Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

Led by Marc Van Looveren and Olivier Van Fraeyenhoven, the Antwerp-based ASTREA BV CVBA is highly experienced in a range of domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes, most notably in the transport and logistics sectors.
Tossens Goldman Gonne  has a highly active arbitration practice, regularly working on ICC and CEPANI-governed proceedings for clients in the energy, aeronautics, biotechnology and financial services sectors.

Dispute resolution in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has a strong reputation in the Belgian market on account of its capabilities in high-level commercial litigation, arbitration and white-collar criminal law disputes. Drawing on the firm’s international network of offices, the team routinely represents various entities from the energy, insurance, aviation and financial services sectors in both cross-border and domestic disputes. Thales Mertens represents a litany of banks and multinational corporations in all manner of corporate and commercial litigations. Aviation sector lead Werner Eyskens also heads up the practice’s arbitration team, and is highly experienced in proceedings under ICC, CEPANI, SIAC, ICSID, and LCIA rules. Antwerp-based managing partner Tom Schoors handles financial, construction and energy disputes. Koen Van Den Broeck and Nanyi Kaluma left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Thales Mertens; Werner Eyskens

Other key lawyers:

Tom Schoors; Thomas Declerck; Lauren Rasking

Testimonials

‘Very competent on competition law issues.’

‘Always ready to assist, irrespective of the time on day and on short notice.’

‘Very strong technically and easy to deal with.’

‘A&O Belgium have a bright, thoughtful, responsive team – with some excellent advocates. They are able to tap into A&O excellent international links to provide a 1st class service’

‘Werner Eyskens is a terrific advocate – incisive, interesting to listen to and totally on top of his material. He worked in the matter on which I was involved with Thomas Declerck and Lauren Rasking – both first class associates, seriously hard working and bright’

‘The A&O dispute resolution team is held in high regard, with a wealth of experience.’

‘Thomas Declerck – Brilliant mind, very analytical, practical approach’

Key clients

3i

Belchim

Cofinimmo

DEME

Engie

Exmar

Scania

TUI

Waterland Private Equity

Work highlights

  • Settled on favourable terms on behalf of Exmar, a maritime and offshore solutions provider, against Argentine national oil company YPF regarding a dispute over Exmar’s “Tango” floating liquefied natural gas unit.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff‘s team leverages its close ties with the firm’s offices in Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands and  has a strong track record representing some of the world’s largest companies in business-critical mandates, including multi-jurisdictional class actions and international commercial arbitrations before CEPANI and the ICC. The practice is jointly headed up by two partners: Hakim Boularbah, whose capabilities span civil and commercial litigation and arbitration at national, European, and international levels, and Olivier van der Haegen, a is noted for his work as both counsel and arbitrator for clients in the insurance, aerospace, energy and infrastructure sectors. Maria-Clara Van den Bossche focuses chiefly on class actions, enforcement and public international law, working with leading tech and telecoms companies.

Other key lawyers:

Maria-Clara Van den Bossche

Testimonials

‘The team is easy to work with. They quickly get an insight of your needs and come up with pragmatic solutions, even in complex international cases.’

‘Hakim Boularbah is impressively strong on international law issues. Olivier van der Haegen is solution-oriented and delivers quick and hands-on advice.’

‘Close to the business issues, pragmatic, efficient.’

‘Vast litigation experience, very professional, pragmatic, great responsiveness’

‘The team members are very responsive and always available on short notice to provide counsel. They are able to think strategically, and even the lawyers who do not have many years under their belts are able to think like a master chess player.’

Key clients

AstraZeneca

Interpol

BNP Paribas

John Cockerill – Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI)

Porsche AG

Atenor

Yukos Oil – former majority shareholders

Eurelec

Facebook

Amazon

Sonaca

Proximus

Ryanair

Chevron

Celanese

Dargaud-Lombard

Work highlights

  • Representing AstraZeneca before the Brussels courts in its dispute with the European Union and the 27 Member States regarding the performance of the COVID-19 vaccine advance purchase agreement and alleged delays in deliveries of the vaccine to the EU market.
  • Representing Porsche AG in a class action filed before the Brussels courts by the Diesel Emissions Justice Foundation (DEJF).
  • Representing BNP Paribas in the €7bn collective action initiated by the minority shareholders of Fortis (Ageas) following the takeover of Fortis bank by BNP Paribas in the middle of the credit-crunch crisis of 2008.

NautaDutilh

NautaDutilh's multilingual team handles the full spectrum of disputes work, working with clients in a broad range of sectors on high-profile banking disputes, insolvency litigation and sovereign debt enforcement disputes. The team is increasingly engaged on pre-litigation mandates, including potential trial preparation, ADR and mediation. Co-practice head Stan Brijs handles various domestic and international disputes, with key expertise in mass tort claims and enforcements. Fellow practice head Sophie Jacmain handles both litigation and arbitration, and is renowned for her reputation in insolvency and out-of-court restructuring proceedings. Alexander Roels is noted for his focus on international arbitration, while Bram Van Cauwenberge is especially capable in real estate litigations.

Practice head(s):

Stan Brijs; Sophie Jacmain

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Roels; Bram Van Cauwenberge

Testimonials

‘Although a dispute was not at all anticipated, the NautaDutilh dispute resolution team has in an efficient manner taken over from its M&A colleagues the handling of our case.’

‘Sophie Jacmain and Stan Brijs are exceptional as they are talented dispute attorneys and manage the NautaDutilh dispute resolution team as a team.’

‘Stan Brijs is an outstanding litigator with an extraordinary capability to explain very complex matters in plain layman terms – he is also always very mindful of the culture within the company.’

‘Dedicated, knowledgeable staff with business acumen. Available after hours and at short notice. Very reasonable rates. They do not litigate for the sake of litigation and have a pragmatic approach to dispute resolution.’

‘Special mention to Bram Van Cauwenberge. Really client-focussed, pragmatic, available, and a great work ethic.’

‘Great team, excellent lawyers – bright, hard working and true team players.’

Key clients

ABN Amro Bank

Lycops – Debeurme – OMMIA / P&V Assurance

Ascom-Stati

Schneider Electric Energy Belgium NV

Ghelamco Group

Connectis (part of Getronics)

Quinz

Quinz is particularly sought after by clients in the financial services, life sciences, energy and public sectors – including various sovereign states – for representation in high-profile litigation and arbitration proceedings. Co-practice head Benoît Allemeersch is a highly regarded arbitrator and mediator under various rulings, including CEPANI, ICC, NAI, and VIAC. Géraldine Scraeyen is noted for her formidable capabilities acting for energy and travel sector clients, while Stijn De Dier is experienced in insolvency matters and as counsel to creditors and debtors in restructuring mandates. Former fellow practice head Vincent Van Obberghen has now left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Benoît Allemeersch

Other key lawyers:

Géraldine Scraeyen; Stijn De Dier

Testimonials

‘The Quinz team is very knowledgeable and approachable, and the quality of their work is truly excellent.’

‘Benoît Allemeersch is a top-notch litigator who is trusted by clients and peers alike. He leads and trains his team of bright litigators expertly, and handles large domestic cases and arbitration files. The combination of his practice with his academic career and ties ensure that he can deliver stellar advice and is on top of legal developments in his field.’

‘Géraldine Scraeyen is an extremely capable lawyer, detail-oriented, strong writing and persuasive skills, multilingual, and hard working.’

‘Benoit Allemeersch is extremely talented. I think he is one of the best litigators in Belgium.’

‘Benoit Allemeersch is an exceptional counsel in court and in international arbitration.’

‘I rely on Quinz’s litigation team for all procedural and common-law issues because they’re the most reliable law firm I’ve worked with. The whole team is very responsive.’

‘Quinz’s litigation department is involved in the most important law suits in Belgium, they have a pragmatic approach when solving cases and are always very responsive.’

