Firms To Watch: Employment

Former Van Olmen & Wynant senior attorney Thomas De Jongh founded HR LEGAL in January 2022, and provides bespoke and strategic advice to clients in a variety of sectors, with a particular focus on businesses seeking to establish themselves in the Belgian market, especially those based in the US.
Laurius established its employment department with the June 2021 hire of Damien Stas de Richelle from Ambos, and the team provides broad advice on matters including drafting agreements, implementing working policies, and transfer of personnel.
PwC Legal is sought out by domestic and international clients for advice and support on the full range of employment issues, with practice head Pascale Moreau particularly strong in restructuring.
With a client base including major multinationals, Simmons & Simmons‘s employment team advises on matters including dismissals and takeovers, under the leadership of Dimitri Van Uytvanck.

Employment in Belgium

Claeys & Engels

Specialist employment firm Claeys & Engels provides comprehensive coverage across the full range of employment matters from its six offices across Belgium, acting for clients including major domestic and multinational corporates and public authorities. Chris Engels and Olivier Wouters co-lead the practice, which counts among its members a large number of experienced partners and counsel with diverse specialisms. Engels is an authority on dismissals and European law, while Wouters has broad expertise across areas including M&A, reorganisations, and union relations. Inger Verhelst has a particular focus on discrimination and employee wellbeing matters, in addition to data protection and privacy. Sophie Maes, meanwhile, is a key contact on international employment matters, including the secondment of employees into Belgium and simultaneous employment. The firm is also adept at contentious work, with lawyers having appeared before tribunals and national and European courts, including the CJEU.

Practice head(s):

Chris Engels; Olivier Wouters

Other key lawyers:

Inger Verhelst; Sophie Maes; Fabienne Raepsaet


‘The team is pragmatic, hands-on, efficient and cooperative in finding solutions.’

‘Very accessible and innovative team, with responsive, collaborative, flexible and professional people with complementary competencies. A practice with very strong information and training tools, both in person and online.’

‘The level of knowledge, answers and guidance is always good, and they make sure you are able to make a decision.’

‘Inger Verhelst is an excellent business partner with a hands-on and pragmatic attitude.’

‘I have always been impressed with Sophie Maes’s level of knowledge and the answers she can provide immediately.’

Allen & Overy LLP

Belgian and international clients flock to Allen & Overy LLP‘s employment and benefits team for advice on matters including leadership changes and management reorganisations, collective dismissals, internal and external investigations, and litigation. Praised for its ‘thorough knowledge‘, the practice draws on the firm’s global network to provide cross-border support. Christian Bayart leads the team from Antwerp, with expertise across the spectrum of employment issues, while Inge Vanderreken in Brussels has particular experience in employee benefits and incentives. Senior associate Bart Franceus and associate Virginie Vercheval are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Christian Bayart

Other key lawyers:

Inge Vanderreken; Virginie Vercheval; Bart Franceus


‘Allen & Overy delivers instant value.’ 

‘The team is knowledgeable. They provide swift responses to requests raised and are flexible with their agenda and coverage.’

‘Thorough knowledge of Belgian employment law. Very accessible lawyers who do their utmost to understand the client’s business.’


Led by ‘marvellous lawyerPhilippe De Wulf, the ALTIUS employment team handles the full spectrum of work for clients in a wide range of sectors. Workforce restructuring, cross-border mergers, and collective bargaining are among the firm’s key competencies, and the practice benefits from a close alliance with prominent tax firm Tiberghien, with Sven Demeulemeester a core supporting strut of the relationship. Demeulemeester also has particular expertise in the sports sector, alongside Grégory Ernes. Promoted to counsel in September 2022, Emma Van Caenegem is well regarded in domestic and international individual employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Philippe De Wulf

Other key lawyers:

Sven Demeulemeester; Grégory Ernes; Emma Van Caenegem


‘The Altius employment team is knowlegeable, extremely hands-on, and available when needed. Altius always handles requests with speed and assesses how the client would be aided as much as possible. True value for money.’

‘Altius is a very strong team. They always offer an in-depth legal analysis.’

‘Altius are great to work with. Very responsive and practical. Advice is always very clear.’

‘Philippe De Wulf is a marvellous lawyer, with a great and total view of the legal problem, and always provides practical advice.’

‘Emma Van Caenegem is very easy to work with, understands the client’s business, and feels like an extension of the client’s team.’

‘Philippe De Wulf is excellent and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Sven Demeulemeester has remarkable knowledge and expertise in sports and employment-related matters. He is always available and his work is always very detailed and complete.’

Key clients




McCain Foods

Vanguard Logistics

RSC Anderlecht

ABE Clearing




Alight (NorthGateArinso)

Miles Mobility

Club Brugge

Racing Genk

Royal Antwerp Football Club

KV Mechelen

Saturn Media Markt





Work highlights

  • Assisted SILHOUETTE with putting in place a matrix organisation and restructuring its Belgian operations.
  • Assisted one of the leading football clubs on the African continent, TP MAZEMBE, with several proceedings, both before the FIFA Football Tribunal and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, against former players.
  • Advised on the Belgian employment aspects of the conversion of the French nursing homes company KORIAN, which had numerous Belgian business units, into a European company, including the specific information and consultation procedure with the Belgian works councils and with the employees of Belgian entities not covered by a works council.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Especially strong in the life sciences, TMT, and automotive sectors, Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL is a key port of call for corporate clients seeking support on matters from HR policies to the employment aspects of M&A and collective and senior-level hires and dismissals. The team draws on its connections with the firm’s global network to advise multinationals, and lawyers have expertise in transactions and restructurings, where ‘stellar‘ practice head Nancy Luyten and Sebastian Burg are particularly recommended. Counsel Annick Van Hoorebeke is also noted, while former team lead François Gabriel has considerable experience across all aspects of employment law.

Practice head(s):

Nancy Luyten

Other key lawyers:

François Gabriel; Sebastian Burg; Annick Van Hoorebeke; Julie Van Thienen; Liesbet Claessen


‘A great stand-out team in Brussels across employment, taxation, compliance and labour law.’

‘Very professional team, know our business needs and always looking for a quick and pragmatic solution.’

