Environment in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

The ongoing growth of Allen & Overy LLP's environment practice has led to the firm expanding at associate level to manage the increased workload. Headed up by Gauthier van Thuyne, the team advises clients on all aspects of planning and zoning, contamination issues, environmental permitting and noise. It also provides support on corporate and real estate transactions. Notable is that environmental litigation is an increasingly significant driver of activity, as is advice on issues associated with climate regulations. In 2018, van Thuyne and senior associate Fee Goossens were part of a multidisciplinary team, which acted for Otary on the structuring, financing and environmental regulatory/permitting aspects of the €1bn SeaMade offshore wind farm parks. In another matter, van Thuyne is leading the advice to Eesti Energia on the scope of the EU's emissions trading system, particularly in relation to the rules on the additional free allocation of CO2 allowances for the modernisation of the power sector.

Practice head(s):

Gauthier van Thuyne

Other key lawyers:

Fee Goossens

Key clients

Otary

Eesti energia

European Parliament

Cargill

BRF Global

BAC

Colgate Palmolive

Eurobat

Work highlights

  • Is advising the European Parliament on numerous pending cases concerning planning and environmental permits for the parking areas in the European Parliament’s office buildings. The cases are pending before the State Council and the permit granting appellate body.
  • Is advising Cargill France on permitting issues connected with its Herent malt facility and assisting them in various court proceedings to ensure the continued operation of the malt facility.
  • Regularly advises Brussels Airport Company on issues relating to airport noise and noise restrictions for the airport (both regulatory or as a consequence of third party litigation) and certain airlines.
  • Is acting for Colgate Palmolive on the closure of its former soap and perfumery site near Liège.
  • Represented electricity producer Engie Electrabel at the European Court of Justice in proceedings brought by environmental interest groups against the Belgian state over the nuclear energy industry in Belgium.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL serves as a one-stop shop for advice on domestic and European environmental law. Jointly led by senior counsel Pascal Mallien and Jean-François Vandenberghe, the group assists Belgian and international clients with issues such as waste, soil and groundwater contamination, chemicals and hazardous substances. It is particularly sought out to handle environmental issues associated with telecommunications infrastructure, onshore and offshore wind farms, petrochemical and gas distribution facilities. Elsewhere, the team also plays a key role in domestic and cross-border M&A deals. Vandenberghe specialises in environmental issues associated with real estate transactions, with a focus on soil-related matters. Mallien has a wealth of experience handling environmental compliance, permitting and litigation. Koen De Winter and associate Mario Deketelaere are advising Gosselin Group on the follow-up and execution of the Gosselin Brownfield Agreement, which relates to a brownfield remediation and redevelopment project in Antwerp.

Practice head(s):

Pascal Mallien; Jean-François Vandenberghe

Other key lawyers:

Koen De Winter; Mario Deketelaere

Testimonials

Unique team, unique knowledge, excellent client focus and quality

Key clients

Octa+

Lukoil Belgium

Vopak

Aleris

Tractebel Engineering

Electrabel

Recticel

Gosselin Group

Work highlights

  • Is advising Fuel Service (Octa group) on environmental issues, such as soil pollution at petrol stations.
  • Is assisting Electrabel with monitoring environmental legislation.
  • Is assisting Recticel with the renewal of an environmental permit for the Recticel Wetteren plant.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

With François Tulkens and Dominique Devos at the helm, Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick's team consistently handles many of the most complex environmental law projects in Belgium. Offering coverage across all three Belgian regions and at a European level, the group advises on matters such as waste management, nuclear regulations, noise nuisance and waste, among others. Counsel Filip De Preter primarily focuses on planning and permitting-related mandates. Tulkens is leading the advice to Brussels Capital Region on a number of high-profile noise limitation cases. Devos is acting for Renewi on the management of an industrial waste stream. Another name to note in the group is senior attorney Charles Poncelet, who combines expertise in environmental law with knowledge of urban planning law and real estate law. Vincent Ost is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Dominique Devos; François Tulkens

Testimonials

This law firm is known to be one of the best independent law firms in Brussels. Although environmental law is complex, and the issues can be very broad, the team has the knowledge and the experience to understand the different issues. The partner we work with is Dominique Devos. He has broad environmental law experience and he also understands the practical issues very well. He asks the necessary questions in order to gather all the relevant information and understand the scope of the problem. The advice that is given is very well drafted, clear and comprehensive