Key clients

Nyrstar

Belfius Bank

Danone Alpro

KPMG

Siemens Energy

Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan

Vossemeren

BNP Paribas Fortis

Recordati

Cordeel Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Euronext-listed Nyrstar in the litigation fall-out from its 2019 restructuring.
  • Acting as counsel to Vossemeren in a complex dispute with certain key investors.
  • Representing BNP Paribas Fortis in the criminal proceedings initiated by a number of Fortis’ shareholders following the demise of Fortis, the largest financial group of the Low Countries, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Stibbe

'Expert knowledge combined with a pragmatic approach' makes Stibbe a firm of choice for a broad roster of Belgian entities, blue-chip multinationals, and financial institutions seeking representation in high-stakes cases. The sizeable team handles a wealth of commercial disputes, arbitrations, and ADR proceedings, including complex, multi-party litigation. Practice head Hans Van Bavel is highly experienced in company-related criminal work, regularly appearing before the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Oliver Stevens is highly regarded for his far-reaching practice, encompassing banking and finance litigation, (re)insurance litigation and tort litigation. Nicolas Résimont stands out for his deep capabilities as both counsel and arbitrator, while Pieter Wouters focuses predominately on insolvency and liquidation procedures. Sophie Bourgois and Elisabeth Bayens are noted for their respective knowledge of damages and procedural work.

Practice head(s):

Hans Van Bavel

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Stevens; Nicolas Résimont; Pieter Wouters; Sophie Bourgois; Elisabeth Bayens; Glenn Heirman

Testimonials

‘In-depth theoretical knowledge, well experienced with dispute resolution. Committed to reach goals.’

‘Pieter Wouters is thorough and committed to win.’

‘Glenn Heirman is diligent and detail-oriented.’

‘Expert knowledge combined with a pragmatic approach, very accessible, always deliver on time.’

Key clients

AGB Kunsten & Design

BAC

Bank Degroof Petercam

Belgian State

Belvir

Bencis Capital Partners

CBC Banque

Cegeka

Cheops Technologies

Creafund

Fabricom

Fortis

Geberit

KBC Bank

MEP Capital Management

Microsoft

MS Amlin

Museum

National Bank of Belgium

Neremat

Nyrstar

Orsted Wind Power

Perrigo

Port of Antwerp

Proximus

Providence Equity Partners

Royal Antwerp Football Club

Royal Belgian Football Association

SD Worx

Stephan Colle

Storm Management

Suez

Swissport International

Transport Van Steenbergen

TUI

Union Bank of Israel

Work highlights

  • Representing Perrigo in the arbitration procedure brought against the former owner of Omega Pharma Invest NV for fraud and breach of warranties.
  • Settled out-of-court on behalf of S. Colle and A. De Clerck, who were prosecuted for tax fraud, money laundering, forgery and the use of forged documents.
  • Representing National Bank of Belgium in several highly complex and sensitive lawsuits pursuant to the bankruptcy of Optima Bank, which filed for bankruptcy in June 2016 after having lost its banking and insurance licences amid allegations of financial irregularities.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance acts for a strong roster of key Belgian companies, multinationals, banks, and public bodies in a host of contentious mandates. Highly regarded as an ‘excellent litigator and strategic thinker’ by clients, practice head Dorothée Vermeiren is a prolific litigator and arbitrator. Nathan Tulkens is experienced in commercial and corporate disputes, representing large global retailers and financial institutions in high-stakes proceedings. Nicolas Vanderstappen is noted for his expertise in shareholder litigation and arbitration capabilities under CEPANI rules.

Practice head(s):

Dorothée Vermeiren

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Tulkens; Nicholas Vanderstappen

Testimonials

‘A practice that is theoretically strong whilst also hands-on and pragmatic. Not afraid to take a position.’

‘Dorothée Vermeiren will look at issues from all angles and will raise potential blind spots.’

‘We have built up a good cooperation with Clifford Chance in very short time to resolve a main problem in international tax fraud and evasion. For us the international network and experiences of a Law office such as Clifford Chance was (in association with the price level) a main factor in our decision to give them the assignment.’

‘Dorothée Vermeiren is very professional and involved, solution-oriented, good communicator.’

‘Dorothée Vermeiren is an excellent litigator, strategic thinker, and knows her files well.’

Key clients

Amazon EU

The Belgian State

KONE

Eckes-Granini

Citibank

ING Belgium

Carrefour

Liberty Liège-Dudelange

Blockchain

Manchester Securities Corp.

AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation)

Euroclear

Cohabs

Lucerne Capital Management

ION Holding

Patrizia

Immobel

Ena Investment Capital

Work highlights

  • Represented Amazon in a strategic dispute against brick-and-mortar booksellers claiming violations of the Belgian book price regulation.
  • Represented the Belgian State before the Brussels enterprise court against claims brought by approximately 8,000 ARCO shareholders claiming compensation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing insolvency of the ARCO companies, and in litigation before the US courts aimed at recovering fraudulently reclaimed taxes from various US pension funds.
  • Successfully advised Carrefour on an investigation conducted by the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) in relation to a joint purchasing alliance between Carrefour and Provera (the purchasing central of the Louis Delhaize group).

Eubelius

The sizeable dispute resolution team at Eubelius has a diverse caseload which includes practitioners appearing before various international arbitration bodies and Belgian courts, including the Constitutional Court and the Council of State. The practice is jointly headed up by three partners: Patrick Hofströssler, an experienced litigator who regularly represents the Belgian State; Ignace Claeys, who focuses on commercial disputes and tortious issues; and Svjatoslav Gnedasj, who spearheads the firm's tax litigation offering. Thijs Tanghe is experienced in contract and tort liability, and regularly participates in arbitrations at the ICC and SCC. Alexandre Rigolet specialises in multi-party litigation in various industries, most notably pertaining to construction and associated contracts.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Hofströssler; Ignace Claeys; Svjatoslav Gnedasj

Other key lawyers:

Thijs Tanghe; Alexandre Rigolet; Ann Sofie Maertens

Testimonials

‘The litigation team combines a strategic, hands-on approach with an academic approach. This is the perfect combination.’

‘Ignace Claeys is an excellent lawyer, outstanding and down to earth.’

‘Very diversified and complementary competences. Very good documentation and preparation deck before each meeting. Very good follow up on the costs for our Group.’

‘Long term relationship with all. Very stable team knowing the file very well. Patrick Hofströssler is a very experimented counsellor and a strong add-value. Both Ann Sofie Maertens and Alexandre Rigolet also complete very well the team with their knowledge an dedication to the case.’

Key clients

Etex (Eternit)

Bamelis

Euroclear

Arnaud (Mogi) Bayat

Matexi

EXPO

Jones Day

The team at Jones Day, which has a strong track record in EU and Belgian litigation, and experience acting before the Supreme Court, acts for a diverse roster of  multinational corporates, financial services companies, and infrastructure players. Building on its traditional strength in antitrust and telecoms disputes, recent work has seen the team handling an ever greater volume of private enforcement claims, contractual disputes, and arbitration proceedings. Practice head Sébastien Champagne is an experienced cross-border advocate who has most recently worked with some of the world’s foremost tech and payments companies. Supreme Court litigator Michèle Grégoire is a key contact for the firm’s financial institution and investment fund clientele, while Vanessa Foncke is noted for her broad contractual and commercial dispute practice.

Practice head(s):

Sébastien Champagne

Other key lawyers:

Michèle Grégoire; Vanessa Foncke

Testimonials

‘It’s a real team. A team that complements each other very well.’

‘The first thing that I appreciate is the professionalism and the mastery of their expertise. I also appreciate their frankness about the chances of a case being successful. When the partner who manages our file tells us that we have a chance to win, we have always won.’

‘Michèle Grégoire is one of the top legal brains in town.’

‘Vanessa Foncke is business-oriented, fully available and provides a great combined legal and commercial view.’

Very strong partner involvement.’

Vanessa Foncke has a deep knowledge of the dossiers, and wants to understand even the technicalities of our operations. In all the sessions at the Arbitration Tribunal she gave an excellent performance which resulted in winning all of the claims or being able to come to a settlement, even in those that were very unlikely to be won.

