EU regulatory: Chemicals in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP provides public law and environmental regulatory expertise to its client base of multinational chemicals manufacturers, advising on transactions, risk management, and compliance with REACH, CLP, and BPR regulations. The firm also works within the renewables and life sciences space, advising on permitting, waste management, and contamination issues, alongside representing in environmental litigation. The practice is led by Gauthier Van Thuyne, a specialist in chemicals regulation, environmental, and public law, with senior associate Fee Goossens also offering broad expertise across environmental, regulatory and public law matters, including transactional and projects work.

Practice head(s):

Gauthier van Thuyne

Other key lawyers:

Fee Goossens

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP works with chemical manufacturers, downstream users, and trade associations across a broad range of regulatory issues, including REACH and CLP matters, biocidies, and on issues affecting the cosmetics, fertiliser, technology, and e-cigarettes areas in particular. The firm also represents the ECA in litigation, and broadly enjoys productive relationships with regulatory bodies. The firm has been active in the ESG space, advising clients on sustainable economy and green issues. Counsel Cándido García Molyneux leads the team, advising on REACH and CLP regulations, environmental considerations, and representing clients before European regulatory authorities and courts.

Practice head(s):

Cándido García Molyneux

Testimonials

Deep expertise across the board. A remarkable ability to know what the European Court will decide.

‘Candido is the lawyer we go to when we want to get an opinion that tells us not what we want to hear, but what the Court or the Commission will decide. That may not be for everyone, but we prefer to walk into something with our eyes wide open.’

Candido’s integrity, huge breadth of experience, and prodigious memory are valuable.

Key clients

European Chemicals Agency

European Tissue Symposium (ETS)

MHP

European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)

Ukrainian Business and Trade Association

Work highlights

  • Representing the European Chemicals Agency in pre-litigation negotiations against several companies in the EU, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania, and Slovenia.
  • Advising the European Tissue Symposium on EU chemicals legislation and its impact on the manufacturing of tissue paper products.
  • Advising the management of CEFIC on specific issues concerning the interpretation of EU chemicals law and its impact on specific product legislation, as well as the interrelationship between EU chemicals and waste legislation.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher handles both advisory and litigation work relating to REACH and CLP cases, pesticides, and biocides, acting at both domestic and EU level, with a particularly strong record in product defence and advocacy, alongside competition and trade issues relating to the chemicals space. The team regularly represents clients before the ECHA and European courts, and is also an adviser to a number of sector taskforces. Practice head Claudio Mereu is an experienced figure within the chemicals regulatory space, combining product advocacy with high-level litigation expertise, while Koen Van Maldegem works with companies and public sector clients on the application of European and Belgian chemicals and environmental regulations. Peter Sellar specialises in environmental law and is an active litigator, while Gerard McElwee was promoted to partner in early 2021 and focuses on regulatory compliance. Counsel Maud Grunchard is known for her work on taskforces and across agrochemicals regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Claudio Mereu

Other key lawyers:

Koen Van Maldegem; Maud Grunchard; Peter Sellar; Gerard McElwee; Selma Abdel-Qader

Testimonials

‘Fieldfisher Belgium LPP has proved to be a valuable asset for our sector, with a professional team. Contacts have been easy through the use of technology over the recent difficult times.’

‘We had the pleasure to work with Peter Sellar and Selma Abdel-Qader, both skilled, professional, available and providing outstanding insight on our topics of interest.’

‘The team was very helpful and professional..’

‘Peter Sellar was my main contact point. He was all the time reachable, willing to help us and doing the extra mile. Great knowledge of the dossier. I appreciated very much the fact that he made easy to understand some legal terms or indications that were technical or difficult to grasp upfront. He was not only very reactive to our demands but also suggesting all the time new ways forward.’

‘Deep knowledge built on experience of biocide regulation since the beginning.’

‘Approachable, realistic and honest concerning possible outcomes.’

‘Peter Sellar is very committed, experienced, smart’

‘Fieldfisher has an excellent team of lawyers highly experienced in advice and litigation in the field of EU regulations applicable to chemicals. They therefore understand the regulations and the chemical industry in much greater depth.’

Key clients

International Antimony Association

Sasol, Basf And Si Group

Adcr

Apeiron (Goodyear)

Carus

Eastman Chemicals

Eu Silver Task Force

Alcohol Task Force

Meadjohnson

Gowan

Eu Mancozeb Taskforce

Janssen

Nippon Soda

Rotam Agro

Upl

Cefic’s Ebpf (Now B4e) Association (European Biocidal Products Forum)

Work highlights

  • Representing the International Antimony Association, which represents the producers, importers and users of multiple Antimony substances, in the defence of three appeal cases before the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency.
  • Represented a group of nine companies in an appeal before the Board of Appeal of ECHA, as part of a data sharing dispute involving REACH & Colours Kft.
  • Advising Cefic EBPF on an ongoing basis on various biocidal legal issues that arise including on industry’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and how to facilitate the supply of disinfectants to the market.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has a successful record in regulatory and REACH litigation before the ECHA and European Commission, and remains involved in high-profile cases before the ECJ relating to the chemicals sector. The team also advises global companies and research entities on regulatory compliance, and emerging issues such as ESG and sustainability. The team is led by Jean-Philippe Montfort, a vastly experienced expert on REACH and CLP regulations who combines advisory and litigation work, with counsel Pavlina Chopova-Leprêtre noted for her expertise across chemicals regulations and environmental considerations within plastics, poison control, and biocides. Fellow counsel Thomas Delille takes the lead on litigious matters.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Philippe Montfort

Other key lawyers:

Pavlina Chopova-Leprêtre;  Thomas Delille; Li Heng

Testimonials

‘Very good availability and knowledge of the industry sector.’