‘Deep mastery of employment law and pertinent advice on handling a very difficult case.’

Key clients




Bain Capital

Bank of America

Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

Carglas NV

Core Equity Holdings





Mercedes-Benz Group






Work highlights

  • Assisted the Aquinos Group with the employment law aspects linked to the acquisition of the bedding division of the Belgian-headquartered group Recticel.
  • Assisting the Kantar Group with the Belgian employment law aspects of the split between its public business and its insights business and the subsequent worldwide sale of the public business to third-party investor Trilantic Europe.


Led by Sophie Berg, Gaël Chuffart, and Elke Duden across offices in Brussels and Antwerp, CMS‘s employment and pensions practice is adept at handling strategic, advisory, and contentious matters. Berg is especially noted for her work for clients in the gig economy, including in a major case determining the status of platform workers, while Chuffart focuses on collective labour agreements and international mobility issues. Duden, meanwhile, is recommended for her ‘practical advice‘, in particular on matters relating to pensions. Other key lawyers include senior associate Karen Dereepere, who spearheads the firm’s COVID-19 taskforce.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Berg; Gaël Chuffart; Elke Duden

Other key lawyers:

Karen Dereepere


‘The partners have a high level of knowledge and are quick to adapt to new instructions and situations. The senior associates are also of a high level.’

‘Good knowledge, availability and interactions with clients.’

‘Elke Duden is tremendous. She provides practical advice that considers the needs of the client. She is what you need in an external adviser: someone who is able to help identify and spot the issues and then help present them to the client so they can make an assessment.’

Key clients



Qatar Airways

LVMH – Louis Vuitton

Electronic Arts


Exxon Mobil Petroleum & Chemical BV





Korn Ferry

Lloyd’s Register EMEA


J&J pension funds

General Motors pension funds

Euroclear pension fund

Applied Maths



Work highlights

  • Won a historic case for Deliveroo regarding the status of riders who will remain independent contractors and not employees, in a case with significant importance for the European and Belgian legislative landscape as new legal provisions regarding gig workers are currently in discussion.
  • Assisting Primark in the establishment of its business across the CEE region, including ESG aspects (for example by establishing working regulations and policies, drafting employment contracts, setting up recruitment and payroll processes, advising on data protection, and supporting the client in all day-to-day employment issues).
  • Assisting Qatar Airways with its day-to-day employment law issues in Belgium, including providing advice on remuneration and working duration issues, among others.


The ‘alert and creative‘ employment and pensions team at Eubelius is strong in both advisory and contentious work, with litigation experience including appearances before the European courts on behalf of the Belgian state. Véronique Pertry leads the practice alongside Liesbet Vandenplas, who was made up to partner in 2022. Employee rights are a key specialism, with Pertry especially well regarded in this area, and counsel Filip Van Beirendock also noted. Vandenplas, meanwhile, advises on issues including flexible working and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Véronique Pertry; Liesbet Vandenplas

Other key lawyers:

Filip Van Beirendonck; Maaike Cornelli


‘Eubelius has a dedicated (and stable) team of highly qualified staff members at its disposal. Their advice is always of top quality and in a language that can be understood by non-specialists.’

‘A very good team – alert and creative.’

‘Through years of cooperation, they know our company very well. In their advice, they are therefore able to clearly point out pain points and propose solutions.’

‘The indiviuals are experts who have extensive expertise and are aware of the most recent developments. They are extremely accessible and available, very concrete and practical. They really do everything to help, to support and advise their clients as correctly as possible. Véronique Pertry really stands out.’

‘Very strong legal knowledge, and open to discussing practical implementation (which can be different from the legal framework).’ 

‘Liesbet Vandenplas is a high-quality lawyer: she offers high availability to customers, and pragmatic and usable advice.’

‘Their advice is pragmatic and good value for money.’

‘Liesbet Vandenplas and Maaike Cornelli are both very professional and to the point.’

Key clients


PON (Koninklijke Gazelle)


European Payment Initiative (EPI)

Fedrus International

De Lijn

Ghent University and Pension Fund

Federal Government: Employment, Mobility, Social Security and Pensions


City of Ostend



Claire’s Belgium


Alter Pharma


Flemish Governmental Services

AG Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Providing day-to-day advice to Thalys’ HR department on matters including individual and collective labour law.
  • Representing the Belgian State and the Federal Public Services of Employment and Social Security in labour, social security and pensions-related cases in various jurisdictions.
  • Advising the European Payment Initiative on all the employment issues related to staffing a virtual company throughout Europe.


Clients including public authorities and major multinationals flock to Liedekerke‘s employment and benefits team for ‘hands-on advice‘ on labour law issues ranging from collective dismissals and closures to disputes over discrimination and harassment. Paul Geerebaert leads the team, with a long record of appearances before the Belgian labour courts as well as experience in matters such as the negotiation of agreements and transfer of undertakings. Vincent Busschaert is well regarded for his broad practice, while senior associate Leen Holvoet is seen as an ‘exceptional lawyer‘.

Practice head(s):

Paul Geerebaert

Other key lawyers:

Vincent Busschaert; Leen Holvoet; Bruno Aguirre


‘The team has vast knowledge of employment law and more importantly industry-related case law, which makes its advice more valuable and relevant. Case studies and options are presented to the client taking into account the client’s view and company culture. Speedy turn-around of queries.’

‘The partners are personable and relatable. They make you feel like a valued client. No rushing.’ 

‘The Liedekerke labour practice provides hands-on advice.’

‘Leen Holvoet possesses a unique set of qualities which combine exceptional acumen, complete understanding of the client’s needs, and immediate responsiveness. These, alongside superb legal proficiencies and a collegial approach, render Leen an exceptional lawyer – who is always a sheer pleasure to work with, and to be legally supported by.’

‘Very reactive and easy to work with. They bring added value to their clients in assessing the legal situation and recommending practical solutions.’

‘Leen Holvoet is very available for her clients and gives hands-on advice with a smile.’

