate structuring issues, governance matters and transactions. The group benefits from the addition of Vanessa Marquette who joined from Simont Braun and has experience handling real estate, banking and insurance sector M&A.
‘They articulate information in a very detailed way and fast way. They have prepared very nice documents for our inquiries. A very professional and prompt team.‘
‘They are even proactively guiding us on matters without us knowing about the legal changes in Belgium.‘
‘They have been one of the firms we use from time to time especially for M&A transactions in Europe. They have also provided general advice to our operations and helps us understand and fulfil the regulatory requirements.‘
‘Very good understanding of client’s needs. Available and reactive. Ability to comply with client’s deadlines. Very good knowledge of Belgium corporate law. Pragmatic.‘
‘Compared to other firms, L&L have a practical knowledge and approach that makes sense to business people, not just to lawyers.‘
‘Robrecht Coppens is extremely smart, very knowledgeable and he gave the right guidance to resolve an issue in between partners.‘
‘Nils Vermeulen is hardworking, very smart and result-oriented person.‘
‘Grégoire Jakhian has very broad experience, is a very good listener. His advices are very valuable.‘
‘Aubry Daerden is a promising lawyer. Efficient and responsive.‘
‘Robrecht Coppens is extremely intelligent, highly experienced and very responsive. Importantly for a U.S.-based client, his English is perfect, both in legal terms and in business terms.‘
Agilent Technologies Inc.
Altria Group Inc.
Antin Infrastructure Partners
Cappelle Holding NV
RKW Hyplast NV
Thomas Cook Group
- Assisted Praxair with the sale of three Belgian companies relating to its merger with Linde.
- Assisted Coty with a post-acquisition restructuring.
- Advised Orange on its acquisition of SecureLink Group.
With a strong Benelux presence, NautaDutilh's corproate and finance practice handles a range of domestic and cross-border corporate and commercial transactions. It counts energy, real estate and fast moving consumer goods sectors amounts its sector specialisms, and, with its ability to leverage its strong IP team, is a popular choice for life sciences, healthcare and technology clients. Didier De Vliegher is particularly well-known for real estate sector transactions, while Elke Janssens is active in the private equity and life sciences sectors. Other names to note include Dirk Van Gerven, who combines corporate and finance expertise, and Philippine De Wolf, who advises start-ups, SMEs and large corporates on transactions. The group was further strengthened with the arrival of Philippe Remels, who joined from Linklaters in late 2018 and is frequently instructed by clients in the healthcare, life sciences, chemicals and energy sectors.
ABN AMRO Bank
Johnson & Johnson
Vanbreda Risk & Benefits
- Assisted FNG with the acquisition of Ellos Group from Nordic Capital.
- Advised ABN AMRO on its acquisition of the Belgian private banking subsidiary of Société Générale.
- Advised IBM on the establishment of a joint venture with Belfius.
The corporate team at Stibbe is 'well-respected throughout the industry' and attracts praise for its 'pragmatic' and 'full-service' approach and for 'thinking beyond a specific case mandate'. The group, which is frequently instructed on a range of high-profile corporate and M&A transactions, has been particularly active in the real estate and technology sectors. In recent work examples, Jan Peeters assisted Alides with the sale of real estate company Immo SPA NV to Savills, and Jan Bogaert, who has particular experience in cross-border instructions, advised CapitalG on its €90m investment in Belgian's first unicorn company, Collibra. Stefan Odeurs, who is a name to note for private equity deals, heads up the practice, which also includes Pascal Vanden Borre and Dries Hommez.
‘The team has supported us well throughout the process, both in the SPA negotiations as well as the financing documentation.‘
‘The team involves other practices to give the client a full picture of the issue and resolution. Proactive attitude in anticipation of post-transaction tasks.‘
‘Problem-solving as opposed to problem-creating attitude in deals. Strong ability to develop creative angles to make a deal happen.’
‘Associate Willem Witters was outstanding with his knowledge of the file and work attitude and availability.‘
‘A unique combination of hard and soft skills across the organization – from associate to partner level.‘
Brazilian controlling shareholders of AB InBev
Clayton, Dublier & Rice
- Advised Spirit Aerosystems on its €540m acquisition of Asco.
- Advised A.E. Valves’ existing shareholders on the sale of shares to Emerson Electric and assisted with the entry into management agreements between A.E. Valves SPRL and its existing shareholders.
- Assisted CapitalG, Alphabet’s investment arm, with its €90m investment in Collibra, a Belgian-based leader in enterprise data governance and catalogue software.
ALTIUS' 'multidisciplinary and dedicated' corporate and M&A team is instructed on a range of transactions, with a particular focus on the digitalisation, energy and infrastructure, life and health, mobility, sports and entertainment sectors. The group attracts praise for 'always working in coordination' with other practice groups, including the firm's acquisition finance, tax, employment, IP and IT teams, to 'provide the client with a full range of expertise'. Carine Van Regenmortel is experienced in the media, insurance and construction sectors, while the 'very knowledgeable' Jérôme Vermeylen is particularly noted for cross-border mergers and reorganisations. Regenmortel and Vermeylen jointly lead the team, with Tom Vantroyen, who is particularly strong for private equity transactions, and Marie Brasseur, who combines M&A, private equity and finance expertise.
‘The team had excellent expertise and could quickly draw our attention to the specific points which we needed our consideration.‘
‘In my view, they gave top class advice at lower hourly rates than bigger international law firms.‘
‘They were excellent at planning / timing (always kept the deadline in sight) and taking into account our agenda, going the extra mile when it was needed.‘
‘Intensive, individual and reliable support was provided.‘
‘We were able to fall back on the expertise and advice at any time, even on weekends, and at no time did we have the impression that our inquiries were not answered willingly and courteously.‘
‘Always take the necessary time to understand the file and to lay the basis of the intervention.‘
‘Jérôme Vermeylen appeared to us as well-thought, clever, humble. His knowledge on M&A matters was impressive, and he could help us a lot on the spot (in conference calls etc) and was clear and humble if there were some aspects that needed further legal research.’
‘Excellent legal advice, high reliability, fast processing of inquiries, intensive assertion, high professionalism, good team spirit and excellent coordination with other international consultants.‘
‘Jérôme Vermeylen and Tom Vantroyen approach issues with serenity and propose imaginative solutions. They are efficient and it is easy to collaborate with them for the benefit of the clients.‘
Access Capital Partners
Blackstone Real Estate
Bnp Paribas Fortis Private Equity Belgium
Indufin Capital Partners
Sc Johnson & Son Inc.
- Assisted CRH with the Belgian aspects of the €1.6bn sale of its European distribution business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone.
- Advised the management of Access Capital Partners Group on the sale of a strategic stake to Alantra.
- Advised Viasat on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of the Spanish group Detector.
