EU regulatory: Chemicals in Belgium

Covington & Burling LLP

At Covington & Burling LLP, Cándido García Molyneux heads up an experienced group of practitioners, specialised in advising on EU and pan-European environmental and product regulation and policy. Issues relating to biocides, fertilizers, nanomaterials, GMOs, and waste management are all regularly dealt with by the firm. Peter Bogaert is the name to note for relevant litigious work, while Bart Van Vooren leads on compliance with the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Practice head(s):

Cándido García Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Peter Bogaert; Bart Van Vooren; Rosa Oyarzabal

Key clients

European Chemicals Agency

European Tissue Symposium

European Chemical Industry Council

Acid Survivors Trust International

Work highlights

  • Advised the European Tissue Symposium on EU chemicals legislation and its impact on the manufacturing of tissue paper products.
  • Advised the management of CEFIC on specific issues concerning the interpretation of EU chemicals law (REACH) and general EU and international law on chemical.


Leveraging a ‘depth of experience collected over many years‘, the large team at Fieldfisher takes on the gamut of advisory and contentious work relating to REACH, pesticides and biocides, as well as other related environmental law issues. Complex litigation regarding EU-level approval and registration of chemicals is a key strength. David Haverbeke heads up the broader EU regulatory department, overseeing ‘a solution-oriented group of lawyers‘ which includes key names Claudio Mereu, Koen Van Maldegem, Peter Sellar and counsel Maud Grunchard.

Practice head(s):

David Haverbeke

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Very few teams have this depth of experience collected over many years of working with the relevant legislation as it has been created and implemented. This is genuine in-depth knowledge of the intricacies with which companies – big, small, generic, and research-based – are faced.’

‘Throughout our partnership, we have benefitted from Fieldfisher’s continuous excellent value-added service, oriented to the needs of our company, at very competitive prices and within the required time-limits. This allows us to always have an advanced position in diverse situations.’

‘Claudio Mereu has been on top of this area of practice from its inception, has the required contacts when needed, and offers sound practical advice.’

‘We have always benefited from Claudio Mereu’s strong knowledge of law and long-time professional experience in different legal spheres which are of interest for our company, including pesticides and biocides. We always rely on his good judgement and advice, which help us to take the best decisions and solve multiple problems. We specifically value his approachability and ease of communication.’

‘Attention to detail and professionalism. Out-of-the-box thinking.’

‘Koen Van Maldegem: long-term experience, always keeping the client in focus, solution-oriented and not confrontational.’

‘Fieldfisher have a very good reputation within the field of chemical regulation, and this is borne out by our work with them. They have an excellent knowledge and insight into the regulations, wide connections within the industry and with the regulators, and always provide strong legal guidance.’

‘Fieldfisher brings together a solution-oriented group of lawyers, ready to react on short notice with competent legal advice. The practice fosters superior collaboration with its clients, adapting to diverse situations and ensuring seamless project execution for a successful outcome.’

Key clients


Polynt s.p.a.

Centro Reach SRL


Reach Consortia

Cefic – biocides for Europe

Alcohol Task Force

EU Silver Task Force

Arche Consulting


ADCR Reach Consortium



EU Focus Group




Nippon Soda

Rotam Agro / Albaugh


Mancozeb Task Force

JT Agro

Sharda Cropchem Limited



Work highlights

  • Advised Chemours on the incoming restrictions of PFAS under REACH.
  • Advised the EU Silver Task Force on a major biocidal review in Europe.
  • Handled a range of contentious and non-contentious matters on behalf of Italian company Polynt.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown‘s ‘outstanding’ regulatory team has a track record of litigating successfully before the Board of Appeal of the ECHA and ECtJ, as well as running product defence cases before all major relevant institutions, including the European Commission. ‘Excellent regulatory lawyerJean-Philippe Montfort also leads the firm’s global chemicals industry group. Other key senior figures include Pavlina Chopova-Leprêtre, who was promoted to partner in January 2023. The department recently strengthened its associate bench with the arrival of Nikoleta Kyriazopoulou from Hogan Lovells International LLP in August 2022, followed by Javier Saladich from Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL in May 2023. Thomas Delille departed the firm in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Philippe Montfort

Other key lawyers:

Pavlina Chopova-Leprêtre; Nikoleta Kyriazopoulou; Javier Saladich


‘Outstanding regulatory legal team, very competent in the different areas of chemical and life sciences regulation, working very professionally.’

‘Jean-Philippe Montfort is an excellent regulatory lawyer, well experienced and extremely smart. Thomas Delille has developed himself in exactly the same direction.’

‘Great rounded team with deep understanding of the regulatory developments in Europe providing clear actionable advice and guidance. Outstanding is that they have technical and material knowledge in house.’

Key clients


Albemarle Corporation




Dow Chemical Company

EcoBeautyScore Consortium


International Fragrance Association (IFRA)


Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association

Tobacco and Nicotine Products Chemicals Group (TNPC)

Unilever Plc


Work highlights

  • Retained by all members of the Titanium Dioxide Industry Association and Evonik 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.
  • Represented AlFE Consortium, BASF and Kemira in a case which 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 the ECHA, seeking the annulment of information requests on ECHA Testing Proposals Dossier Evaluation substances belonging to the ZDDP Category.