Key clients

Total

Ikea Belgium

Vastint Belgium

VREG (Flemish regulatory authority for electricity and gas markets)

BOFAS (Federal fund for soil remediation)

DP World

Flemish Region, incl. its Departement Internationaal Vlaanderen (Flemish authority for tourism), Vlaams Energieagentschap (Flemish public company for energy matters), Departement Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken (Flemish authority for mobility and public works)

Re-Vive

Air Liquide

Engie Electrabel

Tersana

IVCIE

Renewi

Go4Circle

Lidl Belgium

Fluxys

Brussels- Capital Region

Work highlights

  • Is acting for DROH!ME Exploitation on the development of a new leisure park located on the site of the old Boitsfort Hippodrome.
  • Acted for Air Liquide on the development of a new 35km oxygen pipeline in Flanders (Temse/Zelzate); this is one of the biggest onshore energy infrastructure projects seen in Belgium in decades.
  • Advises Lidl Belgium on all of its environmental law issues, including environmental permits, soil pollution clauses in real estate contracts, soil pollution litigation, environmental due diligence and project development.
  • Is advising IKEA Belgium on environmental issues associated with the building and management of IKEA stores in Wallonia and Flanders, including permits, nature conservation, planning and zoning, and environmental impact studies.
  • Is acting for the Cafasso Consortium on the development of the Haren prison complex; this mandate has (thus far) included litigation work on the urban planning, environmental permits and road adaptations decisions connected with the project.

Stibbe

Stibbe's team, which acts for private companies and government agencies, has extensive expertise in all environmental and planning issues associated with large development/redevelopment and energy projects across all three regions in Belgium. Led by widely respected practice head Jan Bouckaert, the group advises on matters such as urban planning and zoning regulation, permitting, brownfields, soil pollution and expropriation. On the contentious side, it is sought out in administrative law matters before the Constitutional Court and the Council of State. In addition to being a powerhouse in the national arena, the firm is equally adept in advisory matters and litigation at a wider European level. Reflective of the strength of the firm's profile in the environmental law space, Bouckaert and counsel Pieter Vandenheede  are assisting the Federal Public Service Economy with a report on the implementation of the amendments to the convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context. Bouckaert's team also includes France Maussion and counsel Olivier Di Giacomo, who are advising Befimmo on the ZIN project in Brussels. At senior associate level, names to note are Guan SchaikoBastiaan SchelstraeteStefanie François  and Renaud Smal.

Practice head(s):

Jan Bouckaert

Testimonials

The team has incredible knowledge of environmental issues. In relation to cross-border matters, the firm’s offering is strengthened by the expertise of partners from other disciplines. This means that the client can always rely on the required support

Olivier Di Giacomo and Renaud Smal always see the small things that we haven’t seen yet and it can really make a difference in some projects

The team is very professional, courteous and capable of meeting very tight deadlines

Key clients

Aldi

BASF

Be Real Estate

Befimmo

Belgian Farmers Union (Boerenbond)

Blue Gate Antwerp Holding

BNP Paribas Fortis

BVI.be

Codic

Codevim

Ertzberg

Fost Plus

Japan Tobacco International

Makro Cash and Carry Belgium

Proximus

Prowinko

Retail Estates

Storm Management

Unidet

VAL-I-PAC

Beheersmaatschappij Antwerpen Mobiel, also known as Lantis

The Belgian Buildings Agency

Brussels Airport Company

City of Brussels and citydev.brussels (development company of the city of Brussels)

FANC – AFCN (the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control)

The Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Capital Region

Sofico (Walloon Region’s financing company)

SCK-CEN (Belgian Centre for Nuclear Research)

SRWT (Walloon Regional Transport Company)

STIB/MIVB (Brussels public transport company)

Work highlights

  • Is assisting the Department of Spatial Planning of the Flemish Region on a complex legal study and analysis regarding the impact of financing mechanisms applied by local entities on the spatial planning policy in Flanders.
  • Is advising Fost Plus on the legality of a tax regime introduced by OVAM and particularly the applicability of articles 45, 46 and 47 of the Flemish Materials Decree, the Flemish Public Waste Agency, on residues that are produced during the sorting and recycling process of packaging waste and more specifically collected paper and carton to be exported abroad.
  • Is acting for project developer Re-Vive on the redevelopment of an urban block on the former Cinoco site and obtaining the necessary permits for the creation of a mixed-use project comprising a school and circa 100 residential units in Brussels. It is also advising the same client on the applicable legislation (and taxes) in Flanders on vacant buildings.
  • Is advising Prowinko on the permitting application process for its mixed-use Grand Place project, which consists of offices, a hotel, shops and restaurants near the Brussels Grand Place in the city centre.
  • Is acting for Neo on the real estate, town planning, environmental, tax and public procurement aspects of the reconstruction and redevelopment of the Heysel site called Project NEO.