Antwerp-based corporate and tax boutique ARGO Law is a popular choice for corporate advice and transactions, and attracts praise for delivering 'very good work at a reasonable price'. The team is jointly led by Nico Goossens, who combines corporate and capital markets experience; the 'very down to earth and client-oriented' Bert Van Ingelghem, who has particular expertise in private equity transactions and in advising real estate investment companies, and Kris Verdoodt, who is frequently instructed by private equity firms. The team has continued to grow, and benefits from the additions of managing associates Henri Nelen and Mattias Verbeeck from Loyens & Loeff and Van Bael & Bellis respectively. Since publication, Filip Meire (who had made partner in January 2020) departed to set up corporate boutique law firm Ace Law.
‘They are down to earth with a practical approach and problem solving.‘
‘They offer easy access, direct response, partner involvement.‘
‘They are pragmatic and client-oriented; they understand the clients’ expectations and interests.‘
‘Bert Van Ingelghem very down to earth, client-oriented; very good legal knowledge; pragmatic solutions; available and friendly.’
- Advised the selling shareholders of Sportpaleis Group, Belgium’s largest venue operator, on the sale of the Sportpaleis Group to LiveNation, world’s largest organizer of concerts.
- Assisted Drylock Technologies NV with its €215m capital increase subscribed to by its existing shareholder, VM Invest NV, the investment vehicle of Bart Van Malderen, and Sofina SA, the Belgian listed investment company.
- Advised the shareholders of Driesassur, the world leading insurance broker for the diamond sector, on its sale to the SIACI Honoré Group.
The corporate and M&A team at CMS attracts praise for its 'understanding of the needs of the client' and applies a 'pragmatic approach'; the group also leverages its European network, which is 'very useful' in cross-border transactions. It has been particularly active in the start-up and scale-up space and recently assisted Magic Leap, the US-based world leader in spatial computing systems, with the acquisition of Belgian start-up Mimesys. The practice is led by Vincent Dirckx, who handles a broad range of cross-border and domestic transactions, and includes Arnaud Van Oekel in Brussels and recently promoted partner Virginie Frémat in Antwerp, who has particular insurance sector expertise.
‘Very pragmatic approach. Very correct and sympathetic people to work with.‘
‘Ability to work on cases of different of sizes by adapting rates without hampering the quality of the work. They succeeded in adapting the size and seniority of the teams by empowering more junior lawyers while keeping strong guidance from seniors.‘
‘Virginie Frémat and associate Xenia Vandenabeele both have a lot of knowledge, are open people and very trustworthy. They continue to be involved to see ‘how it goes’ after closing a matter.‘
‘Virginie Frémat has a broad knowledge of several legal domains (technical M&A skills, litigation, insurance, real estate) and she always thinks out of the box in complex situations.‘
‘As a young lawyer, it is clear that associate Xenia Vandenabeele can be described as a high potential. She really delivered added value in the deals we worked on together.’
Transport Ferroviaire Holding
Johnson & Johnson
- Assisted Société Générale with the sale of its private banking and wealth management activities in Belgium to ABN AMRO.
- Advised Magic Leap, the US-based world leader in spatial computing systems, on the acquisition of Belgian start-up Mimesys.
- Assisted Transport Ferroviaire Holding (an affiliate of the logistic division of SNCF Group) with the acquisition of Railtraxx group.
The corporate and M&A team at Deloitte (formerly Laga) handles a range of mid-market transactions, venture capital work and corporate and governance advice, and has been particular active assisting biotech and clean tech companies and family-run businesses. Practice head David Roelens, who splits his time between Brussels and Ghent, has a breadth of experience in M&A, private equity and venture capital work and is often instructed by Belgian real estate investment trusts. Other key names to note include Brussels-based corporate and capital markets specialist Benoît Feron, and Emmanuel Leroux in Ghent, who is highlighted for his corporate governance and advisory work.
‘Apart from their obvious expertise and experience, the team makes great efforts to have thorough knowledge about their client’s organisation and actual business culture, which enables them to advise and assist in a very effective manner.‘
‘David Roelens is a highly intelligent deal maker who very quickly understands his client’s actual needs in a particular transaction which enables him to step in at any time and act effectively.‘
Ports of Antwerp & Zeebrugge
Bank Degroof Petercam
Marfo Food Group BV
Sweco Belgium NV
- Advised the founders of Inventive Designers on its sale to UnifiedPost.
- Advised the shareholders of the Antwerp-based railway company Railtraxx on the sale of 100% of its shares to Transport Ferroviaire Holding, a subsidiary of SNCF and one of Europe’s leading railway companies.
- Assisted Tailormade Logistics with its acquisition of logistics company, KTO.
Fieldfisher's corporate team 'combines the broad scope and professionalism of a leading international firm with in-depth expertise of the local environment and culture applied to transactions'. The group has seen an increase in technology and energy sector work, for which particular names to note include practice head Louis-François du Castillon (who attracts praise for his 'strong leadership') and Thomas Lenne, who has the ability to make 'even the toughest deals stress-free', respectively. The group also counts energy, chemical and finance companies on its client roster. Marie Evrard is another name to note; she provides 'outstanding support' to her clients in domestic and cross-border deals, with particularly experience assisting French and US-based companies.
‘They help us in very complex deal-making and has been able to deliver great results.‘
‘Combines the broad scope and professionalism of a leading international firm with an in depth expertise of the local environment and culture applied to M&A, capital markets and private equity transactions‘
‘Louis-François du Castillon has been extremely available (even at night), always looking for good solutions, and determined to get a closing.‘
‘Louis-Francois du Castillon is always listening and finds the best solution in a constructive and positive mindset. He’s also very transparent on what he can do and when he needs support from other professional on other legal topics, such as IP. Excellent relationship.‘
‘They are highly responsive, reliable, extremely pragmatic, cost-efficient and cost-reliant.‘
‘Thomas Lenné is a genuine pleasure to work with. He is a shrewd negotiator and has the ability to make even the most difficult transactions stress free.‘
‘The team is unrivalled in its dedication to clients, they truly want to help you achieve the best outcome.‘
‘Thomas Lenné really understands what we need as a client and has the ability to provide solutions to the most complex problems.‘
AGC Glass Europe
Catisa (Cyklop, Mainetti, etc.)
GroenlandGroup (PHW group)
Serviceplan Group International
IPTE Factory Automation
Rynda Property Investors
Parts Holding Europe
OneAston Pte Ltd
- Advised the shareholders of the Belgian holding company Orone on the sale of its subsidiaries (active in the BPO sector) located in Belgium, France and Morocco to a French subsidiary of Exela Technologies, followed by the sale of the holding company to some of its shareholders.
- Acted for Japanese-headquartered global glass manufacturer AGC on its acquisition of a strategic stake in XenomatiX, a Belgian company developing solid-state LiDAR for autonomous driving technology.
