EU regulatory: Chemicals in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP offers strong chemicals regulatory expertise combined with domestic and cross-border public law and environmental capabilities, working with clients on regulatory compliance for operational issues and transactions, as well as conducting risk management audits and representing clients in litigation before European and domestic courts. Gauthier van Thuyne leads the team, and is experienced in REACH, CLP, and other chemicals regulatory matters, handling issues such as product packaging and supply chain considerations. Fee Goossens was promoted to counsel in May 2022, and stands out for her work on environmental issues, such as contamination and noise concerns, for chemicals clients.

Practice head(s):

Gauthier van Thuyne


Other key lawyers:

Fee Goossens


Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP advises chemicals manufacturers, downstream users in a variety of sectors including e-cigarettes, cosmetics, and food products, and trade associations, on compliance with European regulations, including REACH, CLP, and POPs, both relating to day-to-day operations and strategic projects. Alongside existing regulatory expertise, the team, led by ‘outstanding‘ counsel and chemicals regulatory expert Cándido García Molyneux, also advises clients on upcoming changes to European and domestic legislation, and is regularly working with clients on preparation for the rollout of the EU Green Deal. Other key team members include life sciences and environmental specialist Peter Bogaert and Bart Van Vooren, who is active at the intersection of chemicals and food industry issues.

Practice head(s):

Cándido García Molyneux


Other key lawyers:

Peter Bogaert; Bart Van Vooren


Testimonials

‘We find their advice influential when dealing with the highest levels of the Commission and regulatory agencies. They turn around complex requests on time and on budget. Whilst not the cheapest, they provide the best value for money.

‘Candido provides outstanding legal advice. His writing is clear. The advice is objective and realistic.’

Key clients

European Tissue Symposium (ETS)


Ukrainian Business and Trade Association


European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)


Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTi)


Work highlights


  • Advising the management of CEFIC on specific issues concerning the interpretation of EU chemicals law (REACH) and general EU law (e.g., interpretation of EU law, the powers of the Commission, etc.).

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher handles regulatory compliance issues for corporates, chemicals manufacturers, and trade associations, offering broad expertise across key directives such as REACH and CLP, as well as representing clients in litigation before EU courts, alongside offering standout lobbying and product advocacy capabilities. The team is led by Claudio Mereu, who has a successful record across litigation and product advocacy at both the EU and member state level, while Koen Van Maldegem works prolifically with trade associations on strategic considerations. Peter Sellar remains active on broad compliance issues, Gerard McElwee is also a key name for both compliance work and litigation, and senior associate Simon Englebert represents clients in litigation and licensing applications. Counsel Maud Grunchard works with clients on a long-term, integrated basis, handling product-specific issues and broad strategic considerations.

Practice head(s):

Claudio Mereu


Other key lawyers:

Koen Van Maldegem; Peter Sellar; Maud Grunchard; Simon Englebert; Gerard McElwee


Testimonials

‘The team successfully completed several tasks for the contractual structuring of our company. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner and they were overall competitively priced.’

‘Brilliant professionals. The support provided by Peter Sellar was excellent and superb.’

‘Claudio Mereu and his team have been assisting us for more than 10 years; strong capability to directly comumunicate (they avoid the typical “lawyer’s language” distant from the industry business and regulatory environment) with industry based on excellent knowledge of business; their excellent knowledge of the Italian language is highly appreciated by our clients!’

‘Excellent knowledge and skills in multiple chemical regulatory sectors; very successful performance and high success rates; straight forward approach versus realistic and achievable goals; strong positive reputation at all levels like industry, national and European regulatory authorities, ECHA, EU COMM and many others.’

‘Exceptional depth in REACH and chemical regulatory law and procedure.’

‘Claudio Mereu is widely regarded as a top chemical regulatory lawyer in Brussels. His depth of knowledge and experience in REACH is encyclopedic. Yet he is accessible and gives practical advice.’

‘The FF team is extremely specialised in the review of chemical issues. It is a sector which is very technical and requires a strong understanding of scientific evaluations. It is not something that can easily be mastered. You need years of expertise. In this sense, once you have a deep expertise of the chemical industry, it is impossible to match.’