CMS

CMS combines core environmental law expertise with knowledge about related areas, such as energy and town planning. The team, which is jointly led by Ivan-Serge Brouhns and counsel Gregory Verhelst, delivers a full spread of services for local/regional governments and private companies across Belgium, including legislative work, project management, day-to-day legal advice and litigation. Verhelst is representing the Belgian Federation of Old Vehicles in proceedings before the civil court and the Belgian Council of State over the implementation of Low Emission Zone schemes in Ghent and Antwerp. Elsewhere, the firm is particularly active in matters with a nexus to the wind energy sector; Verhelst is currently acting for wind farm developer Aspiravi on the development of several onshore wind farms in Flanders, which has involved assisting the client with obtaining the necessary permits for the projects and representing it in various court proceedings over the construction and exploitation of wind farms. The team also distinguishes itself acting for clients on real estate development projects and providing advice on soil sanitation issues.

Practice head(s):

Ivan-Serge Brouhns; Gregory Verhelst

Testimonials

I worked with Ivan-Serge Brouhns. He is available and practical

Gregory Verhelst combines an in-depth legal knowledge with excellent written and oral skills. His clear and direct communication, and solid case management, make him stand out from competitors, and enable him to earn his clients’ trust

Key clients

City of Brussels

Elia Group

EDF Luminus

SNCB

Honeywell

Tesla

Walloon Region

Aspiravi

Belgian Federation of Old Vehicles

Brussels Government

Verelst Projectontwikkeling

Alides

Belgian Land

Chaussea

Work highlights

  • Is advising the national railway company of Belgium (SNCB/NMBS) on several environmental law matters, particularly its obligations under the REACH Regulation and Belgian legislation on products containing asbestos. The firm is also assisting the client with various environmental cases involving soil pollution issues.
  • Advised Tesla on Belgian environmental legislation that would be applicable to the Tesla Powerwall storage battery, which the client wants to sell in Belgium.
  • Advised Honeywell on various soil pollution issues.
  • Advised Elia on Environmental Impact Assessment regulations in Flanders.
  • Assisted the Walloon Region with drafting new legislation on extended producer responsibility (promoting the integration of environmental costs associated with goods throughout their life cycles into the market price of the products).

DLA Piper

Bob Martens and Annelies Verlinden head up DLA Piper's practice in Belgium, which serves as the global hub to clients worldwide requiring EU regulatory advice on matters such as pesticides and the application of REACH, among others. In addition, at a local level, the firm handles a full range of environmental questions across all three Belgian regions for public and private entities, including those concerning brownfields redevelopment, waste management and disposal, defence of environmental and urban prosecutions, permitting and zoning. The team also undertakes due diligence for corporate and real estate transactions. Working with practitioners based in other offices, Martens is leading the advice to the European Commission on the auctioning of emission allowances under the EU's Emissions Trading System. In another key mandate, Verlinden, Thomas Sterckx and Birgit Creemers represented the City of Antwerp in proceedings over a permit to build two underground car parks at the Gedempte Zuiderdokken. Also notable is that Martens, Lieven Annaert, Sterckx and Alec Van Vaerenbergh are acting for the Flemish authority on all aspects of the €600m UPLACE commercial development project in Brussels.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens (Brussels); Annelies Verlinden (Antwerp)

Key clients

European Commission

Indaver

VRT (national public broadcaster)

SUEZ

Sabic

Government of the Flemish Region

City of Antwerp

bpost

Osar Architects

SodaStream

VLEEMO

Vlaamse Maatschappij Sociaal Wonen (VMSW) (Flemish authority for social housing projects)

City of Antwerp

Work highlights

  • Is advising Flemish public broadcasting company VRT on all environmental and zoning law issues resulting from the introduction of a new environmental and building permit with respect to the client’s building in Brussels.
  • Is advising the Flemish government on various aspects of brownfield agreements it concluded with private parties.
  • Acted for Osar Architects and Astor VZW on the permit procedure for building a new residential care facility in the city of Geel.
  • Is advising the City of Antwerp, AG VESPA (independent municipal company for real estate and city projects in Antwerp) and Sweco on the redevelopment of what was formerly the meatpacking district of Antwerp.
  • Having assisted the client with drafting the legal framework for creating a low emission zone, the firm successfully represented the City of Antwerp in proceedings concerning the legality of the low emission zone.