- Assisted Letsbuild, a construction SaaS company developing a construction management app, with its venture capital fundraising round followed by a merger with Geniebelt.
The 'very practical and business-oriented' corporate and M&A team at Jones Day counts chemicals, technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, energy, real estate, banking and financial services clients on its roster. Thomas De Muynck, who is particularly strong in advising Japanese multinationals in Europe and assisting with venture capital investments, heads up the practice, which recently benefitted from of counsel Paul van Hooghten's recruitment from Linklaters. Other names to note include Luc Houben, who splits his time between Brussels and Amsterdam and focuses on cross-border transactions, and capital markets expert Matthieu Duplat.
‘Thomas De Muynck is stellar. He works around the clock and his advice is practical and based on experience.‘
Sterigenics (Sotera Health)
- Advised Astellas Pharma on the sale of its Belgian research stage programs and Euroscreen Fast services business to Epics Therapeutics.
- Advised Banimmo and its reference shareholder, Affine RE SA, on Patronale Life’s launch of an €18.6m unconditional voluntary public offer in cash for all Banimmo shares.
- Advised BNP Paribas on its investment in Cashforce.
The corporate and finance team at Lydian attracts praise for its 'deal experience, knowledge and pragmatic approach', and is active across a broad range of sectors and counts ASIT Biotech, Michelmersh Brick Holdings and Secufund among its new clients. Peter De Ryck, who splits his time between Brussels and Antwerp, heads up the team alongside Patrick della Faille; De Ryck has particular experience in private equity and real estate transactions, while della Faille is a key name for distressed companies, which he advises on judicial restructuring mandates.
‘A balanced team which is able to provide the full range of services and best value for money on smaller M&A deals.‘
‘The team is methodical and clear in their advice.‘
‘Peter De Ryck has excellent negotiation skills.‘
‘Peter de Ryck and senior associate Elske Bleeker stand out.‘
The House of HR NV
Michelmersh Brick Holdings plc
ASIT Biotech SA
FPB Invest SPRL
TUS International Ltd
Berkshire Partners LLC
- Advised House of HR on various matters including the Europe wide refinancing of the House of HR Group, the contemplated sale of the House of HR Group and several acquisitions.
- Advised shareholders on the acquisition of the control of the management of ASIT BioTech and assisting ASIT BioTech with the subsequent issuance of unsecured convertible bonds via a private placement totalling €12m.
- Assisted CityJet with its joint venture with KLM for the creation of the Air Antwerp airline.
Monard Law's corporate and commercial practice group is frequently instructed by domestic and international companies investing in or divesting companies in Belgium, with particular experience in the life sciences, IT, aviation and energy sectors. The group also handles a range of commercial and corporate governance advice. 'Very experienced' corporate and securities specialist Katrien Vorlat, who is based in Brussels, heads the team alongside Natalie Ulburghs, who splits her time between the Hasselt and Brussels offices, and Hasselt-based experts Nicole Segers and Kristof Zadora. Another practitioner to note is 'business driven and communicative M&A lawyer' Pieter Van den Broeck, who is based in Antwerp.
‘They are flexible and have a great approach to helping start-ups as well.‘
‘The team is very ‘to the point’, gives practical advice and is easy to reach.‘
‘Pieter van den Broeck provides excellent client service, is very proactive and manages cases and clients very efficiently, in a very friendly way. His legal knowledge is also impressive of course.‘
‘Natalie Ulburghs is another very experienced and accurate M&A lawyer.‘
‘Natalie Ulburghs, Nicole Segers and Kris van der Beeks are exceptionally responsive and spot on with their legal advice.‘
‘Kristof Zadora is an expert in his field (international business contracts, IT and data protection) and always shows he understands our business needs and strives for solutions.‘
‘Pieter Van den Broeck is particularly valuable and offers great technical expertise combined with a very client-focused approach. His availability is particularly appreciated.‘
‘They offer sophisticated and focused services and have a pragmatic approach.‘
Down to Earth
ScioTeq (part of TransDigm group)
- Assisted Merit Capital with the acquisition of the assets of Weghsteen (a Belgian asset manager).
- Advised Tradeshift on the establishment of its Belgian operations and the acquisition of the Babelway group following in-depth due diligence of Babelway and its subsidiaries in Egypt and US.
- Acted for GreenSwan private equity on its acquisition of MaxiToys from Blokker Holding.
Simont Braun's 'flexible and hands-on' corporate, M&A and capital markets practice is a popular choice for cross-border and multi-disciplinary transactions, as well as corporate and governance advice. The team has experience across a number of industries and has recently seen an increase in insurance sector work. Practice head Sandrine Hirsch frequently advises shareholders of listed entities and handles regulated M&A, while Steven Callens has particular experience in the marketing, renewable energy and food and agricultural industries. Other names to note include Paul Alain Foriers, who recently advised on the new Belgian Companies Code. Vanessa Marquette, who has experience handling real estate, banking and insurance sector M&A , moved to Loyens & Loeff.
‘Flexibility of the team which has been able to adapt to the requirements in a professional way.‘
‘Simont Braun has a strong corporate/M&A team with thorough and solid knowledge and skills in all aspects of Belgian corporate law. The team is flexible and hands-on.‘
‘Strong level of diplomacy and always focus on the interest of the client. Negotiate the key items. Good presence of the partner during the process.‘
‘Sandrine Hirsch is simply excellent, hands-on, responsive, thorough legal advice.‘
‘Steven Callens is an excellent M&A lawyer, easy to work with.‘
Belgian group of shareholders of AB InBev
Bank Degroof Petercam
SCRL and Hydrobru SCRL
Financière de Tubize
Urban Development Corporation of the Brussels-Capital Region (Société d’Aménagement Urbain – SAU)
REWE ZentralFinanz eG
Laboratoire Français du Fractionnement et des Biotechnologies (LFB) SA
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Banque Rothschild (France)
International Real Estate (IRE)
Société Générale and ADL
ENGIE New Business
AXA Belgium SA
AXA Investment Managers
- Advised Rewe, the second largest German supermarket chain, on the Belgian aspects of its purchase of Lekkerland/Conway.
- Advised the Belgian insurance group P&V on the sale of its Luxembourg subsidiary, Euresa Life, to another insurance group Afi-Esca.
- Assisted Axa Investment Managers – Real Assets with the €176m sale of a 32% stake in a portfolio of 32 Accor hotels in France and Belgium to Covivio, through its subsidiary Covivio Hotels.
Corporate and litigation boutique Strelia assists its clients with a range of transactional, advisory and contentious matters, and counts technology, biotech, retail sector and financial services among its sector specialisms. The 'reactive, clever and supportive' Olivier Clevenbergh heads up the practice and attracts praise for providing 'reliable and experienced support in a negotiation process'. Gisèle Rosselle is particularly noted for technology sector transactions; she has the 'ability to think outside of the box to find solutions and move transactions forward in a pragmatic way'.
