EU regulatory: Financial services in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Sylvia Kierszenbaum's practice at Allen & Overy LLP covers regulatory developments and compliance issues relating to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). Elsewhere, the group is well-versed in Brexit-related regulatory matters. Senior associates Axel de Backer and Niels De Waele are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sylvia Kierszenbaum

Other key lawyers:

Axel de Backer; Niels De Waele

Testimonials

The team is top-notch, both on the theoretical side as on the practical knowledge and expertise side. They advise with active knowledge and are always on the ball. Also they are very available and always deliver on time and at the expected level‘.

Sylvia Kierzenbaum: she is excellent – she asks the right questions – she is a top expert, both theoretical and in practice‘.

Clifford Chance

At Clifford Chance, Lounia Czupper is the key name in the practice, which has been particularly active in assisting several banks and financial institutions with Euroclear security agreements. Derivatives work has also featured in the team's workload.

Practice head(s):

Lounia Czupper

Key clients

HSBC Bank

BNP Paribas Fortis

Generali

JP Morgan

Bird & Bird

The 'incredibly knowledgeable' team at Bird & Bird counts electronic banking and online payment matters as key strengths. Recent mandates for the group included assisting online mobile payments and identity verification company Jumio with financial regulatory issues. The key contacts are the 'very responsive' Scott McInnes and Paul Hermant.

Practice head(s):

Scott McInnes; Paul Hermant

Testimonials

Scott McInnes – his business experience is an asset for transposing regulatory requirements to practice‘.

Their legal advice is always practical and commercial‘.

Scott McInnes – excellent. His advice is direct and to the point, and he is incredibly knowledgeable about the payments industry‘.

Scott McInnes is highly knowledgeable on all things payments related. He is incredibly responsive and always provides helpful commercial insight‘.

Scott McInnes is our go-to person for complex payments questions. He knows all the relevant EU legislation inside and out and provides timely, on point and helpful advice. He maintains communication when working on a matter and lets me know of any delays or issues well in advance of deadlines‘.

Key clients

Stripe

Paysafe

bun

Let’s Didid

easyJet

Just Eat

Riskified

Digital River

Truevo Payments

Jumio Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Israeli technology company Riskified on payment regulation issues.

DLA Piper

Pierre Berger heads up the department at DLA Piper, where the 'strong' team is advising Kuwait Petroleum (Belgium) on the development and integration of a mobile payment solution into its loyalty program app, among other payment regulation matters. Senior lead lawyer Isabelle Van Biesen and lead lawyer Pauline Kustermans are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Berger

Other key lawyers:

Isabelle Van Biesen; Pauline Kustermans

Testimonials

Strong multi-skilled team with a broad view on the latest innovations and regulatory developments. Genuine interest in financial innovation and fintech‘.

Pierre Berger has a very broad view of the market and a deep interest for trends in financial services. Very responsive as well. Can address matters creatively without downplaying risk. Also has a good view on the European digital financial services industry, and latest trends and developments‘.

Very knowledgeable and experienced in the financial services field‘.

Key clients

Bancontact Payconiq Company

BNP Paribas Fortis

Fortino

Hummingbird

Kuwait Petroleum (Belgium)

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Tom Van Dyck leads Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick's 'very responsive' team, which is assisting the Belgian branch of Deutsche Bank with the implementation of the Shareholders Rights Directive II. Sarah Michot and Louise Verstraete are names to note at associate level. Karolien Decoene has moved to FSMA.

Practice head(s):

Tom Van Dyck

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Michot; Louise Verstraete

Testimonials

In-depth market knowledge‘.

Tom Van Dyck is extraordinary in his know-how and structuring his thoughts. Ability to zoom into details and zoom out when necessary. Very client-minded and friendly in conversations. Shows true interest in the file he is preparing. A pleasure to work with‘.

Sarah Michot is very intelligent and a hard working professional‘.

Key clients

AG Insurance

Deutsche Bank

Linklaters

Etienne Dessy's practice at Linklaters assists prominent domestic and international financial institutions with a wide range of matters, including regulatory investigations and compliance issues. Dessy has notable expertise in advising investment fund managers on regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Etienne Dessy

NautaDutilh

At NautaDutilh, the team is 'very knowledgeable in the area of clearing and settlement as a regulatory financial practice'. Central securities depositories (CSD) work is another key strength of the group. Practice head Anne Fontaine is 'authoritative and delivers timely and wise counsel'; 'she knows all the relevant legislation in and out'. Recently promoted counsel Pierre De Pauw is 'very efficient and knowledgeable'.

Practice head(s):

Anne Fontaine

Other key lawyers:

Pierre De Pauw

Testimonials

Anne Fontaine: very reachable and very pragmatic‘.

Very strong knowledge and very responsive‘.

Anne Fontaine is a leader in her field of expertise‘.

Key clients

Euroclear

Work highlights

  • Advised a prominent Dutch bank on the regulatory aspects of its sale of its Belgian portfolio of online savings accounts to Keytrade Bank.

PwC Legal

PwC Legal's team 'combines an impressive legal and technical expertise with strong business knowledge and commercial understanding' and 'provides detailed high-quality regulatory advice'. Ivan Peeters heads up the department, which acts for financial entities, including asset managers and financial institutions, on various regulatory and restructuring matters. Other key names include Philip Van Steenwinkel and 'highly responsive' senior managing associate Charles-Henri Bernard.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Peeters

Other key lawyers:

Philip Van Steenwinkel; Charles-Henri Bernard

Testimonials

Ivan Peeters and his team are always accessible and willing to find efficient, pragmatic and innovative solutions‘.

Key clients

ING Belgium

Belfius Bank

Hyundai Investments

Deutsche Bank

Meritz Securities

Simont Braun

Simont Braun's 'very responsive, accessible and solutions-oriented' team consists of 'true experts on regulation and fintech'. Recent work included advising banking and fintech clients on the regulatory aspects of implementing strategies to manage the potential impact of Brexit, as well as handling online payment and electronic banking regulation issues. The 'very energetic and personable' Philippe De Prez is 'very knowledgeable about fintech specificities'; he jointly leads the practice with the 'technically robust' Joan Carette (who was formerly at Osborne Clarke). Other key individuals include counsel Thomas Derval, senior associate Jean-Christophe Vercauteren and associate Charlotte De Thaye. Catherine Houssa retired.

Practice head(s):

Philippe De Prez; Joan Carette

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Derval; Jean-Christophe Vercauteren; Charlotte De Thaye

Testimonials

The regulatory team of Simont Braun is knowledgeable, easy and quick to work with. They have broad expertise and great work spirit.

Charlotte De Thaye works fast and is very responsive.

Philippe De Prez is always available and reliable.

Jean-Christophe Vercauteren is especially knowledgeable in all areas of fintech law.

Philippe De Prez is a great, all-round financial regulatory lawyer. He has a strong focus on fintech and innovation within the financial sector and has built up a remarkable track record in this field‘.

Key clients

Belgian Mobile ID

PayBase

WorldRemit

TransferWise

AION Bank

The European Commission

Work highlights

  • Assisting Aion Bank with all aspects of its transformation into a digital and mobile only bank.
  • Provides ongoing advice to Belgian Mobile ID on the regulatory framework for its mobile identification project (using an app to register as a client with a financial entity and remotely approve transactions), as well as on eIDAS and PSD2 regulatory matters.
  • Successfully assisted UK-based payment institution TransferWise with its application for a licence with the Belgian regulator; this was part of the client’s Brexit strategy.