Key clients

Ashland Industries Europe

Grand Opticiens Belgium

Institute for the Equality of Women and Men

Liberty Liege-Dudelange


LM Belgium


Work highlights

  • Assisting Grand Opticiens with the employment aspects of the transfer of 35 shops of the Grand Optical brand to a potential buyer, a sale which is part of the divestment conditions imposed by the EU antitrust regulator, which cleared the sale of GrandVision (the parent company of Grand Opticiens Belgium) to EssilorLuxottica.
  • Advising Liberty Liège-Dudelange, a known steelwork manufacturer in Belgium, on a restructuring involving possible collective dismissal and closure and up to 380 possibly impacted employees.
  • Assisting the Institute for the Equality of Men and Women with several dismissals related to discrimination and moral and sexual harassment at work.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff‘s employment and benefits team combines expertise in pure employment and tax law to advise a strong roster of domestic and international clients in sectors from retail and pharmaceuticals to financial services and food. The practice handles workforce transformation, high-profile dismissals, and the development and implementation of schemes for alternative remuneration and flexible working, among other matters. Experienced in reorganisations and M&A, Filip Saelens co-leads the team with Kris De Schutter, who is praised for his ‘in-depth knowledge‘ of issues including downsizing and collective dismissals.

Practice head(s):

Filip Saelens; Kris De Schutter


‘Legal and sector knowledge. Broad scope, covering tax, legal, social, and pensions law in one firm. Main lawyer always supported by a team of associates, keeping the response time short.’

‘Kris De Schutter has in-depth knowledge of the sector and client. Great availability and closely manages a team of associates that keep the same standards.’

Key clients

Ferrero Ardennes

DPD Belgium

Balta Group





FCR Media

AG Real Estate

Van Eupen Sés


Work highlights

  • Assisted Ferrero Ardennes with all employment matters, including labour relations issues due to the plant closure as a result of the pandemic, and negotiating and agreeing with the unions an agreement covering the employment and labour terms and conditions during the period that the food authorities have suspended temporarily the production of the plant.
  • Advised OmniVision Technologies, one of the global leaders in the design of semi-conductors, on the employment aspects of its entry to the Belgian market.
  • Advised Delhaize on The Healthy Membership Program, a non-taxable employee perk that rewards balanced eating with more purchasing power.


Working across Antwerp and Brussels, Lydian‘s ‘proactive and responsive‘ employment, pensions and benefits team counts among its clients major multinationals in a diverse spread of sectors. Founding partners and practice co-heads Jan Hofkens and Alexander Vandenbergen are acclaimed for their work in restructurings and pensions, respectively. The ‘exceptionalJurgen De Vreese has broad pensions experience, while the ‘dynamicKato Aerts leads the international mobility and immigration practice. Both were raised to the partnership in January 2023. Counsel Eveline Ankaert leads on workplace health and wellbeing matters, while of counsel Isabel Plets is a key figure in data protection and employee privacy.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Vandenbergen; Jan Hofkens

Other key lawyers:

Jurgen De Vreese; Isabel Plets; Kato Aerts; Eveline Ankaert


‘The firm has a unique position in the Belgium market as a national champion serving a huge range of international clients. We appreciate their pragmatism, their wide experience with typical issues our international clients have and the professionalism with which they proceed, from the first approach to invoicing.’

‘A well balanced and experienced team. Look at innovative ways of working together and like thinking outside the box.’

‘In the field of employment law, it is very difficult to strike a balance between being sympathetic and objective – a balance Lydian easily strikes. The team is also very proactive and responsive, and well-prepared for each conversation.’

‘Jan Hofkens, Alexander Vandenbergern, and Kato Aerts are all excellent, and provide sensible, commercial advice.’

‘Alexander Vandenbergen and Jurgen De Vreese have been great. Delivered work which was of very high quality quickly. Advice was very user-friendly and easy to deploy, despite being highly complex.’

‘Jan Hofkens is extremely experienced, very easy to work with, and can simplify complex issues to make it understandable for the client. Kato Aerts is very dynamic and visible.’

‘Jurgen De Vreese is an exceptional, pragmatic lawyer.’

‘Eveline Ankaert is excellent. Her understanding of employment matters is outstanding and she is very commercial.’

Key clients



AG Insurance

The Antwerp University Hospital



Flanders Investment & Trade

Visit Flanders


Scandinavian Tobacco Group

Landewyck Group


Walt Disney



Tereos Group





Royal & Sun Alliance

Nippon Express (Belgium) NV


Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP


DKV (Munich re)


British American Tobacco

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company


Société Wallonne des Eaux


Flemish Radio & Television Broadcasting Company

Generali Belgium


Banijay Group


Plukon Industries

Radisson Blu Hotel Group

Barry Callebaut

VF Europe






Wunderman Thompson





Hilton Foods Belgium


Worldwide Flight Services

The Belgian Federal Ministry of Pensions







Euro Heat Pipes

Dejbox (Carrefour Group)

Smurfit Kappa van Mierlo

Asiana Airlines

Goed Farma

Work highlights

  • Assists Nike in all labour and employment matters on a daily basis, including litigation, dismissal due to performance or breach of policies, drafting contracts and policies, litigation, and engagement with works councils for global projects.
  • Assisting the Belgian Federal Ministry of Pensions in the selection and appointment of the pension fund that will manage the supplementary pensions of the employees of local authorities.
  • Assisting Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in the full range of employment law issues on a regular basis, including specifically in the context of the decrease in activity and economic unemployment at the fast-growing Liège Airport as a result of European sanctions imposed on Russia and Russian companies following its invasion of Ukraine.


The employment team at Stibbe collaborates with lawyers from the firm’s corporate, litigation, tax, and EU competition law departments to provide support across the full range of employment matters. Team co-leads Elisabeth Matthys and Jérôme Aubertin each have broad experience in advisory and contentious work, with Matthys particularly recommended for her expertise in acting for clients in the sports sector. Notable practitioners at associate level include Dieter Demuynck, who is strong on social security law, and Jan Proesmans, who is especially well regarded in issues relating to insurance and pensions.

Other key lawyers:

Dieter Demuynck; Jan Proesmans


‘Stibbe is a renowned Belgian law firm with a strong employment practice. Whenever my clients are in need of a Belgian lawyer, I will always choose Stibbe for their knowledge and professionalism.’

‘Innovative and responsive team.’