‘Combination of profound legal knowledge combined with hands-on can-do attitude supporting the transaction.‘
‘Endurance to solve new challenges in an efficient and timely fashion.‘
‘Great understanding and empathy to more complex structures of international organisations.‘
‘From a thorough understanding of the submitted case to the legal useful hands-on advice offering the answer needed, the team has a unique talent.‘
‘Gisèle Rosselle’s strong people skills help to support any transaction in a very dynamic way. Her natural strong understanding of the strengths (but also weaknesses) of the client help extremely in the negotiation and deal closing phase.‘
‘Easy to reach individuals and always fast in delivering documents. Very strong negotiation skills. They understand our market and the services we offer.‘
‘Olivier Clevenberg is available, calm but firm and precise; he understands the stakes and is able to concede without losing the main objectives.‘
Thomas Cook Group
Burger Brands Belgium (Burger King)
AGFA Graphics Nv
Hydro Group (Previously Sapa Group)
Horus Partners Wealth Management
- Advised leading tour operator, Thomas Cook, on the sale of its luxury tour operator business, Pegase, to private equity fund BVCP Capital.
- Assisted Carmeuse with the sale of its aggregate business in Belgium to HeidelbergCement Group.
- Acted for Swiss-listed Komax Group on its acquisition of the Exmore Group, a worldwide player in cable & wire and connection technology, from private equity fund Creafund.
Van Bael & Bellis' corporate and M&A team handles the full range of transactions, from public M&A and capital markets work to private equity and venture capital matters, and joint ventures and insolvency and restructuring advice. 'Pragmatic lawyer' Michel Bonne leads the team and attracts praise for 'understanding the art of deal making in combination with a real sense of legal judgement and knowledge'. Bonne handles domestic and cross-border transactions with particular expertise in the renewable energy, finance, telecoms, real estate, pharmaceuticals, aviation and biotech arenas. The practice also benefits from 'an excellent team of young professionals', which includes senior associate Hannelore Matthys, who focuses on corporate transactions for clients in the agriculture, energy, insurance and financial services sectors.
‘Very dedicated team which was eager to come to a successful end to the project as efficiently as possible.‘
‘Michel Bonne leads an excellent team of young professionals: their dedication to the client is outstanding and the output of their work absolutely remarkable.‘
‘To my experience, the professionals I worked with are extremely prepared, very fluent in English, perfectly understand the client’s needs, are able to anticipate doubts and requests and efficiently provide timely and accurate answers.‘
‘The team is led by pragmatic lawyer Michel Bonne who understands the art of deal making in combination with a real sense of legal judgement and knowledge.’
‘Van Bael & Bellis has a very high and quick reaction degree.‘
‘They have a thorough knowledge of Belgian corporate law and are really familiar with the new Belgian Corporate Law.‘
‘They are open-minded and willing to think along with the client. Clear and open communication on what is feasible and what is not feasible.‘
‘The team is very patient and is willing to listen to understand our real needs instead of pushing their most preferred solution.‘
‘Michel Bonne is a key legal practitioner of the M&A market in Belgium he is clearly taking market share in the M&A legal practice in Belgium.‘
‘Michel Bonne’s sense of client dedication and pragmatism makes him a key player in Belgium.‘
‘The advisers are very easily accessible. They deliver their advice and answers in very short notice and always respect the indicated due date.‘
‘Van Bael & Bellis’ advisers have a very strong understanding of Belgian Corporate Law and have an accurate knowledge of our litigation files.‘
‘They assure a conscientious follow-up of all pending matters, propose timely and necessary actions to be taken.‘
‘Senior associate Hannelore Matthijs is very appreciated and is always willing to listen and answer your questions quickly. Together with her colleges she let us feel that our business is relevant to them and they want to achieve the best result for us.‘
Nethys / Elicio
NYK, K Line and Mitsui OSK Lines
- Advised Belgian-based malting client Boortmalt, part of the Axéréal Group, on the acquisition of the malt business of Cargill, the third largest global malting company.
- Assisted Elicio, one of the few pre-selected tender candidates, with its public tender procedure for the development of a new offshore wind farm in Dunkirk.
- Assisted KeBeK, one of the largest private equity players in Belgium, with the acquisition of one of the pre-eminent players on the European market for motor gear and accessories, from its founders.
White & Case LLP assists its impressive roster of Belgian and international clients with a range of corporate matters including joint ventures, public tenders and takeover offers, management buyouts and privatisations. The practice is particularly strong for international transactions and benefits from the ability to work with its global network. The team is jointly led by Thierry Bosly, who handles a range of cross-border M&A, private equity transactions and insolvency instructions, and Muriel Alhadeff, who focuses on M&A and venture capital matters. Tom Matthijs moved to an in-house role at Cobepa.
Active Ownership Capital
Air Water Inc
Asea Brown Boveri
Bank Degroof Petercam
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa
CXM Holding SA
Guardiola Invest SA
Hamon & Cie SA
IK Investment Partners
Le Pain Quotidien
Value Retail Management
- Advised Recticel on the acquisition of the remaining 49% of its Proseat joint venture from Canadian partner Woodbridge Foam Corporation, and the subsequent sale of Proseat to Japanese public company Sekisui Plastics Co.
- Actef for Cobepa on its acquisition of BALX Holdings.
- Assisted Asea Brown Boveri with its acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Intrion and Intrimmo BVBA.
The corporate and M&A team at Ambos NBGO Advocaten assists its client roster of large and medium-sized Belgian companies, financial institutions and international companies with domestic deals and the Belgian aspects of international transactions. Christina Trappeniers has particular experience in the healthcare, real estate and insurance sectors, and heads up the team alongside Caroline Wildemeersch, who frequently advises on private equity transactions.
‘Caroline Wildemeersch and her team have a very hands-on approach. Pragmatic, deal- and solution-driven. Pleasure to work with.‘
KeBeK Private Equity
ISS Facility Services
Signs & Façade
Trek Bicycle Corporation
- Advised CareinPro and its shareholders on the €149m sale of eight care homes to Cofinimmo.
- Assisted Tailormade Logistics with its acquisition of the shares of GV Logistics Group BVBA.
- Acted for the shareholders of IT company AllThingsTalk on the sale of all shares and warrants to the ALSO group, which is quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
ASTREA's 'client-focused and creative' corporate and finance team assists with a range of corporate transactions and has particular expertise acting for clients in the technology, automotive, real estate, infrastructure and venture capital sectors. The group is jointly led by Frédéric Verspreeuwen and Steven De Schrijver, who are based in Antwerp and Brussels respectively; both have a breadth of experience across domestic and cross-border transactions.