Steptoe LLP

Steptoe LLP‘s dedicated chemicals, environment and life sciences department ‘provides unique views and solutions‘ to an impressive client roster comprising large multinational companies, leading European and international trade associations, major consortia, and key agencies. Alongside its REACH-related work, the team is best known for advising on issues concerning biocides, pesticides and agricultural biotechnology. Ruxandra Cana regularly appears before both EU and national institutions and courts. Eléonore Mullier often handles cross-sectoral issues, including matters relevant to European Green Deal initiatives, such as the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

Practice head(s):

Ruxandra Cana

Other key lawyers:

Darren Abrahams; Eléonore Mullier; Zanda Romata


‘In-depth and broad skillsets and knowledge in a very complicated space.’

‘Provides unique views and solutions because of the firm’s ability to tie various seemingly unlinked issues together. ’

‘We’ve worked since 2017 with the Steptoe & Johnson team. During this time, we very much appreciate the excellent communication, the great commitment and the high level of competence. The team works constructively together to find an appropriate solution without blinkers. Always available and responsive to our inquiries.’

Key clients

Dow Silicones Corp.

Creosote Council Europe

Chemours Company

Troy Chemical Company BV (Netherlands) and Troy Chemical Corp (US)/Arxandra


Nouryon Polymer Chemical B.V.

Resorcinol Task Force (RTF)


Dragon Chemical Europe GmBH

European Melamine Producers Association (EMPA)

European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)

Alzchem Trostberg GmBH

Arysta Lifesciences SAS

Advansix Inc.

CropLife International

Work highlights

  • Intervened in General Court litigation on behalf of Cefic in relation to the hazard classification decision on titanium dioxide.
  • Represented Dow Silicones Corporation in matters related to EU product legislation, in particular before the Court of Justice of the EU relating to concepts tied to the persistence and competence of the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency.
  • Advised the European Melamine Producers Association on the identification of melamine as a SVHC by the European Chemicals Agency.

A&O Shearman

Bringing together public, environmental and regulatory law experts, A&O Shearman expertly handles advisory, transactional and disputes mandates relating to product regulation and supply chain management in the chemicals industry. Senior partner Gauthier van Thuyne, who heads up each of the firm’s relevant departments, is emblematic of this synergy, as is counsel Fee Goossens. REACH-related work is a particular strength, and the group is able to rely on a network covering 15 jurisdictions in Europe and the US to provide seamless cross-border advice.

Practice head(s):

Gauthier van Thuyne

Other key lawyers:

Fee Goossens

Key clients


Jones Day

As a result of its combined strength in environmental, health and safety, and regulatory law, Jones Day is seen as a go-to advisor by multinational corporations, government-owned entities and public bodies requiring assistance with complex issues spanning all these fields. The firm is able to leverage its network of nine European offices to provide fluency in both EU and local regulatory nuances. Environment team lead Ursula Schliessner and newly promoted of counsel Preslava Dilkova are both noted for their REACH expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ursula Schliessner

Other key lawyers:

Preslava Dilkova


‘We appreciate the knowledge of technical aspects, of regulators’ policies and of practice, which leads to the most appropriate advice that clients can implement.’

‘Preslava Dilkova has been most reliable and represented the client’s interest to the utmost extent.’

‘Good knowledge of regulations (both REACH and global), prompt replies.’

‘From personal experience with the individuals, I would recommend this law firm to others. Their knowledge is outstanding, their responses are always timely.’

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 – Five Members of the CTACSub Consortium

E 172 Consortium


Geyer Frères

Lanxess Corporation

Sorbitol and Maltitol Joint Registration Group (SMJRRG)

Styrene REACH registration consortium

Unsaturated Polyester and Resins Consortium

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, compliance and regulatory issues, product liability claims, crisis management, product withdrawal and recall matters, and related legislative processes all form part of the regular workload. Bob Martens heads up the regulatory team, bringing a wealth of experience in advising both public and private sector clients on all aspects of administrative law to the role. Alec Van Vaerenbergh, who was promoted to partner in May 2023, is another key member of the group.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens; Alec Van Vaerenbergh

Other key lawyers:

Lieven Annaert

Key clients




Agfa Gevaert

Sumitomo Chemical

Work highlights

  • Advised SABIC on the reorganisation of its polymer cracker business in Europe.
  • Represented Indaver in urgent proceedings regarding discharge standards for effluent containing PFAS, including an appeal in cassation regarding the judgment of the Council of Permit Disputes.
  • Advised the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the aftermath of a judgment by the Council of Permit Disputes, overturning the permit for the ‘Project One’ chemical plant by INEOS because of an inconclusive assessment of the nitrogen effects on a nature reserve located in the Netherlands.

Keller and Heckman LLP

The offering at Keller and Heckman LLP brings together the environmental practice, which provides regulatory advice on a broad range of products marketed in the EU, and the chemical control department, which has expertise in areas related to REACH, biocides, pesticides, and fertilisers. The key senior contact is Ales Bartl.

Practice head(s):

Ales Bartl


‘Unique knowledge on regulations related to chemicals and special applications.’

‘They try to find solutions and invest time to understand the business situation.’

‘The team that serves us demonstrates deep and broad expertise in regulatory matters.’