Key clients

Belfius

bpost

HeidelbergCement

Inmarsat

Mapei

MasterCard International

Nethys

Sogepa

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

The sizeable team at Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick acts for a diverse roster of commercial and public sector clients in a host of contentious mandates, both domestically and transnationally. Arnaud Nuyts heads up the international arbitration and dispute resolution desk, representing a host of clients in multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. Olivier Vanden Berghe leads the commercial contracts and litigation practice, and is particularly experienced in disputes related to business-to-business transactions in energy and pharmaceuticals. Roel Fransis handles banking, insolvency, and corporate litigation. Aimery De Schoutheete is experienced in ICC and CEPANI arbitrations, and has niche expertise in Congolese employment law and associated contracts. Bruno Hardy has experience of a number of international arbitrations, primarily in the areas of construction, distribution and corporate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Arnaud Nuyts; Olivier Vanden Berghe; Roel Fransis

Other key lawyers:

Aimery de Schoutheete; Bruno Hardy

Testimonials

‘Very good in international arbitration.’

‘A strong team with extended competencies in various areas. Very good internal and external communication when additional expertise is required by the customer.’

‘Lead contacts Olivier Vanden Berghe and Roel Francis are experts in their respective fields, and supporting contact Thijs Vermeulen is a high level right-hand man.’

‘The arbitration team is exceptional, particularly for complex international arbitration. Arnaud Nuyts and his team combine strong advocacy with a deep understanding of complex legal issues and business practices, as well as excellent strategy. Above all, Prof Nuyts is respected by arbitrators who listen to him and trust his interpretation of the law.

‘I have been working closely with Liederkerke for a few years now. The areas covered are broad: civil procedure, cross border procedure, arbitration related court proceedings, criminal law and the law of cassation. For each area the services offered were of outstanding quality.’

‘My main point of contact is Arnaud Nuys who brought in his partners Simone Nudelholc, Roules Francis, Beatrice van Tournout. They interact seamlessly and they provide consistently highest quality in all areas. The case we handled is extremely complex and the team around Arnaud has proven to be on top of the issues at any given time.’

‘The team is very communicative, interactive and very responsive. They reply, explain the legal jargon, implications and make reasonable expectations. They established a shared platform, a whatsapp group for quick feedback.’

‘Great team, well streamlined and available, good follow-up’

‘Roel Fransis: very knowledgeable, excellent follow-up and excels in expertise (up to date of case law, in-depth knowledge of the law) – warm personality and great to work with.’

Key clients

GECAMINES

Bridgestone

REPUBLIC OF POLAND

REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

DP WORLD

CCC

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead counsel in Belgium for the Republic of Kazakhstan in the prominent multi-jurisdictional dispute relating to the enforcement by the Stati Parties (the “Statis”) of a $530m ECT Arbitral Award obtained in 2013 against the RoK (the “Award”).
  • Acting for major department store operator Inno in its €2m damages claim against Unizo, and Mode Unie as a consequence of their obtaining and enforcing a court injunction on black-out periods, forcing Inno to stop certain commercial actions.
  • Assisting Mr. Sanjeev Gupta (GFG Alliance) in relation to the restructuring and refinancing of the group and in relation to litigation with American Industrial Partners and its affiliate ICP Origination I LLC acting as lender.

Lydian

Fielding a large team working between Brussels, Antwerp, and Hasselt, Lydian‘s broad disputes practice is regularly sought out by well-known domestic and international companies. The practice is jointly led by Hugo Keulers, a well regarded insurance and reinsurance litigator and arbitrator, and Annick Mottet Haugaard, a distribution and IP specialist for clients in the luxury fashion, automotive, and life sciences sectors. Jo Willems specialises in corporate litigation, product liability, and professional indemnity. Marijn De Ruysscher focuses on liability matters in the engineering and industrial sectors.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Keulers; Annick Mottet Haugaard

Other key lawyers:

Jo Willems; Marijn De Ruysscher

Testimonials

‘It is a professional and experienced team with the necessary knowledge.’

‘Appreciate their kindness, professionalism, and approach.’

‘Strong dispute resolution skills which ensures an agreement between parties.’

‘Hugo Keulers and his team are always available, they have strong communication skills and ensure swift follow-up.’

‘They are very experienced in handling the files, litigation and finding suitable solutions in various situations. Can think out of the box.’

‘Hugo Keulers is a very experienced lawyer who takes matters into his hands and bring cases to a good end.’

‘Jo Willems is an experienced lawyer who thinks out of the box and gets the job done in a professional way.’

‘Very responsive team with a high experience in all the areas of the commercial litigation.’

Key clients

5N Plus

AIG Europe Ltd, now AIG Europe SA

Alfasigma Belgium BV / Cophana NV

Allianz Global Corporate

AMC NV

Anglo Belgian Corporation NV

Arte NV

Axima NV

Axis

BB Government Services GmbH

Brown Forman

Canopius

Carglass / Belron

CNA Insurance

CooperSurgical

Datwyler Pharma Packaging Belgium NV

Energyst B.V.

Ethias SA

Ethos Energy

Exyte AG

Fagerhult BV

Gcube

Gilles Hennessy / Sinels

Gunvor Petroleum Antwerp

GVFI Europe B.V.

HDI-Gerling Verzekeringen NV, now HDI Global SE

Henkel Global Supply Chain BV

Hilton Food Group

Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited

HTI Toys UK Limited

IPS Belgium NV

Keyence International (Belgium) NV/SA

Tremec

Mediamarkt

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

MS Amlin and AG Insurance

Nationale Nederlanden

Nike

Pizza Hut Europe

Suntrade / Bunge

RSA Nederland / Unica

Smits and Luckey Establishment

STIB-MIVB

Transmisiones y Equipos (Tremec)

Tractebel Engineering

TÜV Rheiland AG

XL Catlin / XL Catlin Insurance Company SE / XL Catlin Services SE, now: Financial Insurance Company td. c/o AXA

Zodiak Belgium

Zurich Insurance Plc

Work highlights

  • Representing AIG in a coverage dispute before the Brussels Enterprise Court under a business interruption endorsement of an environmental all-risk insurance policy following the closure of airport terminals and buildings at international airports in Australia, Iberia, the UK, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
  • Assisted Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and its European subsidiary in the restructuring of its distribution network in Belgium and Luxembourg after the announcement of its withdrawal from the European market.
  • Representing Immopro and Mathieu Gijbels in a dispute regarding the ownership of shares in Real Estate Belgium and Spinoff.

Simont Braun

Simont Braun is regularly engaged by a broad roster of commercial and public sector clients on domestic and cross-border litigation, arbitration, and mediation, appearing before all Belgian courts, Benelux courts, and the European Court of Justice. The team is particularly noted for its wide-ranging experience in class action lawsuits. Practice co-head Paul Alain Foriers is a highly experienced practitioner who regularly pleads before the Supreme Court. Fellow co-head Rafaël Jafferali has niche expertise in contract law and tort law, and is currently leading a major case on behalf of the European Union, working closely with civil and commercial mediator Fanny Laune.

Practice head(s):

Paul Alain Foriers; Rafaël Jafferali

Other key lawyers:

Fanny Laune; Steven Callens

Testimonials

‘Personal involvement of partners, outstanding quality of work, and the people are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Steven Callens stands out for his sharp legal analysis and dedicated approach.’

Work highlights

  • Representing the European Commission and the 27 Member States in landmark proceedings against AstraZeneca with the aim to accelerate the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Representing Test-Achats, a consumer organisation acting on behalf of about 40,000 passengers, in a class action against Ryanair for the cancellation of about 200 flights in summer 2018.
  • Representing DRS Belgium BV in proceedings before the Brussels Enterprise Court. In these proceedings, more than 2,000 former individual shareholders of the Arco group claim compensation for the loss of their investment from the Arco group, Belfius Bank, a former board member of Arco and the Belgian State.

