Allen & Overy LLP combines bespoke environmental law work on issues such as waste management, pollution, and permitting with regulatory support for major M&A, corporate financing, and real estate transactions. The firm has a strong record in stand-alone Belgian environmental law cases, and extensive experience in environmental litigation before all levels of domestic courts, as well as handling cross-border mandates. The team is led by Gauthier Van Thuyne, a specialist environmental law practitioner with expertise across the full range of matters, both advisory and contentious, most notably in issues relating to pollution and hazardous substances. Senior associate Fee Goossens advises on environmental regulatory and public law issues, and has a notable focus on renewable energy transition and infrastructure projects.
Environment in Belgium
Allen & Overy LLP
Gauthier van Thuyne
Other key lawyers:
‘The environmental practice group is very experienced, and they have talented resources internally or through partner firms throughout the world.’
‘Fee Goossens is extremely knowledgeable, always responsive, and focused on client service.’
‘Professional approach to the subject matter and availability to interact directly with government authorities.’
‘Prompt replies and in case of lack of availability other partners/associates able to step in.’
‘They came out on top because of their proactivity, understanding of the problem and management of resources.’
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick is able to advise on the full range of environmental law and related matters, including waste management, pollution, permitting, and project management, combining regulatory capabilities with sector-specific knowledge of key areas such as energy, infrastructure, and public procurement. The team has broad coverage across the Belgian regions, and also represents public and private sector bodies in high-profile environmental litigation. Practice heads François Tulkens and Dominique Devos are specialist environmental law advisers, both regularly handling complex permitting, pollution, and project development matters. Filip De Preter is of counsel and another key name for planning and permits work, while senior associate Bert Van Herreweghe has represented clients in permits and zoning disputes, alongside advising on brownfield development work.
François Tulkens; Dominique Devos
Other key lawyers:
Filip De Preter; Bert Van Herreweghe
‘In depth knowledge of the Belgian environmental laws in all regions.‘
‘Dominique Devos has a very good knowledge of our needs and our business.‘
Flemish Region and associated departments
Brussels Capital Region
- Advised Promaz on its recognition as a soil remediation fund.
- Advising the Flemish Government on new legislation stimulating the use of zero car emissions.
- Representing the Brussels Region in high-profile noise limitation cases.
With strong expertise across contentious and non-contentious matters, the ‘experienced, focused, and client-driven‘ team at Stibbe handles complex PPP and brownfield development projects, soil, air, and water pollution issues, and environmental issues relating to M&A transactions, alongside bespoke environmental law proceedings, including drafting legislation and representing clients in liability litigation. Clients include real estate developers and investors, corporate clients involved in real estate purchases, and a wide range of public authorities, both within Belgium and internationally. Jan Bouckaert leads the team, focusing on environmental law and urban planning issues, alongside real estate-related matters, while France Maussion remains active, a vastly experienced figure within real estate development projects. Counsel Olivier Di Giacomo advises on administrative law and public construction projects, while Bastiaan Schelstraete and Stefanie Francois were promoted to counsel in January 2022 in recognition of their work on environmental impact assessments and EU environmental regulations respectively.
Other key lawyers:
France Maussion; Olivier Di Giacomo; Guan Shaiko; Bastiaan Schelstraete; Stefanie Francois
‘The team of Jan Bouckaert is very experienced, focused and client-driven. In difficult times, they bend over backwards to support you.’
‘Stibbe is well equipped in all its practices which means an overall advice is provided if needed.’
‘Jan Bouckaert is very experienced and keeps calm in difficult times.’
‘Bastiaan Schelstraete flies to the moon and back to provide in time quality advice.’
‘Guan Schaiko – very deep knowledge of his practice area – very accessible.’
‘Jan Bouckaert – great ability to explain the matter to non-professionals.’
