Next Generation Partners

EU regulatory: Food in Belgium

Covington & Burling LLP

Leveraging the combined strength of its London, Dublin and Brussels offices, Covington & Burling LLP handles pan-European emergencies, regulatory investigations, advertising complaints and administrative challenges on behalf of a broad spectrum of major players in the food and beverage industry. Recently, the team has been particularly actively advising on issues concerning food supplements, cannabis and related products, vegan alternatives, and personalised nutrition. Bart Van Vooren takes the lead, supported by a deep associate bench which includes Rosa Oyarzabal and Yuliya Gevrenova.

Practice head(s):

Bart Van Vooren

Other key lawyers:

Rosa Oyarzabal; Yuliya Gevrenova

Key clients


Aloe Vera of Europe BV

Eat JUST, Inc.

St. Pierre Groupe Limited

Beyond Meat


Health Food Manufacturers Association

Holland & Barrett

OptiBac Probiotics

Raisio Group

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc

Science in Sport plc


Work highlights

  • Represented Aloe Vera of Europe in litigation before the EU General Court against a Commission Regulation banning HADs, a substance which is found naturally in most plants, for an infringement of the precautionary principle.
  • Advised Aboca on a proposed UK and EU ban on the sale of certain foods.


DALDEWOLF's ‘unique’ team combines expertise in food regulations with a deep knowledge of consumer, advertising, contracts, distribution, competition and intellectual property law. The group also has a strong record in crisis management relating to product bans and contamination, including cross-border proceedings and litigation before European and domestic courts. Food and beverages industry sector specialist Aude Mahy is singled out as ‘really an expert in her field,’ and is instructed by producers and operators across the supply chain, alongside retailers.

Practice head(s):

Aude Mahy

Other key lawyers:

Floriane Delbaere


‘Aude Mahy and Floriane Delbaere are very service-minded, have high responsiveness and sense of urgency, and a comprehensive understanding of both EU food regulations and regulations in neighbouring countries.’

‘Aude Mahy is brilliant.’

‘Aude Mahy is extremely well experienced in food and consumer goods law (industry and retail).’

‘Aude Mahy is a specialist in food law. She was very helpful in defending our case.’

‘Aude Mahy is an excellent expert in food law, totally dedicated to her clients, and very open to co-working with them on cases.’

‘Aude Mahy and her team have huge expertise in food law and dealing with Belgian food authorities. The team’s practice combines regulatory assistance and litigation. This is unique in Belgium.’

‘Aude Mahy is really an expert in her field. She is my go-to person for Belgium.’

‘Very high level of expertise in food regulation. Reactiveness, availability at any time, reactivity to provide documents, official opinions, and reports. Good teamwork. Efficient in negotiation with authorities, calm, good arguments, well prepared.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a Belgian-based company commercialising organic products in a case against the Belgian administration which relates to the type of ingredients authorised in organic products.
  • Advised a sugar producer on a food safety crisis threatening the continuity of the client’s activities due to the deviation of a parameter in the water used in the production of sugar.
  • Represented a Belgium-based company which specialises in the production and commercialisation of food supplements based on natural ingredients in a dispute with the Belgian administration related to a change of position regarding the history of consumption of a plant.

Food Law Science & Partners

Boutique firm Food Law Science & Partners - which was established by dedicated specialist Katia Merten-Lentz in 2021 - is valued by clients for its ‘strong foundation of expertise and experience.’ The team is widely known for handling high-stakes arbitration and litigation, representing household names before national and EU courts, as well as domestic and international authorities. Recently, the group has been increasingly involved with the process of bringing novel products to market, and has also seen a growing focus on food safety work, including crisis management.

Practice head(s):

Katia Merten-Lentz

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Moutarlier


‘It’s easy to feel that there’s a great deal of co-operation within the team: communication flows smoothly, and everyone’s skills are optimised to suit the task at hand. The aim is clearly to serve the case as effectively as possible.’

‘Katia Merten-Lentz and Charlotte Moutarlier were able to set up an environment where a dialogue of trust could take place. As a result, they were able to grasp exactly what our expectations were and what the legal stakes were in our case.’

‘Katia Merten-Lentz’s expertise in the food industry, combined with her strong communication skills and ability to engage with high-level audiences, is complemented by Charlotte Moutarlier’s regulatory experience.’

‘Great teamwork. Diverse expertise.’

‘Long experience within the EU food law field. Excellent and fast responses.’