Van Bael & Bellis

Van Bael & Bellis maintains an active dispute resolution practice that encompasses corporate litigation, distributorship disputes, damages litigation, and other public tender matters for a client base that includes a strong roster of blue-chip multinationals and pharmaceutical companies. Practice head Catherine Longeval acts for many of the firm’s most high-profile clients, and is experienced in distribution law, product liability, and CEPINA-governed arbitration. Peter L’Ecluse is noted for his broad expertise in life sciences litigation, variously appearing before the administrative courts, the Council of State, and the Belgian Competition Authority. Koen T’Syen routinely appears before the Belgian civil and administrative courts, and is particularly experienced in cartel damages claims.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Longeval

Other key lawyers:

Peter L’Ecluse; Koen T’Syen

Key clients

Advanced Instruments

Amphenol

AstraZeneca

Belgian State

Coca-Cola European Partners Belgium

DAF Trucks

Elicio

Gedeon Richter

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals

Mars

Orchestra Prémaman Belgium

Pfizer

Prodimed

Voo (formerly Nethys)

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of CDR-Consortium de Réalisation SA and CDR Créances SAS in an array of high-profile cases associated with the recovery of a €400m debt.
  • Representing one of the former managers of Nyrstar NV in relation to a complex corporate litigation initiated by a number of minority shareholders of Nyrstar who are seeking more than EUR1bn in damages.
  • Representing Amphenol in legal proceedings against its former distributor Akron NV.

ALTIUS

Best known for its capabilities in the life sciences, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and media sectors, ALTIUS is regularly engaged by high-profile domestic and multinational companies for representation in a range of disputes. In recent work, the team has handled a growing number of retail sector insolvency claims, cartel damages claims, and distribution matters. Practice co-head Alexander Hansebout is a highly regarded arbitrator. Fellow co-head Christophe Ronse is an experienced litigator with key expertise in patent and life sciences proceedings.

Testimonials

‘Great, personal and friendly approach. Clear lines of communication (in different languages) and always keeping us abreast of the process, the situation and key/critical steps. Client care, and collaboration is a core strength – they really helped, supported and in fact added some analysis and insight to the overall process. They demonstrated a clear understanding of UK law and the comparison to EU/Belgium law – pointing out differences and where we could align things.’

‘Alexander Hansebout was exceptional – calm, confident, knowledgeable and considered. Clear understanding of the issues and the gaps and how best to approach to resolve them.’

‘Alexander Hansebout and his team really has the capacity to quickly get to the core of a matter and come up with innovative approaches on the resolution.’

‘Alexander is a patient person, who will make time for you always.’

‘Alexander Hansebout: smart, practical, strategic sensibility, responsive.’

‘Great team, excellent collaboration.’

‘The litigation team of Altius has a solid expertise in complex arbitration and litigation matters. Responsive and efficient.’

‘Alexander Hansebout is very well qualified, always to the point, makes the issues understandable and provides solutions according to the needs of each matter.’

Key clients

Siemens Mobility

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Heineken

Sanoma

UEFA

MARS

Gilead

Merck Sharp & Dohme

Biogen

Daikin

Work highlights

  • Representing FNG (stock listed) in tort liability claims exceeding €225m.
  • Represented UEFA as a defendant in the litigation agents, clubs and supporters brought against the ‘Financial Fair Play’ rule imposed on clubs participating in UEFA competitions.
  • Acting for Pace Rights Management in complex competition law (abuse of dominant position) proceedings before the Court of Appeal of Brussels between copyright collecting society SABAM and about thirty festival and concert promotors regarding the validity of SABAM’s tariffs for concerts and festivals.

Arcas Law

Arcas Law fields a sizeable team based across its Antwerp and Brussels offices. The group is well placed to represent IT, tech, and consumer goods companies in a range of multi-jurisdictional litigations, arbitrations, and mediations. Major class actions are a core competency for the practice, while product liability cases and bankruptcy procedures are also key strengths. The practice is jointly led by three partners: Brussels-based Joost Verlinden, an experienced arbitrator under CEPANI, ICC, and UNCITRAL rulings; Antwerp-based Karel Schulpen, a corporate litigation and commercial liability specialist, and Bart Volders, an Antwerp-based expert in international private law.

Practice head(s):

Karel Schulpen; Joost Verlinden; Bart Volders

Testimonials

‘Thorough knowledge of relevant subject matter – pragmatic approach’

‘Bart Volders clarifies complex matters in a pragmatic way’

‘A good team of lawyers who are experienced in dispute resolution.’

‘Karel Schulpen is an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle his files.’

‘We have worked with Joost Verlinden and his team for several years and we are still very satisfied with the services delivered: excellent litigation skills, very easy to reach out to and a very good knowledge of our business.’

Key clients

Suez

Eiffage Group

Orange

ING

Zurich Insurance

Volvo Cars

Engie Fabricom

Amlin

Deloitte

Heidelberg

AIG

UCB

McCain

EY (Ernst & Young)

AB Inbev

AXA XL Catlin

Atos Worldline

Athora

Goodlife Foods

Suez

Work highlights

  • Representing the Belgian consumer organisation (Test Aankoop / Test Achats) in a new benchmark class action against Apple Inc. relating to programmed obsolescence of iPhones.
  • Representing BAVP in a major litigation procedure involving, among others, various cable TV distributors regarding a claim for rights (compensation).

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL  regularly represents a broad range of blue-chip corporate clients in a host of domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Koen De Winter is an experienced litigator and arbitrator with significant experience in IP, trade, and commerce. Daniel Fesler's commercial disputes practice is concentrated in the tech sector, and Gregory Lebrun  is noted for his capabilities in real estate disputes and public procurement litigations. Michaël De Vroey focuses chiefly on healthcare and consumer goods litigation before the Belgian and EU courts.

Practice head(s):

Koen De Winter; Daniel Fesler; Gregory Lebrun

Other key lawyers:

Michaël De Vroey

Testimonials

‘Koen de Winter and his team are very knowledgeable and responsive, he has a calm demeanour and gives very practical advice. He is a true pleasure to work with.’

They are always available and fully dedicated.

Key clients

Axa Corporate Solutions Assurance SA

ORANGE SA

Apple Retail Belgium BVBA

Caceis Bank SA

Building Green One SA

VolkerWessels group

Becton Dickinson group

Van Ratingen

Hunter Douglas

Cegelec BV

Kadine (Essentiel)

Solar Turbines Europe SA (Caterpillar Group)

Nidec Industrial Automation Belgium SA

Delifrance SA

Chanel SRL

Axa Corporate Solutions Assurance SA

ORANGE SA

Apple Retail Belgium BVBA

Caceis Bank SA

Building Green One SA

VolkerWessels group

Becton Dickinson group

Van Ratingen

Hunter Douglas

Cegelec BV

Kadine (Essentiel)

Solar Turbines Europe SA (Caterpillar Group)

Nidec Industrial Automation Belgium SA

Delifrance SA

Chanel SRL

Work highlights

  • Representing the French head company of Orange Group in a litigation also involving Proximus SA, Orange Belgium and Irinest, against one of Orange’s former contractors, Fibreworx SPRL.
  • Representing Axa Corporate Solutions and 15 international co- and re-insurers in a high-value international litigation before the Brussels Business Court.
  • Representing Chanel in a major strategic dispute with one of its only two distributors in Belgium, Planet Parfum.

CMS

CMS acts for global corporations and multinational associations in high-profile disputes that frequently have a strong cross-border aspect. The team is especially noted for its presence in the tech and online marketplace space, where it handles business-critical IP-related mandates. The practice is led by Renaud Dupont, a specialist in copyright, trademarks, and patents, who routinely acts for leading multinationals in the media, retail and chemical sectors. IP specialist Loïc de Hults is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Renaud Dupont

Other key lawyers:

Loïc de Hults

Testimonials

‘CMS Brussels shows an outstanding track record of providing stellar legal advice to tech firms in a wide range of areas, from commercial matters to tricky litigation cases over privacy analysis. Their encyclopaedic knowledge of EU law is truly unique.’

‘The team is very proactive and solutions oriented. Also, what is remarkable, is the fact that the team is pragmatic.’