Aldi Real Estate
Be Real Estate
Belgian Farmers Union (Boerenbond)
Besix Real Estate Development
BME Real Estate
BNP Paribas Fortis
De Watergroep (Flemish water company active in 180 municipalities inFlanders)
Eneco Wind Belgium
E.ON Power Plants Belgium
European Investment Bank (EIB)
Japan Tobacco International (JTI)
Lantis and De Werkvennootschap
Makro Cash and Carry Belgium
OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders)
Public bodies or with a public share such as: Aquafin (water purification/treatment Flanders);
Beheersmaatschappij Antwerpen Mobiel (BAM), also known as “Lantis”;
the Belgian Buildings Agency (BBA);
Brussels Airport Company (BAC);
City of Brussels and citydev.brussels (development company of the city of Brussels);
ISVAG (inter-municipal body for waste treatment Antwerp);
European Investment Bank;
National Bank of Belgium;
the Flemish Land Agency (Vlaamse Landmaatschappij, VLM);
the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Capital Region;
the Flemish Ministry for Justice, Planning, Environment, Energy, and Tourism;
Port of Antwerp (Havenbedrijf Antwerpen);
Sofico (Walloon Region’s financing company):
SCK-CEN (Belgian Centre for Nuclear Research);
SLRB (Brussels public housing company);
SRWT (Walloon Regional Transport Company);
STIB/MIVB (Brussels public transport company).
Suez R&R Belgium
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, US Gov.)
University Hospitals (UZ Leuven, UZ Gent)
- Advising Beheermaatschappij Antwerpen Mobiel on the realisation and execution of the Antwerp Masterplan 2020 for the creation of a multi-modal transport infrastructure programme for the city of Antwerp, including both the construction of new transport infrastructure and upgrades to existing infrastructure.
- Advising Storm Management on several onshore wind projects in the Walloon and Flemish region.
- Advising Neo on the real estate, town planning, environmental, tax, and public procurement aspects of the reconstruction and redevelopment of the Heysel site.
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL works with national and international corporate clients on environmental, urban planning, and zoning matters, with standout expertise in soil and groundwater contamination, waste and contaminants management, and telecoms infrastructure. The team is jointly led by Pascal Mallien, a specialist in compliance and permitting issues with great experience in litigation, both administrative and criminal, and Jean-François Vandenberghe, who advises on environmental concerns relating to cross-border M&A deals, alongside notable work on soil pollution. Mario Deketelaere takes the lead on zoning and planning work, alongside real estate transactions and development work.
Pascal Mallien; Jean-François Vandenberghe
Other key lawyers:
Alvance Aluminium Duffel
Ideal Fibres & Fabrics
- Advising Veolia on its bid participation in several major public procurement proceedings for national and international adjudicating authorities and for the award of multi-year service contracts in several jurisdictions.
- Representing Orange in litigation involving Proximus SA, Orange Belgium and Irinest, against one of Orange’s former contractors, Fibreworx SPRL.
- Representing ZGP Intermut and Consortium Callcenters in a claim before the Council of State to suspend the granted public procurement for COVID 19 tracing in the Flemish Region.
DLA Piper has particular strength in the urban planning and environmental space, acting for a number of cities and municipalities in litigation and advising on licensing of major developments, particularly brownfield, zoning, environmental approvals, and waste management. The team regularly engages with domestic and European authorities, and has played a role in legislative consultations at national and regional level. Practice head Bob Martens takes the lead on major projects and public law issues, while counsel Alec Van Vaerenbergh regularly advises governments and private sector clients on environmental issues relating to developments, particularly renewable energy projects.
Other key lawyers:
Alec Van Vaerenbergh
‘Broad field of discipline, combined with well founded advice. Long term relationship makes the collaboration easy.’
City of Antwerp
Borealis Polymers NV
Vlaamse Radio en Televisie (VRT)
- Advised the City of Antwerp on a number of urban planning and development projects.
- Advised Kinepolis on the development of the Heizel site, located north of Brussels.
- Advised DEME on a series of complex legal actions initiated against the Port Authority of Antwerp.