‘ASTREA’s commercial, corporate, and M&A team serve as excellent buy-side advocates and demonstrated excellent listening and problem solving skills. ‘
‘They actively participated in contract negotiations and delivered an excellent, comprehensive due diligence product. They did a very good job of identifying exposure areas and suggesting mitigation strategies.‘
‘Steven De Schrijver, Seppe Laenen, Dieter Veestraeten, and Philippe Willemsens all made significant contributions to the success of our transaction. Together they demonstrated a high degree of client focus, professionalism, and creative problem solving.‘
‘Always available, very flexible and provide clear answers.‘
Radius Payment Solutions
Eyeonid Group AB
Engineered Performance Technologies
- Advised Gunnebo group on the sale of its Belgian, French and Luxembourg activities to the French private equity firm Open Gate.
- Assisted Soprema with its acquisition of De Boer Waterproof.
- Assisted Horizon Ventures with several rounds of investment in Belgian technology company Cloudalize.
contrast has 'concrete legal knowledge of business and corporate laws' and experience across a range of transactional work, advisory issues and disputes. The practice counts domestic and international companies, as well as international cooperative and non-profit organisations, among its client roster. Bart Bellen heads the corporate team, while Herlinde Burez leads the corporate and commercial team and has a particular focus on the distribution and retail industries.
‘Very quick to the key points of issues and understand the business/ commercial nature of the issue and provide pragmatic suggestions.‘
‘They are proactive and make sure you are aware of all major changes or sentences or other information that could be useful, without overloading you with all the new changes.‘
‘Their experience and knowledge of both legislation and our sector are outstanding.‘
‘Very down to earth attitude with a can-do mentality which, as a fast growing company, exactly meets our company culture.‘
‘Bart Bellen is always available whenever we need his advice, no matter how late in the evening or during holidays.‘
‘Bart Bellen not only has a broad spectrum of legal knowledge in corporate and business law, but also has a deep understanding of the practical side of company operations.‘
‘Filip Tuytschaever knows our business and our contracts in and out. He does not only have great knowledge of legislation, but also of how we want things done in our company.‘
‘Bart Bellen offered to guide us through all changes in corporate law legislation which were relevant for us and offered to do a check on all our companies and provide for proposals of change where necessary.‘
‘They are very supportive, always available and cooperative thinking makes the team members of contrast my favourite lawyers in the corporate area.‘
‘Stefanie Colaers and Milena Varga will definitely stay our first contact persons in all legal matters.‘
‘Senior associate Ine Schockaert can be rated as excellent and has a lot of potential.‘
- Assists Aminolabs with all-round commercial, corporate and competition matters.
Antwerp-based business law boutique Cresco Advocaten specialises in assisting entrepreneurs, emerging companies and investors with transactions, and attracts praise for providing 'fast, no-nonsense' advice. The group has been particularly active in the technology, IT, biotech and data analytics sectors. Managing partner and 'great negotiator' David Dessers leads the team, which includes Pieter Capiau, who focuses on the technology arena, and Filip De Schouwer, who has particular experience in the hospitality sector.
‘Great negotiators, they skip the fluff.’
Food Group Belgium
9.5 Magnitude Ventures
Federal Belgian Government
- Assisted Newtec with a controlled auction and the subsequent €250m sale of the company to Singapore Technologies.
- Advised MCS Group on its sale to Germany-based Nemetschek.
- Assisted TrendMiner and its shareholders with its exit to listed global technology company Software.
Dechert LLP's corporate and securities group is frequently instructed on a range of cross-border transactions. The team has been carving out a niche in transactions in the hotel, spa and wellness centre sectors, and has also been particularly active in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences, TMT and e-commerce industries. Eric Deltour leads the team and counts Belgian and international companies, as well as high-net-worth individuals, on his client roster.
Laurius handles a variety of domestic and cross-border transactions, attracting praise for 'thinking on a global scale, but acting as a local firm' and providing 'sound and tailored advice'. The team is split between its two Belgian offices and includes Dirk Wellens and recently promoted senior partner Karen Vermaere in Antwerp, who jointly lead the team with management buyout expert David Ryckaert and real estate sector specialist Michael Bollen, who are in Brussels. Stefaan Wauman joined Schoups.
‘Professionals with the quality of the global firms, but with more feeling for the individual client and the local practices.‘
‘A mid-sized entity with an international focus for its PE and M&A clients.‘
‘What makes Laurius stand out is the rare combination of being a highly professional, yet very approachable law firm. The team is always accessible and ready to assist, even on short notice.‘
‘Key strengths of the team are client focus, solution focus with the basis of knowledge and technical creativity.‘
‘Dirk Wellens is a trusted advisor with a well-chosen international network.‘
‘David Ryckaert is a highly respected individual with high ethics and great moral values. He is always available and finds creative solutions.’
‘Dirk Wellens is characterized by his eloquence and his talent for developing mutually beneficial strategies for both sides around the negotiation table.‘
Ardian Private Equity
Buysse & Partners Smart Assets nv
Greenhouse Talent bvba
Infra Asia Investment (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Management Team of Inula
Manu Beers (Tomorrowland Founder)
Mentha Capital bv
Perwyn Private Equity
Technological Innovation Group bvba
Thermo Fisher Scientific inc.
Tradelec International nv
Van Aerden Family
- Advised Infra Asia Investment on the sale of 50% of the ordinary shares of Deep C Green Energy to TEPCO Power Grid.
- Advised Ardian on its acquisition of Trustteam, a leading IT services provider in Belgium.
- Assisted Mentha Capital with its acquisition of global consumer insight and collaboration agency InSites Consulting.
Osborne Clarke's commercial, corporate and M&A team is particularly strong for transactions and advisory work in the technology, life sciences, healthcare and retail sectors. David Haex, who has particular expertise in the technology and life sciences industries, and Stefan Deswert head up the corporate and commercial teams respectively. Other names to note include recently promoted partner Hadrien Chef, who counts life sciences, digital business and transportation and automotive clients on his roster, and retail sector expert Marie Canivet, who recently joined from CMS.
‘They have a very pragmatic approach and are always in touch with clients’ business needs.‘
‘David Haex is exceptionally pragmatic and proactive.‘
The Adecco Group
- Advised Conway on its acquisition of Alvadis.
- Assisted Bone Therapeutics with its fundraising of €8.5m in gross proceeds through a €5m private placement of new shares via an accelerated bookbuild offering, and a €3.5m non-dilutive subordinated bond placement.
Boutique firm Quinz has been highlighted by clients as providing 'top-firm quality advice, at a better value for money' and attracts praise for its 'pragmatic approach and strong commercial awareness'. The group handles a range of transactions, which range from mandates in the start-up space, to small and mid-market domestic deals and larger, cross-border matters. Bart Lintermans combines M&A and restructuring experience, and heads up the practice with Klaas Thibaut, who handles a range of corporate and commercial transactions and has significant data privacy expertise.