Key clients

Facebook

Amazon

Deliveroo

NH Hotel/Pharochim

Delvaux

Dalkia Biogaz Belgium

Tronox

Sogepa (Investment Fund)

Mestdagh

City of Brussels: Eurostadium

CHUBB/Argenta

Brussels Region

A.C.P./Deloitte

FIFA – Diarra

Work highlights

  • Representing Facebook in proceedings brought against Facebook, Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium by the Belgian Data Protection Authority for a series of alleged infringements of EU and national rules on privacy protection regarding the use of cookies and pixels.
  • Representing two US entities of Amazon in trademark infringement proceedings against Christian Louboutin before the Brussels Court.
  • Representing Deliveroo in a commercial litigation against the Belgian non-profit organisation Productions Associées (which is part of the SMart group), employer of (most of) the bikers who provided delivery services through Deliveroo’s platform in Belgium.

Crowell & Moring

Crowell & Moring has a strong reputation in commercial litigation among its diverse, international clients, including IP, competition, and employment-related disputes. Recently, the team has been engaged on a growing number of mediations, and white-collar mandates regarding compliance breaches and subsequent enforcement actions. The practice is jointly led by two partners: Kristof Roox, an experienced IP practitioner with key expertise in highly regulated industries including healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and Thomas De Meese, who focuses on disputes in the IT, telecoms, and media space. Jan-Diederik Lindemans  is noted for his focus on the technology sector.

Practice head(s):

Kristof Roox; Thomas De Meese

Other key lawyers:

Jan-Diederik Lindemans

Testimonials

‘The firm has one of the largest Dispute Resolution teams in any international law firm in the country. This makes them well versed to handle all major disputes. Experienced local lawyers are providing excellent advice to international clients. The value for money is unprecedented.’

‘The firm’s senior partner Kristof Roox is well known and very well respected. There is a reason why many of the country’s most sensitive and complex disputes find their way to his desk. He knows how to deliver results, both in and out of the courtroom.’

Experienced local lawyers are providing excellent advice to international clients.

The combination of quality, creativity and timeliness that is delivered to us by Crowell & Moring’s Brussels office is unusual and highly appreciated.

Their invoicing is detailed, regular and completely transparent.

We are extremely happy that we can continue to count with Jan-Diederik Lindemans as a sounding board for questions that arise in our day-to-day practice. He is always readily available, has the ability to grasp the legal AND business issues quickly and translate them into a workable solution for our company.

Key clients

Viatris (formerly Mylan)

Sandoz

Materialise

D’Ieteren

Pharma Patent

Aviation Glass and Technology

Tereos Group

Telenet

Vias Institute

Hexagon

Gerrits Recycling

Belgozim

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Belgian wholesaler in a “bet the company” dispute concerning a sales and supply contract for face masks.
  • Defended an EU consultancy and lobbyist in a series of disputes concerning the wrongful termination of a management contract, involving accusations of defamation and the attempted imposition of strict unilateral provisional measures.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s team, which frequently combines with practitioners in other teams, handles the full spectrum of dispute work across a number of sectors. Practice co-head Bob Martens is experienced in defending high-stakes litigation cases before the Council of State, the Constitutional Court, and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Fellow co-head Ilse Van De Mierop handles corporate and commercial litigation proceedings, with a particularly strong reputation for insolvency law cases. Catherine Gysels left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens; Ilse Van de Mierop

Testimonials

‘This team has all the know how concentrated in one firm due to a combination of the specialised skills in the domain of litigation & public law (public sector) and the experience with the postal sector. It’s not easy to find this combination of skills/experience altogether and makes it unique and valuable from a client perspective.’

‘Bob Martens is a highly qualified lawyer known for his expertise in public law and public procurement in particular. He is not only very specialised and experienced but also thinks out of the box in complex matters and is solution focussed.’

Key clients

Achema

AG Insurance

Argenta Spaarbank (ASPA)

Arco

Aviapartner

BAM Contractors

Bpost

Brunswick

City of Antwerp

Flemish Public Broadcasting Company (VRT)

Fresenius Kabi

ING België

Katoen Natie

Sabena

skeyes (formerly Belgocontrol)

SodaStream International

Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging Oostende

International Montage Maintenance

TUC Rail

Groupe Forrest International

Cegeka

Scania

The Associated Press

Accenture

Worldline

Legio Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully representing Belfius in criminal and civil actions following the largest internal bank fraud committed in Belgium by a trader.
  • Representing Skeyes (Belgocontrol) in various proceedings by airlines, airports and other companies in the aviation industry following strikes and absence for medical reasons by air traffic controllers, causing the Belgian airspace to be closed on several occasions.
  • Acted for Givaudan in a litigation against ChemCom with respect to the outcome of the liquidation of a Belgian joint venture, TechnoScent.

Fieldfisher

Drawing on a broad network of European offices, Fieldfisher regularly assists clients from the construction, insurance, life sciences, and tech sectors on a range of litigation and international arbitration proceedings. Jean-François Germain heads up a team whose core expertise spans a range of court proceedings, mediations, and ADR – often with a distinctive EU law or IP aspect. Maxime Berlingin focuses most keenly on contract law, corporate law, and market abuse, and is also experienced in CEPANI, ICC, and ad hoc arbitrations. Koen Van Den Broeck joined the team from Allen & Overy LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jean-François Germain

Other key lawyers:

Maxime Berlingin; Koen Van Den Broeck

Testimonials

‘Good level of reactivity and diversity of the team. Good relationship with the customers and within the team.’

‘Most of the time we work with Partners, they are really keen to understand our needs. They make “law” accessible and understandable for everyone. They try to find the easiest way to close a deal, meaning they will go right to the point. If needed, they can also find some challenging way to close a deal/agreement/claim.’

‘We have a very well established relationship with Fieldfisher which has been ongoing for a number of years. They have always acted in a professional manner, working closely with us to provide advice and guidance when required. They are timely in their responses and always update us on case matters in a timely manner.’

‘We have worked with Maxime Berlingin for a number of years and have always experienced fantastic client service. Maxime is incredibly knowledgeable in the area and is always quick to respond to queries we may have, providing thorough explanations and guidance when required.’

‘Direct communications & commercial solutions.’

‘Maxime Berlingin is a direct communicator who offers practical and commercial solutions. Understands people and the challenges that people as individuals can pose to a settlement.’

‘Good contacts and good way to explain what is important and what strategy could be efficient.’

‘Excellent team in dispute resolution. They are able to address the concerns of a variety of industries.’

Key clients

EURELEC

PHARMASIMPLE

CASINOS AUSTRIA GROUP

HANSARD EUROPE DESIGNATED ACTIVITY COMPANY

VIT MANAGEMENT

LAFARGE HOLCIM

MINI-EUROPE

ECOLAB

Work highlights

  • Representing Pharmasimple in a dispute with Air Belgium concerning the performance of air waybills according to which Air Belgium was in charge of the transport of surgical masks for Pharmasimple from China to Belgium.
  • Represented Hansard in several liability cases filed by policyholders who lost money invested in life insurance products sold by the client.

intui

Based primarily in Leuven, the team at intui has a stellar reputation among clients for its capabilities in shareholder disputes and director liability cases, regularly representing clients in market-leading cases in this space. The team is jointly led by three partners specialised in this area: Anneleen Steeno, Caroline Hotterbeekx, and Robbie Tas. Naomi Glibert is also noted for her knowledge of banking and finance, and dispute settlement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Tas; Anneleen Steeno; Caroline Hotterbeekx

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Gilbert

Testimonials

‘’From a price/quality perspective, you can’t find better on the market.’

Robbie Tas is outstanding and very well respected by his peers and by the court. He is the go to lawyer in corporate litigation with a very good strategical view on how to reach the best result.

Caroline Hotterbeekx has a very good understanding of the dispute resolution. She knows the file extremely well and is very detailed. I enjoyed Caroline’s clear cut advice, opinion and presentation of the facts. She is very factual which makes decision making easy and supports you in tough times.

Experts in corporate litigation, especially shareholders disputes and post M&A disputes.

The firm has one of the best reputations in corporate litigation in the market. The whole team has (had) links with the Leuven university and is know for combining theory and practice with a pragmatic approach.

Academic skills combined with ‘on the ground’ experience and a great customer experience attitude makes this practice unique in my opinion.

‘An excellent knowledge of the subjects which was superior to the other law firms in the case. Thoroughly study the material. They take always the time to speak to you and to assist you if necessary. During our discussions with the office, there was always a clear explanation in an understandable language. Very professional approach, but in a friendly atmosphere.’