Eubelius works with public and private sector clients on urban and environmental development issues including permits, zoning, and project development, alongside a notable litigation capability in the telecoms sector, with standout cases including issues relating to Belgium’s national and regional 5G networks. The practice is led by Barteld Schutyser, an experienced public law practitioner with a strong focus on PPPs and public procurement, alongside Bart Martel, who focuses on urban planning and environmental litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘The strength of the team is their ability to analyze files in depth in order to allow the client to make informed decisions. Eubelius as a firm is very pleasant to work with. People are professional.’
‘Bart Martel and Laura Janssens have a good critical sense. They listen to the client and have a very down to earth approach. They are easily reachable.’
Albert Heijn Belgium
City of Kortrijk
City of Mortsel
- Advising Uplace on the construction and operation of a new large urban development project in Machelen.
- Representing Proximus before the Market Court in proceedings relating to temporary permissions for the nation’s 5G network.
- Advising Albert Heijn on permit issues and related environmental issues.
Lydian handles a wide range of environmental law issues, including permits, waste, contaminated properties, zoning, and development, and has a particularly strong record in regulatory enforcement and litigation. Counsel Kyoto Van Herreweghe is praised for her ‘fantastic theoretical expertise‘ in urban planning and environmental issues. Clients include a wide range of domestic and international businesses, alongside other law firms, with the practice a popular choice for international referrals. Wouter Neven sadly passed away in June 2022.
Other key lawyers:
Kyoto Van Herreweghe
‘Fast, efficient, and reliable’
‘The teamwork that Lydian’s team displayed was fascinating and each and every member was very easily accessible. Kyoto Van Herreweghe also stood out because she focused on the details and knew exactly what our requirements were.’
‘Kyoto Van Herreweghe is a rising star in environment. She is talented, assertive and quickly understands the deep aspects of the case. She has substantial experience assisting clients in environmental matters. She is great to work with, because she provides quick and objective answers, and is always available.‘
‘Kyoto Van Herreweghe: fantastic theoretical expertise.’
Stora Enso NV
AIG Europe S.A. France
Cercle Brugge Koninklijke Sportvereniging
Goodman Belgium NV
Plukon Food Group B.V.
Tereos Starch & Sweeteners Belgium NV
Sterling Group L.P.
DUAL Asset Underwriting Limited
Douglas Terminals HoldCo BV
Ghent Transport & Storage NV
Naxicap Partners – Paris
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP – Amsterdam/Paris/UK
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I
Hogan Lovells International – Birmingham
Visser & Smit Hanab
BNP Paribas Fortis
Axima NV (part of the Engie Group)
Baloise Belgium NV
EEW Energy from Waste GmbH
European Projects Investment Company NV
Real Estate and Leasing Company NV (“Reslea”)
Accor Hotels Belgium NV
Campaign Monitor Europe UK Limited
Bell Food Group AG
Luther Rechtsanwalts – Hamburg
KBC Verzekeringen NV / KBC Group NV
Zurich Insurance Plc Netherlands branch
Vivalto Home Belgium SA
Bird & Bird LLP
Nutkao Holding s.r.l.
GELF Arbo Logistics Belgium NV
Building Group Jansen NV
Coordinatie Organisatie Constructie NV
CWS-boco International GmbH
DeHeng Law Offices
EDF Luminus NV
EDG België Holding NV
Eqin Holding BV
Flanders Real Estate Investment NV
Floren en Cie
Fourdem Comm. V.
Huis van het GO!
IBP Water-Link OFP
Jan GeertsIresco NV
LOM Oostende – Brugge
Mathieu Gijbels NV
MC Capital NV
Mensura Gemeenschappelijke Verzekeringskas In Vereffening Ond. Verz. Mij
Oud Gasthuis Hasselt BVBA
Rumbold One NV
Tervia’s NV / Vlinvesta NV
The Cube BVBA
THV Jansen Finishings – Aannemingen Jans
Van Benthem & Keulen
Vlaamse Overheid – MOW – Juridisch /Maritiem
Vlaamse Vervoersmaatschappij – De Lijn
Wacker Chemie AG
- Representing Stora Enso NV in one of the largest environmental litigation claims regarding legionella infections in Belgium.