‘They work closely together and complement each other. They are always available and there is always someone who can help you with your case.’

‘A lot of expertise in different areas and detailed advice.’ 

‘Stibbe’s team has a deep knowledge and understanding of our business and our constraints. They are good business partners. They are available and prompt to answer and advise.’

‘Elisabeth Matthys is very hands-on and always prepared to think in terms of how your business works. I like her openness. Jan Proesmans is the master of details and very assured. He is very calm and radiates tranquility.’

‘Jérôme Aubertin is very responsive and straight to the point. He provides tailored and business-oriented advice.’

‘I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jérôme Aubertin. Jerome is a highly responsive individual. His professional approach and deep knowledge of his area of expertise along with his personality are a great asset.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Atos in relation to the global outsourcing of a substantial part of Agfa-Gevaert’s IT services to Atos, including day-to-day assistance with all employment and pensions-related aspects of this transaction, as well as assistance regarding the pricing arrangements.
  • Assisting the Port of Antwerp with all legal issues – including questions and strategic considerations relating to employment and pensions – following the historical merger between the Port of Zeebrugge and the Port of Antwerp to create the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, one of the world’s leading ports.

Van Olmen & Wynant

Clients across a range of sectors entrust Van Olmen & Wynant with the full spectrum of employment work. Firm co-founder Chris Van Olmen leads the team, with broad experience in matters including restructurings, collective dismissals, and litigation. Vincent Vuylsteke heads the civil service law team, while Nicolas Simon focuses on individual matters. Senior attorney Gautier Busschaert is especially well regarded in EU employment law, where of counsel Pieter Pecinovsky is also an authority. The firm also collaborates with international colleagues as a founding member of the L&E Global employment law network.

Practice head(s):

Chris Van Olmen

Other key lawyers:

Vincent Vuylsteke; Gautier Busschaert; Pieter Pecinovsky; Nicolas Simon


‘Van Olmen & Wynant is unique because the lawyers have a broad strategic vision. The knowledge is up-to-date and the team offers creative solutions to complex issues.’

‘Expertise combined with a client-centric approach.’

‘The partners combine outstanding professional expertise with a strong human connection.’

‘Van Olmen combines a strong dual expertise in HR pre-litigation and litigation which is rare among employment law firms. We have also relied on their international network for comparative surveys. End results were very good as well as affordable.’

‘Chris Van Olmen has built a very strong team over the years, and although he relies on a professional, knowledgeable, and likeable team, he is still very active in the firm and involved in client work. The team is stable and knowledgeable. It is always a pleasure to work with Mr Van Olmen and his team.’

‘Nicolas Simon is very reliable and efficient.’ 

‘Chris Van Olmen is a client-focused and reliable partner. Vincent Vuylsteke and Pieter Pecinovsky also have profound expertise, and are proactive and client-focused.’

‘Vincent Vuyslteke in HR administrative law and Gautier Busschaaert in employment law provide an excellent service.’

Key clients






Loterie Nationale


Ted Baker

Deutsche Post DHL


Work highlights

  • Advised a multinational energy company on TUPE and information and consultation obligations relating to a major divestment deal with regards to Belgian law.
  • Assisted a multinational company with drafting its worldwide whistle-blower policy and procedure, and with coordinating the legal verification by legal teams in the other countries involved.
  • Assisting an innovative international company in setting up its new Belgian branch and assisting it with complying with social legislation and with staffing and recruitment issues.

Clifford Chance

Steered by the ‘knowledgeable and solution-drivenGert Cuppens, Clifford Chance‘s Brussels-based employment practice has a strong reputation for assisting corporate clients from the local to the multinational in matters including restructurings and downsizings, executive-level hiring and firing, and industrial relations. In addition, Cuppens is noted for his litigation work.

Practice head(s):

Gert Cuppens

Other key lawyers:

Maxime Nyamabu


‘Very high quality people who work quickly, with good clients and technical knowledge.’

‘The team at Clifford Chance has offered solid support in tailoring the approach to the matters and implementing the projects on the ground in the best interests of the client. They have shown active interest in resolving matters efficiently with a high degree of discretion and sensitivity to the multi-jurisdictional nature of the matters which involve both EU members and accession countries.’

‘Good expert employment law advice on complex issues. Timely advice and available for a call without delays.’

‘Excellent, professional team.’

‘Geert Cuppens has excellent technical skills in combination with a very strategic, innovative and responsive service. He is down-to-earth and solution-oriented.’

‘Very knowledgeable. Experts in their field. Able to navigate through difficult situations where no clear way ahead exists.’

‘Gert Cuppens is a knowledgeable and solution-driven lawyer. He provides practical and high quality advice.’

‘A knowledgeable and focused team. They are practical and take ownership of the issue at hand. Easy to work with and good availability.’

Key clients



Pillows Hotels


Fero Group

CVC Belgium




AXA Belgium

Work highlights

  • Assisted Amazon with the employment aspects of setting up activities in Belgium.
  • Assisted Azelis with establishing a long-term incentive scheme and a short-term incentive scheme for its top management in various key jurisdictions.
  • Advised Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe on the design and implementation of its closure, involving the dismissal of all employees.

Deloitte Legal

The employment, pensions and benefits team at Deloitte Legal is co-led by Stijn Demeestere and Alexis Ceuterick, who joined the firm from KPMG Law in Belgium in June 2022. Demeestere has broad experience in areas including the development of flexible working policies, restructuring and M&A, and individual and collective dismissals – core areas for the practice, along with internal audits and workforce transformation. Thomas De Donder was promoted to director in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Stijn Demeestere; Alexis Ceuterick

Other key lawyers:

Thomas De Donder


‘High standard of legal knowledge.’

‘Thomas De Donder has a very high standard of legal knowledge and gives appropriate advice, especially in HR labour law in the public sector. Always thinking proactively to find a good solution which fits the company. Excellent lawyer.’