‘Mr Robbie Tas has tremendous analytical skills. He immediately sees where the problems and opportunities are in the file. He will immediately have a number of scenarios ready that can be applied in the case. Mrs. Naomi Glibert builds up a very deep understanding of the case and analyses the answers of the opposing party to the bone.’

‘Robbie Tas has a proven record in dispute resolutions. His approach is hands on. He has a good academic background and has worked with known specialists in the matter. Naomi Glibert has a proven record in handling disputes between individuals and their counsel. She is a hard worker and delivers very detailed reports.’

Key clients

Quanteus Group / RSQ Investors

Jan De Paepe (Director of Optima Bank)

Bangaram BV / Francis Ottevaere

Work highlights

  • Acted for 34 minority shareholders (together representing more than 11% of the shares) of Nyrstar nv, a listed company, in their liability claim against the (former) directors of Nyrstar, Trafigura (the largest shareholder and supplier of Nyrstar), and Deloitte (statutory auditor of Nyrstar) of €1bn.
  • Acting for one of the former directors of Optima Bank NV, a financial institution that was declared bankrupt on June 15, 2016; the client is faced with numerous liability claims, in total exceeding €20m.
  • Representing the former 50% shareholder of a leading Belgian real estate developer following a dispute between the shareholders.

Osborne Clarke

Leveraging its firmwide sector expertise, Osborne Clarke‘s dispute resolution practice is routinely instructed by a number of leading entities in the retail, life sciences, and tech areas. Practice head Stefan Deswert is an experienced litigator who focuses on local and cross-border disputes, as well as construction litigation and arbitration. Retail head Marie Canivet is well versed in arbitration and mediation proceedings, with specific expertise in distribution law and franchising. Philippe Brabanders is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Deswert

Other key lawyers:

Marie Canivet; Philippe Brabanders

Key clients

Smartbox

LB Retail

Brico

Coopervision

Allegis

Mamma Roma

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in a bet-the-company litigation against its insurers.
  • Initiating proceedings against the insurer on behalf of TCR, pertaining to an environmental liability insurance concluded by the client.
  • Representing an association dedicated to the design and development of gene therapy treatments for rare diseases in litigation concerning the performance of a patent license agreement.

Philippe & Partners

Steered by the highly experienced international arbitrator Denis Philippe, Philippe & Partners works with some of the most high-profile corporations and public sector bodies on civil and commercial contentious proceedings, including cross-border disputes and anti-trust damages actions. Marc Gouden’s broad practice encompasses international contract law and tort law disputes, most notably for clients in the insurance and energy sectors. Pierre Moreau – who divides his time between Brussels, Mons, and Luxembourg – possesses far-reaching expertise in insurance proceedings, with recent highlights including precedent-setting policy disputes taken before the Court of Appeal. In addition to heading up the firm’s Dutch-speaking desk, counsel Tom Van Noyen represents a broad array of clients – ranging from banks to trade blocs – in high-profile cases. All named lawyers are based between Brussels and Luxembourg, unless noted otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Denis Philippe

Other key lawyers:

Marc Gouden; Pierre Moreau; Tom Van Noyen

Work highlights

  • Assisted the European Union in anti-trust damages actions against the elevator cartel.
  • Successfully assisted Electrabel in a claim against distribution system operator which failed to fulfil its legal obligations due to a problem that occurred during the migration of the IT system.
  • Acted as legal counsel on behalf of Electrabel in a criminal investigation for the sabotage of a nuclear power plant.

Schoups

Schoups' large Antwerp-based dispute resolution team is highly regarded for its expertise in high-value construction sector disputes, working with a mix of Belgian and multinational construction firms, contractors, insurance companies, banks, and real estate developers. Beyond these core competencies, the team also represents clients in energy, retail, and manufacturing. Geert De Buyzer is noted for his capabilities in CEPANI arbitration and ADR. Kris Lemmens and Maarten Somers have considerable public procurement expertise.

Practice head(s):

Marco Schoups; Geert De Buyzer; Benjamin Marchandise; Kris Lemmens; Maarten Somers

Testimonials

‘All lawyers I have been working with at Schoups are very dedicated, clever and hard working people.’

‘They do what they say they will do and will tell you if it’s better to negotiate. So far I have never been disappointed by them and never ‘lost’ a case. Very good advice.’

‘Very skilled litigation counsels. Business acumen and attention to the details. Delivers outstanding outcomes by mixing the right ingredients.’

‘Benjamin Marchandise is truly dedicated to his clients, taking immediate actions and initiatives to address all concerns. Always willing to go the extra mile. That gives a sense of true partnership with his client.’

‘Schoups lawyers are easy accessible, flexible and always think in a solution-oriented way with their clients. The team of Schoups law firm have a dynamic, pragmatic and solution-oriented approach and offer a professional and high-quality service. It is practically a one-stop- shop for who is involved in construction and real estate. During the pandemic Schoups lawyers have maintained their level of service, accessibility. They were one of the first to have organised seminars and solutions how to legally deal with the problems of the first lockdown in Belgium for the construction and real estate sector.’

‘The partners Marco Schoups, Kris Lemmens and Maarten Somers stand out with their professional and high-quality knowledge and service. They think in solutions not in problems and help you to find a settlement agreement rather than a lawsuit.’

‘The dispute resolution team of Schoups knows our business through and through and have specialists covering all aspects of our needs. In addition, the team consists of a large number of very good lawyers at a partner level, but also at associate level, which means that there is always somebody available to brainstorm on pressing matters.’

‘Even though the team members are leading lawyers in their field, they are down-to-earth and very pleasant to work with. In particular Geert De Buyzer and Maarten Somers combine the quality of being excellent lawyers and also being a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Carrefour

CFE Bouw Vlaanderen – MBG

CFE Infra / Aannemingsmaatschappij

Cordeel Zetel Hoeselt and Cordeel Zetel Temse

Fincimec

Strelia

Strelia fields a strong bench of partner talent, with the team acting for clients active in a diverse range of sectors in numerous disputes, both domestically and internationally. The group is noted for its prominent arbitration practice, where Jean-Pierre Fierens – who is regularly appointed as chair in CEPANI and ICC proceedings – and newly appointed partner Joanna Kolber are both key contacts. Olivier Clevenbergh is noted for his capabilities in construction litigation  and Sébastien Ryelandt is a key contact for clients seeking representation in liability claims and concession agreements.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Pierre Fierens

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Kolber; Sébastien Ryelandt; Olivier Clevenbergh

Testimonials

‘Joanna Kolber is excellent.’

‘Excellent communication and knowledge of the case. Very complementary collaborators.’

‘Excellent lawyers. Trilingual people. excellent communication skills.’

‘Olivier Clevenbergh and Sébastien Ryelandt are excellent lawyers.’

‘Excellent personal contact, reacting quickly for urgent demands. They give you a great confidence.’

‘Strong in collaboration and knowledge. Hands on. Problem solvers.’

‘High quality, no effort is too big. Co-operation with Joanna Kolber is excellent.’

‘Dynamic team that thinks together with the in-house counsel and the business. The team has both expertise and innovation.’

Key clients

Belgian State

Canon Belgium

Carrefour

City of Brussels

Credendo

Deutsche Messe

Direct Energy

Essity

Flemingo International

Fortis – President of the Board

French Republic (Ministry of Culture)

Gunvor

ING Bank

Liège Airport

Lineas

Lunch Garden

Media Markt

MSBH

NIKO Group

Optima Bank – Members of the Board

Orange Belgium

PCS Innotec International

Philipp Plein International

Photo Hall Multimedia

(Former) Thomas Cook Belgium directors

Tractebel

Veritas Group

Vesalius Biocapital

Wilink Group

Wilson Imports

Work highlights

  • Represented Orange Belgium in a successful challenge in court of the sale by Nethys of telecom operator VOO to US PE fund Providence.
  • Acting for Optima Bank directors following the bank’s bankruptcy in a liability case involving i.a. the Belgian Central Bank and auditors.
  • Defended the Belgian state in proceedings over liability claims from Arco Group shareholders following the company’s liquidation.