- Advising a real estate and leasing company on the development of a maritime campus.
- Representing Airport Development Company Antwerp NV in highly mediatised criminal proceedings related to the so-called-extension of the runway with a Runway End Safety Area.
NautaDutilh has a strong record in environmental permitting, particularly relating to construction projects, and is also active in enforcement proceedings, both in administrative and criminal contexts. Other areas of strength for the firm include PPP and public procurement, and energy transition, with clients including energy producers, developers, and transport companies. The team is led by Jens Mosselmans, who combines advisory and litigation work in a range of public and administrative law cases relating to environmental issues, while counsel Maxime Vanderstraeten joined the firm from Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick in early 2021 and has deepened the firm’s reach in French-speaking regions of Belgium. Counsel Stef Feyen is noted for his work on public procurement.
‘Highly regarded practice with a very skilled team. Pragmatic and outcome-focused approach.’
‘Jens Mosselmans is a highly skilled lawyer, very responsive, down-to-earth, gives straightforward advice.’
Gunvor Petroleum Antwerp
- Advising Engie Electrabel on the Capacity Remuneration Mechanism and on several investment dossiers.
- Advising Umicore on strategising and finding an adequate response to the imposition of unprecedented environmental standards following a recent increase of lead concentration around the Umicore Hoboken plan.
- Advising Gunvor Petroleum Antwerp on the restructuring of its refinery in Antwerp, including permit- and soil-related challenges.
White & Case LLP works with multinational clients across the automotive, manufacturing, and financial services sectors, advising on high-level environmental regulatory issues, including climate reporting and ESG obligations, trade and international operations matters in the context of environmental regulation, and energy transition. The team is led by Jacquelyn MacLennan, a specialist in ESG and climate change issues who advises on Belgian, EU, and global environmental regulations, including competition law implications. Genevra Forwood has broad expertise across public procurement, public contracts, and consumer protection, advising clients on regulatory compliance.
Other key lawyers:
Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment
Hyundai Motor Company/Kia Motors Corporation
US Industrial Pellet Association
- Advising Daimler on the consumption and emission performance of cars and vans, trucks and buses.
- Advising DIC Corp. on environmental, health and safety, REACH and other regulatory requirements of its €1.15bn acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business.
- Advising JMC on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and other sustainable trade policy and climate change regulations in the EU.
Boutique firm Adhemar Advocaten advises public and private developers, public sector bodies, and contractors on environmental, public, and administrative law issues, including regulatory considerations for real estate development projects, environmental impact assessments, and litigation up to Council of State level in permit disputes. The firm is also regularly referred specialist environmental work by national and international law firms. The practice is headed up by environmental and urban planning specialist Joris De Pauw, real estate-focused Stefanie Debeuf and Durkadin Yilmaz, who has expertise in forestry projects and infrastructure developments.
Agency for Environment
Agency for Forest and Nature
Via Invest / De Werkvennootschap
City of Vilvoorde
City of Landen
City of Maaseik
City of Zonhoven
Belasco / BESIX Infra
DC Berkel Groep
- Advised the city of Vilvoorde on several real estate development projects, including legal proceedings concerning permits and zoning regulation.
- Advised the Agency for Forest and Nature on the preparation of new legislation on forest and nature protection.
- Represented the Ministry for Environment in legal proceedings against the building permit for the Oosterweel-project in Antwerp.
Monard Law offers its clients significant public law and litigation expertise, regularly representing public sector bodies at Council of State level, alongside advising on environmental permits, waste management, soil pollution issues, and brownfield projects. The practice is led by Koen Geelen, who specialises in public sector work, including representation in major environmental liability cases, alongside Wouter Moonen, who has a strong focus on public procurement.
‘People orientated. Personal. Think along with the client.’