Key clients

Allianz Technology Benelux

University Hospital of Ghent

Beaulieu International Group


AMP (Bpost)


Sony Music Entertainment




Toyota Material Handling

City of Antwerp


ON Semiconductor (onsemi)

Getinge Belgium

Kaneka Belgium


Vlaamse Vervoermaatschappij De Lijn


Process Automation Solutions


Pro League

DLA Piper

Practical‘ and ‘highly skilled‘, the employment team at DLA Piper is sought after by a strong base of domestic and international clients, in particular in the retail, logistics, life sciences, and technology sectors. Practice head Eddy Lievens is adept in areas including restructurings and whistleblowing, while Laurent De Surgeloose is strong on the employment aspects of transactions. Also noted is Pierre Dion, who was promoted to counsel in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Eddy Lievens

Other key lawyers:

Laurent De Surgeloose; Pierre Dion; Jascha Kolesnyk


‘They are always available 24/7, and have in-depth knowledge. Their experience and strategic insight and knowledge of the applicable legal framework are invaluable.’

‘They have a very practical approach to solving even complex cases.’

‘The team is highly skilled but still pragmatic. They are also willing to work together with clients to manage fees in multiple ways, including by being extremely transparent. The more senior people from the team are very involved, which ensures the quality of the final product.’

‘Eddy Lievens quickly understands the needs of the client’s organisation. He is not only able to fully cover topics from a purely legal perspective, he can also communicate the implications from a customer perspective in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Eddy does not shy away from giving clear recommendations. He quickly establishes an atmosphere of full trust.’

‘Laurent De Surgeloose is very business-oriented and has the skill to get straight to the point.’

‘Eddy Lievins provides invaluable support throughout a number of processes, managing to translate complex legal matters and issues into practical solutions that clients can act on.’

‘Pierre Dion is proactive and it is a true pleasure to work with someone who has his experience. He is always very involved and aware of what is going on with his clients.’

Key clients



Axalta Coating Systems


BD myShopi


CAE Parc Aviation



Dentsu Aegis

Dr Martens



Gates Europe

Guerlain Benelux

JD Sports

Legrand Group Belgium

Louis Vuitton Services Europe

Mercuri Urval



MS Amlin Insurance

New Balance



Parfums Christian Dior SAB



Royal Sun & Alliance (RSA) Group


Schenker AG



The Cookware Company


TUV International



Wipro 4C


World Courier


Work highlights

  • Assisting Gates with implementing a cross-border reorganisation of its customer service activities in the EMEA region, involving the centralisation of these activities in Poland and a collective dismissal in Belgium.
  • Assisted Dentsu in relation to a collective dismissal.
  • Assisting Vertex in setting up a new HR structure in Belgium, and supporting Vertex in its intention to rapidly expand activities in the country.


Fieldfisher‘s HR law group has particular expertise in international employment and business migration, in addition to broad contentious and non-contentious capabilities. ‘Excellent litigator and negotiatorStefan Nerinckx leads the team, and is a key contact for HR advice on European expansion. Anne Kamp is particularly recommended for employment issues in the life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors, and of counsel Tim Perdieus stands out as ‘driven‘ and ‘intelligent‘.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Nerinckx

Other key lawyers:

Anne Kamp; Tim Perdieus


‘The personal approach and follow-up is something rare among law firms. Dedicated partners and their teams make sure that you are kept up to date at all times.’ 

‘One of the few employment teams in Belgium with expertise in international employment, social security, and business migration, and which offers an integrated approach, together with the tax team. They are very pragmatic in their approach and very close to the client.’

‘Stefan Nerinckx is simply the best lawyer regarding European employment law. Tim Pierdieus is a young, driven, intelligent lawyer.’

‘Very pragmatic in their answers and very responsive.’

‘Stefan Nerinckx has built a strong reputation over the years. He is a name in the market and well-known by HR professionals and peers. He is very knowledgeable, and an excellent litigator and negotiator as well as being an excellent legal advisor. He has the ability to make himself understood, even in complex matters. He is well connected in the HR world. Furthermore, he manages the team and is involved in a number of committees such as the ones focusing on D&I and collaboration, hence participating in the management of the Belgian firm.’

Key clients

Nu Skin / NSE Products

Boortmalt (Axereal)


Region de Bruxelles-Capitale

AXA GO France



Tax Consult

Security Masters

Fisher Philips


Lincoln International


Work highlights

  • Advised Boortmalt (Axereal) on its policies on whistleblowing and camera surveillance (CCTV) in a multi-jurisdictional context.
  • Advised AXA GO France on the various aspects of employing staff all over Europe.
  • Assisted Constructiv, the federation of Belgian construction companies, with its response to the Belgian Government on the alleged infringement of the freedom of movement (of workers) principle, invoked by the European Commission, regarding the construction workers’ identification document (Construbadge).


Linklaters advises on the employment aspects of corporate deals and restructurings, hiring and firing, and disputes concerning dismissals, discrimination, and harassment. Counsel Nele Van Kerrebroeck leads the team, bringing specialist knowledge of whistleblowing to the table in addition to her transactional experience. Luc Vanaverbeke has a broad practice encompassing collective dismissals and union relations, while corporate and finance partner Thierry L’Homme leads on incentives and remuneration issues.

Practice head(s):

Nele Van Kerrebroeck

Other key lawyers:

Luc Vanaverbeke; Thierry L’Homme; Jennifer Granado Aranzana


‘Flexibility, pragmatism, openness, accessibility, creativity.’ 

‘What makes Linklaters unique is that they have very approchable partners who take a lot of time to understand the context and the case. They are also very transparent and professional at all times.’

‘Very available team, used to working on complex and high-stakes matters.’

‘It is the feeling of partnership, combined with high standards, knowledge, and quality, that makes the team stand out.’ 

‘Exceptional drive and dedication to the case and the clients. Always there to help or explain things. Goes far beyond the requested service and provides a very good follow-up. It’s always a pleasure to work with Nele, and we are confident that our cases will be in very good hands!’

‘Nele Van Kerrebroeck always finds the best and most pragmatic solution for us.’ 

‘Luc Vanaverbeke and Jennifer Granado Aranzana are always happy to assist, even with the sometimes very challenging deadlines of the retail industry.’