‘Quinz delivers blue chip quality with a very pragmatic approach. The way they are able to immerse in the client’s thinking and operate within their timeline is very impressive. They are very consistent in their service level.‘
‘A team that handles mostly big-ticket and/or sophisticated cases. Unique in combining black-letter law expertise with pragmatism. Exceptional in that they do not limit themselves to the mere legal aspect of the case but work from a broader perspective (economic, political, etc).‘
‘I appreciate the open thinking, hands-on solutions, keep-it-simple whenever possible, and most importantly Quinz offers solutions in our interest.‘
‘Lawyers at Quinz are much more pragmatic than at most law firms. They can advise on legal issues with a commercial sensitivity that is usually unique to in-house lawyers.‘
‘Bart Lintermans is an exceptionally intelligent as well as client-centred partner in the field of M&A.‘
‘Olivier Van Obberghen provided a fast and pragmatic advice on a key IP issue one of our businesses faced.‘
‘The dedication and involvement of the partners is remarkable. Bart Lintermans is a tough negotiator, quick on his feet and always available.‘
‘Klaas Thibault is very smart, pragmatic and always available. He truly is a trusted advisor of our department.‘
Downtown Real Estate
Green Park Investment Partners
Bouwbedrijf E. Dillen
- Advised AG Insurance on the auction sale of Fidea, which was ultimately sold by Anbang to Baloise for €480m.
- Assisted Xcentric Hotels with the acquisition of three hotels in Brussels and Antwerp.
- Advised global software company Unit4 on its €18m acquisition of Ghent-based start-up Into NV.
The corporate practice group at Squire Patton Boggs has the experience to assist clients with a full range of corporate and commercial transactions, and counts the chemicals, energy, automotive, diversified industrials, financial services, real estate and technology industries among its sector strengths. Bart Vanderstraete, leads the team, which includes counsel Amaury de Borchgrave, who recently joined from Van Bael & Bellis.
‘Squire Patton Boggs’ team is very responsive and has in depth competencies in matters such as corporate and competition law. This combination of skills has proved to provide pertinent solutions to us.‘
‘Squire Patton Boggs has demonstrated a high efficiency based on a good methodology to tackle complex situations.‘
‘Counsel Amaury de Borchgrave is able to rapidly understand complex situations and provides very fast, pertinent and documented feedback. He has provided very helpful advice on business practices and complicated files.‘
ADB Airfield Solutions
Low & Bonar
AGC Glass Europe
Burke Porter Group
Acorn Mobility Services Ltd.
CPL Industries (EMEA) ltd
- Acted for Live Nation on its acquisition of the Sportpaleis group.
- Advised AGC Glass Europe on the creation of a new joint venture company with the Walloon Region in Belgium.
- Assisted McBride with the sale of its personal care liquids business to the Royal Sanders group.
The corporate and commercial law teams at Van Olmen & Wynant assist its clients, which encompasses start-ups and family businesses, medium and large companies, financial institutions and investors, with a range of transactional and advisory matters. The group has particular expertise in venture capital transactions and matters in the technology sector. Luc Wynant and Alexei Loubkine head up the corporate and commercial teams respectively.
‘Hands-on team with expertise in different aspects of the deal.‘
‘Luc Wynant is a very hands-on corporate lawyer, knows the SME and small corporate market well. He is very accessible and provides very good value for the price.‘
‘Luc Wynant has an excellent network and delivers strongly upon promises.‘
‘Very good M&A experience and knowledge.‘
‘Jeroen Mues provided solid execution of multiple deals at same time, showing leadership and efficient project management.‘
Gillain & Co Group
Movilitas Consulting Group
ABN AMRO Participaties
Think2Act Capital NV – BMACON
nWave Studios NV
ING Private Equity
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity
- Assisted Collibra with the negotiation of a facility agreement with Silicon Valley Bank.
- Advised Wagram Equity Partners on its acquisition of shares in Etablissementen Van Moer.
- Assisted private equity firm Think2Act Capital NV with its investment in BMACON.
The corporate transactions team at Ashurst LLP assists clients with a range of M&A transactions and corporate governance advice. It is instructed by local and international companies, as well as international associations including the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst, the European Roma Rights Centre and the Natural Food Colours Association. Practice head David Du Pont also has notable experience advising private equity funds.
Bank of New York Mellon
- Advised Liberty House Group on its €740m acquisition of several steel making assets, which form the divestment package of ArcelorMittal, a steel and mining company.
- Assisted Tritax EuroBox with its €83m acquisition of a portfolio of various Belgian property holding companies owning four modern logistics warehouses.
- Advising mining group OZD on its acquisition of a Belgian company owning a mine in Mongolia from Canadian mining group Centerra Gold.
Bird & Bird's corporate and M&A team handles a range of corporate and commercial transactions and governance advice. It counts the life sciences, TMT and financial services industries among its sector specialisms, and has recently been particularly active in venture capital transactions. Paul Hermant leads the practice and has broad experience across M&A deals, IPOs, joint ventures and litigation.
Workday Inc (Workday Belgium)
Nippponkoa Insurance Company of Europe Ltd
QlikTech Netherlands (Belgian branch)
Proton World International NV
Easynet Belgium NV
In-service Aircraft for Global Observing System IVZW
The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
Partnership For Advanced Computing in Europe IVZW
- Assisted Calyos, a high-tech company active in cooling systems, with a small additional venture capital investment and subsequent stock option plan.
- Advised Ethias on its merger with Vitrufin.
- Advised the University of Brussels and the founder of Chromacure, a new biotech company aimed at developing treatments for late-stage cancers, on the incorporation of the company as a spin-off of the university including the IP aspects of the transaction and the first round of venture capital investment from international and local investors.
Business law specialist firm Cadanz frequently handles M&A transactions and corporate restructuring mandates. Team head Jan Stoop acts for domestic and international clients on M&A matters, with a particular focus on venture capital and private equity transactions, while Dirk Strobbe assists with a range of corporate transactions and governance advice.
Crowell & Moring is a key name in the market for transactions with substantial IT, IP and data protection elements. The group is also known for its life sciences, telecoms and media sector specialisms, and has been increasingly active in automotive matters. Recently promoted partner Frederik Van Remoortel handles a range of corporate, data privacy and labour law issues, and heads up the team alongside employment law expert Emmanuel Plasschaert, who has experience advising on company restructurings.
Chemo Group / Exeltis
European Association of Mercedes Benz Dealers (FEAC)
Butcher, Robinson & Staples International
Surface Mount Technology
Belgian Association of Mercedes Benz Dealers
- Advised the Vias Institute on various acquisitions in the driving school and safety sector.
- Advised the Vias Institute on the establishment of joint venture company Optimedis Belgium.
- Advised a major player in the automotive sector on the divestiture of its Belgian car sharing platform.