‘Claudio Mereu as MD is supervising all clients/files and gives the strategic direction. He has been in this chemical sector for 25 years. He is well recognised by all clients and all know one another. Claudio has experience in pesticides, REACH & biocides like no other lawyers in Brussels. Simon Englebert is the number 2 in the team and fulfils perfectly his role, having been working many years on these dossiers. The other team members are also very useful. Fees are fine and within market range, follow-up is excellent.’

Key clients

International Antimony Association


SASOL, BASF, And SI Group


ADCR Reach Consortium


Apeiron (Goodyear)


Carus


Barclay Chemicals R&d Ltd


Eastman Chemicals


EU Silver Task Force


Alcohol Task Force


EU Mancozeb Taskforce


Janssen


Nippon Soda


Rotam Agro


Sharda Cropchem Limited


UPL


CEFIC’s Biocides4Europe


Work highlights


  • Assisting and representing the British company Arysta LifeScience Great Britain Limited before the Court of Justice in an appeal lodged on 15 April 2022 against a judgement issued by the General Court of the European Union.
  • Assisting the EU Silver Task Force on an ongoing basis.
  • Assisting and representing Barclay in a contentious matter before the Italian Administrative court concerning the rejection of an application for authorisation of a plant protection product under Regulation 1107/2009 and assisting the company concerning the authorisation of plant protection products before other Member States such as, for example, Belgium.

Mayer Brown

The specialist Mayer Brown team has broad experience advising and representing clients across regulatory compliance mandates and litigation before the ECHA and ECJ, and is able to manage EU and global chemicals regulatory matters, including CLP and REACH mandates, as well as emerging issues relating to the EU Green Deal. The team is also notable for its ESG expertise, advising industrial associations and businesses on regulatory and legislative developments relating to sustainability and corporate governance in the chemicals space. Jean-Philippe Montfort leads the team, and has a successful record across compliance advice and litigation, supported by Pavlina Chopova-Leprêtre, who was promoted to partner in January 2023 and is noted for her work on environmental and sustainability issues, and counsel Thomas Delille, who handles REACH, CLP, and biodiversity issues.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Philippe Montfort


Other key lawyers:

Pavlina Chopova-Leprêtre; Thomas Delille


Key clients

3M


Albemarle Corporation


BASF


Concawe


The Dow Chemical Company


The EcoBeautyScore Consortium


International Fragrance Association (IFRA)


L’Oréal


Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association


Tobacco and Nicotine Products Chemicals Group (TNPC)


Unilever Plc


Work highlights


  • Representing all members of the Titanium Dioxide Industry Association (TDMA) and Evonik in a high profile mandate to submit an Action in annulment to the General Court of the EU against the harmonised classification of titanium dioxide (TiO2) under the EU’s CLP Regulation.
  • Advised on a landmark decision that sets boundaries to authorities’ margin of discretion in the context of the REACH Regulation.
  • Filed thirteen notices of appeal before the Board of Appeal of ECHA, seeking the annulment of information requests on ECHA Testing Proposals Dossier Evaluation substances belonging to the ZDDP Category.

Steptoe LLP

Steptoe LLP works with a global client base, including businesses and trade associations, advising on REACH applications and regulatory compliance, alongside representing clients seeking to challenge EU and domestic regulations and rulings, including high-profile litigation before the ECHA and European Court of Justice. Nanomaterials and food industry chemicals issues are key areas of strength for the team, which is led by Ruxandra Cana, with Eléonore Mullier also a standout name for her work on biocides, including REACH authorisation and litigation,

Practice head(s):

Ruxandra Cana


Other key lawyers:

Darren Abrahams; Eléonore Mullier; Anna Gergely


Testimonials

‘The team is well acquainted with the legal EU framework and the competent authorities for biocides. We do appreciate the great commitment and the excellent communication.’

‘Steptoe & Johnson is a great team of specialists, who can serve in many aspects, i.e. in regulatory areas for almost all types of product related regulations. They typically write extremely comprehensive reports, but with very good and useful summaries for executives in the target companies. They also respect, when customers come with special format requirements for the reports, which makes the results even more valuable.’

‘Dr. Anna Gergely, who serves us especially in all aspects of biocidal product regulations around the globe, is the best expert in this field, we ever met. She has profound knowledge in this area and an excellent talent, to describe the difference of the regulations in the different regions and countries in a simple but still complete way. Especially when it comes to tricky questions at the borderlines between different legislations, e.g. cosmetic regulation – biocidal product regulation – medical device legislation, she can demonstrate her excellent knowledge and experience of several decades of working in these segments. She supported several of our global projects successfully and improved also the knowledge of the people in our house significantly.’