White & Case LLP

Drawing on its robust global network and considerable reputation, the Brussels office of White & Case LLP is routinely engaged by some of the world's foremost companies to handle large-scale, cross-border disputes and regulatory investigations. Thierry Bosly is highly proficient in contentious insolvency matters, working with a litany of domestic and international financial institutions on a broad array of commercial litigation and arbitration mandates. Olivier Vanhulst, who has experience of CEPANI arbitrations and infrastructure litigation, joined the team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Practice head(s):

Thierry Bosly; Olivier Vanhulst

Testimonials

‘Thierry Bosly and Olivier Vanhulst are seasoned litigators. They combine a very good knowledge of the law with commercial savviness.’

‘Thierry Bosly brings perspective and strategic advice to a file, which are both very valuable. Olivier Vanhulst is a very strong lawyer. Together, they form a very good team.’

Key clients

Bank Indonesia

British American Tobacco

Crédit Agricole

Facebook

Government of Bermuda

Hamon & Cie

Hertz

Intermarché

KT-Kinetics Technology

Mithra Pharmaceuticals

PQL

Summit Partners

Swissport Group

The Confédération marocaine de l’agriculture et du développement rural

Twitter

Verlinvest

Voodoo SAS

Bank Indonesia

British American Tobacco

Crédit Agricole

Facebook

Government of Bermuda

Hamon & Cie

Hertz

Intermarché

KT-Kinetics Technology

Mithra Pharmaceuticals

PQL

Summit Partners

Swissport Group

The Confédération marocaine de l’agriculture et du développement rural

Twitter

Verlinvest

Voodoo SAS

Work highlights

  • Acting for British American Tobacco in an annulment proceeding filed with the Belgian Constitutional Court.
  • Assisting Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium with several matters in Belgium and the Netherlands, including on the following topics: disputes, data protection, and free speech.
  • Assisting Twitter Inc. and Twitter Ireland with several matters in Belgium, including on the following topics: disputes and criminal law matters.

contrast

Mirroring the firm’s broader strengths in this area, contrast has an active competition litigation practice, working on high-profile cases for intergovernmental bodies, venture capital funds, technology companies and manufacturers. Frank Wijckmans is a ‘highly effective’ litigator, who frequently serves as chairman or co-arbitrator in domestic and international proceedings under ICC and CEPANI rules. Bart Bellen is noted for his experience before the Belgian courts at first instance and in appeals.

Practice head(s):

Frank Wijckmans; Filip Tuytschaever; Bart Bellen; Luc Demeyere

Testimonials

‘Transparent, with a clear view of the objective and proposing solutions that can be accepted by both parties.’

‘The real added value of contrast lies in their business acumen, they really know what they are talking about but even more important they really understand what we are talking about.’

‘When you have a meeting with people from Contrast you KNOW at the end of the meeting what you can/may do. Contrast is by far the best team I worked with.’

‘Strong competition, M&A and arbitration team.’

‘Frank Wijckmans is a highly effective litigator, great mix of legal and common sense, a considerable authority.’

‘Strong knowledge of European competition law.’

Very strong in understanding the different sides of a dispute, being very emphatic, having the skills to come to a solution everyone can agree with.

Key clients

Alychlo

Arbitration

Orange Belgium

European Commission

Belgian Ministry of Economy

AB Volvo

Samsung Benelux

Technical Control Bureau for Construction

Royal Excelsior Virton

Work highlights

  • Representing Alychlo in a major CEPANI-governed case concerning post-transaction litigation following the sale of Omega Pharma to Perrigo. In the same proceedings, Alychlo launched a counterclaim against Perrigo.
  • Representing Orange Belgium in the interim measures case and ongoing investigation by the Belgian Competition Authority into the strategic joint venture between Orange Belgium and Proximus for the roll-out of 5G in Belgium.
  • Representing Volvo in litigation following the 2016 Commission decision in the Trucks cartel case.

Cresco Advocaten

The Antwerp-based Cresco Advocaten focuses primarily on pre-litigation counselling, and corporate and commercial disputes for a solid roster of clients in the tech, real estate and retail sectors. Practice head Steven Daems is noted for his focus on insolvency law and restructuring mandates, representing clients in all manner of bankruptcy and liquidation issues. Natalie Lemense increasingly handles IT litigation and Emilie Praet handles both IT and IP-related mandates.

Practice head(s):

Steven Daems

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Lemense; Emilie Praet

Testimonials

‘Natalie Lemense displays true leadership and resilience. Quick and efficient approach.’

‘On the ball, value for money, and put client interests first.’

‘Steven Daems, Emilie Praet. They don’t waste time and get to the point without losing track of the details.’

‘The CRESCO individuals are a good hybrid of legal advisor and business partner. They don’t just execute but also shape the solution space.’

‘Strategic, tactical thinking is excellent. Very hands-on and always reachable. Excellent project management too.’

Have not seen such professionalism in the industry before.’

Natalie Lemense: leadership and resilience. Emilie Praet: In-depth study of the files.

Key clients

ROXWELL

CHG-Meridian Belux

BNP Paribas Fortis

SPACEWELL – MCS

KEMIN EUROPA

Eurobrillance

Deloitte Legal

A number of high-profile companies, financial institutions, and public bodies turn to the sizeable team at Deloitte LegalComparative Guides promotional icon for representation in commercial disputes, tax litigation and conflict handling matters. The multi-office practice is also noted for its arbitration offering, where CEPANI members Jürgen Egger and Alain-Laurent Verbeke are key contacts. Annick Visschers is recommended for her broad tax acumen.

Practice head(s):

Jürgen Egger; Annick Visschers; Johan Speecke; Alain Laurent Verbeke; Patrizia Macaluso; Benoît Féron; Glenn Hansen

Testimonials

‘Excellent Team for tax dispute resolution!’

‘Samuel Vanthienen is our direct contact regarding Tax dispute resolution. He is an excellent lawyer and negotiator!’

Key clients

UK Government

Willemen Groep

Lehman Brothers

Hansard Europe Designated Activity

Work highlights

  • Representing the administrators of Lehman Brothers in Belgian court cases to recover as many assets as possible.
  • Advising a Belgian organiser of dance festivals on the framework of the international roll-out of its festival concept and the impact of Covid-19 on the organisation of festivals.

Laurius

The Antwerp-based Laurius represents an array of domestic and international clients across a diverse range of industries in business-to-business dispute proceedings. In recent work, the team has been particularly active handling Covid-related contract disputes for clients in the real estate and waste management areas. Bert Luyten is noted for the breadth of his litigation practice, working with clients in the financial services, heavy industry, energy, and IT sectors. Karen Vermaere has key expertise in public procurement and competition law matters (both EU and Belgian).

Practice head(s):

Bert Luyten; Karen Vermaere

Testimonials

‘Bert Luyten is our primary contact at Laurius. He is responsive and commercial in his approach. I was impressed by his focus on ensuring that clients receive not just the legal, but also the practical and strategic advice they need to achieve their business objectives.’

‘Excellent and honest advice to resolve the situation, fantastic partnering goes the extra mile for the client.’

‘A very service aimed and dedicated team; with a lot of partner attention and very talented partners.’

‘Bert Luyten knows the Belgian litigation practice by heart and has a great drive in litigations. He combines a sound strategic analysis with pragmatic solutions.’

‘Karen Vermaere is very analytical and pleasant to work with.’

‘Laurius is unique in the way they look at the issue and the way they put together a team to handle the case. More specifically they analyse every single subject where the case is involved and develop a plan for every single criteria followed in the strategy to defend their client including the potential fall back scenario’s per criteria.’

‘Bert Luyten is outstanding with his in-depth knowledge but also his experience in judges from different courts.’

Monard Law

Fielding a large multidisciplinary team working across multiple offices throughout Belgium, Monard Law acts for a number of high-profile clients in disputes relating to the energy, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, fashion and financial services sectors. Daan De Jaeger is noted for his automotive and luxury goods-focused practice, regularly representing clients taking action against counterfeiting. Ghent-based Stephane Criel is a CEPANI-appointed arbitrator and mediator who specialises in IP infringement and cybercrime. Jeroen Raskin – who splits his time between Antwerp and Hasselt – is recommended for financial services sector disputes.