The 'excellent and professional' corproate and M&A and commercial teams at DALDEWOLF offer 'reliability, speed and good billing rates' to its diverse client list, which ranges from Belgian start-ups to international companies. Group head Patrick De Wolf handles a range of corporate matters and is active in Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo, while Dominique Bogaert has notable experience advising non-profit organisations. Laurent Haverbeke departed to an in-house position at Exphar.
‘Dominique Bogaert is very skilled and talented, and fluent in several languages.‘
- Assisted China’s Yinyi Real Estate Co., Ltd, a listed company on Shenzhen Stock Exchange, with the due diligence of its Belgian subsidiary, Punch Powertrain, as part of the reorganisation of the company.
The corporate, commercial and transactional team at EY Law (formerly HVG Advocaten-Avocats) has experience across a range of domestic and cross-border matters. The practice benefits from offices in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent and leverages the firm's global network on cross-border matters; the group also utilises the firm's wider tax and advisory teams. Peter Suykens handles reorganisations and pre- and post-merger integration projects, while Tom Swinnen focuses on M&A transactions. Both are based in Brussels.
‘The team led by Tom Swinnen was a competent, pro active and good listening partner for our international M&A deal. They are flexible in giving quick answers for all questions that popped up.‘
‘Tom Swinnen is adding value in discussions with opposite parties due to his competence and emphatic behaviour. He is looking for instant solutions that bring speed to ongoing contract discussions.‘
Q8 (Kuwait Petroleum)
Maes Energy & Mobility
VPK Packaging NV
Subaru Europe NV
Firma Cras NV
Sonic Healthcare Benelux
MHI Vestas Belgian entities
- Assisted the family owned MAES Energy & Mobility, one of Belgium’s largest independent energy groups, on the acquisition of an entire network of 160 petrol stations from Octa.
- Advised private equity firm Ardian on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Belgium headquartered Inula Group, leader in the field of natural therapies.
- Assisted Boortmalt, an international malting company, with the acquisition of the Cargill malt business from Cargill.
intui's M&A department combines knowledge of corporate transactions and corporate litigation to provide 'a pragmatic approach and strong negotiation capabilities' across domestic and cross-border mandates. Anneleen Steeno, who attracts praise for her 'exceptionally pragmatic and solution-driven approach', heads up the team with Robbie Tas.
‘Intui provides highly specialised expert services, combined with a practical, hands-on mentality and the ability to present complex issues in a clear and simple way to facilitate decisions.‘
‘Although it is a smaller M&A practice, they use their international connections to rely on and offer great value for money.‘
‘A small team with the right attributes and skills, including strategic thinking, a corporate perspective, business common sense and high energy whenever necessary in negotiations.‘
‘A very professional and knowledgeable team, which is able to strike a balance between conducting thorough research and being pragmatic.‘
‘A pragmatic, no-nonsense approach. Not too much grey zone, clear and direct communication.’
‘Provide a direct approach, which is result based and no nonsense.‘
‘The team has an excellent mix of legal profiles uniting different knowledge areas and skills. Absolutely one of the best among the smaller firms for more complex contracting and transactional work.‘
‘Anneleen Steeno and senior associate Matthias Jans have very good knowledge of company law, excellent negotiation skills and a pragmatic approach. They are down to earth and always looking for a pragmatic solution (not like a lot of other legal firms making things complex).‘
‘Anneleen Steeno and Kim Van Herck are both outstanding lawyers. Their legal knowledge and analytical skills are of an extremely high level. At the same time they do not lose sight of the ultimate goal and practice sufficient pragmatism to get there.‘
- Advised Vortex Capital Partners and ABN AMRO Participaties on the €156m sale of CarsOnTheWeb.
- Acted for the selling shareholders of Stylelabs on the divestment of all shares to US company Sitecore.
- Advised Vulpia Group, real estate operator, investor and developer and one of the Belgian market leaders in elderly care, with the sale and lease back of two senior housing real estate sites to Aedifica-Vulpia.
K&L Gates GP
K&L Gates GP's department has experience assisting domestic and international clients with the full range of transactions, with particular experience in the IT, food, pharmaceuticals and medical device sectors. Patrice Corbiau, who advises on corporate and commercial transactions including M&A issues and licensing work, heads up the practice alongside Jeroen Smets, whose experience spans M&A transactions and structured and leveraged finance matters. Fatiha El-Boubsi left for an in-house role.
KOAN Law Firm
KOAN Law Firm combines its corporate and tax expertise with a range of transactional and advisory knowledge, and attracts praise for 'providing a fresh, positive and sharp outlook on the matters at hand'. Corporate and tax expert Pierre Willemart jointly leads the team with Antoine Druetz, who advises companies and not-for-profit organisations on transactions and governance matters.
‘They have good multinational skills that help in interpreting key local legislation.‘
‘Pierre Willemart is a highly intelligent legal advisor, combining a thorough understanding of business affairs with a thorough knowledge of M&A and fiscal law, making him the partner of choice to help you make well equilibrated deals.’
‘Antoine Druetz had exceptional client focus.‘
La Financière d’Arbanville SA
Henry Schein Services GmbH
Vincent Gay Company SA
Kléber Rossillon SARL
- Assisted Balchem Corporation with its acquisition of Chemogas Holding.
- Acted for Newen, one of Europe’s leading producers and distributors of content, on the acquisition of renowned Flemish Producer “De Mensen” and affiliated companies.
Olislaegers & De Creus
Brussels-based business law boutique Olislaegers & De Creus handles a range of corporate and commercial transactions. Key names to note include Michael Olislaegers, who advises on a range of corporate, M&A, regulatory and financing matters; Kristof De Creus, who focuses on Belgian work, and Werner Vanderhaeghe, who handles domestic and international mandates. The team benefits from the addition of IP, IT and commercial law expert Axel Clerens following the firm's merger with Clerens & Vennoten. The group is also a founding partner of Awerian — a network of independent boutique business law firms across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain.
Jensen Group NV
Hilton International Co. Belgium BVBA
Kroy Finance Corp BVBA
Cartonnage P. Van de Velde NV
Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal NV
Holding A. Decabooter & Zonen Comm. VA
Media Markt Saturn Belgium NV
Accounting & Tax Partners NV
Cranium International Holding NV
Iron Mountain Belgium NV
Graham Packaging Belgium BVBA
Thyssenkrupp Materials Belgium NV
- Advised Kroy Finance Corp and its subsidiary Atcomex on the acquisition of a business which handles the design, manufacturing and commercialisation of environmental trucks for the industrial cleaning and sewage industry.
- Acted for Atcomex on the negotiation of a frame agreement with Skytanking Holding covering the manufacturing of 15 hydrant dispensers for airports serviced by Skytanking across Europe and the US.