Key clients

BSEF


Chemours


Troy Corporation & Troy Chemical Company


Resorcinol Task Force (RTF)


Global Silicones Council


Peracetic Acid Registration Group (PAR)


Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council)


PlasticsEurope


Solvay


Symrise


Huntsman International


Omya International


ITW


Nouryon


EMPA (European Melamine Producers Association)


Work highlights


  • Represented Chemours in legal action in the European Court of Justice against the European Chemicals Agency, seeking annulment of the European Chemicals Agency decision to identify a specific substance as a substance of a very high concern under the EU REACH Regulation (SVHC).
  • Representing Troy in two test cases against the European Commission before the General Court of the Court of Justice.

Jones Day

Jones Day stands out for its REACH expertise, advising a range of chemicals manufacturers and downstream users, particularly in the food industry, on licensing applications, and is particularly active on behalf of REACH consortia. The firm also offers specialist food and environmental law expertise, encompassing chemicals issues relating to product labelling and recall. Ursula Schliessner heads up the team, specialising in chemicals regulation and environmental law, with associate Preslava Dilkova also a key member of the team, handling product safety issues and REACH applications.

Practice head(s):

Ursula Schliessner


Other key lawyers:

Preslava Dilkova


Testimonials

‘The team is personable and a pleasure to work with. Not only do they have great in depth knowledge in their particular focus areas, they have offices around the globe, where they are able to consult with others who are specialized in other areas of the law and geographies to provide comprehensive coverage for all of your needs.’

‘Preslava Dilkova is a pleasure to work with and will work diligently to ensure your company’s interests are met, keeping in mind your needs when new opportunities may present themselves.’

‘Ad hoc responding and no long waiting times to get a response.’

‘Our contact Ursula Schliessner is very knowledgable and on the point. She executes according to timelines and has a big network on regulators and industry. Moreover, she understands technical issues (e.g. chemistry related).’

Preslava Dilkova, senior associate of Brussels Office was outstanding.. I am impressed with Preslava’s quick and accurate reactions to the points that we had to deal with. She must have engineering knowledge or have an excellent sense of quick learning to solve any kind of issues.’

Key clients

Chromium Trioxide REACH Authorization ‘CTACSub’ Consortium


Iron Oxides and related substances REACH registration consortium


Ethylbenzene REACH registration consortium


Gluconic acid and its derivative REACH registration consortium


TCPP REACH registration consortium


CTACSub 2 – Six Members of the CTACSub Consortium


E 172 Consortium


Garmin


Geyer Frères


Lanxess Corporation


Sorbitol and Maltitol Joint Registration Group (SMJRRG)


Styrene REACH registration consortium


TCPP REACH registration consortium


Unsaturated Polyester and Resins Consortium


DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises heavy industry clients including global conglomerates on broad regulatory compliance, product liability, and risk management issues relating to industrial products, speciality chemicals, and petrochemicals. The team combines EU regulatory expertise with strong German, Dutch, and UK capabilities, regularly working with international offices on cross-border mandates. The practice is led by litigator and public law specialist Bob Martens, who has notable experience in REACH mandates, alongside Alec Van Vaerenbergh, who works with public and private sector clients on chemicals regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens; Alec van Vaerenbergh


Testimonials

‘Excellent understanding of UK and EU legislation. Fantastic partners who work with our business to bring critical thinking and gain the best resolution possible to challenging situations.’

Key clients

BASF


SABIC


LyondellBasell


INEOS


Tate & Lyle


Agfa Gevaert


AB Achema


Armco Overseas


Global Energy Storage


Avery Dennison


Berry Group


Sumitomo Chemical


Work highlights


  • Advised Tokyo Electron on their response to a proposed restriction by the European Commission on a particular type of PFAS substance used in their semiconductor products, for which there is not yet an alternative substance and which would therefore have significant impact on the sale of its products in Europe.
  • Advising and representing the European Chemicals Agency before German courts and higher courts with regard to the enforcement of fees and various issues relating to the enforcement of EU law.
  • Acting as lead EU counsel to HP Inc in relation to a wide range of EU chemicals, and in particular related environmental and sustainability matters.