Practice head(s):

Erik Monard; Natalie Ulburghs; Nicole Segers; Daan De Jaeger; Pieter Van den Broeck; Jeroen Raskin; Kristof Zadora; Stephane Criel

Testimonials

‘Very hands on and to the point. Very high strategic insights – they are able to identify important milestones in a file before the opponents realise the existence of these milestones.’

‘They are simply no-nonsense, rock-solid lawyers who offer good service at the right price.’

‘Always on-point and on time.’

‘Jeroen Raskin is professional, flexible and result-oriented.’

‘Perfectly sized  for SME companies. Efficient communications. Acceptable billing levels.’

‘The quality of the legal research and advice is exceptional as well as follow up and communication with the client. Most importantly they try to provide actual pragmatic solution to the problem rather than overcomplicating it.’

‘Excellent negotiation and dispute resolution skills.’

Key clients

ACA Holding NV

ACA IT-Solutions NV

Adria Benelux

BergHOFF Worldwide

Continental Benelux

Copaco

D’Ieteren & D’Ieteren Sport (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Yamaha)

Eurautomat

Fluvius System Operator

Group a (Belisol&Kwadro)

Hyundai Belux

IVECO

Merit Capital

Napoleon Games

Primagaz Belgium (part of worldwide SHV concern)

Rolex

Rolex Benelux

s. Oliver

Suzuki Belgium

Terumo Europe

Work highlights

  • Assisting several minority shareholders of Nyrstar NV in relation to alleged fraud and mismanagement involving Nyrstar.
  • Assisting Fluvius in relation to a solar panel fraud litigiation.
  • Assisting Rolex with anti-counterfeiting and overseeing Rolex’s (including Tudor) anti-counterfeiting practices in the Benelux.

Olislaegers & De Creus

Olislaegers & De Creus‘ team handles various disputes for a diverse client roster that spans SMEs, financial services companies, public bodies and private individuals. Michael Olislaegers is an accredited mediator and litigator with significant experience representing Belgian corporates in bet the company proceedings. Kristof De Creus is an experienced M&A lawyer who also serves as an adviser in commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Michael Olislaegers; Kristof De Creus

Testimonials

‘Mr. De Creus is a highly skilled lawyer who will always perform an in-depth analysis of the business case, regardless of its size. Being available at all times, Mr. De Creus is a trustworthy business partner.’

‘Olislaegers & De Creus’ practice distinguishes itself by selecting well-qualified lawyers, each within their own field of expertise.’

Key clients

Care Property Fund NV

House of Music NV

Atcomex BV

Marree & Dijxhoorn BV / Medico Footware Fashion BV

Algeco Belgium NV

Work highlights

  • Acting as legal counsel to House of Music in a pending dispute with Harman International Industries Inc., in relation to the termination by Harman of House of Music’s quasi-exclusive distributorship in Belgium and Luxemburg for Harman group premium audio brand products.
  • Acting as legal counsel to Medico Footwear Fashion BV, a Dutch wholesaler of sports footwear, including the leading brand ‘FILA’, with the collection of its outstanding claim on Brantano, a subsidiary of FNG International.
  • Acting as legal counsel to Atcomex BV and Atcomex Sp. Z.o.o. in a dispute with the Polish trustee of the bankrupt Upgrade Energy Sp. Z.o.o.

Seeds of Law

Seeds of Law is predominantly retained by a host of SMEs, entrepreneurs and public sector entities, which turn to the team for representation in both domestic and cross-border contentious matters. Leo Peeters is praised by clients for his ‘calm and results-oriented’ approach, handling litigations and arbitrations in the banking, telecoms, leisure and heavy industry sectors. Practice co-head Koen De Puydt is noted for his expertise in real estate litigation and representation of semi-public companies. Fellow co-head Alain De Jonge notably handles instructions for commercial and residential developers.

Practice head(s):

Koen De Puydt; Alain De Jonge

Other key lawyers:

Leo Peeters

Testimonials

‘Alain de Jonge is a perfect business partner who shows interest in the specific needs of the business he is delivering legal services to. Not only the theoretical legal aspects matter, also the feasibility of solutions and legal setups in a day-to-day business environment.’

‘The Dispute Resolution practice of Seeds of Law places a particularly high value on resolving disputes out of court and has a particular strength in strategic legal advice at the early stages of a problem. A point of differentiation and a real benefit for clients. The focus is always on avoiding risks. When litigation can no longer be avoided, the Seeds of Law team has impressive courtroom skills. The law firm represents both corporate and private clients before all Belgian courts and is highly regarded in the market. They have an outstandingly strong sense of precedent and are extremely organised and efficient.’

‘The firm’s service orientation is really outstanding – I always feel that my wishes are immediately met. Compared to many other law firms operating in Belgium, I think Seeds of Law offers an impressive overall package, with exceptional legal expertise and a key attitude that the best solution to a dispute is not necessarily reached in court. This saves clients unnecessary risks and costs. Not surprisingly, the firm’s cost rates are always fair and comprehensible in every respect.’

‘Leo Peeters is a very constructive interlocutor, always calm, reflective and absolutely results-oriented. He is a quick thinker and transmits reassurance with his arguments, which are always very good. Moreover, Leo has a charismatic demeanour and is inspiring in negotiation positions with an eloquent manner. I am very enthusiastic about our cooperation and I am happy to recommend Leo Peeters as a lawyer in the field of Dispute Resolution.’

Key clients

Everzinc Belgium SA

Conseil Vins SA

N.V Willemen

Ms Delphine Boël

K&F – temporary partnership between mondõ.d BVBA (designer Katrien Rondelez) and Atau BVBA (designer Francis Capes)

Belleheide Center NV

Mr Willy Pauwels

Menoquin

Imagix Mons SA

Europêche ADF

Profile Belux

Get Air

X-RIS SRL

All-WAYS SA

Gaming 1 SRL

Intrasoft International SA

Immopass SRL

NV FEDERALE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

SA Electro Depot Belgium

MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. ricain

Multipharma SC

Work highlights

  • Representing Profile Belux in a case that concerns a challenge to an administrative decision of non-selection in the context of a public tender contract.
  • Acting for Meno Group in a dispute with a competitor about the use of the “Doyen” brand name on the “Site Doyen” located in Seraing, where the two companies have a store located next to each other.
  • Representing Get Air in a suit for arrears for one of its Belgian trampoline parks in the Brussels Commune Evere concerning the issue of whether the rent payment obligations can be adjusted, suspended or even waived for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis measures.

Verhaegen Walravens

Verhaegen Walravens handles contentious mandates for clients predominantly operating in the marketing, communications, technology, construction, and financial services sectors. The team’s cross-border dispute capabilities are underpinned by a robust network of Europe-wide referral firms, ranging from the UK to France and the Netherlands. Philip Walravens is a CEPANI-appointed arbitrator who also has significant experience of commercial litigation and restructuring disputes. Caroline Lebon is noted for her knowledge of contract law and property law, among other areas.

Practice head(s):

Philip Walravens

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Lebon

Testimonials

‘Down to earth, realistic expectations, control over details in a complex project environment, patient and easy to work with.’

‘Multilingual capabilities for formal communications, good availability and good accessibility. Strong team players.’

‘Philip Walravens is an experienced lawyer, who provides excellent strategic advice and is well connected within the legal community.’

Key clients

Columbus Holdco

IBO

Procter & Gamble

Altrad

Eastman

Kamera Express

Tesa

Ferranti

Orange

Van Reeth

AIM Recycling Belgium

Monus

Atmosphere Architects

Fusiref

PHOENIX

AIM Recycling

Wecandance

Work highlights

  • Acting for Aim Recycling Belgium in a major dispute that arose between its shareholders (a Canadian parent and Belgian minority shareholder).
  • Representing a number of music festival organisers (all subsidiaries of the Atmosphere Architects group) who have challenged tariffs levied by SABAM (the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers).
  • Acting for Ferranti in relation to a dispute arising from the roll-out of a software package provided to ORES, an electricity grid operator.