‘Jean-Philippe Montforts and his team have in-depth knowledge and experience in European Chemical Regulations and the chemical industry.’

‘Very professional and competent team, always think ahead of the client and for the client.’

‘ I have worked with Jean-Philippe Montfort and Li Heng for many years on REACH compliance related matters, very professional, reliable and diligent advisors, who are always able to give comprehensive, accurate and feasible solutions.’

Key clients

Albemarle

BASF

Concawe

Eurométaux

International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products Europe (AISE)

International Fragrance Association (IFRA)

L’Oréal

Oxiteno

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA)

Tobacco And Nicotine Products Chemicals Group (TNPC)

3M

Work highlights

  • Retained by 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.
  • Acted for ZDDP in filing fourteen notices of appeal before the Board of Appeal of ECHA, seeking the annulment of information requests on ECHA Testing Proposals Dossier Evaluation substances.
  • Acted for Concawe in representing the interests of petroleum refining companies in an action for annulment brought by ExxonMobil before the EU General Court.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP is active on behalf of major chemicals and agrochemicals companies, representing clients in major court proceedings before the ECJ and other bodies, including complex proceedings relating to environmental penalties and chemicals regulations within the paint sector. The team also provides advice on regulatory compliance for food products, REACH chemicals, medicinal products, and cosmetics, encompassing CLP, ETS, environmental, and data protection regulations. The ‘highly qualified practice is led by Denis Waelbroeck, active in regulatory compliance and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Denis Waelbroeck

Other key lawyers:

Irene Antypas

Testimonials

‘Very highly qualified.’

‘Excellent indviduals. Special mention to Irene Antypas.’

‘Irene Antypas is clearly a standout player in the EU chemical regulatory sector. She has a depth knowledge of applicable rules which she puts into practice with accurate and valuable advice.’

Key clients

FMC Chemical

Dow DuPont

Corteva

ISK Biosciences

European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists’ Colours Industry (CEPE)

American Coatings Association (ACA)

British Coatings Federation (BCF)

CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council)

European Petrochemical Association (EPCA)

International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE)

Work highlights

  • Representing the interests of the European, British and US coatings and paint producers as interveners before the EU General Court in a high-profile case challenging the EU classification of titanium dioxide as a suspected carcinogen by inhalation.
  • Advising CEFIC on its “Climate Transition Monitoring System Project” which aims to assess the possible impact of the EU’s climate-neutrality objective by 2050 on chemical value chains in the EU.
  • Represented FMC Chemical before the EU General Court challenging the EU Commission’s decision not to renew the EU approval of one of its herbicide substances.

Jones Day

The team at Jones Day is praised for its ‘comprehensive knowledge in all REACH matters’, advising an array of consortia and major European companies on REACH registration and authorisation for a number of substances, as well as regularly representing clients in product defence proceedings and advising on the introduction of new inorganic chemical products to EU markets. The team is led by Ursula Schliessner , a specialist in EU chemicals and environmental regulations, active in the food and biotech sectors. Senior associate Preslava Dilkova is also a key member of the REACH authorisation offering.

Practice head(s):

Ursula Schliessner 

Other key lawyers:

Preslava Dilkova; Yvan Desmedt

Testimonials

‘I appreciate the team’s knowledge of the regulations and the experience to keep an excellent relationship with regulatory agencies in each of the EU Member States as well as surrounding countries such as Turkey, Switzerland, Ukraine.’

‘I have worked with Mr. Yvan Desmedt for a number of years and I place utmost confidence on him.’

They always try to help us understand complicated issues better, and offer various solutions and their pros and cons for us to make most appropriate decisions.’

‘The team has comprehensive knowledge in all REACH matters, good contacts to the competent authorities and their advice is practicable.’

‘Ursula Schliessner und Preslava Dilkova work well together as a team of specialists always giving the right guidance.’

Key clients

Chromium Trioxide REACH Authorization ‘CTACSub’ Consortium

CTACSub 2 – Six Members of the CTACSub Consortium

E 172 Consortium

Ethylbenzene REACH registration consortium

Garmin

Geyer Frères

Gluconic acid and its derivative REACH registration consortium

Iron Oxides and related substances REACH registration consortium (30 companies)

Lanxess Corporation

Miscellaneous Chromium VI Compounds Authorization Consortium (CCST) (consisting of 28 companies mainly from the aeronautics sector)

Sorbitol and Maltitol Joint Registration Group (SMJRRG)

Styrene REACH registration consortium (40 companies)

TCPP REACH registration consortium

Unsaturated Polyester and Resins Consortium