Key clients


Intermarchés (Groupement les Mousquetaires)

Hennes & Mauritz NV/SA


La Lorraine Bakery Group





Under the leadership of Philippe François, NautaDutilh‘s employment and pensions team advises on matters ranging from contentious dismissals to the employment aspects of transactions and restructurings. Experienced in corporate law, François is particularly adept in employment matters arising from M&A, while Thierry Duquesne has a broad practice covering collective labour law, employee wellbeing, and discrimination issues. Logistics, healthcare, and life sciences are core sectors for the firm.

Practice head(s):

Philippe François

Other key lawyers:

Thierry Duquesne; Frédérique Czani

Key clients


Banque Transatlantique


Carpenter Technology Europe

Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc





Kering (Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Gucci)




Schneider Electric



Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in court proceedings in relation to a dismissal case for health reasons.
  • Continued to advise FedEx further to the initial announcement of its intention to carry out a collective dismissal in its Liège air hub as a result of the integration of the FedEx and TNT air networks.
  • Successfully represented Basic-Fit before the Tournai Labour Tribunal in relation to a dismissal case for gross misconduct.

Reliance | Littler

Reliance | Littler handles the full spectrum of employment matters for a strong base of national and international clients. Founding partners Koen De Bisschop, in Mechelen, and Edward Carlier, in Brussels, specialise in international mobility and restructuring, respectively. Anne-Valérie Michaux is a key contact for foreign companies seeking to establish operations in Belgium, and Stéphanie De Ridder is strong in data protection matters. Erwin Crabeels and senior associate Yne Machiels are also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Koen De Bisschop; Edward Carlier; Erwin Crabeels; Anne-Valerie Michaux; Stéphanie De Ridder

Other key lawyers:

Yne Machiels; Pierre Van Achter


‘Efficient team: available, flexible, thorough in their advice while conscious of time constraints. The team also understands practical business imperatives, which leads them to provide useful and valuable advice. It is always a pleasure working with them!’

‘Pierre Van Achter and Erwin Crabeels are standouts. They also get involved in cases in a way that is very respectful of others and know how to explain different types of matters (which can be very technical) in a simple way, which shows how knowledgeable they are.’

‘Edward Carlier is no nonsense, straightforward, and aware of the latest trends.’

Work highlights

  • Advising an international corporation on the labour and employment aspects of a cross-border M&A transaction involving multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advising a multinational group on the labour and employment aspects of a cross-border M&A project.


Niche employment firm Sotra has a strong reputation for providing broad, full-service support, encapsulating strategic advice, transactional assistance, and dispute resolution. Firm founder and managing partner Olivier Rijckaert heads the team, while Marian Dewaersegger is a specialist in industrial relations and employee representation. Jonathan De Wilde is also recommended, and Noël Lambert is a key contact for clients in the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Rijckaert

Other key lawyers:

Marian Dewaersegger; Noël Lambert; Jonathan de Wilde; Valentin Hanquet


‘The fact that they only focus on labour law and have dedicated, specialised teams for that makes Sotra unique.’

‘They inspire trust and are very quick in their responses. Overall, it is a very reliable team.’

‘Availibity, fast reactions, pragmatism, creativity. We have a very nice working relationship.’

Key clients

Heidelberg Cement Group (Cimenteries CBR)

ASL Airlines Belgium


Belgian entities of the DHL Deutsche Post Group (DHL Supply chain, DHL Global forwarding, DHL WWN, DHL Express)






Province du Hainaut

Work highlights

  • Assisting CBR with all its employment matters on a day-to-day basis, entailing strategic advice regarding its dealings with works council and union representation within the company, the drafting of collective bargaining agreements, individual dismissal cases, and so on.
  • Assisting several legal entities of the DHL Group with all their employment matters on a day-to-day basis, including, amongst other issues, assistance in dealings with the union delegation, reviewing policies, strategic assistance in individual dismissal cases, legal advice on working time issues, and so on.
  • Representing Delhaize in all its employment-related litigation in Dutch and French, including criminal cases.


Younity advises on the full spread of individual and collective employment and HR issues, with additional expertise in data protection and privacy. Team co-leads Jean-Philippe Cordier and Corinne Merla have broad experience in individual and collective employment and pensions matters, respectively. Brecht Cops, meanwhile, is noted for both contentious and transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Philippe Cordier; Corinne Merla

Other key lawyers:

Brecht Cops; Aurore Guérit


‘Younity is a very diversified expert team with outstanding experience in pensions, insurance, and social regulations.’

‘The team provides excellent due diligence services based on broad experience in labour law matters. They are hands on and pragmatic. They point you in the right direction immediately.’

‘Dedication and solid knowledge.’

‘Stability in service provision, no turnover of staff, and efficient billing.’

‘Brecht Cops makes a difference by immediately giving you the appropriate solution to a complex matter. His business sense and pragmatic approach make him stand out.’

Key clients


Colisée Group (and subsidiary Armonea)


GE European Pension Fund




Red Cross Flanders



Work highlights

  • Representing Uber in litigation in which one of its drivers claimed to be an employee rather than a self-employed contractor.
  • Advised Delvaux on a collective dismissal.
  • Represented UNIA in litigation against a former employee relating to an unfair dismissal claim due to violation of freedom of speech.


Julien Hick leads the employment and pensions team at AKD, which advises on issues including dismissals, union negotiations, and the implementation of new working practices. Hick has broad experience in corporate employment matters, and is supported by senior associate Heleen Franco.

Practice head(s):

Julien Hick

Other key lawyers:

Heleen Franco


‘AKD is always available and you get feedback on your query in a very short time. They respond quickly to any situation. They think ahead of a situation/question to leave the final choice with the client.’

‘The team is very hands on and pragmatic.’

‘AKD delivers high-quality services by being very client-oriented and quick to respond. Their excellent communication skills (the team is fluently trilingual) makes the collaboration a pleasure.’

‘Julien Hick is an outstanding expert and trusted advisor. He is very involved in every project and goes the extra mile.’

‘Always reachable, always ready to find a solution adapted to the clients, exceptional knowledge in different areas of expertise.’

‘Julien Hick and Heleen Franco are very pleasant to work with. Straight to the point. No waffling and they deliver in line with expectations. Strong follow-up.’ 

‘Never any surprises. They deliver according to the time-frame required. Proactive in relation to changes to the law.’