LDR Advocaten in Omgevingsrecht

Boutique firm LDR Advocaten in Omgevingsrecht has a notable focus on environmental law and spatial planning law, and its practice is split between the Bruges and Ghent offices. Pieter-Jan Defoort heads up a team in Bruges, which focuses on advising clients on spatial planning matters, such as zoning plans, spatial implementation plans, special planning schemes and urban planning regulations. It also handles proceedings before the Council of State and the Council for Permit Disputes concerning urban planning permits and subdivision permits. In Ghent, Isabelle Larmuseau leads a group (including practitioners such as Peter De Smedt, Tom Malfait and Stijn Vandamme) which focuses on issues such as environmental permitting, nature conservation regulations, environmental liability and enforcement, and environmental taxes. In addition to providing clients with legal advice, the firm is also active in legislative initiatives and policy studies.

Practice head(s):

Isabelle Larmuseau (Ghent); Pieter-Jan Defoort (Bruges)

Linklaters

Under the leadership of Lieve Swartenbroux, who has over 35 years of environmental law experience, Linklaters' practice attracts a wide variety of mandates from clients. Its advisory work covers areas such as permits, soil contamination incidents, emissions trading, land planning and waste management, among others. When contentious matters arise, Swartenbroux's team represents clients at all court levels in Belgium, including the civil, criminal and administrative courts. Another pillar of the practice sees the group advise on the environmental aspects of finance, corporate and real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Lieve Swartenbroux

Lydian

Lydian's environmental practice, which is led by Wouter Neven, covers advice on permits, waste, contaminated properties and PFI/PPP projects (particularly in the water, waste and waste water fields). It also handles the environmental aspects of corporate, finance and real estate transactions. In addition, on the contentious side, environment-related litigation and enforcement also drive the workload. Reflective of the practice's high-end reputation outside of Belgium, it generates mandates from large overseas-headquartered corporates and international law firms but also acts for Belgian companies and public sector organisations. Recent highlights included Neven and senior associate Kyoto Van Herreweghe advising BNP Paribas Fortis on the environmental permit requirements connected with the establishment of its new headquarters in the centre of Brussels. Neven and Van Herreweghe are also representing Autonome Raad van het Gemeenschapsonderwijs (GO!)/Autonomous Council for Community Education in proceedings before the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes over the construction and operation of a school in Flanders. In January 2019, Iris Hemelaer and Bruno Stroobants made counsels, while Mehdy Abbas Khayli was promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Wouter Neven

Key clients

A&U Energie NV

Aleris Cooperation

Almafin Real Estate NV

Autonome Raad van het Gemeenschapsonderwijs (GO!) = Autonomous Council for Community Education “GO”

Belasco NV

BNP Paribas Fortis

Coordinatie Organisatie Constructie NV

Curon BVBA

DCA NV

DEMOCO NV

Flemish transportation company De Lijn

Gemeente Wemmel

Hugo en Jo Vanderschoot-Rutten

Iresco NV

KBC Verzekeringen NV

Kolmont Woonprojecten NV

Lumipaper NV

Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC=

Nike Europe Holding BV

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Orrion Chemicals Regen BVBA

Schäfer Kalk Gmbh

Sting BVBA

Stora Enso Langerbrugge NV

Total

Visser & Smit Hanab

Vivalto Home Belgium SA

VK Engineering N.V.

Water-link ov

Work highlights

  • Is advising Visser & Smit Hanab on obtaining a permit for the building and operation of an underground steam pipeline in Flanders.