‘Strong foundation of expertise and experience. Combination of food law and scientific knowledge. Understanding of the EU network.’

Key clients

BEL Group




JRS Rettenmaier



Laboratoires Ineldea

Léa Nature

Soufflet Group

Vital Meat

AB Enzyme



CEAMSA (Compañia Española de Algas Marinas)

Green Spot Technologies


Standing Ovation

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The world’s best known food and beverage producers, manufacturers, and retailers form the core of Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s client base, which also includes start-ups, trade associations and non-profits. The team has deep knowledge of issues affecting every stage of the production and distribution cycle, and is consequently well placed to navigate complex compliance matters, as well as dealing with crisis management, including product recalls. Senior EU regulatory affairs advisor Jacqueline Mailly is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Mailly


Hogan Lovells’ Belgian European Regulatory practice is unique for me in regards to how close they stay with the client and work with us to solve issues and remove barriers for the success of the project. For that, they have shown great creativity and flexibility.

Very competent team for Brexit related problems, with good relations with authorities in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Can provide very throrough analysis on a very difficult topic.

The regulatory/food practice at Hogan Lovells Brussels has a unique expertise in EU food and feed safety regulatory area, from a legal and policy perspective, and coupled with deep business acumen. Easy to work with, approachable and responsive and very professional.

The team are very responsive and quick to jump on calls to discuss urgent issues that arise. They provide practical advice and are proactive in looking for solutions to issues.

Jacqueline Mailly is our go-to regulatory expert. I have worked with some others in the past, but Jacqueline is the most committed, knowledgeable and experienced regulatory expert I know. Plus, she’s very client focused, and a savvy business partner.  Would recommend her anytime for food law regulatory issues.

Key clients

Partnerships for Forests


Work highlights

  • Advising new clients Partnerships for Forests (NGO) and Coopcerrado, a group of Brazilian agricultural cooperatives, on the EU and UK authorisation process for a novel traditional food.
  • Representing an EU food/pharma ingredients manufacturer in negotiations at EU, national and UK level, seeking appropriate language to be included in newly introduced UK health certificates in order to ensure continued trade of this key food and pharma ingredient to the UK post-Brexit.
  • Advised a major international food manufacturer regarding an alleged false health claim and coordinated communication with the national food safety agency in order to ensure proper interpretation and follow through to avoid the food being pulled from the market.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

At Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL, Brussels-based Geert Bovy leads the firm's European food law practice group, which comprises specialists from across the region. The ‘pragmatic’ team is particularly active in advising national and international clients on product denomination issues, food contact materials, contaminants in food, labelling issues, and comparative advertising matters. In addition, the offering extends to relevant regulatory aspects of M&A deals. On the contentious side, nutrition and health claims, and cases around sustainability are a regular source of work.

Practice head(s):

Geert Bovy


‘Smart, available, pragmatic, great experts.’

‘Extension of our own business but with lawyers’ minds. Access to more sophisticated expertise and sources in order to come to fast conclusions or strategic confirmation of what is legally defensible.’

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's client base comprises food and beverage producers, distributors and retailers, biotech companies and other innovative operators. The team's proficiencies span the entire lifecycle of food and beverage production and marketing, from research and development to processing, brewing, packaging, labelling, advertising, and distribution issues. The key contact is Nicolas Carbonnelle, who was promoted to partner in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Carbonnelle


‘Bird & Bird offers strong expertise in food law and EU regulations on enzymes and food ingredients, and possesses commercial acumen.’

‘Nicolas helped us early on regarding understanding the impact of the incident and how best to position ourselves in front of our customers from both regulatory and commercial perspectives.’

Key clients

SodaStream and SodaPressCO


New Generation







Ross Barr






Treasury Wine Estates

DS Smith


Amano Enzymes

Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers

Work highlights

  • Assisted SodaStream and SodaPressCo with the validation of the ingredients used in these ranges of products, as well as advising on the content of the consumer-facing labelling of the products and handling relevant nutrition and health claims.
  • Assisted Japanese enzyme manufacturer Amano Enzymes with a review of the regulatory status of its products, particularly in relation to the Novel Foods Regulation.

Keller and Heckman LLP

Keller and Heckman LLP‘s ‘highly skilled’ food department is sub-divided into two further groups, direct and indirect food; Rachida Semail predominantly focuses on food contact matters, but has oversight of both sub-teams, while Hazel O’Keefe specialises in packaging and sustainability issues. In June 2023, the practice further expanded its strength with the hire of UK-qualified practitioner Craig Simpson, who joined from the European Free Trade Association.