- Assisted six marketing agencies in the Ghent area with the incorporation of their joint venture, Digitaal Koepelbureau.
The corporate team at PwC Legal (which includes individuals in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp) leverage the firm's international network and tax expertise on a range of transactions including corporate reorganisation projects and cross-border M&A. The group counts Telenet, House of HR and CVC Capital Partners among its clients and also acts for non-for-profit organisations. Karin Winters, whose experience spans M&A and reorganisations, transaction financing work and commercial IP advice, heads up the team, which also fields M&A expert Pierre Queritet and Bart Vanstaen, who attracts praise for his ‘practical advice’.
‘The team is able to work cross border and coordinate through its network, while acting as a single point of contact.‘
‘They understand our needs and go the extra mile.‘
Axis Parc Fund
CVC Capital Partners
Zeevishandel Mercuur Ijmuiden
Parlevliet & Van Der Plas
LKQ / Sator Holding
House Of HR
VPK Packaging Group
Towerbrook Capital Partners
- Advised leading Belgian marketing research company InSites Consulting on the sale of 51% of its shares to a private equity investor, Mentha Capital.
- Assisted LKQ Corporation with the simultaneous acquisition of four non-related Belgian company groups, with 20 entities in Belgium and the Netherlands. It also advised on the post-acquisition integration process.
- Acted for TowerBrook Capital Partners on the Belgian aspects of its strategic sale of Belgian-Spanish metals processing and recycling company Metallo Group to Aurubis.
Quorum's corporate and M&A team handles a range of corporate matters and counts Brussels Airport Company, UnifiedPost and Engie among its client roster. The group, which benefits from individuals based in Brussels, Westerlo and Antwerp, is jointly led by Antwerp-based experts Davy Gorselé and Maarten Van Staeyen; Gorselé has corporate and financing expertise, while Van Staeyen's experience encompasses M&A transactions, restructuring projects and shareholders disputes.
Brussels Airport Company
Cofely Services NV
Family Backed Real Estate
Group Michiels Advanced Materials
KebeK Private Equity
Louis Dreyfus Company
- Advised UnifiedPost on several corporate and commercial matters including its acquisitions of Advanced Document Management Solutions, Leleu Document Services and Inventive Designers.
- Advised the shareholders of Centrauto on the sale of 100% of its shares to Automotive & Mobility Invest.
- Assisted a group of private equity investors and Ginsenga International with structuring investments in the start-up company Ginsenga International, as well as the purchase of 100% of the shares in Ginsenga.
Racine's 'very agile' corporate and commercial team attracts praise for its 'hands-on approach, outstanding knowledge of the local market and its ability to access its cross-border network'. Practice head Anthony Van der Hauwaert has a broad practice with experience in corporate, M&A and private equity transactions as well as real estate and employment matters. Stijn Claeys is a key name to note for commercial and competition advice, particularly in the retail sector.
‘Stijn Claeys and his team offer a hands-on approach, efficient meetings and get straight to the core of the problem.‘
‘Stijn Claeys captures the problem or legal issue very quickly and builds a practical response with the client’s specifics in mind.‘
‘The team is well acquainted with the Belgian Market and knows the right people at the right place. They work with a lot of discretion.‘
‘Stijn Vanschoubroek was very much available and helped out on a daily basis. He is a great person to work with: direct, interactive, no-nonsense.‘
Borgerhoff & Lamberigts
Chi Chi’s Belgium
Etablissements Lecrecq Et Fils (KEWLOX)
Fit 20 Belgium
Komatsu Europe International
K-Retail (Kusmi Belux)
Le Pain Quotidien Belgium
Wolters Kluwer Belgium
- Assisted Binje Ackermans, a subsidiary of Grafton Group, with the sale of its St Vith branch, which included the sale of the underlying real estate.
- Assisted Inspired with the Belgian aspects of an investment by Warburg Pincus into the school group.
- Acted for Smithers Oasis on the acquisition of the French company Siloe Mousses.
Schoups' corporate and M&A practice is divided across the firm’s Antwerp and Brussels offices, and attracts praise for its ‘good value for money and great knowledge of the Belgian market’. It handles a range of M&A transactions, corporate restructuring work and governance advice, with particular expertise in the real estate, residential care and alternative energy sectors. The team is led by the ‘exceptional’ Gwen Bevers, who splits his time between Brussels and Antwerp and handles domestic and cross-border matters, and includes ‘solution-driven’ Antwerp-based counsel Stefaan Wauman, who recently joined from Laurius and is particularly strong in private equity transactions.
‘One of the core assets of Schoups is that the M&A team can effectively interact with the other specialists in the firm for those matters that were important to my file. Working with them always gives me comfort that the transaction is in the right hands and that they will get the deal done.‘
‘Schoups is a trusted name in the Belgian corporate sector.‘
‘They distinguish themselves from the major Belgian and international law firms through their fee structure and proximity. While also distinguishing themselves from the local small and corporate boutique firms through their broad-ranging due diligence capabilities.‘
‘They are very professional and work in a pragmatic way. Always respecting deadlines and with the right expertise.‘
‘Gwen Bevers leads the growing M&A practice of Schoups but at the same time always remains available as an essential negotiator when entering into difficult and delicate negotiations or for solving complex situations in transactions.‘
‘The team has strong experience and knowledge especially Gwen Bevers and Christine Heeb who are great at providing fast and quality advice.‘
‘Stefaan Wauman has strong personal skills to successfully deliver during negotiations.‘
Proteus Risk Solutions
- Acted for Aertssen, one of Belgium’s largest general contractors, on its acquisition of Michielsens.
- Advised three individuals on the sale of all shares in Buitenheide, which owns a residential senior care facility, to Aedifica (a public, regulated real estate company).
- Assisted Fluidra, a Spain-based global developer of applications for sustainable water use, with its acquisition of a majority stake in a Belgian company specialising in the manufacture and sale of products related to swimming pools.
Verhaegen Walravens' commercial, corporate and M&A team has particular experience assisting clients in the technology, hospitality, gaming, senior housing, arts and culture, and not-for-profit sectors. It leverages a multidisciplinary team, and works closely with the firm's employment, tax, and IP departments on domestic and cross-border transactions. Founding partner Jacques Verhaegen has particular experience assisting international foundations, growth companies, and arts and culture sector clients. Verhaegen leads the group with fellow founder and corporate, commercial and restructuring expert Philip Walravens, Paula Martins Costa and senior housing specialist Anouk De Graef.
Sony Depthsensing Solutions (formerly Softkinetic)
Diebold Nixdorf (formerly Wincor Nixdorf)
Procter & Gamble
Monus / GSI
- Assisted Monus with the disposal of its controlling shareholding in KV Mechelen.
- Advising Sodaphi on the potential takeover of a minority shareholding in the Vupia Group.
- Acted for Upignac Group on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Ardenne Volaille.