NautaDutilh

NautaDutilh covers the environmental arena in Belgium extensively, with its practice being active in all three of the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Capital regions. A name to note is senior counsel Patrick Peeters, who undertakes a mix of advisory work and litigation, and is particularly knowledgeable about soil contamination, environmental permits and waste management. He has been advising Umicore on various matters, including the end-of-waste criteria under the Waste Framework Directive and the Flemish implementing legislation. Ancillary to his environmental law expertise, Peeters is also knowledgeable about energy and zoning law. His recent work included representing Fluxys in various proceedings initiated by municipal authorities and private individuals over building and environmental permits for the construction and operation of high-pressure natural gas pipelines in the Flemish and Walloon regions. In January 2019, Jens Mosselmans joined from Portico.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Peeters

Other key lawyers:

Jens Mosselmans

Key clients

Fluxys

Umicore

Belgian Shell

NMBS-Eurostation

Cimabel

Visser Transport

Work highlights

  • Assisted Umicore with negotiating, drafting and implementing a covenant with the Flemish regional government and the Flemish Waste Agency concerning historical soil pollution on several industrial sites in the Flemish region.
  • Is advising Belgian Shell on the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) service stations in Belgium; this has involved advising the client on the health and safety, environmental, urban zoning and commercial aspects of the matter.
  • Represented Belgian Shell in various proceedings before the administrative authorities, the Council of State and the Flemish Raad voor Vergunningenbetwistingen over building and environmental permits for the construction and operation of LNG stations in the Port of Antwerp, along the E19 highway and in the Walloon region.
  • Is advising Cimabel on existing and future waste legislation in relation to the Flemish, Brussels and Walloon regions.
  • Advised Visser Transport, which specialises in the transport of fish, on its waste transport permits in the Walloon region.

Adhemar Advocaten

Since its inception in 2013, Adhemar Advocaten has continuously grown its environmental law practice, which is one of the firm's main areas of specialism along with real estate and construction, and public law. It has won work from public and private sector clients across a wide range of significant projects. Its team advises on environmental law (including town and country planning) and expropriation in the context of major infrastructure projects, development projects and other industrial, commercial and residential projects. It also represents clients in environment-related proceedings before the Council of State, the Council for Permit Disputes and the civil courts. Founding partner Jan RoggenJoris De PauwStefanie Debeuf and associate Jannick Poets are the main contacts. Roggen and Poets are advising Storm Windpower on all urban planning and environmental law issues connected with the construction of several wind farms in the Flemish region.

Practice head(s):

Jan Roggen; Joris De Pauw; Stefanie Debeuf

Other key lawyers:

Jannick Poets

Testimonials

Stefanie Debeuf demonstrates technical know-how and responsiveness

Jan Roggen, co-founder of the office, has a sharp legal mind and is also a very nice person. That’s what makes it so pleasant to work with him

Key clients

Tractebel Engineering

Rinkonien

Storm Windpower

Via Invest/De Werkvennootschap

City of Vilvoorde

Vulpia

Foyer De Lork

City of Mechelen

City of Landen

Belasco/BESIX Infra

BCT

DC Berkel Groep

Strelia (Law firm)

ASAP Avocats (Law firm)

Quorum Law (Law firm)

Work highlights

  • Is acting for the City of Vilvoorde on several development projects, which recently involved representing the client in related proceedings over the permitting process for the development of a retail and leisure park, among other matters.
  • Is acting for Rinkonien on all environmental and permitting aspects of the first phase of the construction of the Oosterweel connection in Antwerp.
  • Is acting for Dutch company DCB Group on all contractual, environmental and permitting aspects of the development of two state-of-the-art energy hubs in Belgium.
  • Is representing Foyer De Lork and Vulpia in proceedings before the Council of State against new permit procedures for retirement homes.
  • Is acting acting as Belgian legal counsel to Business Center Treeport (BCT) on the development of a new industrial area (located on the Belgium-Netherlands border) for businesses linked to silviculture and horticulture.

Eubelius

Eubelius undertakes strategic advisory work and handles environmental litigation in connection with major infrastructure projects. Its team also covers all environmental regulatory issues associated with domestic and international M&A transactions. Clients include real estate developers, retailers and construction companies. In addition, the firm also generates work from public sector clients. Senior counsel Bart Martel and others assist Proximus with issues associated with the installation of telecoms infrastructure, including planning applications and permitting disputes. Barteld Schutyser is the lead adviser to Albert Heijn België on the opening of new retail spaces in Belgium; a recent highlight involved acting for the client in an administrative appeal concerning a socio-economic permit.