Practice head(s):

Rachida Semail

Other key lawyers:

Hazel O’Keefe; Craig Simpson


‘K&H has a lot of experience and knowledge on various subjects, especially regarding food contact regulation. The team that serves us demonstrates deep and broad expertise in regulatory matters.’

‘Rachida Semail and her team offer a great service and response time to meet demands. The firm performs in-depth analyses, always seeking to find solutions to issues presented to it.’

‘K&H has dedicated people from different regions working on our projects, which facilitates the consistency of the dossiers that need to be submitted to authorities. As we are dealing with a new type of product, it was great to have regular interaction with the K&H team to have an alignment on how to tackle some of the issues going forward.’

Key clients

Avantium Renewable Polymers

Carbiolice and Carbios

Work highlights

  • Advised Avantium Renewable Polymers on marketing its products to be supplied to various brand owners for use in various food-contact applications, and on entering new markets while remaining compliant.
  • Advised Carbiolice and Carbios on compostable plastic packaging technology which contributes to waste reduction of PLA-based plastics.


The ‘very dedicated’ cross-practice offering at ALTIUS spans contentious and advisory mandates relevant to food and drink producers, agri-biotech companies, plant and animal breeders, sector organisations, and governments. Product liability cases, labelling and advertising matters, and consumer protection issues all form part of the regular workload. Philippe de Jong and Olivier Vrins bring a strong IP focus to the group.

Practice head(s):

Philippe de Jong; Olivier Vrins


‘The team is very dedicated and dives deep, always considering business needs.’

‘The individuals are excellent lawyers and provide outstanding legal guidance on complex regulatory legal questions.’

‘The firm has extensive knowledge in its practice, as well as reasonable billing.’

‘The practitioners are hands-on, available and willing.’

Key clients

SESVanderHave N.V.

Mitsui AgriScience International SA/NV

The Government and Attorney General of Pakistan

Geefa NV

Euroseeds AISBL

Syngenta Crop Protection AG

Bayer AG

Equine America (UK) Ltd

La William NV

French ‘Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité’

Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC)

Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC)

Bayer CropScience SA-NV

Work highlights

  • Represented Belgian sugar beet breeder, SESVanderhave NV in national proceedings before the Belgian Council of State after a preliminary ruling by the CJEU.
  • Represented Pakistan before the European Commission in opposition proceedings against an application by India for registration of ‘basmati’ as a protected geographical indication in the EU.
  • Represented the owners of the Saels pear variety, an early ripe mutant of the Conférence pear, in infringement and damages proceedings against various growers.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields a ‘diverse’ cross-departmental team of specialists who come together to assist some of the largest multinationals in the food and beverage sector. Alexis Fierens provides IP and commercial expertise, while Bob Martens has extensive experience in handling litigation before various Belgian and European institutions and courts. Counsel Lieven Annaert is noted for his regulatory prowess.

Practice head(s):

Alexis Fierens; Bob Martens

Other key lawyers:

Lieven Annaert


‘The team at DLA Piper Brussels is a diverse team with experienced, hands-on lawyers. The team knows our sector (food) and our company very well, and therefore their advice is to the point and relevant to our business.’

‘With regard to AI, DLA Piper is at the forefront of this new technology, proactively supporting clients with high-tech solutions in their day-to-day work.’

‘Alexis Fierens is very knowledgeable in his fields of experience (food and commercial law) and provides crisp and to the point advice, thinking along with us as in-house counsel to add value to our international business.’

Key clients

Lotus Bakeries





SodaStream International Ltd

Barry Callebaut


Hard Rock Café

Philip Morris


Work highlights

  • Advised Lotus Bakeries on labelling requirements and other regulatory matters.
  • Assisted an international drinks company with various regulatory and compliance issues, including the packaging and labelling of alcoholic, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverages, and advised on marketing requirements for particular products.
  • Advised a US multinational food company on labelling and packaging requirements for its products, as well as other compliance issues.

Jones Day

Noted particularly for its strength in advising on government regulatory issues, Jones Day is regularly instructed to handle product authorisations, and labelling and recall issues. Ursula Schliessner is highly regarded for her expertise in matters relating to novel foods, including notifications under the simplified procedure. The group regularly collaborates with the firm’s competition, corporate, litigation, tax and employment practices.

Practice head(s):

Ursula Schliessner

Key clients

E 172 Consortium of pharma, food, feed, and chemical companies

Lipton Teas and Infusions