‘AKD is a very fine law practice. Heleen Franco and Julien Hick are very capable of making the complexities of Belgian labour legislation clear, simple and concise. Their service is always good and fast.’

Key clients

AG Real Estate




Chemviron (part of Kuraray group)

Work highlights

  • Assisted several multinational companies with the implementation of a structural hybrid work programme, combining remote and office work.
  • Assisted a multinational offshore pipelaying company with a reorganisation exercise.
  • Assisted a multinational medical devices company in negotiations regarding the implementation of industry-level collective bargaining agreements on mandatory salary increases.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird draws on support from the firm’s global network to advise on the full range of employment issues. Practice head Pieter De Koster has broad expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters, including compliance and industrial relations issues, with counsel Anton Aerts also noted.

Practice head(s):

Pieter De Koster

Other key lawyers:

Anton Aerts; Cecilia Lahaye

Key clients



Zoom Communications Inc


Burger Brands

Cytiva (including Danaher)

Quantum Simulation Technologies (QSimulate)


Wolters Kluwer

Esko-Graphics BV


Aptiv (formerly Delphi Automotive plc)


Marsh (part of MMC Group)

SD Worx

Teva Pharmaceuticals



John Bean Technologies

Blue Yonder

Milestone Systems

Vlerick Business School


Work highlights

  • Assisting Wolters-Kluwer with its day-to day employment and immigration work, including a dispute with an employee, the relocation of Russian and Belarusian employees to Belgium following the war in Ukraine, and the relocation of highly qualified staff from third countries such as India.
  • Assisted Vlerick Business School with a detailed screening of its current partnership structure and service agreements in light of new legislation and case law, with an emphasis on tax, social security and labour risks.
  • Regularly assisting Zoom with both collective and individual labour law issues.

Crowell & Moring

The labour and employment team at Crowell & Moring is led by Emmanuel Plasschaert, who was recently appointed President of the Brussels Bar Association. He is especially strong in restructurings and collective disputes, with a developing practice in data protection. Also recommended is Evelien Jamaels, who was made up to partner in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Emmanuel Plasschaert

Other key lawyers:

Evelien Jamaels


‘This a good team with the capabilities to assist employers in a broad range of employment questions and issues. Employers are in good hands with the employment team of Crowell.’

‘Working with Crowell is a very positive experience. They stand out for their pragmatism, expertise and availability.’

‘Emmanuel Plasschaert is a well known and valued employment specialist.’

Key clients


Ingersoll Rand

Oxera Consulting



The Regulatory Assistance Project


Delhaize Le Lion (Ahold)

Audax Management Co. LLC

Vias institute

Work highlights

  • Assisted Mobileum Inc. with its restructuring of Belgian subsidiary SIGOS BV, which included a collective dismissal, and with post-restructuring issues.
  • Providing Oxera Consulting with practical guidelines on hiring non-EU employees in six jurisdictions (including advising on work permit and visa requirements and the social security and tax aspects of international employment/postings).
  • Assisting various clients with their post-pandemic HR strategy.

Jones Day

Under the leadership of Chantal Biernaux, the labour and employment department at Jones Day advises clients on the full range of collective and individual employment matters. Biernaux specialises in issues related to corporate restructurings, and is also strong in contract drafting and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Chantal Biernaux


‘Simply excellent work with the rare capability for employment lawyers to be both excellent on the national level and still coordinate or be part of multi-jurisdictional teams.’

‘Chantal Biernaux – nothing can shock her anymore, she will still continue the fight to obtain the best solution for her client. Just a good all-around employment lawyer with extremely strong engagement and sense of responsibility.’

Key clients

The Hain Celestial Group – Lima Natuurvoedingsbedrijf BV

Lifeline Scientific

Centre Européen Juif d’Information (C.E.J.I.) AISBL

Donaldson Europe BV

Riverside Europe Partners BV

Work highlights

  • Advising The Hain Celestial Group on a broad range of employment law matters, including the hiring and termination of employees in Belgium, the drafting and implementation of Belgian work rules and related policies, and the drafting of cross-border employment and expat employment contracts.
  • Advising the Brussels branch of The Riverside Company on employment issues relating to independent contractors and local and foreign employees in Belgium.
  • Advising Centre Européen Juif d’Information on the audit and due diligence of its existing labour and employment documents and the subsequent follow-up (including assisting with the restructuring and implementation of employee salary and benefit schemes).

Monard law, joined by Buyle

The employment and social law team at Monard law, joined by Buyle is co-led by Peter Dufaux in Hasselt, Tom Messiaen in Ghent, and Bert Theeuwes in Brussels, and handles reorganisations, cross-border transfers, and litigation. Theeuwes has a broad practice, while Dufaux specialises in collective labour and social security matters, and Messiaen in criminal law issues.

Practice head(s):

Peter Dufaux; Tom Messiaen; Bert Theeuwes


‘Their collaborative approach and single point of contact are their most valuable assets.’

‘Monard Law is a centre of expertise with a highly client-centred practice. They understand very well how to involve clients in the legal process by respecting the clients’ demands and expectations. Moreover, the approach of its support staff is exemplary in terms of client-friendliness. Bert Theeuwes’ legal team has proven to be very resourceful and competent in complicated, cross-cutting matters. The team’s advice and assistance testify to the added value of accumulated and shared experience.’

‘Bertold Theeuwes knows his field very well and also has practical insights into how to deal with issues. He is quick in replying and has many contacts with relevant people in his field.’

‘Bert Theeuwes effortlessly resolves international employment law matters requiring a highly discreet and diplomatic approach. Without exception, his legal advice is outstanding: meticulous analysis of the issues presented, followed by well-considered and well-prepared assistance. He combines his extensive knowledge-base with his excellent strategic and operational planning skills in order to deal with legal issues in a comprehensive manner, while simultaneously being sensitive to the particular context in which he is required to mediate or intervene.’

‘The team of Bert Theeuwes is very knowledgeable and has vast experience in complex reorganisations, executive remuneration, and international mobility. The team are trilingual in English, French and Dutch, and are reachable around the clock. Above all, they are nice people.’