Practice head(s):

Barteld Schutyser

Other key lawyers:

Bart Martel

Key clients

De Lijn

Albert Heijn Belgium

City of Mortsel

City of Ostend

Proximus

A&S Energie

The Hotel

Comeos

Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere

Pandox AB

Flemish Community Commission

Work highlights

  • Assisted the city of Ostend with two administrative appeals connected with the construction of an underground car park.
  • Advised Comeos on various waste management obligations, including those relating to packaging waste and electrical appliances.
  • Assisted A&S Energie and Unilin with environmental issues connected with an application for funding for a new biomass power plant.
  • Acting for the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels Capital Region on the construction of a new public school in the municipality of Schaerbeek.

Janson

Janson's environmental law work is handled by the firm's public and administrative law department, which is experienced in advisory and transactional matters, as well as litigation. The group is well placed to serve clients from all three Belgian regions, and further afield internationally, with fluent language skills in French, Dutch and English. Clients of the firm include public authorities, project developers, private businesses and individuals. One name to note in the team is Stijn Verbeke, who has notable expertise in environmental take-back obligations and environmental management agreements, particularly in relation to waste electrical and electronic equipment, waste batteries and waste tyres. Jan Ghysels advises clients on matters concerning town and country planning law, expropriations and environmental criminal law, among other areas. Other key figures in the team are Dominique Lagasse and counsel Béatrice Gribomont, who represented Vzw/asbl Recupel and other non-profit organisations at the Constitutional Court in proceedings concerning taxes imposed in the Flemish and Walloon regions on waste management organisations. Geoffrey Ninane recently made partner.

Practice head(s):

Dominique Lagasse; Jan Ghysels; Stijn Verbeke; Geoffrey Ninane

Other key lawyers:

Béatrice Gribomont

Testimonials

They are able to deliver very accurate, specialist advice in relation to the three Belgian regions. Stijn Verbeke is pro-active, clear in his advice, creative, calm and available

Proposals of texts (applications, conclusions, …) are transmitted well in advance so that there is sufficient time for us to read them. Invoices are drawn up regularly so that we can follow the time spent properly

Key clients

VZW/ASBL Recupel

VZW/ASBL Bebat

VZW/ASBL Recytyre

Monard Law

Monard Law handles a broad cross-section of contentious and non-contentious environmental law matters for public authorities, companies, contractors, employers' associations and unions, among other clients. One of the firm's major areas of strength is in the environmental permitting sphere, where the team provides an end-to-end user service at all stages of the process, including where legal proceedings arise. In addition to acting for clients in their capacity as applicants of permits, the group also assists clients with initiating proceedings to oppose permits that have been granted to third parties. It is equally strong advising on procedures relating to urban planning and building permits, as well as socio-economic permits. Elsewhere, the team is also adept in areas such as soil pollution, environmental taxes, environmental liability, waste management and sustainable energy projects. Koen Geelen and Wouter Moonen lead the advice to the Flemish government on all of its expropriation cases, which includes assisting the client with administrative and civil court proceedings. France Vlassembrouck is representing NEO (a company established by the Brussels-Capital Region and the city of Brussels) at the Council of State in multiple proceedings brought by various local inhabitants and several non-profit associations over the decision of the Brussels-Capital Region to approve a new regional zoning plan for the Heysel area. Senior associates Bernard Vanheusden and Sarah Jacobs are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Koen Geelen; France Vlassembrouck; Wouter Moonen

Other key lawyers:

Bernard Vanheusden; Sarah Jacobs

Key clients

WeAreOne.WORLD

Democo

(DMI Vastgoed) Ciril

Vanhout (Besix)

The city of Mechelen

The City of Hasselt

RSK Group

Dyls Construct

(NPG Energy) Enovos

The city of Hamont-Achel

The city of Tongeren

Brussels Expo

Limburg.net

Virix

The Flemish region

SCC Design

The province of Limburg

Dethier

The city of Antwerp

Willemen Infra

Living Tomorrow

Bude

Circuit Zolder (Terlamen vzw)

