EU regulatory: Financial services in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's well-regarded practice, which is jointly headed by Sylvia Kierszenbaum and Filip Tanghe, was kept busy advising a number of financial institutions on regulatory developments concerning the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), the EU Benchmark Regulation, and regulatory compliance issues, to name a few areas. Key clients include Goldman Sachs, Rabobank, BNP Paribas Fortis and KBC Bank.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance reports an increase in instructions regarding the regulatory aspects of implementing strategies concerning the potential impact of Brexit. In this space, practice head Lounia Czupper is advising a prominent French and a major US bank on the design and implementation of their Brexit strategies, involving a restructuring process. Other work includes assisting an asset management firm with obtaining an investment firm licence, so that it can relocate to Belgium. ING Belgium, EIB, HSBC, KBC and Belfius Bank are included in the client roster.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Christiaan Smits and competition law expert Andreas von Bonin are the key names at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The team is well known for handling, among other areas, data protection, competition, and MiFID-related instructions.

Linklaters

At Linklaters, Etienne Dessy is the key name in a practice that has established strength handling, among other areas, derivatives, financial reorganisations, advisory matters and regulatory investigations. The group has also seen an uptick in instructions concerning regulatory issues involving investment funds.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s 'incredibly responsive' team garners praise for its 'pragmatic and business-focused advice', and is especially noted for its expertise in electronic banking, online payment and outsourcing matters. The group advises longstanding client Mastercard on payment regulation issues. The 'pragmatic' practice head Scott McInnes has 'excellent knowledge of the market'.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's team is advising several prominent financial institutions, including HSBC, on investigations conducted by global regulators in Europe, Asia and the US concerning the foreign exchange market. Laurent Ruzette and senior associate Christophe Wauters are key contacts.

DLA Piper

Pierre Berger's practice at DLA Piper is well known for assisting government entities and prominent financial institutions with investment funds, online payment systems, insurance matters, capital markets, and derivatives work, to name a few areas. Counsel Axelle Van Den Broeck left the firm in March 2018.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick has been assisting asset managers and financial institutions with Brexit restructuring matters. In one highlight, department head Tom Van Dyck led the advice to MoneyGram on the regulatory aspects of relocating its EU office from the UK to Brussels. Other areas of instruction include market abuse matters, MiFID II implementation, and Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive work.

NautaDutilh

NautaDutilh is adept across the full spectrum of financial regulation matters, and is noted for its expertise in securities settlement systems and central securities depositories (CSD) work. For key client Euroclear, the team assisted with its CSD applications under the new Central Securities Depositories Regulation. In another matter, the group is advising insurance group QBE on the regulatory aspects of its decision to implement a subsidiary in Belgium. Anne Fontaine and associate Pierre De Pauw are the key contacts.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke's 'strong' team has 'recognised expertise' in financial regulatory matters, according to a client. Joan Carette heads the practice; she is widely recognised for her experience in fintech regulatory work, and in this space, she is leading the advice to Belgian Mobile ID on the regulatory framework for using an app to register as a client with a financial entity and remotely approve transactions. Associate Jean-Christophe Vercauteren is also recommended.

PwC Legal

PwC Legal assists financial institutions, investment funds, asset managers and companies with regulatory, restructuring, compliance, and enforcement issues. Jacques Richelle, 'pragmatic problem-solverIvan Peeters, and Philip Van Steenwinkel are the names to note.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Insurance law regulatory work is a core strength at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and the practice is also noted for handling matters for Swiss banks. Key names in the team include Philip Woolfson, who has an excellent reputation for insurance and reinsurance matters, particularly in cross-border issues, and Jean Russotto, noted for his expertise in advising Swiss businesses, especially longstanding client, the Swiss Bankers Association, on the application of EU financial regulations.