Remo Milieubeheer (Group Machiels)
Ostend-bruges Flanders International Airport
City Of Antwerp
Antwerp Flanders International Airport
- Advising Primagaz on the expansion of gas storage located in the industrial zone of Tessenderlo in order to obtain the necessary environmental permits.
- Advising WeAreOneWorld on environmental permits for the Tomorrowland festival.
- Advising Living Tomorrow on acquiring environmental permits for its innovation campus.
Publius advises companies and public authorities, including regional and national bodies, on environmental regulations, administrative permits, climate change considerations, and project development matters, alongside representing clients before courts and tribunals. The firm has key members operating across Belgium in all regions, with leaders in the team including Steve Ronse, Günther L’heureux, Dirk Van Heuven, Sofie Logie, Jan Beleyn and Meindert Gees.
Dirk Van Heuven; Günther L’heureux; Steve Ronse; Jan Beleyn; Sofie Logie; Meindert Gees
‘Excellent respect of the deadlines. People are experts in the field.’
‘Very good knowledge of planning, environment.’
‘Günther L’Heureux is very accessible. He is practical and has a very good knowledge of the business. Thinks with the client and the business. Hands on advice. Very good follow up of the procedures and projects. Imaginative in complex projects.’
‘Publius has an in-depth technical knowledge of environmental and zoning matters.’
‘Wide range of expertise, with good personal contacts within the administration, and provide excellent advice.’
‘We mainly work with Jan Beleyn, who knows his stuff, is always quick on the ball and very helpful – not to mention his excellent sense of humor. We have been working for many years with Jan and his team, to our great satisfaction.’
Protein House (Hawaiian Poke Bowl)
City of Kortrijk
City of Aalst
City of Diksmuide
Municipality of Knokke Heist
Ethias Insurance company
- Representing the Flemish Government in Belgium’s first actual climate case in which a Belgian non-profit organisation, together with over 60,000 plaintiffs, sued the four Belgian Governments and requested the civil court of Brussels to impose strict and binding emission standards together with an obligation to take more effective measures regarding climate policy.
- Advising Hawaiian Poke Bowl on its a plans to open 50 restaurants in Belgium and abroad.
- Advising Elia on operational and regulatory issues.
PwC Legal advises domestic and foreign companies on strategic town planning, environmental permits, and procurement, also representing clients in associated litigation. Alongside its work for private sector clients, the firm also has an active public sector offering, advising municipalities, cities and public companies on the full range of environmental regulatory matters. The practice is led by Els Empereur, who has expertise in real estate, administrative, and public law, with a strong focus on environment and planning issues.
‘We have worked very well with Els Empereur and her team. She is very strong when it comes to everything related to the environment.’
‘Els Empereur is very well versed in soil-related matters.‘
‘PwC Legal has proven to be a very knowledgeable legal team, that assisted us on more than one occasion in legal matters, mostly pertaining to environmental subjects.‘
‘Els Empereur is a real expert in environmental matters and is assisted by a team that knows the stuff very well!‘
Seeds of Law offers expertise in environmental permitting and public real estate law across the three regions of Belgium, advising on urban planning, PPP, and hazardous materials permits, environmental due diligence for real estate transactions, and additionally representing clients in disputes before Belgian courts. Clients include developers and real estate portfolio holders. Koen De Puydt leads the team, specialising in public law and real estate issues.
Koen De Puydt
IMMO SEAGULL NV/PGJCL Immo
Willemen Real Estate
XPO Supply Chain Chemicals
C.E.T.T. P. Monseu
- Advising Greenleaf NV on the environmental, urbanistic and planning issues (amongst several others) concerning a redevelopment of an industrial area into a residential real estate project.
- Assisting C.E.T.T. in the administrative procedure and preparation of a new demand for a new environmental permit in conjunction with the collection and sorting of non-hazardous waste.
- Successfully represented XPO Supply Chains Chemicals BELGIUM against administrative sanctions in conjunction with a chemical incident on the XPO Chemicals site, which led to the intervention of the fire brigade.