The city of Gent

POM Limburg

Arenberg

Atenor

Kumpen Red

UCLL

Neo project Brussels

Work highlights

  • Is advising a number of cities (Antwerp, Mechelen, Gent, Hasselt, Tongeren and Brussels) on various procedures concerning urban development, as well as other environmental issues like soil pollution, environmental permits and socio-economic permits.
  • Recently successfully represented environmental services provider RSK Benelux in legal proceedings where it had been alleged that previous soil studies or soil remediation had not been carried out properly.
  • Is acting for Democo on the construction of a new administrative centre in the town of Berlaar. Recent work involved representing the client before the Council for Permit Disputes, where the grant of a building permit for the centre was challenged by local residents.
  • Assisted Vanhout and Kumpen Red with obtaining environmental permits for the development of student housing.
  • Acts for for WeAreOne.WORLD, which is the organiser of the Tomorrowland dance festival; recent work included advising the client on soil pollution and sanitation issues in connection with a real estate project in Antwerp.

Publius

At Publius, half of the firm's environmental work comes from public authorities (federal, regional and local government), with the remainder of mandates being generated by Belgian and international companies. Equally strong in contentious and non-contentious matters, the team's varied portfolio of work covers environmental and building permits, environmental liability, enforcement, soil pollution and climate change. Senior partner Dirk Van Heuven and associate Roel Meeus are assisting Samsonite with obtaining the environmental permits required for the construction of a new European distribution centre. Also notable is that, in 2018, Steve Ronse and newly promoted partner Meindert Gees represented the Flemish government at the Council of State in an application for annulment lodged by several environmental organisations over the client's decision to allow transport company Essers to expand its premises at the Genk-Noord business park. Associate Merlijn De Rechter has specialist expertise in retail regulation and social economic permits. Günther L’heureux is the head of the department in Brussels. Jan Beleyn and Sofie Logie are other key figures.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Van Heuven (managing partner); Günther L’heureux; Steve Ronse; Jan Beleyn; Sofie Logie; Meindert Gees

Other key lawyers:

Roel Meeus; Merlijn De Rechter

Testimonials

I mainly work with Günther L’heureux and Roel Meeus. They are very practical, pragmatic and solution-driven. They always respect deadlines and are ready to work with urgency when needed

Steve Ronse has a lot of experience in the field of environmental law and procedures. He knows the ins and outs both from a legal and tactical/political point of view. This makes him the ideal man to handle your case

We all work closely together, as if we are part of the same team. The lawyers are very responsive and provide clear and to the point clarifications and advice

Jan Beleyn is very responsive and able to give a very clear explanation of highly technical matters. Merlijn De Rechter is an expert in soil pollution

We work with Roel Meeus and Günther L’heureux; they give feedback in due time, with a no-nonsense style

Key clients

Flemish Region – Flemish Government

FGE International (Five Guys)

Ethias Insurance Company

City of Aalst

Group Van Marcke

VVSG (Organisation of Flemish cities and municipalities)

Colruyt Group

Samsonite

Rockspring

City of Kortrijk

Crematorium of Kortrijk

Imog (intermunicipal organisation for public health)

Work highlights

  • Is representing the Flemish Region in multiple proceedings before the Council of Permit Disputes and the Council of State over the building of windmills.
  • Is representing the Flemish Region in a very high-profile climate case involving hundreds of plaintiffs.
  • Is representing a client in an environmental criminal case.
  • Is advising a client on town planning, zoning plans, environmental law and socio-economic permits.
  • Is assisting the city of Aalst with examining all zoning plans, and also advising the client on certain urban renewal projects.

Schoups

Schoups, which is active in domestic and cross-border mandates, demonstrates strong capabilities in relation to planning and permitting, dispute resolution and compliance-related matters. Kristof Hectors and Marco Schoups are the joint heads of the team, which acts for clients from a wide range of industries. Energy and real estate development are two notable areas of strength. Céline Bimbenet, who is one of four associates in the group, joined from Verbist Advocatuur in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Kristof Hectors (Antwerp); Marco Schoups (Brussels/Antwerp)

Other key lawyers:

Céline Bimbenet

Testimonials

Very good knowledge and quick answers

A very good response time and very accurate in the follow-up. A very good understanding of the specific circumstances specific to our company. This is why I particularly like working with Schoups. Advice is always clear and specific

I worked with Kristof Hectors. He is easy to communicate with, understands the business of the client, gives practical advice and stays on point

Key clients

Carrefour

Work highlights

  • Advising Carrefour on permit requirements connected with new retail opportunities in Belgium, as well as enforcement procedures and procedures concerning administrative measures in the context of obtained permits, among other matters.