‘Bert Theeuwes is extremely knowledgeable yet practical. He has a unique grasp of the local context combined with thorough understanding of the international context. He always gives short answers but, when relevant, based on a detailed analysis. Top lawyer.’

Key clients

Belron International

Atlas Copco

Autogrill Belux






NH Hotels

KBC Bank


Dossche Mills

Fair Trade Europe



VPK Packaging


GLS Belgium



Kuwait Petroleum


Securitas Direct Management


Facilicom Group


Work highlights

  • Advising Keyloop, the largest global provider of information technology in the automated retail industry, on the employment aspects of the integration and harmonisation of newly acquired entities into the existing Belgian entities, including TUPE and an executive remuneration issue.
  • Aiding industrial giant Autogrill on all the employment and HR compliance-related aspects of the business in Belgium.
  • Representing Carglass in highly sensitive litigation, including a discrimination case.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke‘s employment practice has a particularly strong reputation among clients in the TMT, life sciences, and retail sectors, with expertise in cross-border matters, restructurings, and transfers. Thierry Viérin leads the team, with support from counsels Vinciane Rysselinck and Bernd De Marrez.

Practice head(s):

Thierry Viérin

Other key lawyers:

Vinciane Rysselinck; Bernd De Marrez


‘Very effective collaboration. Sharp and precise.’

‘Good professionals.’

‘Very proactive approach, working with the client to think of the best solution. Always respectful of deadlines when providing feedback. Ability to translate complex matters into understandable language.’

Key clients


HL Display



Orion Clinical Services



Alain Afflelou



Novo Nordisk

Work highlights

  • Advised the SNCF, Thalys and Eurostar groups on navigating through the pan-European employment, social security and tax issues arising from setting up a new holding company through the merger of railway firms Eurostar International and THI Factory (Thalys).
  • Assisted Diageo on various issues at a European level, including the harmonisation of its parental leave policies and the harmonisation and strengthening of its compensation and benefits offering.


Strelia‘s Brussels employment team is led by experienced partner Herman Craeninckx, and handles a range of advisory and litigation work for clients including major national and multinational companies. The practice was strengthened with the June 2022 arrival of Stefanie Tack from Crowell & Moring.

Practice head(s):

Herman Craeninckx

Other key lawyers:

Stefanie Tack

Key clients

Accor Invest


HMM (Belgium) Shipping NV

IQEQ Holdings (Belgium) NV





Belfius Bank


Liège Airport

Ariat EU BV

Beacon Rail


CGM Group

IRIS Group

Hospital Erasmus-Brugmann

Stichting tegen Kanker

Mifratel NV


Quarks SRL

WWF International

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained a Brussels Labour Court decision prohibiting the blocking of Febelco’s distribution centres through collective actions and strikes.
  • Assisted Belfius Bank with the revision of the variable remuneration policy and termination conditions for the CEO, the Executive Committee members and other key employees further to the modifications of the Banking Law and newly released European Banking Authority Guidelines on sound remuneration.
  • Assisted Liège Airport during an audit process and represented the client in a case brought by its ex-CEO, who is seeking a severance indemnity, as well as damages for abusive dismissal, following his dismissal for gross misconduct.

Tetra Law

With experience in issues ranging from hirings and dismissals to reorganisations and international mobility, the labour department at Tetra Law is well regarded by clients across a broad spread of sectors. Sylvie Lacombe heads the practice, and has expertise in handling corporate employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Sylvie Lacombe

Other key lawyers:

Julie Malingreau


‘Sylvie Lacombe is a highly qualified lawyer and an expert in her field. Her extreme availability, her keen analytical skills, the time she takes to prepare a case in detail while keeping a close eye on the ball, coordinating the possible options with her client, her perfect bilingualism (in Dutch and French) – all make her the ideal partner to work with.’

‘Availability. Quick and clear analysis of the problem. They ask the right questions to get all the elements necessary to give strong advice. They know their clients.’

‘Sylvie Lacombe knows her files extremely well – she remembers everything. Julie Malingreau is very accessible and responsive.’

Key clients

Acumen Public Affairs

Armonea Group

Idest Communication SA (Straker Group)

JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle)

Lagardère Travel Retail Belgium

Pemco Belgium (Pemco International Group)

Sterigenics (Sotera Health Group)

Work highlights

  • Advised Acumen PA on the temporary posting of one of its permanent workers from Belgium to Ethiopia.
  • Assisted Idest Communication with the implementation of a teleworking policy established at a global level by its new owner and with questions related to the dismissal of transferred employees and the hiring of new employees.
  • Advised Pemco Belgium (recently acquired by the Prince group) on hiring a UK citizen as a global financial controller who will be moving permanently to Belgium to exercise his function.

Van Bael & Bellis

Van Bael & Bellis‘s employment team is skilled in both transactional and contentious work. Life sciences specialist and litigation department head Catherine Longeval leads the team, while counsel Sara Beutels is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Longeval

Other key lawyers:

Sara Beutels


‘This team has a very proactive approach and has unique knowledge not only of labour law but also of best practice in litigation and transactions.’

‘Swift follow-up and particularly quick reactions and detailed replies despite the short deadlines that were imposed due to the particular nature of the dismissal at stake. Communication was clear and the people we worked with were available and kind.’

‘Reliability in delivering in due time what was needed, an outstanding level of knowledge, very clear in communicating with and supporting the client with straightforward advice and recommendations.’

Key clients






Bridgestock Care/MSG Care

Council of Bureaux








Franz Haniel

Gedeon Richter



Hyundai Motor Company Brussels

IPL Plastics

KIA Belgium



Leggett & Platt

Midwich/Invision U.K.

Nissha Metallizing Solutions

Outpost 24

Pentax Medical

Rockwool Group

Scholt Energy Control

Sequana Medical




Work highlights

  • Assisting Nissha Metallizing Solutions with a broad range of employment issues, including collective labour agreements, Corona consumption vouchers and the introduction of a collective bonus.
  • Assisting Sto with a high-end mandate in relation to the new contractual set-up of the managing director, who is active in several European countries.
  • Continued to advise Bridgestock Care on all the employment and social security matters relating to a privately owned asylum centre, which operates in a highly regulated industry.